22-ounce bottle provided by the brewery, possibly in partial re-compensation for one of the original one-liter flip-top bottles I paid for and donated to a charity auction a while back.
This is, according to the brewery, the one and only original batch of Colossis, 21.92%, brewed back in 2006 and aging ever since. Starting out refrigerator temperature, this bottle pours a nice, bright deep red/amber, totally clear with light carbonation and little to no head. Nose suggests tart, a little funky, and strong. The initial sip is outrageously sweet, buttery, and pineapple-ly--utterly all the characteristics of pineapple upside-down cake, doused with white rum. Subsequent sips reduce the harshness of the sweetness, mellowing it out a bit, but it's still a dose of rum and candied fruit. Lurking around in there, one may find some woody spice (cinnamon, clove, coriander) and a bit of citrus peel. Texture is heavy, like a honey liqueur blended with a touch of Grand Marnier and diluted with unfermented beer wort. Reminiscent of heavy Polish honey "mead" liqueurs, but the carbonation gives this just the right fizzle on the tongue to bring out aromatics and background flavors,
As it warms, the spicy notes float higher, but the dominant character is still that pineapple upside-down cake: caramel, butter, pineapple, honey.
As suggested by the brewers, I heat the remaining quantity in the microwave for a bit.
Wow. How many of you have tried a glühwein or Unibroue's currently-on-hiatus Quelque Chose hot? The heat of the alcohol does wild things to the throat. Flavor-wise, it intensifies the tartness and bitter citrus peel character, now more akin to grapefruit peel, and tones down the saccharine sweetness, though the effect is still a bit cloying.
All in all? Still both one of the more spectacular beer experiences I've had, and still one of the better values for the money I've had. Well, okay, I didn't buy this bottle, but I will be buying a replacement while I still can and can find it relatively cheap...... rumor has it that one Baltimore bar has it in stock and is selling it for the same price as retail............
Earlier post here. Brewery's self-promotion here. 56 RateBeer reviews here.