Unlike some, I like a good barleywine now and again and if it is from The Lost Abbey, you can double that emotion. But even more appealing is the idea forwarded by the Abbey of a “contemplative pause”. Good idea for all beers but even better for this beer style.
I scurried down to Carson to to-go some beers from one of the newest breweries in the L.A. area, Crac and brought back a pair to try and here’ve is my review…
AphrodisiCrac. Smooth taste. Has a touch of smoke, coffee and just the right amount of salinity. All tied together into a beer ver I like what normally comes in 16ounce cans.
The Bollox. Very nice example of a barleywine. Has a bit of floral aromatics but the cheek warming ABV and the nice punch of hops works really well together. A dash of caramel here too that ties it together.
There were three other beers on offer and if these two are any indication, they will be pretty good.
Well, I should have known that the fervent beer traders would not be slowed by a Virus. Apparently, the beer seller, Tavour got cans of wax dipped (?) Barleywine and were able to sell it for $50! Now, I have not had Anchorage beers lately but I know of their high reputation. But that is not a price I would pay for any one can of beer because my expectations would never meet the actual experience. And I certainly wouldn’t get in the way of those who think they MUST have it.
Continuing the reviews of beers bought from the Glendale Tap cellar, we go old with the 2019 barrel-aged Barleywine release of Old Jetty from El Segundo Brewing.
This ale was aged in bourbon barrels and strides in at 13.2% ABV. Old Jetty is both prickly and smooth at the same time. There is loads of bourbon character but at the same time the sweetness is restrained. A bit of syrup note here. Great brunch beer.
I probably tallied north of 60 beer reviews this year. I know that there are some who hate the practice or don’t think that personal preferences can be of use, but I think it is instructive to see which beers struck a chord and which elicit such little word count as to telegraph the yea/nay response.
On to the last review of the year, I have dug into the cellar and brought out the famed barleywine from Sierra Nevada, Bigfoot.
Faint port like aroma. Bitter at the end. Showing some age I think. Caramel notes and a slight oak-y bourbon flavor. A bit vinous.
Lighter and brighter. Bitterness is there but not pounding. A little burnt tasting. More pine notes on this one.
Of the duo, I would take the 2013 first. It had a swirl of different flavors and aromas going on in it’s 12 ounces.
What makes a Friday better? A new beer bottle release and pizza. On September 28th, Yorkshire Square in Torrance will release How Heavy This Mash, English Barleywine. And invite Enduro Pizza over too.
And there will be a special oaked version of the beer on cask that night as well.
As we close in on the close of the series for Game of Thrones has Ommegang tipped their hand a bit? (sorry, horrible word choice). Will a Queen rule the Seven Kingdoms? Either way, I am glad to see a barleywine for the next GoT beer. It makes a nice change of pace from previous entrants.
Verdugo West has a new winter barleywine out and maybe it refers to the California Golden Bear or someone has that nickname. Either way, Bear Temper lands at a big 12% ABV. According to the brewery, “Sweet notes of caramel and toffee that’ll give you a bear hug to keep you warm through the winter.”
Limited can availability but on tap as well.
Every twice in awhile, I get a wild hare and go to raiding the beer cellar. Sorry, been listening to the S-Town podcast.
Going back to the halcyon days of 2013 for a barleywine from Oakshire Brewing of Eugene, Oregon.
This one did bubble over even though I let it rest for a bit. As I cleaned up the mess, I got a vinous note in the aroma that worried me a bit. And when poured into the glass, there were flecks of brown stirring around.
Some oxidization had happened but as the beer warmed up, it became much more oaky and bourbon barrel. The caramel notes were intermingling with the remaining hop character as well in the this opaque light brown beer. Getting a touch of chocolate as well.
I would hazard a guess that this beer was better a couple years ago. The fade to barrel has simplified a beer that I hazard a guess was happier and less sweet.
I recently selected a Rum accented barleywine for a “hypothetical” taster tray from Le Castor and now, one a little closer to home is on the horizon from AleSmith. I love seeing anything barrel-aged that isn’t whiskey or bourbon. + love the pun name.