Harvest Ale Vintage 2000 (21 years later)
Harvest Ale 2000
— J.W. Lees & Co. (Manchester, UK).
Brewed and bottled in Y2K; stored in my 'cellar' for twenty-one years; tasted on 29 January 2021.
▶ "Though J.W. Lees Brewery of Middleton, England, has been crafting quality beer since 1876, it wasn't until 1986 that it released its delectable sipper into the world. Brewed with the choicest [me: ugh] Maris Otter malt [me: sublime] and East Kent Goldings hops [ibid.], it has the legs to go the distance. The brewery uses a house-developed yeast strain to ferment the brew in original open copper-lined vessels."
— Vintage Beer (Patrick Dawson): Storey Publishing, 2014.
---> Considering the Harvest Ale's venerable age, its carbonic condition and head retention were remarkably good. In fact, they were that of a 'fresh' beer. Likewise the clarity —just see-through deep garnet color— was good.
---> In the aroma, I sniffed chocolate and dark berries. Taking a sip, I tasted the same but with secondary flavors of oloroso sherry and ruby port. Taking a gulp, I tasted a semi-sweet beer, with an unctuous finish (in a good way). Any burn from its alcoholic strength (11.5%) had been mellowed over time.
---> I might have enjoyed a flourless chocolate dessert (or a fine Stilton cheese) with the beer but, given such a divine taste of liquid history, I enjoyed it per ipsum.
▶ Photo by Yours For Good Fermentables.com.
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