Last year, I brewed an old ale with a Belgian yeast, then added spices to it. It ended up pretty good, but I felt like the Belgian character detracted more than added to the beer (wish I had gone with an English strain). I also wish I had added more spices than I did, as I thought they were more subtle than I had wanted. To be fair, people gave me a lot of positive feedback on the beer... but I wonder if they waxed caps had more to do with that. :)
This weekend, I came across a few leftover bottles of this beer, so I stuck one in the fridge, and last night, I opened it.
I did so carefully over my sink, as I had ended up with a few gushers in that batch. This bottle, however, was perfectly fine. It poured a solid two plus fingers of foam, with a cap that stayed forever.
Interestingly, I got way more cinnamon on the nose than I recalled last year - and also noticeable vanilla, which surprised me; I thought that vanilla faded pretty badly with time?
All in all, the year was good to this beer. The caramel was very prominent, but the flavors overall had blended and mellowed pretty darned well. I still wish that I didn't have that Belgian character in it, but only because the beer ended up differently than I had envisioned.
Both the cinnamon and vanilla were nicely present. As the beer warmed, it got noticeably tastier - I wish that I had let it warm more before opening.
All in all, it was enjoyable, and a fun little follow up.