“A West Coast style barley wine. A huge malt profile and a very aggressive dose of premium domestic hops give Old Numbskull a tantalizing complexity, from the aroma to the aftertaste. Aroma starts with toasty, caramel notes and a pleasant hop character. Colour is deep amber, with tan head and impressive ‘Brussels Lace’ that clings to the sides of the glass.”
Served from a 750ml bottle in to a beer tulip. The somewhat rusty bronze appearance is capped off by a foamy three finger head that casually recedes, settling to a thin overlay with a tonne of spotty lace being shed. This here certainly has the hallmarks of an American barley wine. As our glass sits idle we get intermittent wafts of resiny, piney hops teasing the olfactory’s. Our first big whiff uncovers a plethora of caramelized malts, toffee, dates, fig, cocoa, molasses, hints of vanilla, nuts and ground nutmeg. Absolutely divine! Kind of reminds us of a rich, alcoholic, liquid sticky date pudding in a glass. Magnificent aroma we just can’t get enough of it. Once we get past the brilliant nose the next thing to indulge in is the amazingly smooth texture in the mouth. Nice and full with a developing warmth from the 11%ABV. Highly palatable for a beer of its size. The palate opens with a light toasted malt character that’s balanced by a hint of Cointreau, sweet, dark fruits and a good warming from the ABV in the background. A rich toffee sweetness binds the mid as the alcohol burn crescendos, leading on to a considerably dry, somewhat warm and slightly spicy finish. Excellent length on the rear too, very well drawn out. Well, well, well! Have we just discovered our best barley wine? Considering the complexity, the drink-ability of this brew is simply genius. It’s 11%! One could go postal on this and hey, who could blame them? Friends, if you’re interested in this style then don’t even think twice this is a magnificent drop.