“This year’s Anniversary Ale #11, is a bit of a departure from the ones brewed in the past. Most of Murray’s previous Anniversary Ales have been firmly in the domain of English Barley Wines and Strong Ales. But this year we have produced a strong Anglo-Belgio Porter style beer that has been aged in Tasmanian whisky barrels.”
Served in a snifter glass. It pours an impenetrable black appearance with a thin wispy overlay. It quickly collapsed to a ring with scarce lace left on the glass.
For Murray’s 11th birthday the brewers have taken a different path and brewed an English inspired porter with additions of chocolate and Belgian candi sugars that has been barrel aged in Tasmanian whisky barrels. We know right, sounds way too good to leave on the shelf. That Belgian candi sweetness really pops as the rich, toasty notes are tucked right in behind. Really loving how the spicy and musky Belgian sweetness keeps evolving along with the plummy and subtle oaky characters. The sheer complexity on the nose is remarkable.
In the mouth it’s well weighted with good uplift from the Co2. The 10% ABV is evident but it’s dispersed well around the mouth, really costing the whole palate. A little oily in texture with a mild suggestion of tart acidity around the edges.
The Belgian flavours really lead from the front. We get the hallmark spice, fruity esters and musk followed by the rich toasty malts, oak, raisins and chocolate through the middle. It finishes with a drawn out candi sweetness that provides traces of oak, warming booze, licorice and a musty dryness that really sinks in to the rear palate.
This beer is super complex and we can only imagine what flavours will be uncovered when our 2nd bottle has a few more years on it. Until then…