Yesterday, my son, who is learning to ride his bike, went off the trail by our house and went straight off a 4 foot drop into a creek. His hand was cut pretty bad and there was lots of crying… As well as daddy having to carry him 1.5 miles back home. Today was a long busy day at work, and we were supposed to have baseball practice. Due to my son’s injury, he didn’t want to go. So, I decided I was going to chill out for a bit with a big beer on the back deck. This is another big beer from my good friend Travis. Thanks Travis!
Location: Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 13% ABV, 390 Calories
Appearance & Aroma It’s dark brown in color and appears to be somewhat hazy when I hold it up to the light. There was almost no head on it when I poured it, and even after sitting there for a few minutes, there was barely even a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The aroma is a mix of alcohol, dark rye bread, and dark malty caramel sweetness, with hints of raisins.
Taste & Feel: The body is solidly full, and the mouthfeel is smooth and viscous. The flavor up front was somewhat sweet, with caramel and a bland dark breadiness. In the middle, some earthy bitterness came through with dark malt flavors. In the finish, there was a mix of caramel-bready sweetness and some sweet earthy bitterness. bready boxy caramel flavor in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This has some dark bready flavors and some sweetness, but the flavors were somewhat muted. Therefore, it could probably go with almost anything. It’s a big enough beer, I’d match it with something hearty and flavorful. I’d pair this beer with a thick, juicy steak, or BBQ covered in some sweet BBQ sauce.
Overall Impression: One thing I enjoy about barleywines is the thick, rich, caramel maltiness. This beer had some caramel flavors, but they weren’t as rich or flavorful as I was expecting. I thought the dark bready flavors were unique, but tasted a bit stale. It wasn’t unpleasant, just not the rich caramel maltiness I was expecting. Overall, it wasn’t too bad, and it was very smooth and drinkable with very few alcohol notes despite the 13% ABV on this big beer.