Friday, August 20, 2010

Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale

Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States

American Barleywine

10.00% ABV


Commecerial Discription:Our Barleywine Style Ale is rich & malty with hints of fruity esters & a well-hopped finish. Enjoy this hearty ale with fresh fruit & rich cheese on a cold, winter’s night, or lay it up & savor it with a friend for a special summer treat.
General Pricing:22oz bottle, ~ $6.50 each

Review:The beer pours a clear amber with ruby hues and a very rich off white to tan head.

The nose is of toasted malts, hops and sweet alcohol. The hops seem to have floral, citrus and pine notes; very interesting.

We are starting this one out at 45 degrees. It’s funny no matter what I do my review beers always seem to warm 5 degrees by the time I get to start the review.

Sweet caramel malts up front then a building malt and hop bitterness thru the middle of the sip. The back-end has intensified some of these malt and hop flavors but it is still fairly easy to swallow.  What a powerful finish; it hits you like a ton of bricks, at least on the first sip. The finish is packed with intense hop and malt flavors. The final aftertaste has a slight pine hop flovor along with some sweet caramel malts.

This is more like an imperial IPA then a barleywine. This beer does not have the typical harshness on the back-end and distinct finish a barleywine. This has a much smoother characteristic to it.

This is actually pretty easy to drink for a 10% barleywine.

The head has diminished to a nice protective layer over the top of the beer with a decent ring and very impressive lacing.

We are now at 58 degrees.

There are more malt flavors coming out now as this beer opens up a little. This is an interesting beer in the fact that it is so intense but also fairly easy drinking. There is also a nice warming effect in the chest as the large swallows to down.
I am really enjoying this beer.  I will have to pick up some more of this for those upcoming chilly nights.

I am convinced that some of the smoothness of this beer is from the rich head. The first sip of the second glass was much smoother then the last sip of the first glass. The only other difference between the first and second glass would be the temperature and the temp of the second glass is at 62 degrees.

This is interesting that I am starting to feel the alcohol effects of this beer and I’m only about half way through the second glass.

We are now at 65 degrees.

As this warms it may be picking up more of that classic barleywine finish. It is still very smooth though.

All and all this is pretty good. I am, well, how do I say this, surprised. I have had some likes and some not so likes (if you will) from Smuttynose but this is clearly a winner.

This must be bottled conditioned as the last couple ounces in the bottle poured much cloudier than the first two glasses.

If these are lees they not bad; that is they are not bitter or foul tasting they just have a chalky taste to them.

I’m going to give this one a B. It is lacking some of those classic barleywine notes but this is still a good beer. Like I stated earlier this is more of a double/imperial IPA than a barleywine. At any rate this is still a good beer. 

If you are interested in trying a barleywine you can’t go wrong with this one for under $7.00.

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