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of Berkshire Brewing Company - South Deerfield, MA
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"As promised, I'm enjoying my last bottle of the 2001 Holidale. After 11 years in the bottle, nothing remains of this originally-harsh-to-near-undrinkability barleywine.
The color has deepened to a medium/dark amber. There is no longer more than a hint of a head. I smell deep, complex malt and dark fruit: raisins, currants, and dates. I taste those things as well as a sweetness I do not remember at the first tasting. The alcohol does not seem to have gone away; it still warms one. There is also a coffee note to it and a licorice flavor which has developed since I opened the bottle about a half hour ago. That developing oxidative flavor suggests to me that this beer is near the end of it's life so, if you still have a couple of bottles in your cellar, soon may be time to enjoy them.
All in all, I'm very happy that I laid down some bottles of this. My initial hope was that it might become drinkable. My patience has rewarded me with a wonderful bottle of beer with which to finish my weekend."
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