During operation depletion, the pre-move cleansing of my cellar, I dipped into a few bottles I'd been hanging onto, some of which, like these two, were brought back from Virginia for me by my colleague, and whisky pimp, Ruediger.
I was a little afraid of the Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, being, as it was, brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley. But boy does this 18%er smell good. Port-like, vinous, slightly oakey vanilla and a cherry-like fruitiness. Tastes quite port-like too, with dried fruits, vanilla, a tannic dryness and a light touch of a lime-like sourness tickling around the eddges. With that alcohol content, it's not surprising it leaves a warming feeling, and it's big body finishes with a long lasting raisin sweetness, coupled with a cranberry dryness and more than a suggestion of American hops. Lovely. So lovely, I didn't bother my arse taking a pic.
The Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale was from a clutch of large bottles I'd been hoarding a bit, so it had to go. With a nice juicy, vanilla, caramel-toffee, it has a definite roasted edge that gives just enough bite to balance what could easily have become too sweet. Despite being primarily malt-driven, there's a creeping hoppiness that delivers a piney, black pepper flavour. Really quite moreish. Did I say juicy?
Thanks Ruedi (I did pay you for them, didn't I?)!