St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009)

11.5 oz bottle in the cardboard sleeve and plastic cap.
Interesting beer. Firstly there is an appearance that is reminiscent of one of the classic, English Pale Ales with superb sticky, white lace and a dark, honey orange body. The head and lace are very good. Could be classic, cask Pale Ale from the look. The sticky nature of the lace reminds me a little of a West Coast DIPA but it is really quite, white.
Nose has some very sweet, light malt notes with a very subtle, light undertone of alcohol. All of the nose characteristics are carried forward to the taste and there is a really light, subtle touch to this beer. There is a hint of hoppy bitterness in the final wave which although NOT strong, still gives away a serious departure from a classic English Barleywine.
Finishes with a malty blast and a caramel smoothness. Alcohol is very well hidden, although the aftertaste gives me a little more than I wanted.
This beer is NOT typical of an English Barleywine in as much as it is not really sweet and it does not give many sherry-like notes. Interesting, since it seems to combine several characteristics from a number of styles but ultimately not something I am likely to want to go back to.

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01/02/2010
Format:
bottle
ABV: 9.8 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 3.5
Mouthfeel: 4
Smell: 3.5
Overall: 3.5
Total: 3.6
Series Name:
Year:

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