Vintage Ale - Capital Brewery
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
4.55/5 rDev +20.7%
Pours nice and red brown with a white head that retains itself well. Quite effervescent. clear body. Smells of cherry pie, sweet amber malt, peat, alcohol. Taste is peaty as well, only slightly fruity, spicy hops and malt melded fantastically well. A sipper with a warming alcohol poke, but great and very tasty. Full bodied and well balanced. Definitely the top beer i've tried from Capital. Even better as it comes up to room temp. masterful. I'm actually really surprised that this isn't more highly rated.
06-11-2007 17:06:09 | More by aforbes10
4.53/5 rDev +20.2%
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a reddish amber with a single finger of off white head that is reduced to a soapy rim within a minute.
aroma is very malty, with a distinct caramel and bready character, rather sharp in the nose. a light fruity character forms a base, with notes of apple and grape. almost resembles a boozy belgian dubbel with a considerable amount of malt.
taste is heavy on the malts as well, with the same caramel character, much smoother on the palate, and a similar fruity base of apple and grape. there is a notable difference between the aroma and taste, with the latter much more mellow and smooth.
mouthfeel is full bodied with a creamy texture and a smooth finish. exceptional.
drinkabliity is good. though this brew comes with a mildly high alcoholic tag (8.5% APV), one would never know it while sipping it. wonderfully crafted brew. it is a shame they will not be brewing it again. cheers!
04-11-2008 01:37:00 | More by botham
4.5/5 rDev +19.4%
Pours a clear, wonderful, deep caramel brown color, with a large cream-colored head. It looks thick & dense.
Aroma has a strong caramel smell laced with a strong alcoholic bite that comes across as sweet cotton candy. Fumes barely burn the nose hairs.
Flavor: Caramel Incarnate! One of the best embodiments of caramel flavors I've come across. It's not too sweet, and leans towards a deep rich & warm buttery caramel. The mild alcoholic bite lends itself well to enhance the caramel and add some burnt sugar for sweetness. Very well balanced. Not too strong, but the flavors are strong enough to savor well after swallowing.
Mouthful is a heavy medium, smooth and creamy, and still refreshing.
Drinkability is slightly slower than average due to thickness, flavors and alcohol - but awesome. Great balance of flavors toned back just enough. Although Autumnal Fire is still my favorite brew from Capital Brewery, I still feel like this one was better crafted. It's a semi-pricey 4-pack, but one I purchased quite a few times over the winter.
04-25-2007 19:31:06 | More by terrabyte
4.47/5 rDev +18.6%
I got this one as an extra in a trade recently and did not really know much about it and to be honest had not even heard of it or the brewery, but those are my favorite kinds of beers! The 12oz bottle was served slightly colder then cellar temperature and poured into a nonic pint glass. A nice, warm, orange tinted amber color emerged from the bottle. A good bit of cloudiness and haze mixed in, not enought to detract or obscure but enough to get you to take notice. A large two inch head of white foam then emerged over the top and settled down very quickly leaving behind nothing but a thin crown around the sides and a naked top, now noticeable side glass lace, but it still looked rather nice.
The aroma was very sweet. Loads of caramel and honey were the doninant notes, and it ws clear right away that this was going to be a malty beast. Some light, frui aromas coming through as it warmed. The feel hand an almost syrup like consistency and an almost candy like sweetness. Loads of candy apple and caramel flavors, with a touch of a citrus punch toward the finish. Long lasting sweet flavor that I could still taste that nice candy like tone long after it was gone. For over 8% there was not a chance you could pick that up, though I could feel it after it was done.
Overall this was a very nice beer. A good english style barleywine that really snuck up on me as I was not expecting it to be as good as it ws. Too bad it was a one off as I could see myself having this one again some day.
05-29-2008 01:08:42 | More by mikesgroove
4.33/5 rDev +14.9%
Pours an amber color with an off-white head. Slight chill haze to it. Jagged rings of lacing.
Aroma is nice and strong. Caramel malts mixed with leafy, floral hops. Smells good.
The taste is really good. Just as the style denotes, it's a nice strong English ale. The floral hops and caramel fight it out to see gets the attention, but neither one beats out the other. Balanced rather nicely between the two. There's some fruitiness and alcohol lurking in there, too.
Good mouthfeel with just a bite of bitterness that doesn't linger. Leafy, earthy aftertaste. I like it. I received this bottle in a trade (but I forget from who! BigErn, maybe?) but I would definitely buy this one if it was available in my area.
