Monday, December 13, 2010

MINI-REVIEW--Smuttynose Barleywine

Out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire comes Smuttynose's 10% ABV Barleywine. This is a 2009 bottle with what should be just the right amount of age that we like in our barleywines. Pours a rusty orange color with a minimal cream head. While we both get malts and hops in the aroma, James gets some citrus and Aimee gets a bit of funk, like over ripe fruit. The taste bounces back and forth between the hops and malts with the hops being very floral with a piney/citrus quality. A huge hop flavor (which is to be expected in American barleywines) but the age seems to have removed much of the bitterness. The malts are caramel and sweet with a bit of brown sugar. The whole taste finishes with that sweet, brown sugar.

We're going to give this 3.5 out of 4 stars. We'd like to try this fresh. Overall, this is a great example of why we like barleywines so much. The flavor profile is very complex and the alcohol is well masked. A great beer for a cold winter's night!

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