Smuttynose Brewing Co. “Barleywine Style Ale” Review (#120)

Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Co.
“Barleywine Style Ale”
Portsmouth, NH

From The Brewery

Though individual examples of this style vary widely, barleywines are characterized by their full body, pronounced residual malt sweetness, fruity esters and, in the case of American versions especially, distinctive hop character, with a flavor profile that can lean towards the sweet or the bitter, or somewhere in between, and a color ranging from amber to deep copper. Barleywines tend to age nicely, especially bottle-conditioned versions, and have become quite collectible.Our Barleywine is rich and malty, with hints of fruity esters and a well-hopped finish. Enjoy this hearty ale with fresh fruit and ripe cheese on a cold winter’s night, or lay it up and savor it with a friend for a special summer treat.

ABV:11.1%

Review

Vintage: 2009

Appearance: I poured this dark caramel colored beer into my tulip glass. A thin white head settled on the top, that quickly dissipated.  It left higher than expected lacing: this beer has legs. Long, sexy trails.

Smell: The classic barleywine nose; big malt sweetness with nice heat and esters: brown sugar and yeast.

Taste: Strong and bold; caramelized raw sugar is the first sip; big, almost burnt brown sugar. Biscuity and toasty on the finish. Fruit flavors come through; raisins and other dried stonefruit. Rich and complex; as the beer builds, a citrus orange hops comes through, adding nicely to the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full, heavy and creamy; drying finish. Quite a lively feel for a bigger beer; bottle conditioning gives it a great

Drinkability: Lower medium.

Notes: Odd way to describe a beer, but it tastes like something I would make. They did a great job on this one; drying finish is a nice touch, rather than the often cloying end to other barleywines. I really like that burnt sugar.

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