02-04-2007 19:35:31 | More by Imstillthegman
4.33/5 rDev +14.9%
On tap in the Horse in Plow Kohler, WI
Pours clear amber-orange with very little carbonation. Light head that quickly disappears into a haze across the top. Aromas of Caramel, vanilla and dark fruit mask the alcohol very well. Malty structure with a mild hop finish highlighted by caramel and vanilla. Hints of Bourbon appear as it warms. Spicy smooth mouthfeel. Not too much alcohol burn, just right. Very warming. This is a room temp or slightly cooler beer for sure. So much is masked when it is cold.
Great cold weather beer. Alcohol can really creep up and kick you in the ass with this one. Another fantastic offering from Capital Brewery.
11-17-2006 13:56:22 | More by jj21
4.28/5 rDev +13.5%
Last brewed in 2006, this beer has been cellaring for quite a while. Big shout out to Jason who hooked me up with this. I first had Vintage Ale at the Vintage in Madison and was just freaking out about how good it was. Unfortunately, it was discontinued and I never got another stab at it - until now.
This beer is just as I remember it - dangerously delicious (8.5% ABV). It's rather sweet, and would not work as a session beer but there is something dry in the finish that helps balance this a bit. I don't really know how to describe the taste - maybe like a mega weiss beer? The category "Belgian strong ale" loosely means, "it's strong?" Whatever - it is really good.
It's great and I wish it would come back. Glad I got another chance to taste it.
12-15-2010 06:45:12 | More by seeswo
4.28/5 rDev +13.5%
Smeared coppery honey gold color; small, dense capping of slightly off-white foam. Lacing is minimal in a few inky strings.
Aroma is fair and rounded in a lightly breadish malt tone with a hint of grassyness and toasted grains.
Flavors are nice and smooth with a firm maltyness. No surprise coming from Capital, kinda chewy, softly bready with a slight toasted fit among some tighter fitting herbal grassyness as it rolls into the finish with a nice whole grain touch and herbal spicing. The balance is supremely solid and I really like the maltyness this has. It's tenderly backsided with sweetness while having a nice little notion of toasted stuff and letting the herbal grassyness float through.
Body is quite nice, smooth, firm, creamy, and approaching a decent fullness the whole way through. Light carbonation and a nice little grab of flavors to eager it up and keep just enough interest to keep it simple, delightful, and drinkable. A wonderful brew by Capital! I could drink it all day until the cows come home...
04-19-2007 02:00:36 | More by tavernjef
4.22/5 rDev +11.9%
(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer has a deep apricot colored dense body with a sea of micro bubbles floating around in it. There is a thick creamy off-white head of foam that last and sticks to the glass after each sip.
S- This beer has a caramel toasted malt aroma with fresh dark malt notes in the background.
T- This beer has a rich caramel malt flavor with a hint of alcohol, toffee and a white sugar fruitiness. There is a soft yeasty note that leads into a nice bitter hint at the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a crisp finish due to the alcohol heat which comes through when it warms.
D- This beer has a rich sweet malt flavor that is not real complex but tasty. The hops was a nice balance to the sweet malty flavors but alcohol was pretty mellow until it warmed up a bit.
04-24-2007 19:05:30 | More by rhoadsrage
4.22/5 rDev +11.9%
Got this one in a variety sixer from Amy's Cheese and wine in Stanley Wisconsin. It was one of 6 Wisconsin beers I've never had, sampled over the weekend. Review is from notes I took Friday and Saturday May 9th and 10th.
Poured a dark hazy amber color with a very small head and light lacing.
Smell was malty and slightly hoppy. Taste was much the same. It was malty sweet but was very nicely balanced by the bitter hops. Alcohol taste was barely noticeable for its strength.
This beer reminded me of a good English ESB only slightly sweeter.l Excellent brew and would love to have to have again. I hope this one doesnt stay retired.!
05-12-2008 00:45:15 | More by KeefD
4.22/5 rDev +11.9%
Poured from the 'fridge a little too cold and set it aside to warm for a minute or two.
While it warmed, the two-fingered medium-tan head fell rather rapidly, leaving behind a good bit of lacing around the edge of the glass, and just a thin layer of head atop the tawny golden-amber beverage inside. While still cold, the nose on this one was fairly assertive, and although whatever hops were used are no doubt softer now there was a faint rush of floral hops to complement the pungent yeast, rich darker malts, and even wheat malts (?) that emanated from the drinking vessel. This is a lot sturdier than I was expecting, and as such I expect it's survived the two years (?*) since it was bottled.
Hazey in the best possible way, and lightly boozy.
