OMG gimme more!
This beer is classified as an Old Ale. Old ales were typically aged in vats to mature. I do think this is the case for this beer. Knowing nothing about it I am totally getting a slight Bourbon aroma and flavor. This could also be a by product of all the dark fruit and high alcohol aromas and flavours associated with this beer, but I definitely taste a bit of bourbon. So nice! Warming!
Score on the crimp top reusable bottle!
Look at how clear that beer poured! DAYUM! It was unfiltered and a good two ounces were left in the bottle, I drank them separately so that I didn't spoil this perfectly clear glass of beer. As you can see the beer poured a gorgeous dark red that is super clear like a crisp cold Alberta clipper night. The head is a very thin rosy tan colour with tiny bubbles and little but beautiful lacing. The head stays at a thin ring for all of the drink.
Bourbon notes override malts, caramel and raisins. There is also a very slight bread or yeast smell, but it's almost imperceptible to my nose. If I hadn't read about it, it wouldn't have hit me in the face. It's very complex if you sit with it. I poured this at about 50 degrees and it is a great temp to enjoy this beer. There are even some aromatic ale alcohol aromas associated with the beer, apparently. (I went overboard with that sentence, scratch the use of 'ale')
Alcohol on the roof of my mouth shows up mid drink after a wealth of sweet flavours. First it starts off malty sweet and moves into bourbon, raisins, etc... and rides this wave of sweet warmth all the way down to your stomach. The alcohol is apparent, but not unappealing. It is what it is. This beer is almost like a cordial in sweetness. I get only the tiniest hint of hop well after the beer has left my mouth. If there were no hop and no carbonation it could almost be a cordial.
Mouthfeel is wicked sweet and smooth. It could be too sweet for some, but not for me. The carbonation is low, but nice. If it were higher this beer would burn your tongue with alcohol I think.
I would think this beer would be world class and I only give it a 9 out of 10 because I think the bourbon character could be dialed back just a hair to let all the other complexities come out. I had not read any reviews that mention the bourbon flavours and since this beer was bottles almost a year ago, perhaps that is a further progression of it's aging. If so, I am a fool for giving the beer only a 9.
It's fantastic and probably one of the best beers that I have ever had! I will most likely revisit this review and maybe seek out another bottle if I can find one and cellar it for next year. OMG this is a good beer!