Bateman's Vintage Ale

An oak aged strong ale, replicating the old ‘Batemans BBB Barley Wine (back when barley wine could be a mere 7.5%).  Brewed way back in 2013, I found this bottle quietly cellaring in a forgotten corner of a supermarket’s beer section.  Eight years later it’s grown fantastically complex, with toffee, prunes, roast almonds, figs and leather on the nose.  The palate brings more chewy malt toffee, rum and raisin, more toasted nuts and even faint cola.  The finish is long and developing, with more flavours emerging as it creeps slowly across the palate.  Not a hugely strong beer by today’s standards, but deeply nuanced and complete with a majestic interplay of flavours between the malt and hops.