Corked and caged. Moderate pop on opening.
Pour has the requisite chestnut brown and is pretty. Head is moderate, not especially well retained, doesn’t give much lace, but at least gives a nice film on the surface of the beer. At 10.0 % and at this age, I’m OK with that.
There is some oxidation in the nose at this point. Shame, I’d liked to have gotten to this earlier, but that wasn’t to be.
Tastes have the base Scotch Ale well rounded, and a barrel note that is less discernible specifically as Chardonnay or even vinous, BUT does offer a sweet, alcoholic edge. No doubt this has evolved over time, so it’s difficult to know what has happened over that period. It’s pretty smooth, very sweet, and doesn’t give much barrel away, but it’s not horrible. It’s quite drinkable now, still within the parameters of acceptable oxidation I suppose, and the base beer is strong enough to hold of any real disasters, but if you have a bottle drink it immediately, and you’ll still likely wish that you had drunk it some time ago!
Glad I got one bottle, wish I’d drunk it 3 years ago, wouldn’t get another. That about sums this up