Bring together a brown ale that spent 18 months in oak with a barleywine that spent two years in oak, blend them with a fresh brown ale base, and what do you get? A complex beast, that’s for sure.
Aether has called this multi-faceted brew a barrel-aged old ale – which is accurate – but, like last year’s Junkyard Giant, it seems to serve up more than can be captured in a style name.
The vapours rising from the glass bring an intricate mix of aromas right away: there’s savoury Brett funk laced with a spirituous cherry note and the twang of sour cola lollies. That first sip serves up soft bourbon and a slight tannic grippiness from the oak, then seems to change course entirely, opening up dark rum raisin chocolate, but without any sweetness. Rum raisin cocoa, perhaps? Then there’s the gentle acidity. I wouldn't describe it as sour… maybe just the barest hint of balsamic, which ties in with the rum raisin chocolate surprisingly well.*
It should be illegal to have this much flavour in a 6.2 percent ABV beer.
*Note to self: try pairing dark chocolate with balsamic.
Published May 31, 2023 2023-05-31 00:00:00