Hawkers Beer 2016 BA Barleywine


17953007_681835085333973_3508967958899592107_n“Aged in bourbon barrels. Rich auburn in colour. Aroma of toffee, hints of spice and fruit cake. Bourbon oak character, caramel and an assertive hop bitterness which leads to an outstanding dry finish. Designed to be cellared for 5+ years.”

Served in a snifter glass. This monster offers a murky and somewhat dark rusty hue. It pours with little head with what was managed peeling back to a ring which laced surprisingly well.
The nose feels like it’s holding back a little. We get sticky toffee and caramel undertones with subtle oak, bourbon, aniseed, buttery biscuits and sweet caramelized malt but it does appear to be slightly restrained. Although in saying that the 12.5% ABV is remarkably well buried so it works both ways. Still, very well balanced and absolutely luxurious aroma.
Ooph! Nothing is being held back in the mouth though. The sharp, piercing alcohol is somewhat softened by the smooth decadent malts. The body is on the fuller side with low Co2. Very extravagant drinking.
The palate is treated to a complete flavour sensation with the rich caramelized malts, toffee, bourbon and prickly booze on the front. It really intensifies during the mid before it all settles in to a sweet warming finish that goes the distance on the back end.
We’ll admit we were a little uncertain at the start but this barleywine keeps going from strength to strength. Love the subtle oak and bourbon complexity. Super sweet but never cloying and amplified by that belly warming booze. Hawkers do it again!