On the first taste I'm tasting a sweet, sharp, pungent brew
that still has legs left in it. Definitely fruity, there are pineapple, plum, pear, and marzipan notes here, and the alcohol is gently-warmimg.
As it warms a little more and mellows in the glas, I'm getting just the sliughtest hint of bitterness, alkong with notes of cherry and raspberry, accompanied by just a hint of fusel alcohol in the aromatics. Sweet, cloyingly-treacly-sweet even, but I can't find myself putting this down to, it's very drinkable.
As noted, the spice of the hops didn't quite survive the last year, and no doubt the American palate crave hops (especially high-alpha hops) in a way that the English palate does not, but this is giving me all the impression of an imported British strong / Old ale. Some might find this one to be one-dimensional and "simple", but even with a year on it I'd say this is a more than worthwhile tipple. I'm sorry that my review isn't more elaborate here, but sometimes it's time to put aside the easy criticism and just enjoy the ride.
Hardly a wasted effort on the part of Kirby and his crew.
* date code on my single is partially worn-off.
03-27-2008 20:21:07 | More by Chaz
4.15/5 rDev +10.1%
Thanks SkyDoc, who kept this one in his cellar for almost two years. Based on my impression and prior ratings, I can only imagine this aged extremely well.
Rich reddish to copper in color, with a small but nice light tan head. Very nice malty aroma, loads of caramel but also honey, fruits, and an estery note.
Nearly full bodied, mostly sweet, caramelized and fruity, but alcohol spiciness makes frequent appearances, and it mamanges to end somewhat dry. Very good.
09-07-2008 03:16:59 | More by brdc
4.15/5 rDev +10.1%
Pours a hazy amber, rust wirth small and slow bubbles. No head at all. The aroma is a malty prune, christmas bread aroma with a hint of alcohol. The beginning is a warm fruit flavor with a hint of nuts and brown sugar and mild bitterness to finish. Medium sweetness with a little syrup and alcoholic warmth. Not cloying though.
01-03-2008 04:55:23 | More by scruffwhor
4.13/5 rDev +9.5%
The Capital Brewery (Middleton, WI) made some waves this year by releasing a beer that's just begging to be aged. As an experiment, I want to drink my "Capital Square" four-pack over the next year and trace its development. To achieve a baseline, however, I needed to open one now. Tentatively, I'm going to label the remainder of my bottles as follows:
Bottle 2: open first day of spring 2007
Bottle 3: open first day of autumn 2007
Bottle 4: open January 1, 2008
It's true that most beers do not develop with age beyond a certain point, but then again most wines don't either. What makes strong ales so well suited to aging is their above-average alcohol content. Weighing in at 8.5% alcohol, this beer is definitely within style norms for this high gravity ale.
The twist-off bottle opened with a hiss bursting with Kent goldings and cascade hops, nuanced by some yeasty and mineral notes. When poured vigorously into a glass, the nose demonstrated extreme restraint. Only a faint hops and decided yeast aroma was detectable.
The ale had a rich, warm copper color that was perfectly clear. Many small bubbles rose to the surface, but the carbonation was understated as is appropriate for the style. This lead to a small head of about 2 mm that disappeared almost instantly. The color was unexpectedly light, given the style, but this fact made the beer more surprising and interesting given the stiff hopping and malty backbone.
The flavors are dominated by a progression of complex malt flavors that progress across the mouth like a parade. The first taste is bready like childhood memories of grandma's house. This flavor morphs into a more biscuity maltiness before fading into a warm, generic malt flavor. The hopping is up-front, but not dominating, resulting in a beer that is quite bitter with little hop flavor or aroma. There are hints of vanilla, orange juice, and the tart quality of grapefruit as the beer warmed in the glass. The flavor experience is intense as the beer is slighly viscous and the flavor seems to concentrate on the back of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth, possessing a tannic quality I would normally associate with a red wine. There is also a fair amount of residual sugar in the flavor that gives me high hopes for the continued development of this ale. The beer is almost immediately warming, and is strong enough to demand sipping. This more rewarding than it sounds, however, as the taste persists in the mouth for several minutes.
I don't want to make this beer sound like a brute that would knife you in a dark alley or steal your wallet. It's not that. The flavor is demonstrates an admirable level of restraint, which makes the flavor experience very precise and controlled despite the strength. The beer has a great ale-ish character, a certain wildness to the flavor that isn't too clean, that wasn't reined in by the brewer to make it more polite and docile. Even the carbonation attested to that, as more carbonation would certainly have made it more bitter and astringent on the pallate. It would have been easy to push this beer too far and wound up with a barley wine. The very fact that the Capital Brewery instead got Vintage Ale is a remarkable feat of craftsmanship.
