Muddled Irish Stout mildly bourbon-aged then blended with an English porter and dark-lagered schwarzbier seems unresolved, taste-wise. Subdued brown chocolate malting receives leathery tobacco roast, dewy peat earthiness and nutty respite for off-dry medium body that may lack stylistic conclusiveness, but never offends.
On tap at Ambulance, subtly Scotch-aged 8th anniversary English old ale brings oaken vanilla restraint to mocha-dried dark fruiting and dewy peat bottom. Toffee-spiced cocoa nibs and brown chocolate tones as well as restrained red grape, raisin and date illusions gain earthen hop astringency.
On tap at Ambulance, elegant 2016 medium body (with well hidden 10.9% ABV) offers toffee-spiced caramel sugaring and brown chocolate sweetness to molasses-draped dried fruiting. Sugarplum, cherry, fig, raisin and tannic grape illusions pick up light bourbon tinge at buttery finish.
Precariously labeled an ‘old ale,’ this chocolate-flavored moderation (6% ABV despite equally misguided strong ale appellation) needs to increase its sweet ‘n sour cocoa-dried brown chocolate spicing and Madagascan bourbon vanilla influence. Instead, the watered-down flavor profile remains distant. Whimsical molasses, toffee and port notes never fully integrate. And its mildly coarsened hop toasting becomes a tad phenol.
Tranquil updated 2013 version of Fourth Dimentia Olde Ale shows tremendous depth and complexity. Aged for nine months, barleywine-styled full body triumphantly blends marshmallow-toasted burnt caramel malting with ripe dark-fruited sweetness, lilting sherry-burgundy-port wining and syrupy molasses sapping. Massive prune, raisin and sugared fig overtones enrich candied toffee-chocolate-vanilla surge. Bruised cherry, orange and apple uprising further enhances decadent dessert treat.
Well calibrated mahogany-bronzed altbier hides lusty alcohol fueling beneath musty mocha malt profile and dark-spiced dried fruiting. Cherry, fig, date and banana reach a dewy earthen meadow and leafy hop field, picking up a mild vermouth kick on the autumnal trail. Not truly definitive, but close enough.
Insanely interesting ‘food of the gods’-referenced old ale built on a recipe scientists claim may be earliest kiln-smoked alcoholic chocolate elixir (from 1200 BC). Subtle honey-dripped brown chocolate and vanilla influence upended by lingered chili-peppered burn. Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs bolster sunflower-seeded ginger-snapped cinnamon spicing and teasing orange-cherry fruiting. Just a tad elusive to be perfect.
Debonair old ale matured in whiskey barrels brings Scotch-candied sweetness to hickory-charred peat-smoked chocolate roast. Viscous molasses richness coats mild bourbon, port, and Muscat wine illusions as well as ancillary prune, black cherry, and raisin puree nuances. Rich dessert treat, aged in Highland Park single malt whiskey casks for a dozen years, is perfectly suited for dark ale, barleywine, and stout devotees.
Bold ‘old ale’ places brandy-soaked brown chocolate spicing above toasted marzipan sweetness and cognac-boozed orange-bruised cherry puree haze. Toasted almond, candied apple, rum raisin, and overripe prune soak syrupy molasses-sapped toffee backdrop.
Fitting coppery red ale celebrates ’96 commencement with expansive offering. Initial raisin-pecan-date affluence slips into mushy overripe peach, bruised orange, and strawberry-raspberry sanctuary underlined by casual roasted nuttiness. By brawny finish, sinewy molasses malting picks up cask-like rum, bourbon, and whiskey illusions.
Creamy plum-hued, tan-headed, mocha-scented Yorkshire ale exposes fruity Fuggle-hopped thrust to inescapable chocolate-covered raisin, port wine, and cherry puree illusions. Cedar-stained clove-anise-gingerbread add wintry spirit to burnt caramel prompt. Richer and sweeter than a red ale, with its countered dry oak finish increasing efficacy.
Light, watery, unobtrusive New England ale brags about its ‘hoppy’ 19th century history. Bitter nuttiness forms at back of the throat but slim fruitiness, spritzy carbonation, and unstable barleymalt spine lack assertiveness. For amateurs ready to crossover from run of the mill pilsners to microbrewed ales only.