It’s a throwdown of epic proportions for Eagle Bay Brewing Co amid a particularly wet and wild winter in 2021 for WA’s South West. A burnt caramel barley wine as well as a brandy barrel-aged Belgian strong ale make up a decadent duo the coastal brewers envision warming many a cockle through the colder, darker months of the year.
The Brandy Barrel-Aged Belgian Strong Ale was brewed in collaboration with Blind Corner; the stalwart Margaret River winemakers provided the ex-chardonnay barrel which held brandy for two years before being acquired by the Eagle Bay brewers. A complex flavour and aroma profile exhibits caramel, toffee, stonefruits and some gentle, zippy yeast-driven esters, although it's still clean in classic Eagle Bay fashion. 6.8 percent ABV is faintly present among some residual sweetness, while a moderate, silky body carries brandy like notes into a long and rich finish.
For the 2021 reboot of Burnt Caramel Barley Wine, homemade burnt caramel (lovingly made by the brewery’s kitchen team) is added to an English style barleywine, yielding luscious caramel and toffee notes atop robust coffee and a hint of sweet spice A touch of burnt sugar astringency is present, almost in lieu of earthy hop character and further enhancing complexity. The 11.7 percent ABV is noteworthy, but a few months of conditioning has integrated all of the complex character of this bold barleywine into a silky smooth offering. Some time in bottle may further enhance drinkability, although it must be said that, as it stands, 2021’s vintage is drinking very well.
Published July 29, 2021 2021-07-29 00:00:00