Originally Posted by ultravista
CSI, is your 17x the preferred recipe now, hands-down, best of the best?
Yes. I opened a 017x this past Saturday. It was just under 3 months in the bottle and was already better than any of the imports of the style...but to get it right the numbers have to come in on time.
I like to share our experiments with friends outside of the context of work. Like most of us I have a unique sounding board where my wife has a distinct dislike of anything beerish. Testing this ale with her outside of our company trials is like a chalk board scratch test but it has critic-style value. The best I've gotten over the years is "well, I don't hate it". Her response to the young 017x (10.2% ABV) was "Is this non-alcoholic?", and "This tastes like bread and plums". A day later she mentioned, "I can't stop thinking about that beer". Taste is subjective but in this case other responses have been similar also.
Over the course of 12+ months conditioning, the plum esters mature into more prune/fig flavors and aromas with a faint hint of vanilla.