First Anniversary Blend (Off the Cuff)
Matchless Brewing

First Anniversary Blend (Off the Cuff)First Anniversary Blend (Off the Cuff)
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Beer Geek Stats:
English Old Ale
Needs more ratings
4.14 | pDev: 3.14%
Matchless Brewing
Washington, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
First Anniversary Blend (Off the Cuff)First Anniversary Blend (Off the Cuff)
Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 5 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rarigney
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a gorgeous dark mahogany with a thin beige head that recedes quickly to a small, stable ring. Complex aroma of oak, leather, tobacco, raisins, and bourbon sets the stage for flavors to match. Slightly sweet oakey caramel gives way to boozy dark fruit with spicy undertones. Body is medium and slightly sticky.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Colour is that toffee-woody brown that I always think of as looking 'musty' and associate with old ales... what a coincidence!
Minimal wet head that settles in to round bubbles in a ring pretty quickly.

Nose immediately gets me looking forward to the rest of it... earthy and spicy and tobacco and leather and boozy raisins and wood and... oh man this is exactly what I want out of an old ale.

Body is on the thin side and the carbonation is aggressive.
Flavour comes in layers and waves. Starts off with the earthy leather and wood with a rounded brandy sweetness. Builds up on that last note to the raisins and other dark fruits... not dried so much as like... soaked in fancy liquors. Like what a medieval royalty would think of as decadent. Plums soaked in dessert wines. Not really figs, but something else in that family soaked in sherry. Raisins in a bowl of sticky brandy in an almost confit-style approach...
I really like this. It hits the right spots. I feel like Old Ales are generally reserved for special occasion releases, and this is no exception. Wonderfully blended and richly enjoyable. I love anniversary old ales.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a hazy, medium orange brown with a thin white film that dissipates to a thin ring, although there is constant bubble formation along the edges of the glass. Aroma of dark biscuit malt with a little dry caramel, dried plums, dates, figs oak and a little port. Flavor is caramel and light biscuit malt, brandy, dried and fresh plums, apple, figs and raisins. Finishes with oaky caramel and dried fruit. Medium bodied with light creaminess and good carbonation despite the still pour. Tastes as busy as the unusual blend elements: oak aged barleywine, brandy barrel old ale and oak aged pale mild (huh?). It is not a typical strong ale profile, but everything comes together very nicely. The barleywine is the predominate flavor component, but the biscuit and brandy from the old blend in well. Faint, lighter fruit and malt notes are certainly from the pale mild. Everything is overlaid with a pleasant oakiness. If I had thought about this blend, I would have had low expectations, and the aroma is unusual, but the flavor is well integrated and inviting. Trying this blend for a first anniversary is brave, but they pulled it off, and very enjoyably. I'm impressed. Not quite like anything I've ever had, but certainly has elements of barleywine, old ale and American strong ale, all in one neat package. I'm impressed, and hope I can find another bottle, because this is a candidate a year of aging, although the ABV is a bit low for long term cellaring.

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First Anniversary Blend (Off the Cuff) from Matchless Brewing
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 5 ratings