Ding Points: 79.50
Pour: 70, Nose: 80, Palate: 80, Feel: 90, Global: 80
I’m fairly sure that this is a bottle with a significant amount of age on it, but at the same time I’m pretty confident that this type of beer will mature well, and perhaps equally importantly it will mature in a manner that will suit my palate. $2.99 for the bottle is hardly a huge risk either, so I’m in! “Order 1008” dot-matrixed on the rear of the label near the Shelton Bros. logo.
The pour gives a murky brown, Dubbel color that is muddy and not especially attractive. Head is lively though, a good size, produces some respectable lace and leaves a nice film and spotty layer on the surface. Color not really my thing, but the creamy appearance does make up for it a little.
The nose and tastes have a lot of sherry based, oxidized cardboard about them. The alcohol is also quite well represented, and the combination of it and a little prickly carbonation keep me on my toes. The oxidized notes are not a surprise to me, as I was thinking the beer was a decent age, but at the same time it’s cool since it represents a portion of the taste spectrum that I generally enjoy. There is a LOT of well rounded, mellow, marzipan like notes in the finish. Plenty of bready malts in there, and a touch of acidity plays with the sherry tastes. Light burn on the very back end.
At 8.50% this is a pretty big beer, and the alcohol IS present, but to be honest I felt smaller than the posted ABV would suggest.
Interesting, but I doubt this is a fresh bottle and although I quite like it, I’d still like to try a fresher sample.
Other: $2.99 for the 11.2 oz bottle. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle-conditioned, from Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA. 8.50% ABV. Bière de Garde.