“It’s our tenth birthday and the tenth release of our Anniversary Ale series. Always big, bold and oak aged – but this year matured in Lark Distillery whiskey barrels for 8 weeks combining rich malt aromas and flavours with a distinct vanilla oakiness and subtle whiskey character. Cellar for up to 10 years – AA10 will just keep getting better and better with age. Or drink now if you can’t wait! Continuing the artist series labels, this year created by Newcastle’s Bridie Watt.”
Served in a beer tulip. We’re met with a murky brown hue that’s covered by a two finger tan head that gradually peels back. It establishes a wispy film that produces a significant amount of lace as we imbibe.
As expected this barleywine is expressing some rich and super complex aromas. The most distinct would have to be the heaving malt base along with the rich toffee, figs, plum jam, raisins, clove and brown sugar. Not a great deal of oak coming through but a cognac-like note certainly presents stronger than the whisky. Incredible concealment of the booze too.
Unbelievably palate friendly for a barrel aged barleywine weighing in at 10% ABV. The texture is dense and chewy with full body and low Co2. So smooth for its size.
Holy moly, the taste buds are in a frenzy trying to isolate this onslaught of flavour. It’s like a tidal wave of malts washing over the palate imparting a concoction of spice, dried fruits, toffee, raisin, oak, vanilla, ginger bread and hints of whisky. Finishing with a residual sugar sweetness and a kind of dry, oaky tannin in the tail.
After a year of aging we thought it was high time we cracked Murray’s 10th anniversary ale. Although it’s a superb drop we would have loved to see more of the whisky come through, just falls a bit short there in our opinion. Especially when we’re dealing with a quality distillery such as Lark. Anywho, a robust offering…Just not their best.