Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Brimstone Big Ale

Brimstone Big Ale
13.1% ABV
Brimstone Brewing Co., Frederick, MD (defunct) 
12 oz btl
Served in Dogfish Head signature glass
Bottled October 1998
Reviewed on 12/19/13

This barleywine pours a hazy deep amber color with a bubbly beige head that has good retention. Good lacing.

Smell consists of strong aromas of cherry, raisin, and perhaps plum right at the start. Caramel, tobacco, leather, malt, and brown sugar and prevalent also. Slight sourness.

Taste has a somewhat sour cherry, raisin, plum, caramel, malt, alcohol, leathery tobacco, muted whiskey, honey.

Mouthfeel is a bit sour, a bit sweet on the palate.  Somewhat bitter.

Overall, this is an interesting barleywine that provides a unique view into 15 years ago. It has some definite prominent flavors that are typical of a barleywine and are even somewhat intense, though there is a bit of sourness and some flatness coming through.  There's no comparison to what it might have tasted like 15 years ago, obviously, but more so, there is some comparison to contemporary barleywines.  It's fairly reminiscent of North Coast Old Stock Ale, though it's not quite as well put together and the dark fruit is more prominent here.  It's somewhat close to DFH Olde School, though not as intense.  For a 15-year-old beer, it's fairly good and quite interesting.

My score: 89

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