Victory. I like everything I have had by this eastern Pennsylvanian brewer from the suburbs between Philadelphia and the Amish country of Lancaster County. Facing a 22 oz bomb of 12% vintage ale by Victory is more than somewhat daunting, requiring a wee glass and a fair bit of time. It was bottled on March 29, 2005 according to the fine print. I don't think I will need that much.
A quadruple according to the Beer Advocate, it pours deep red gold under a rim and foam of off-white. The texture is rich and creamy more than hot, no irregular stark Beglian candi sugar rising above the malt but plenty there given the candy canse stickiness on the lips and the strength of the ale. There is also a deep malt area in the middle, a figginess through which the flavours take us. Hops are almost absent but there is something cutting all this cloy, flavourlessly.
Update: I left 65% of this in the bottle sealed overnight in the fridge and what a difference...ok, it's not like it's a stout or anything but by cooling down the ale the hops come out and, all of a sudden, there is orange marmalade with a good jag of green hop nicely cradling at the back end. The fig is still there too. The colour is more orangey than red gold but those are two colours that sit side by side as far as I am concerned. A really nice Belgian-style ale.