Garage Project ‘Hellbender’ Barleywine


image“You are about to be tested. Hellbender is a leviathan of a beer made with over a tonne of malt and a mountain of American hops. You know it would taste great right now, but a beer this big will only get better with age. What will it taste like in a year? Two years? More? Will you ever get to find out or will it be too much for you? Can you delay the gratification, or will you yield to temptation? Which will it be? Your time starts now.”

Served in a beer tulip. This monster pours a deep amber colour with strawberry red highlights. It dons a short wispy cap that deconstructs and forms a halo that works a healthy lace down the walls of the glass.
Holy moly! The nose on this bad boy is ridiculous. It’s super complex and so layered we could be here all day trying to isolate each scent. The main players include caramel fudge, toffee, fig jam, caramelised pears, pot pourri, spice, residual sugars, alcohol and blood plums. Wow….. Just wow!
It is deceptively dangerous in the mouth. Incredibly smooth and almost chewy with low co2. Medium bodied with that 11.2% ABV unbelievably well buried.
This barleywine serves up an absolute banquet of sweet and decadent flavours that range from gingerbread, glazed cherries, figs and toffee to warming booze, spice, dates and earthy herbs. The other aspect we love about this is that considering all of the really sweet flavours it still finishes slightly dry which adds that crucial balance on the back palate.
There are so many words to describe this beer but none of them would do it justice. The conplexity on offer is simply amazing. The aroma, flavour, drink ability…all of it is so intricate but so fine tuned. we could only imagine what a few years cellaring would do to this already magnificent beer. We are going to have to lay one down and find out.