Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tasting Notes: Brother Barleywine - a Lug Wrench Collaborative Beer

Similar to the prior set of tasting notes, theses notes have been sitting idel in my notebook for longer than they should.  So, while several months have past since we tasted it in May, I wanted to get them up on the blog for archival purposes.

During Thanksgiving 2009, Tom and I were able to brew an English Barleywine together when we travelled down to Virginia to visit Tom for the holiday.  The beer, which was named 'Brother Barleywine', was a big beer (10+% ABV) so we knew it would need some age before it hit its prime.  Below are the notes we tasted the beer when it was 6 months old.

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Aroma: The aroma reveals the beers boozy nature with plenty of alcohol in the nose.  A hint of moderate caramel was also detected.

Appearance: The beer posesses a ruby-red, dark honey color that was very plesant.  Super clear.  There is only a slight head upon pouring or swirling the beer, but it never lasts long and quickly disappears.

Flavor: Complex caramel notes with a hint of a cider character, which is followed up by smooth alcohol and a boozy presence.  The beer has a little noticable English hop bitterness and has a drier finish than we had expected.  It is balanced for what it is with a lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a lot thinner than we had planned, without much structure to it.  A little disappointing.

Overall: The alcohol is present, but not assertive.  Good sipping beer.  The dryness lets the beer keep is drinability without being cloying.  There is a residual build-up of flavor/richness with the beer, almost to the point of palate fatique.

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While the beer took a turn from what we had expected it to be, we are both very curious to see how it will be in 6-12 months from now when it reaches maturity.



"It was as natural as eating and to me as necessary, and I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking beer."
-Ernest Hemingway

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