Thursday, March 19, 2009

John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale, Mad River Brewing Company, Blue Lake California

And I'm back...

Our next ale is a first for me - we return to the wonderful world of Barleywine. This one is 9.1 % with 96 IBU's and as it says on the bottle brewed in 2008 "celebrating the harvest".

It pours a deep caramel with a thin head.

The aroma is sweet sugary malt with mild vanilla tones.

Delicious. The full body is balanced, so the sweetness isn't overwhelming. It is roasty and slightly smoky in the finish. It's thick, but retains a nice freshness, as well. The roasted malt and bitterness are a nice complement to the alcohol tones that accompany the finish. There is a slight grapefruit flavor that develops in the body and is slightly noticeable in the aftertaste as well.

The aftertaste is roasty, but also fresh - surprisingly so for a barleywine. The bitterness and sweetness seem to balance themselves out and a nice general malt lingers nicely.

This is an excellent barleywine - something to try out for sure. I found mine at Belmont Station here in Portland and I think their beers are fairly available on the West Coast.


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