As I mentioned in my last post, when I reviewed Illinois Brewing Co.’ s Big John Barley Wine, I’m at Illinois Brewing Co. today brewing a batch on their system for our homebrew club’s barrel project. We finally finished up our brew, and while the snow is really coming down outside, we sat at the bar and enjoyed a beer inside. Behind the barleywine, this was the next most interesting for me on their house tap list.
Location: On tap and served in a regular pint glass at Illinois Brewing Company in Bloomington, IL.
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brown in color, and fairly clear. There’s a finger-thick head on it, which had a decent amount of retention. The aroma was nutty with some caramel malt notes.
Taste & Feel: The body was light and the mouthfeel was somewhat watery. The flavor up front was very lightly bready and caramel. The caramel flavors grew a bit in the middle, and were joined by a light nuttiness. There was only a slight amount of bitterness detectable in the clean, but slightly watery finish, with the caramel and nutty flavors lasting very briefly in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is a light beer in body and flavor, and would help to wash down a hearty, flavorful meal. For me, this beer would pair nicely with a big BBQ dish, including a pulled pork sandwich or a rack of ribs. The light caramel and nutty flavors would mix nicely with sweetness of the BBQ sauce.
Overall Impression: This was a very drinkable beer, and it went down very quickly. However, it was drinkable because the flavors were light, and the mouthfeel was somewhat thin and watery. The lighter flavors would probably appeal to a introductory craft beer drinker, but I was hoping for a bit more. It wasn’t a bad beer, I was just hoping for a bit more to it.