Bottle number 4815.
Kahn’s, Indianapolis, sometime in the latter half of 2022. 330 mL bottle.
I have zero expectations here, or at least I’m assuming that it’s going to be a dud, and anything and everything above that will be a bonus.
Deliberately aggressive pour to generate a head. Not too bad considering age and ABV (see picture). Thin film on the surface results, zero lace. The body is a murky, frankly unattractive brownish-red body.
Nose offers a sweet, English Barleywine note, and this becomes the signature of the beer. At this age this has very little to do with a “Red Ale’ of any description, ‘imperial’ or otherwise. What relationship it ever had with that ‘style’, I don’t know, but now, nothing. Having said that the beer is absolutely delicious. It offers a malt bomb of gentle sweetness and a tiny hop presence in the far back end. I this ever had anything to do with a dry, red ale it lost that attribute years ago! Moreish to say the least, and incredibly robust. The ABV likely helps.
I say classic English Barleywine because it has the sweetness and the alcohol presence but in such a gentle, subtle way, There is a touch of light cardboard, and that ‘s inevitable, but my gosh this is so well held together it’s amazing. Very mild, very easy. A surprisingly good experience given all of the factors in play.