*Note I wrote this at work the other day but could not upload at home as I am redecorating my office so my computer was unplugged
I decided not to have any more of my own brews and let them sit until the weekend, With that in mind I took a bottle of Vintage ale 2008 (I have a 2007 I will keep for a while) and one of my two bottles of Brewers reserve and put them in the freezer for a short while.
When I took them out of the freezer they were the perfect temperature, cellar temperature instead of living room 20+ degree heat temperature.
I poured both into pint glasses and took a sniff. Both of them had a lovely aroma. They were similar but the Vintage ale had an obvious lead in the aroma, there was much more of it. Sweet malt and fruits.
In the mouth, the Vintage ale was creamy. The carbonation was light, tiny bubbles and almost like nitrogen but its not since it is bottle conditioned. It was divine.
The Brewers Reserve on the other hand had a more traditional ale feel to it with larger bubbles and more of them. For me I loved the way the Vintage ale felt.
The taste was the best bit of course. The vintage ale was lovely stuff, like sipping a little bit of heaven. The balance between malt, hops, fruit was perfect and I can only imagine the 2007 bottle will be better especially after letting it age a little more. You can certainly taste the oak.
The brewers reserve on the other hand was less fruity and more bitter, and that is usually the way I prefer my beer. On its own, the brewers reserve is a great beer but beside the Vintage Ale it pales in comparison. I could certainly taste the oak and scotch notes in the brewers reserve but they were lighter and less obvious than the vintage ale.
My conclusion is that both are excellent beers and both should be enjoyed. If we look at it this way, the brewers reserve costs about €7 a bottle and the vintage ale is about €10. The question is this. Is the Vintage ale worth the extra €3? Everyone will have to answer that themselves but to me it certainly is worth it.