Hawkers 2021 BBA Barleywine


“Rounded and polished by months of rest in ex-bourbon barrels, this barleywine is an exemplary amalgamation between a rich malt profile and complex barrel characters. Drink now or cellar for a rainy day—the choice is entirely yours, however there’s nothing like having one now and cellaring a second one for later.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: It displays that classic light brown colour with rusted reddish hues. A wispy overlay on top and a fair bit of suspended sediment. Healthy lace clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: We can pick up the alluring notes of bourbon oak from a metre away! Under the nostrils it intensifies but also shares the space with gorgeous wafts of rich toffee and caramel, tonnes of dark fruit i.e dates/prunes, raisin, fig and blood plum. Port, residual sugars, herbal tea, tobacco, maple syrup and an undercurrent of mixed earthy spice also. Man that is bloody impressive!

Flavour: Holy moly before we even start we’ve gotta hand it to them for hiding the near 13% ABV…it’s insane how well buried it is. It follows on from the nose with this rich and luxurious marriage of toffee, caramel, dark fruit sweetness and the kinda spicy bourbon oak. It never takes a backward step either, finishing silky smooth and drawing out well.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Low-ish Co2, full body. As we’ve already mentioned…that 13% ABV…oopht! Where is it?!

Overall: This is an absolute ripper. By far the best beer Hawkers have put out for a while. We recall trying Bommen & Granaten by De Molen not long ago and this would surely beat it. Outstanding drop.