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Michael Heniff's picture

Virgil's Reserve

December, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This beer is a barrel aged version of their Third Ring Belgian Strong Ale that is aged in Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels for a year.  The aroma is an abundance of cherry, red grape, and prune fruit paired with vanilla and toasted oak; a light bready malt compliments the fruit and wood while a light sourness adds complexity.  The sourness becomes more prominent accenting the deep, fruity sherry-like flavors.  The bready malt, toasted oak, and vanilla complement each other well.   The bitterness is appropriately low allowing the rich and complex flavors with flavors of dark cherries and vanilla with a light sourness lingering long on the palate.  This is a very interesting wine barrel-aged Belgian ale with a multitude of complex characters that interplay well.  The sourness is light and complimenting instead of being on the forefront like many wild beers.  I expect that this beer will age well and possibly develop even more complexity over time.  Buy one to drink now and many to cellar for years to come.