Review – Alaskan Barleywine 2008
From Alaskan Brewing – Alaskan Barley Wine is a full bodied ale, deep mahogany in color and brewed with an array of complementing malts to achieve its high original gravity. Multiple hop additions in the boil and dry hopping during fermentation provide contrast to the big malt character resulting in the smooth balance that distinguishes this specialty brew. Like many fine wines, Alaskan Barley Wine may be aged in the bottle and gains deeper malt complexity and smoothness over time.
Alaskan Brewing – Barleywine Ale Vintage 2008 – 22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium beer glass. 10.4% abv.
Appearance: A dark amber with a nice head. The head subsides to a respectable sudsy ring.
Aroma: Caramel malt and brown sugar at first. Then some fruits such as green apple, red apple, and green pear. Perhaps some spice too; nutmeg or cinnamon, but very faint. I am not sure, but I am thinking some of the tart and aromatic fruits I am smelling can be attributed to the hops. While this beer is too huge to be labeled balanced, the sweetness and bitterness co-exist quite perfectly in this beer.
Taste: Brown sugar and the fruits mentioned in the aroma. Lots of apple and pear going on. After that initial burst of flavor, I get a mouthful of spicy and slightly bitter hops. Has a small boozey finish.
Mouthfeel: Thick, not too sticky, and not as hot as I expected it to be.
Overall: Exactly what I look for in a barleywine. I like it to be packed with barley, but I also love the large amounts of hops. I will do my very best to save one bottle for a year or two from now.