So I'm sitting here looking at financial mutual fund reports and naturally I feel it is time for a beer. Sure helps the focus.
Looked in the fridge and grabbed the last bottle I have of 1994 Reserve Sam Adams Triple Bock.
The cork was shot (natch) so I pushed the remainder into the bottle and decanted into a brandy snifter through a mesh strainer. As per my BJCP training:
Aroma: Black currant other dark fruit, noticeable 'soy sauce ' oxidized aroma dominate. no noticeable hop aroma, definite malt sweetness. no Acetaldehyde, Diacetyl, skunk, or DMS noted. Definite alcoholic nasal burn, but at stated 18% ABV this is to be expected. Have to deduct a few points for oxidation. It is a 25 year old cork after all. 9 out of 12 (it was an easy 11 when new).
Appearance: black opaque, zero head (one has to question if there should be one in this style), thick viscous with noticeable legs 2 of 3
Flavor: Definite fruity esters, mainly black currants and dark fruit to match the nose. Some hints of maple syrup noted, but does not dominate. Interesting addition to dry out a high gravity brew. Will have to remember that as an option for later brews. no Acetaldehyde, Diacetyl, skunk, or DMS noted. No off flavor hi chain esters found. Definite hints of soy sauce due to dark malt oxidation. Hop balance seems correct for style, very sweet, but that is the design. Relative to hearty reds it is hard to find a beer where you measure the finish in minutes. This one was about 2 minutes! Got to drop a few points for oxidation 17 of 20
Mouthfeel: Viscous is the only word. I could stick paper to walls with this stuff. No carbonation, but since corked it isn't supposed to have any. No astringency noted. Definite warmth. Tops the chart 5 out of 5
Overall Impression: Should have drank this a decade ago. The soy sauce progression appears to have worsened. It never does get better. Still an awesome brew by Mr. Koch who led the way into EXTREME beers. 8 of 10
41 out of 50 Not bad for a 25 year old brew!
FWIW, I finished the last glass of my 2004 Bordeaux blend a week ago. Best thing I've ever done. It went from a 5 minute finish with 3 distinct flavor profile changes to only a 3 minute finish. Perfect oak and ML. As a friend said, "Good wine is for drinking, not for saving." Same applies to awesome beer. The trick is in judging the 'peak'.