With any luck, this craftsmanship with shine for some time to come.
12-28-2006 23:13:05 | More by aschbren
4.13/5 rDev +9.5%
Had this at a friend's house today. He brought it back from a trip to Wisconsin. Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
Appearance: Surprisingly vivid burnt orange color, noticeable haziness, very little head that died down quickly, leaving only a little lacing.
Smell: Very sweet, with honey notes and butterscotch. No noticeable hop aroma.
Taste: As with the smell, sweetness ruled with the taste. Lots of caramel flavor with very little bitterness to balance it, though there was a hint of carmelized ginger present. I didn't realize that the ABV was as high as it was.
Mouthfeel: Thick, almost syrupy.
Drinkability: This was a surprisingly good beer from a brewery that I had never even heard of before. I would have been happy to have another.
02-17-2009 05:00:44 | More by BitterLover
4.13/5 rDev +9.5%
Found this at Viking Village in Baraboo in the sampler section.
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial.
Pours a honey color with an impressive murkiness that hints at bottle conditioning, even though I decanted the bottle expecting that. No floaties but a thick cloud. Head is small and sticks well after it settles.
Aroma is of malty booze. Like a mixed vodka drink boozey. Smells of estery phenolic alcohol, very strong. the aroma almost scares me to take a sip. Bourbon is what I smell.
Flavor starts with butterscotch. Straight up butterscotch candy with plenty of sweet candy sugar. Middle is slightly bitter like there are hops there that are scared to show themselves because the booze will beat them up. there is cream on the middle ina explosive characer. Toffee and vanilla ice cream. Finishes extremely alcoholic and slightly bitter.
Mouthfeel is middle of the road. Quite enough carbonation to handle the sweet malt and tame the alcohol.
According to the style guide I have to give props to this one. A lot of beers of this style are over hopped in my opinion, but this one strikes the balance. Not refreshing, but warming and substantial.
04-09-2009 00:56:06 | More by wheatyweiss
4.05/5 rDev +7.4%
12oz bottle received from beerbeagle as an extra in a trade. Thanks, Randy!
A: In my 22oz snifter,the Capital Vintage Ale sits a rather gorgeous shade of orange-red with some orange highlights. There's a thin off-white head that recedes to a ring rather quickly. Quite appealing in this glass
S: Rich, malty and sweet, this beer is pretty swell. Figs, honey, candy and an almost apricot-like sweetness. While the aromas are present, I wish they were a little richer. As it warms up, there's an aroma of leafy hops that comes up - rather intriguing
T: Pretty impressive! There's a ton of malt complexity with a lot of fruitiness - figs, apricots - some honey, floral sweetness. Mid-palate, some hop character becomes apparent but does not get in the way of the malt flavors. Finishes mildly hoppy with a pleasing sweetness
M: The mouthfeel is pretty awesome. medium-to-full in body with a soft and gentle carbonation and a pleasing finish
D: It's sad that they ain't brewing this anymore 'cos this one's a winner!
02-22-2009 21:52:35 | More by DefenCorps
4.05/5 rDev +7.4%
GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
This is a medium copper/amber color with some light golden highlights around the outer edges. A this head of fizzy foam appears and quickly dissipates, leaving slight surface patching. Lacing is good, but very slick.
This smells like a bushel of very ripe apples with a ton of raisins thrown in. Sweet, rich maltiness. Notes of brown sugar and english butter toffee. Very slight metallic notes.
The big, rich malt notes are right out front, as far as flavor goes. The apples and golden raisins are much more well balanced here. Golden brown sugar with very light traces of a pecan-like nuttiness, remeniscent of the top of a pecan pie. Great bread-like yeastiness.
The presence of metal is completely forgotten.
Medium body on this one with a mild-to-light level of carbonation. It is extremely smooth and has a tiny bit of creaminess, which is nice.
A touch on the thin side, I think, but still good.
The nose had me a little bit concerned that maybe this one had gone too long. The taste brought me right back around, though. Very tasty, indeed. The 8.50%abv is not detected in the taste or nose but does provide a nice warming effect.
