2017 Styrian Eureka version.
Purchased for $11.99, in a random store in Ohio along with a few other bottles of really old beer. Took a chance, and at that price I am prepared to lose the $12. Yes, I am fully aware of the age of this beer, and its intended purpose, and I completely understand what I am potentially getting into here. Relax, these are just notes for myself about an old beer that might not be any good.
Corked and caged, 750 mL bottle. Great pop on opening, such a good sign.
The beer pours with a honey, golden body and a great looking head. The head is perhaps a little more wispy (light) that fresher, regular Saison Dupont, but for the age it’s still fantastic, and the lace and retention are as good as a new bottle.
Aromas are mostly sweet malts. Initial tastes offer a grapefruit bitterness, but this gives way to a much sweeter, rustic, hay-like note. Obviously any residual extra hop character from the dry hopping is long gone in both the nose and in the tastes, but no matter, the beer is still offering a slightly bitter finish that holds up beautifully. The back end gives a lingering bitterness which is delightful. The sweet balance is a feature but there is no cardboard here, no stale notes, no tiredness. Some lemon and other citrus notes. Sweet grapefruit is prominent.
Mouthfeel is full, but has a pleasing amount of prickle, and any loss of carbonation for a beer this is old simply NOT a factor.
Honestly, despite the fact that I knew the beer would not be as intended back in 2017, I had a strong suspicion that it was going to be OK. It was way, way better than that, absolutely delicious and not only was the decision to buy it easy, it also turned out to be a spectacularly good one. If the store where I accidentally found this was closer, I would go and buy all that they had left.