“The beast. The beer. The legend. After the workday grind, reconnect with your wild side through our untamed barleywine-style ale. This classic lives up to its namesake: massive malt body, sheer hop intensity, standing at 9.6% ABV.”
Appearance: Attractive pour – deep burnished copper/red, slightly muddy but translucent on the edges. Two fingers of finely maintained head perched on top. Good retention and thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.
Aroma: Arguably one of the world’s most recognised iterations of the “Barleywine-style”. It’s not big and hedonistic but more mellow and exquisitely balanced. It’s rich with those hallmark residual sugars, caramel and toffee but it has a line of tangy orange/rind and dark fruit that runs through it. Subtle yet notable scents of fortified wine, pine forest, tree sap and earthy spice in support.
Flavour: Quite similar to Dogfish Head’s 120 minute IPA in the sense that it’s rich and malty sweet but there’s a distinct hop profile to it. It’s hard to say where the Barleywine begins and where the Imperial IPA ends. It hits a crescendo with a grapefruit acidity before the rich malts once again smooth it out for the well drawn out finish.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, gelatinous then dry and acidic post swallow. Medium body and a slightly recognisable 9.6% ABV.
Overall: A cracking drop. It just exudes class at every step. May have to buy a whole lot more for the cellar!