Origin: USA | Date: 1997 | ABV: 18% | On the Beer Nut: February 2009
What it did to the cork wasn't pleasant: that came out as a crumbly mush though thankfully didn't require any additional tools. I think the aroma has intensified, still showing the signature umami and chocolate syrup, but there's an extra mushroom funk which I don't recognise. I'm not sure if that's an improvement or not.
The flavour is still bang on, however, with all the same cola nut, coffee essence, dark chocolate and cherry liqueur, finishing on a Pedro Ximinez warmth. If anything, it may actually have improved, the fruit even more luscious and juicy. I remember a soy sauce twang that seems to have evaporated, or been subsumed into everything else, and my nightmare about oxidation has completely failed to be realised.
I've loved this beer from the first time I tasted it at Deveney's in Dundrum. Unless I've lost one somewhere in the bowels of the stash, this was my last bottle. And while I wish I had a few more cases to find out what happens to it in another twenty years, it is genuinely too delicious to keep on a shelf.