poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. I could not find a freshness
date, though I assume the bottle is old since my beer store had it on
clearance for $1.99 ($0.09 per ounce).
Appearance: Opaque black hue with ruby red highlights. Pours to a very
large, khaki, soapy head which retains and laces very well.
Smell: Slight cologne or perfume-like chemical scent. Some tanginess as well, though not off-putting.
Taste: I try not to review, let alone buy, beer that’s old. However, a
good-looking bottle and a high ABV at a cheap price is hard to pass up.
That’s why I picked up Speakeasy Butchertown Black Ale. While this
particular bottle is not delicious, it certainly has plenty of enjoyable
taste and the flaws are easy to get past.
Usually, old hoppy beers tend to turn overly sweet when they age, though
this one seems to have transitioned from hop flavor to hop bitterness.
From front to back there’s a strong presence of dry, slightly piney hop
bitterness. Perhaps a fresh bottle might be more dank and resiny, but
what’s here is at least still tasty. The malt side is not all that
complex – just a general dark malt composure. A hint of chocolate and
roasted malt on the finish followed by a lingering dry aftertaste. I
could see this beer going well with the right full-flavored meal, though
a glass by itself is fine.
Drinkability: Something I notice about old beers is they tend to foam up
in the mouth. That’s what happened with my bottle of Speakeasy
Butchertown Black Ale. Thick with a foamy texture, though in no way
cloying or sticky. Soft and smooth in the mouthfeel with an easy finish.
I’m not crazy about the aftertaste, but for an 8.2% ABV body there is
no alcohol warmth or other presence here.