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Review by SAP on 10/23/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
78 3 9 15 4 8 2008
2005 Batch; Sampled October 2008 at Avery Brewing Company
Wow, three years of age has made this far more interesting than I expected. The beer has a pale tan colored, ring of a head that sits on top of a lightly hazy, amber colored beer. The aroma is quite interesting with aromas of fruity-sherry at first, but then in subsequent sniffs I get notes of oak that are quite noticeable. Spicy wood notes, some buttery oak character, soft vanillin are each noticeable and the spicy notes accentuate a warm, almost hot alcohol aroma. There is actually a substantial nutty note to the aroma. I took a break by smelling the dry-hopped IPA and now when I smell this beer I get a massive fig note that couples with some lighter notes of raisin that where actually quite surprising.

The flavor has massive, buttery oak note to it that really lingers on in my palate. As the beer warms some notes of fruity apple and pear mix with the buttery oak character and some soft vanillin notes start to become noticeable. The fruitiness actually becomes quite pronounced as the beer warms up and even picks up some berry flavors, like one would expect to find in a fruity red wine as well as ones found in a fruity white wine (boysenberry, currant and even a touch of apricot and pear / melon). When tasting the dry-hopped IPA before this beer, the salvation becomes a bit tart and the fruit flavors are reduced, despite the fact that it actually accentuates the fruity notes in the aroma.

This can be really quite interesting at times, but it seems to get boring at other times. Overall it is quite tasty and warming this up helps immensely as does refreshing ones palate from time to time (in this case with a different beer). This beer is definitely an experience and is much more enjoyable than the regular version.

Served In: Flute Glass