“The newest release from 8 Wired’s Barrel programme is an absolute stomper! Layer upon layer of complexity, oak integration is perfect and the higher abv is hardly noticeable.”
Served in a snifter glass. This barley wine offers a remarkably clear burgundy complexion with a finger of cappuccino foam topping it off. Reduction is steady, eventually establishing a wispy film that works a wavy lace down the walls of the glass. The aroma is unbelievably complex. As expected the oak comes through with some dominance but the dank and super sweet fruits counter it magnificently. Tucked in right behind are super sticky notes of port, dates, maple syrup and residual sugars that have this somewhat earthy licorice note flowing through. Booze, chocolate, molasses and a trace of ash brings up the bottom end and ties up an incredible aroma. Wow.
The mouth feel is sharp and warming yet sticky with a velvety smoothness. Co2 is mild and the body is medium. It’s aggressive but also slick and sophisticated.
It offers an absolute arsenal on the fore: we get a fusion of dark fruits, toffee, oak, port, dates and fig that leads in to a dry and warming middle. The alcohol intensifies as an oaky wine tannin makes way for a dry, prickly and somewhat malty sweet finish. Excellent length offered on the back palate as well.
As mentioned at the top of this review it’s a seriously complex little number. Masterfully executed with ingredients that cover almost all corners of the globe. It just takes a bit of brewing brilliance to bring them all together and that’s exactly what they’ve done here. Top shelf stuff from 8 wired.