I enjoy Barleywine beers, for me they are THE winter choice but they are becoming awkward to find. This was the only one I could find in otherwise well packed beer shop and it’s not even a British barleywine. I miss the days of Old Nick from Youngs, that was a great beer that was so wonderful for sipping on a winters evening.
However this was the only one I could find on Friday so what’s it like? The beer itself pours well, a rich cherryique colour with a fluffy off white head that lasts well but will go into a fine lacing towards the bottom of the drink. Dry and sweet like sherry. Unlike British versions which are golden syrupy and coats the mouth with a sweet alcoholic kick. This American version is drier on the end which totally neutralises the sweet first notes from the beer. Not sure I really like that in a Barleywine, I enjoy the lingering sweetness of the British versions.
I will say I am not convinced the bottles I had were kept brilliantly as the tasting notes from American reviewers mention that it is dry but not the level of dryness I had so maybe the batch these were from didn’t travel well or weren’t kept in the best conditions in the shop. So with this in mind I am going to be open-ended in my review, the first notes were gorgeous honey tasting barley maltness that was morish and gorgeous, the slight dryness was appealing but the overwhelming dry almost mustiness is so jarring I will take as a sign of the beer on it’s way out.
All in all I do recommend you try this beer, it is not the same as our versions of this style but it is a lovely version from across the sea.
For More Information: http://www.anchorbrewing.com