Total Score: 6.4/10
Bought this a 6 months ago [this was about 3 years before now] in a six pack and was saving the last bottle for a review… also wondering if it would mature in the time it sat at the bottom of my fridge. It was in fact my very first beer cellaring experiment.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip pint.
A: Deep brown, like treated pine, body that had from the pour a tan head but after sitting for about 30 seconds reduced to absolutely nothing (this I’ve heard is common in Ales that have been cellared). 6/10.
S: Smells like a fruit pudding full of raisins. Not sure but it might be due to the cellaring because I don’t remember it having this fruit “slap in the face” when I originally drank it. It’s definitely gained a stronger scent nonetheless. 7/10.
T: Actually quite the opposite to what I was expecting: it’s lost a lot of its punch sitting at the bottom of my fridge. Last time I drank this when it was fresh and it was full of sharp acidic alcohol and bold resiny hops, but the hops have been killed in the cellaring and the alcohol is almost non-existent, tastes like a big glass of water now. The only thing left is the malt; burnt caramel with a hint of the fruit pudding. 7/10 (rated to how a fresh bottle would be rated).
M: Heavy-bodied with minimal carbonation – goes down even easier… 8/10.
D: Not sure how to rate this beer due to the change in character from cellaring. I think it tasted better before (although I remember the sharp alcohol astringency being a bugbear) with more flavour, so to give it justice I believe I should rate it as it was originally: a decent hard full-flavoured Ale… that happened to suffer badly from cellaring… in other words – do not cellar this [unless you know what you’re doing which clearly I didn’t]. 7/10.
Food match: Again I’m going off what the Ale was like when I first drank it: rich foods like roast lamb, beef, venison with heavy gravy’s and Lyonnaise potatoes with Yorkshire puddings and glazed carrots.