03-22-2010 02:43:44 | More by coldmeat23
4/5 rDev +6.1%
Capital's Vintage Ale delivers a slightly hazy copper-orange body beneath a frothy head of white that holds well and leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass. Rich caramelish malt infused with leafy and grassy hops greets you in the nose, accented by floral notes and a bit of alcohol. In the mouth it's creamy and smooth with a full body and median carbonation. The flavor is quite wide and lush with a richly caramelish but not particularly sweet malt that's peppered throughout with leafy and grassy hops. Some mild fruitiness (apricot, apple, papaya, lime) appears, and a mild floral character. It's not complex, and offers the same flavor profile from tip of tongue to swallow, but it is rich. It lingers in the finish, malty, leafy and gently bitter. The alcohol is never overly apparent, even down to the last swigs; although the strength will make itself known! A superb strong ale in the British tradition!
01-21-2007 16:15:37 | More by NeroFiddled
4/5 rDev +6.1%
This limited release pours a brilliant deep golden/light copper into my mug. A thin white head developed that quickly diminished with barely a trace remaining. The color is very nice, extremely clear. The nose of the beer has a caramel and dark fruit sweetness, along with a little spicyness and a bit of an alcohol note. Not much in the way of hop aroma. The taste of the beer is initially rather sweet, moderate-high on the sweetness. The sweetness is not overwhelming and enough hop bitterness is present to create some balance, no hop flavors detected. At the swallow and lasting afterwards is a slight alcohol warmth, but still pleasant. The beer is rather full-bodied with low carbonation. The smoothness of the beer is very impressive, exceptional smoothness in what has to be a rather potent brew. Overall I found this beer to be fantastic. The aroma is pleasant, the color is striking, taste is great, and smoothness wow. This is definitely a beer to sip on and enjoy. Its ashamed beers like this are limited releases, but I guess that makes them even more enjoyable.
11-30-2006 02:56:11 | More by uwmgdman
4/5 rDev +6.1%
A- poured a cloudy orangy amber with a heavy offwhite head that stayed pretty well and settled down to thin film
S- maltiness, crystal malt scents and a light hoppiness in the back. Pretty solid.
T- has a solid heavy malt start with a balanced hop finish, not particuarly bitter but well balanced to the heavy malt. Not quite a barleywine flavor too light and pale maltybase but reminiscent.
M- heavy body, thick body that rolls over the tongue and is good. medium tight carbonation.
D- pretty solid ale
01-12-2008 00:09:01 | More by Atron67
4/5 rDev +6.1%
Thanx to Flyingbison for this treat!
Body is a fiery hue of orange. Decent finger's width of head that vanishes like Houdini. It doesn't even leave a trail of lace.
I can smell rich caramel ... fleshy plums ....maybe a little sweet toffee and brown sugar ... and maple syrup.
Caramel rides up front in this vehicle of taste ... toffee rides shotgun with sweet syrup in the back seat and the slightest hint of cinnamon in the trunk. Nicely done.
I enjoyed the hell out of this beer.
04-02-2007 00:29:13 | More by TheBungyo
3.98/5 rDev +5.6%
12 oz bottle. The beer is a muddled orange color with a finger of off-white head that falls to a full coating over top. The clarity is marginal and the carbonation is lifeless. The aroma is exceptionally bready, toasty, and raisin fruity. It smells really nice, if a little more towards the fruityness than I would want. Taking a sip, I find a very good balance between the beady character and the fruity raisin quality. The bready character is really really good here. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very fine carbonation. I think that works well with the flavor profile, as it keeps there from being a bite from the CO2, and I think that would detract from the flavors. Overall, I enjoy this. The aroma is not as balanced as the flavor, but I feel this one is a winner for sure.
11-17-2007 03:07:49 | More by kmpitz2
3.95/5 rDev +4.8%
Poured a medium and hazy orange color wtih an average sized off white head. Aromas of melon rinds, fruity, grains, caramel, and spicy. Tastes of caramel, sweet malts, fruity, and citrus. Light alcohol in the finish.
Notes from: 11/21/07
01-18-2009 01:36:46 | More by hopdog
3.9/5 rDev +3.4%
Off orange in color, 1cm merengue head. The aroma is of lightly toasted grains, sweet and malty with a few fruity notes of apple peel, pears, and cherries, even a little plum. The taste up front is malty, brown sugar and caramel, but kind of a lighter sugar, not like thick rich molasses. The alcohol is noticeable but not offensive. Fruity notes revealed in the aftertaste, much like the aroma apple peels, cherries, some slight berry notes. Light herbal hop flavor that has a bit of citrusy orange and lemon. A touch of a tinny/yeasty flavor too that was a little wierd. Medium to full bodied.
Overall: this beer was like what I think an imperial amber would be like, lightly hopped with toasted grains upfront with some fruity notes in the aftertaste. Pretty good but I wasn't wow-ed.
06-15-2007 19:58:06 | More by dfried
Vintage Ale from Capital Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.