Brasserie McAuslan St-Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée (2015) – Barley Wine at 10% ABV | 58 IBU

Brasserie McAuslan St-Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée (2015) Barley Wine at 10% ABV | 58 IBU (C$5.22 at Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits, 341 ml, packaged on 9-Dec-2015, acquired 15-Jan-2016, reviewed 7-Aug-2019)

Appearance: clear deep amber with a short ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: toffee, candi sugar, boozy dark fruit, spices. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, medium-lively carbonation, sweet sticky mildly warming finish. (4/5)

This is the oldest vintage I’ve done of this to date, at almost four years old. (I did a 2013 in September of 2014, a 2014 in April of 2015, and earlier today a 2017.) This is different, but only marginally: the bitter edge I’ve previously observed does seem to have faded slightly, and the alcohol presence, though still quite noticeable, is smoother and better integrated. Bottom line, if you have one of these on hand, give it a few years’ cellaring to optimize the experience. At this point, the only example of the style I’ve had that I consider better is Sam Adams Utopias – which, to be fair, is about twenty times as expensive, so you’d kind of hope so… And with that, I think I’m bringing this five year mission to a close, and probably won’t ever have another vintage of these. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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