Archive for the category “Barleywine”

Old Scallywag – Coronado Brewing Company (2013 vintage)

scallywag_bttl

11.4% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($16.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into an oversized wine glass [cage of emotion].

This “barley wine aged in oak bourbon barrels” is from Coronado Brewing in San Diego, which of course in German means “a whale’s vagina.”  Old Scallywag pours as silky smooth as the beard of Zeus, a clear and dark maple with a tight tan head.  The aroma is a formidable scent.  It stings the nostrils…in a good way, with waves of bourbon, dried and dark fruits, roasted nuts, barrel wood, brown sugar, and maple candy enticing the nose like a jazz flute solo.  I wanna be friends with it.  It’s delicious on the first swallow, more English than American barley wine, with brown sugar sweetness, wood bitterness, and a bready texture dominating up front, and ending as clean as a nice pair of slacks.  Some apple and tea enter the picture as the beer rests on the tongue, and the overall effect is not unlike a wood-fired apple pie drizzled in scotchy scotch scotch. Beer drinkers assemble!

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OldScallywag2

 

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Barrel Roll No. 4: Hammerhead – Hangar 24 Brewing

Hangar24_hammerhead_bttl

12.4% ABV
Purchased at Capitol Beer and Tap Room ($16.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This fourth edition from Redlands-based Hangar 24 Brewing’s Barrel Roll Series is an English-style barley wine aged in whiskey and bourbon barrels.  It pours a muddy date brown with a tight, French vanilla-colored head.  Big, boozy aromas stretch out of the glass, bourbon-centric but with notes of vanilla, oak, brown sugar, nuts, and caramel.  Hammerhead is absolutely delicious on the first swallow, balancing filigreed sweetness with flavors of oak, bitter walnuts, and alcohol-marinated barrel wood.  The alcohol warmth settles in on the long and decadent finish, with dark fruits patrolling the perimeter, and toasted oak and muted English-style hops providing backup.

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Hangar24

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Coming Home Holiday Ale 2012 – Grand Teton Brewing Company

ComingHome2012_bttl10% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($10.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This Grand Teton holiday seasonal pours a clear redwood brown with a nearly nonexistent light tan head, and a nose dominated by dark fruits (mostly plums and grapes), as well as apricots and wet wood.  It’s much woodier on the tongue, offering classic barley wine flavors like barrel oak, brown sugar, and caramel upfront, and culminating with peppery yeast in the aftertaste.  Coming Home 2012 combines American-style strength with some interesting Belgian textures and bottle-conditioning, resulting in a relatively light and un-sticky beer given the style and ABV.  It’s an excellent version of a classic style with some unique twists, as apple pie spices and an almost IPA-like abundance of piney hops complete the flavor profile.

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GrandTeton

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Anniversary Barley Wine Ale (Uinta Brewing)

10.4% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($8.99/4-pack of 12 oz. bottles) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

Salt Lake City-based Uinta’s Anniversary Barley Wine Ale pours a ruby-brown with a fairly substantial tan head.  It offers a surprisingly delicate nose of pine needles, barrel wood, and a little tropical fruit, not quite the expectations for an American barley wine. There are more piney hops here and less of the syrupy sweetness common to this style of beer, with touches of raisins and brown sugar, although the expected fermented wood flavor edges in on the long and warm finish.  Anniversary Barley Wine Ale has sweetness and strength, but it’s refined and mellow, sneaking up behind you rather than attacking you head-on.  (4 toasts).

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Her Notes:

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Old Guardian 2012 (Stone Brewing Company)

11% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

The 2012 vintage of Stone Brewing’s annual “Barley Wine Style Ale” pours a transparent dark orange with a thick body and a minimal off-white head.  Old Guardian’s unexpectedly fruity nose is fairly similar to a prototypical west coast IPA, with just a little wood in the background.  It offers orange candy syrup on the first swallow, gradually getting more bitter and woodsy as that initial sweetness fades.  It’s essentially a hopped-up version of a barleywine – a thick mouthfeel, the taste of barrel wood, some brown sugar, plenty of hops, and a mild alcohol burn on the retreat.  This brew is very drinkable and delicious for fans of strong beers, but with all the complexity and muscle you’d want from an American barleywine.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

    4 Toasts


SF Beer Week – Freudian Slip Barleywine (Evil Twin Brewing)

10.3% AV
Purchased at The Trappist in Oakland and poured into wine glasses.

His Notes:

This “American-style” barleywine from Danish brewers Evil Twin pours muddy brown with an enormous, off-white head.  The nose has as many roasted coffee and grass notes as the expected wood, hard alcohol, and molasses aromas.  It has little of the syrupy sweetness of most American barleywines, but rather cords of wood (especially dry, smoke-able woods like hickory and apple), pepper spice, smoky peat moss, and under-roasted coffee beans. Freudian Slip is meditative, rather bizarre, and not entirely successful in its’ ambitions, but it does provide strong and earthy flavors that are unfailingly intriguing.

  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

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