|12 years have done you odd|
It pours deep ruby red and very murky. It's got a light tan head and thin lacing that hangs around for a while. It smells of peppermint. Wait, what? Yeah, peppermint. I was certainly not expecting that. In addition to the mint it smells mildly earthy with a menthol/alcohol black licorice aura.
Tastes of rooty mint, anise and mild chewy fruity juicy goodness. Some malty fruit and black licorice through the finish. It's feels medium in body and lacks the warmth that usually accompanies a brew of more than 11% alcohol content
The '99 Lees is a very enjoyable and unique beer. This vintage is quite different than the others I've had. The peppermint and menthol notes set it apart from the rest. This experience makes me want to try barley wines of older vintages and from other makers.
I had the pleasure of attending a vintage barley wine dinner back in February for my birthday. Tasting over 20 fine brews, but I did not take notes. Some of the brews I apparently sampled that day included a '98 & '99 Thomas Hardy and '93 & '96 Lees. That was a fine evening.
So, cheers to a cellar filled with some choice old brews!