Owen Ogletree recently pulled a dozen well aged beers from his cellar and gathered together a tasting panel at Trappeze Pub in Athens to comment on how the character of each has evolved over time and to pick our favorites. Panelists: Owen Ogletree, Kerri Allen, Dean & Gail Graves, Eric Johnson, Thel Melton, Nick Allen and Mark Hall...
Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra 2006 – Imperial Brown Ale with raisins – Our FIRST PLACE pick.
Color: Murky brown; very flat. Brown.
Aroma: Wort, apples, rum, raisins, toffee, sweetish; caramel apples; butter; caramel cake icing; molasses
Flavor: Very sweet; caramel-like; overripe raisins; figs; definitely a sipping beer; could age for another 20 years and still be good; peaty, scotch-like note; hints of smoke; lots of warming alcohol; slight bitter note in the finish; very complex
Bell’s Expedition Stout 2006 – 10.5% ABV – Our SECOND PLACE pick.
Color: Opaque black with no light able to penetrate; extremely light carbonation
Aroma: Roasted malt; currants; raisins; alcohol notes; licorice; malted chocolate; cocoa; woody resins; stewed tomatoes; balsamic notes
Flavor: Chocolate; vanilla; leathery; rich; smooth; almost no alcohol burn; roasted malt; malt balls; sugary; dark, bitter chocolate; slightly sweet; chocolate syrup; cherry hints; vanilla; dark, ripe fruits; candy bar notes
Mea Maxima Culpa 2007 – contract brewed by small beer store in Brussels. 6.5% ABV Belgian Blond Ale
Brussels, Belgium -- Our THIRD PLACE pick.
Color: Dark straw with nice white foam. Slight haze.
Aroma: Citrusy, lemon, spice, slightly tart, fruity
Flavor: Acetic acid hint; lemony; kiwi; pleasant acid note; soft mellow; earthy; very pleasant and refreshing. Held up well after four years of age.
New Glarus Unplugged Imperial Saison 2009
New Glarus, WI
Color: Deep gold, murky light amber.
Aroma: Caramel malt; acetone hint; green apple note; paper hint.
Flavor: Tart with cider hints; like a granny smith caramel apple; light and refreshing; wheat; cereal; acidic; still very drinkable and pleasant; spicy rye note; bready; at this point does not taste much like a Saison.
Dogwood Barleywine 2003
Color: Relatively clear; garnet ruby brown; little to no carbonation.
Aroma: Alcohol; toffee; burnt sugar; butter;
Flavor: Sweet caramel; malt; backed by good hop bitterness; flavor not extremely intense; vanilla; raisins; still very drinkable; crème brulee; apricot; mango; good fruitiness; wood resins; cedar hint; pleasant and elegant
Full Sail Old Boardhead Barleywine Ale 2001 – 8.5% ABV
Hood River, OR
Color: Murky, dark brown; very low carbonation.
Aroma: Butter; molasses; sherry; cardboard note; earthy, mushroom note; cellar-like; herbal note; blue cheese hint
Flavor: Sweet caramel malt; apricot; sugary; wood resins; port-like; sweet beginning and slightly dry finish; a bit thinner than the aroma would suggest; grassy; celery; minty; sherry; still very pleasant; a sipper; would go well with a cigar; hint of sweet chocolate
Squall IPA (bottle conditioned 90 Minute) 2009 – 9% ABV
Color: Murky amber; very low carbonation
Aroma: Like hopped sherry; citrus; soft; lemongrass, thyme; subtle; subdued; hops are still there.
Flavor: Sweeter than a regular 90 Minute; subtle flavors; spruce; sugary hint; piney; wild honey; very mild notes; still excessively pleasant and drinkable.
Tyranena Hop Whore Imperial IPA 2007
Lake Mills, WI
Color: Slightly cloudy brown; no carbonation
Aroma: Tobacco; prune; herbs; paper;
Flavor: Dry; dry malt note; earthy; short finish; hops have faded; caramel hints; sugar note; white peppercorn.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Ale 2006 – 9.6% ABV
Color: Dark brown; almost no carbonation; hazy
Aroma: Subdued aroma; mustard green hint; chalky; earthy; herbal; old cut grass; earthy
Flavor: Cigar; leather notes; herbal; pine hint; alcohol notes; spruce; tree sap; sherry, oxidative notes; still quite an impressive brew
Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter 2005
Color: Very black; zero carbonation
Aroma: Mild; peat smoke hint; caramel; cocoa hint; slight fruity esters
Flavor: Roasted malts; slight licorice; sweet malt; chocolate malt hints; subtle hints of dark raisins and prunes; dark sugar undertones
Left Hand Imperial Stout 2005
Color: Jet black with very little carbonation.
Aroma: Yeasty; star anise; cocoa; overripe dark fruit; slight acid note
Flavor: Honey; vanilla; chocolate in finish; sweetish; ripe fruit; cantaloupe; prune; fig; mild roasty notes; lactose sugar notes; creamy; smooth; slightly cloying; nutty undertone; pecan shell; munster cheese hint
Victory Storm King Imperial Stout 2002 – 9.1% ABV
Color: Deep black color with almost no carbonation
Aroma: Prunes; tobacco; earthy; aged hops; coffee; rich fruit notes
Flavor: Soft, roasted malt; black patent malt; vegemite; yeasty; burnt espresso; herbal; dark chocolate; ash notes; smoke hint.