I don't know exactly what this bottle is. It came from a mixed case that Stuart Howe at Sharps sent me ages ago. It's not one of his current "52 Brews" series (I still have them to taste/drink and write up), but I thought I'd give this a go.
Pin bright, copper-gold in colour, with a slightly wild note to the nose - I don't think it's infected, but it might be the aroma of a load of hops ageing disgracefully. Busy carbonation, quite dry, slightly dirty orange squash and toffee finish. Maybe a hint of beeswax? Aftertaste has a suggestion of Orval about it - again, I think it might be hop-related rather than anything else. This has been knocking around for a couple of years, in pretty good cellar conditions, and what has emerged is deep, slightly sherried, and enjoyably complex.
I think I just remembered that the B stands for Bobek - so this might be one of Stuart's prototype barleywines, hopped with Bobek. Maybe he'll remind me.
I played a variant of this game at work the other day. I got my co-worker Will to pour me a mystery beer, and I tried to identify it. I got that it was dark Belgian ale, about 8%abv, but couldn't nail it. It turned out to be Corsendonk Noel, which pleased me as I didn't immediately think "GAH! Of course it is!" - I remember Corsendonk Noel as being a bit more chocolatey, whereas this was more plummy and spicy. If you want to sharpen your tasting skills, this is a fun way to do it. And of course, a fun way to spend a few minutes at work (although may not be totally appropriate should you drive a vehicle or perform surgery for a living).
Right, that's it for now. I'm off for a couple of days in Ceske Budejovice as a guest of Budvar, along with a posse (a tankard? a round?) of half a dozen other beer writers. I hope to come back on Friday slightly fatter, but much happier.