Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
12.1% ABV
Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, IL
32 oz growler
Served in Burley Oak tulip glass
Growler filled on 12/14/13
Reviewed on 12/14/13

This barleywine pours a deep amberish brown color with a thin beige head that quickly dissipates. Good lacing.

Smell consists of cherry, dark fruit, malt, oak, honey, whiskey, some caramel, raisin, touch of hops, alcohol, slight soy.

Taste has cherry, malt, dark fruit, vanilla, honey, oak, whiskey, alcohol, raisin, chocolate, touch of hops.

Mouthfeel is creamy and velvety on the palate--uncharacteristic of a barleywine. Some muted bitterness.

Overall, this is an excellent tasting barleywine that's full of flavor and has a velvety stout-like feel on the palate. Cherry, oak, and whiskey flavors hit the nose and palate immediately, with honey, vanilla, and even chocolate emerging as well.  As it warms up, more flavors emerge, and each taste seems to differ from the previous one. The big surprise here is how this comes across on the palate.  It's thick and velvety, quite uncharacteristic of a barleywine, giving it definite uniqueness in the style.

My score: 99

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Perennial Abraxas

Perennial Abraxas (2013)
10.0% ABV
Perennial Artisan Ales, St. Louis, MO
25.4 oz btl
Served in Dogfish Head signature glass
Date on bottle: Bottled 11/2013
Reviewed on 12/6/13 

This imperial stout pours a thick dark color with a somewhat reddish tint.  Toasty brown head with decent retention. Nice lacing.

Smell consists of malt, dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa powder, slight hops, chili-pepper-like spice, brown sugar, touch of cinnamon.

Taste has malt, dark chocolate, muted chili pepper spice, earthiness, touch of honey, slight hops, cinnamon, some coffee.

Mouthfeel is quite thick and creamy on the palate with good noticeable texture.  Good rounded bitterness.

Overall, this is a great tasting, complex imperial stout with a varied and distinct profile of flavors.  Dark chocolate, chili pepper, and cinnamon flavors are abundant, with good accents of coffee, honey, and hops in the mix. On the palate, it has a thickness and creaminess quite unlike other stouts.  It's fairly expensive but given its distinctness and taste (and limited availability), it's worth the cost to have as a special treat.

My score: 98