While I'm a fan of The Duck-Rabbit's offerings, this is one I hadn't tried before. The Barleywine Ale wasn't listed on the brewer's website, so I can only assume it's part of their seasonal selection. I found it in the singles section of Total Wine & More, which has a pretty good selection of imports and craft brews (I just wish their refrigerated selection was as good as their warm shelves).
This has a nice deep, golden-amber, brown color, much like real Vermont maple syrup. It's dark in color, but transparent. Pours with a medium, foamy head and leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass as it drinks down.
Pungent, powerful. My wife can smell it from across the room. I can best describe it as sweet and malty, with a bit of sourness. Initially, I smelled honey and sourdough bread. By the time I reached the bottom of the glass and it had warmed, it smelled more like a bourbon glaze I like to make.
Taste & Feel
Rich, bittersweet. Actually, bitter-sweet-bitter. This has a strong barley taste with a bit of earthiness, almost peaty. I'm definitely picking up a honey flavor. In fact, between the heavy body and the sweetness, it has a syrupy taste experience.
This brew delivers quite a kick. Initially, the high alcohol content creates a slight, burning tingle on the top of the tongue. Following that is a slow, burning, warmth all the way down. By the end of a glass, I was warm all over.
Sweet aroma, strong flavor, warm booziness. It's good, but holy crap it's strong. This is definitely a sipping beer. Enjoy it on a cool fall night.
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