Well my good friends Simon and Lisa had been saving this beer for a very long time. We spoke about drinking it but really wanted to wait for the full 20 years before we opened it. It had gathered a nice mouldy seal around the cork and as far as we know was stored in very good conditions. This was drank on 24/12/2019
A - Pours a deep Mahogany colour with a beige head that reduces quickly
S - Heavy on malt and sweet caramel and booze, like a brandy liqueur
T - Well what a relief no oxidisation and the maltiness was dominant until the sticky date pudding aftertaste of caramel and toffee came in to finish the palate. Wonderful
M - Medium body with low carbonation as you would expect
O - Fantastic experience to drink such a beer. This beer had developed some magnificent flavours and was truly memorable. I did not taste the original but I dare say this was better !
My Dad had this one tucked away for nine years, and cracked it open just recently with me and my brother. I ironically noted that the beer was brewed before I was legally allowed to drink.
Caged and corked, it opens with a very small fizz of escaping CO2. Pours a very deep reddish-amber, with very little carbonation. A very thin ring of bubbles sits around the edge. Slightly cloudy, it looks like light has a hard time struggling through it.
Very strong on the nose, dark and rich with notes of honey laced with a hint of Vegemite. There is a dusty, potentially oxidised character as well, probably the 9 years sitting in the bottle. But it's holding up ok. Rich and heavy.
Also very strong and pungent on the palate. Hints of Vegemite again, and a rather sticky alcohol character. Good strong malt and fruit characters are reminiscent of dark Belgian ales, but it's rather subdued, and the palate is rather short. It's pretty heavy, but surprisingly not that complex. Mouthfeel is very thick and heavy, but without a real smoothness that would make it exceptional.
Still, this is a pretty decent beer, and it has come up well considering its age. Not bad at all... It's a shame we didn't have some of the 2000 vintage still sitting around too...
750 mL bottle, under cork. Opens with light fizz, which is promising. Beige head, which sinks to thin raft, some lace.
Deep red/mahogany, no haze. Beautiful colour...could just gaze at this forever.
There are some similarities on the nose to Belgian trappists, fruity, kirsch/maraschino. Second pouring had some "barnyard" characteristics also.... not quite an Orval clone, but you know what I mean.
Nutty, dried fruit mix, almost woody character, alcohol, although body not too heavy. Some minutes after drinking, I get a subtle brie/camembert note.
Little carbonation left in the body. Although there is some dark, sugary sweetness, it doesn't finish too heavily.... so makes an interesting variation on the after-dinner port. Not syrupy, but with a lingering sweetness to round off the meal.