PURPORTEDLY AN ENGLISH-STYLE Barleywine, this looks more like an English bitter than a 10.2% ABV seasonal beast from an edgy American outfit. Toffee coloration, pale stout-like head with plenty of bloom reflecting the fairly high carbonation in this brew, but made of large bubbles that don’t last too long. Nose is relatively light, too, hinting at grassy hops with a clean, nearly minty medical touch (more the German Perle coming through than the Cascade). Flavor is plenty toasty and malt-heavy, though, and the depth of the body leaves no denying that this is a barleywine indeed. On the lower side of bitterness (45), the caramel and almost confectionary bread with a bit of clove spice leads the way from start to finish, which is more attenuated than expected. Fruits underplayed and aroma not blended too well with flavors, but admirably committed to its core flavors, which are pleasing enough.
Served: 12 oz bottle (vintage 2013)