Total Score: 8.75/10
Yay, been looking forward to this for soooo long! Pannepot Special Reserva: A version of Struise Brouwers Old Fisherman’s Spiced Ale, barrel-aged for 4 years in a Bordeaux oak barrel from France. Funny they aged this in wine barrels from France because this is the beer equivalent of a very fine aged wine. In fact it reminds me of that Black Books episode where they try to recreate a bottle of wine reserved for the Pope by using a cheap bottle of red, vanilla essence and an oak twig (probably my favourite episode of Black Books) #goodtimes So what exactly can one expect from this 10% ABV beauty? Something smooth, yet spicy, with a long oak finish? Your guess is as good as mine (if that was your guess, otherwise hard luck old spice).
Poured from a 330ml bottle into an Orval chalice.
A: Dark brown with a burgundy-red tinge, quite an active mocha-coloured head that fizzles down as fast as it came leaving a faint ring of lace. Looks like a Belgian Dark Strong Ale (as opposed to the Quadrupel it’s listed as on BA), reminds me of Gulden Draak, which is not golden despite the name. 8/10.
S: Very much like the original Pannepot Old Fisherman’s Ale (cardamom, cinnamon, mace, dark fruits, brown sugar and yep: Vegemite/Marmite) with a solid red grape must vinous note from the barrel. Here’s hoping that Vegemite/Marmite character from original Pannepot has settled down a little, although I know if I had it today – 4 years after my original Pannepot review – I would have rated it higher than a respectable, yet slightly paltry: 8.05/10. 9/10.
T: As expected “It’s a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited!” (God bless you Ken Griffey Jr.), with a flavour profile so explosive I’m surprised a glass bottle could contain it: cardamom, cinnamon, mace, dark fruits, brown sugar, VegeMarmite™, yes yes, some mid-palate oak wood tones, touch of vanilla, red grape must, yeast? Did I mention yeast? VegeMarmite™ is a yeast paste so that counts, and a dry spicy finish. Next to no alco-burn. This is a true sipper right here. 9/10.
M: Mid to heavy bodied, the minimal carbonation comes across as a bit prickly for some reason, detracts a touch from this otherwise world-class brew. 7/10.
D: It’s hard to go past this Pannepot Special Reserva, some of the edges I found too rough with original Pannepot have mellowed over time, along with that chaotic nature, and the barrel has given this brew a subtle face-lift, enough to leave a refined sipper that has a slight wild side – top stuff Struise! 9/10.
Food match: Gotta be some fine French ‘haute cuisine’ for this puppy… puppies too.