Thanks to Shane for opening up this bottle at the 'You Bring the Cheese Tasting' which took place on July 25th 2009 (which ran into the 26th).
I had the chance to sample this one, all three in fact, at the Bruery's Anniversary party.
Papier poured a dark caramel color, pretty still with almost zero head action (but how much can you really expect for a 17% alc. beer?)
Very nice on the nose with an intense brandy aroma. Brandy soaked raisins all around, nutty, molasses, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, and lots of brown sugar. Hints of toasted coconut flakes, toasted oak, and toasted almonds (I love that aroma on barrel aged beers). Soft chocolate notes in the back.
The taste is very similar to the aroma with but with more chocolate presence. There are also flavors of vanilla, toast, lots of brandy, toasted oak, almonds and coconut again, hints of cherry near the finish. A very complex beer, the base beer works quite well with the barrel aging. More raisins, dates, cherries, and grapes with the following sips. A bit of brandy warms up the esophagus all the way to the pit of your stomach but not once did it come across as "hot" or "burning."
Somewhat syrupy on the palate, no carbonation...a hint of carbonation would be good but this beer doesn't really need it. A sipper for sure but surprisingly the drinkability is amazing in this beer for 17% alc.
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