Mad Anthony’s brought out 8 of Todd’s vintage ales in 12oz bottles. The festivities started at 5pm last Wednesday and only 3 offerings were still around by 9pm – the 2006, 7, and 8 Barley Wines. In IndianaBeer style (see Upland Lambics) we formed a roundtable so we could best describe (not rate or rank) these fine beers. Tried around the table by Dan Goble, Bob O, Mark Snow, Eric Basset, theDM, and Grant Curlow.
- 2003 Imperial IPA – Big aroma. Dying traces of dark fruit. Taste, though, is shockingly mild – almost bland. – Sweet aroma. Nutty. Bold start. – Soapy. Not the favorite.
- 2004 American Barley Wine – High aroma. Not as dramatic to the palette (start). Good finish. High barley. – Bright fruit taste. Little bitterness in the aftertaste.
- 2006 American Barley Wine – Bold alcohol presence that smoothes in the finish. A 2-tiered beer. – Slight bite. Hoppy. Short finish. Slight apricot fruit flavor. – Medium clear uncarbonated red. Mild Barley Wine aroma tingles from start to finish. Strong hop bight. Strong ale malt flavor, crisp and yummy. Oily. Beer shivers. – Sweet aroma with a short finish. Bold, bold, bold, Low carbonation. Hoppy. Strong roast. Too bold for a first beer of the day.
- 2007 American Barley Wine – Sharp strong start. Mid finish. Low carb. Needs more time. – Light brown. Crisp hop old ale aroma. Tingly throughout. Nice sharp hop bite. – Lighter, crisper, and more ready to drink than the 2006. – Harsh bite. Cloudy. Nutty flavor. High alcohol. Orangey notes. Not the favorite.
- 2008 American Barley Wine – ABV seems quite high. Bitey. Hot. Almond notes. Brandy flavor. – Let it age. Rich and bitchy. Crisp but vinous alcohol. Strong caramel and malt. – Good color. Sharper than the 20078. Hot but not bitter. Almost brandy-like. Not the favorite.
- 2004 Imperial Stout – Great deep black color. Opaque dark ruby red. Woody and smoky flavor. Rich taste. Multidimensional roasted and dark malts with roasted malt in the fore and aftertaste. Mellow yet mildly biting hops. – I liked it. – Weak aroma. Smoky start. Light woody finish.
- 2007 10 Year Anniversary Ale – Small, frothy head. Transparent dark orange. Mild caramel giving an old ale taste. – Apricot grows as it warms. Crisp. Orange peel. Pine/cedar aroma. Higher ABV. Nice carbonation.
- 2008 Bourbon BBC Imperial Porter – Vanilla. A fun beer. Flavors are swirling around including Black Patent and did I mention Vanilla. Smooth with contoured edges. – Oily lace. Strong vinous aroma. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors. – I like it. – Great carmel color. Vanilla flavor. Creamy. Oak. Robust. Prize catch.
Total tab: $74 plus tip for these 8 beers. $6 to $12 each. (Thanks JimS) Also on the board, they are ready for the cold with
- Snowplowed Winter Ale – A spicy hop ESB.
- Smoked Amber – Bamberg worthy. A bit less body than a marzen but well worth calling a classic. Brighter than the classic Schlenkerla and that brightness helps it become my new desert island beer. A+.