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Notes from my tasting room, January 2000

Warming beers for a mid-winter night

Ohio
Fat Cat Imperial Stout, from the Liberty Street Brewing Company, of Akron, Ohio. Solid black color. Pruney aroma. Firm, smooth, body. Hints of anis. Like coffee laced with Balkan brandy. Oaky, sappy, bitter, dryness in the finish. Very warming.

New Jersey
Millennium Double, from the Climax Brewing Company, of Roselle, New Jersey. Mahogany, with pink highlights. Oily, meaty, yeasty, aromas and flavours. Sappy, oaky, fruity. Needs time to mature.

Massachusetts
Sam Adams Millennium. Attractive dark orange colour. Astonishingly sherryish aroma and flavour. Also sweet and spicy. Hints of orange and mint chocolate. Cedary dryness in the finish. Warming, soothing. A sweet oloroso sherry? A wine-based orange liqueur from the South of Spain? Would anyone ever guess this was a beer? This brew is a blend containing some beer four and five years old, and has an alcohol content of about 20 per cent, making it the strongest in the world as a commercial product. The beer sells at about $200 a bottle

J.W. LeesEngland
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale, 1999 (11.5) Deep reddish amber. Dense, almost gelatinous, head. Clean, treacle-toffee, aroma. Smooth, delicious, treacle-toffee, palate. Flavours of vanilla-stick and faintly clovey dryness in the finish. Smooth, soothing and warming.

Germany
Hoepfner Jahr Tausend Bier (7.2). Made only from first runnings, and wholly with aroma hops. Full gold color. Fresh, lemony, hop and marshmallow-like malt in aroma. Firm, crisp, malt in the palate. Late hint of sweetness, then dryness like the lemon-twist in a martini. Slightly gin-like, in fact. Remarkably clean and appetising for a beer of such strength and gravity (17.5 Plato).

Lunator

Sweden
Lunator Dubbelbock (8.1), from the Grebbestad brewery, in Sweden. Bright, deep, orange color. Very creamy head. Creamy, malty, fruity, aroma (apricot pie?). Syrupy, malty, palate. Fruity, orange-peel, slightly spicy, dryness in the finish, with late warmth.


Published: JAN 18, 2000
In: Beer Hunter Online

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