Pat Mulloy's picture

Cape May Brewing Company Boughs of Barley Holiday Ale

January, 2017
Judges Rating: 
93
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

28C American Barleywine, 33B Specialty Wood Aged Beer. The brewer nails the use of pine, picks barrels with just the right amount of bourbon and lets this beer sit for just the right amount of time in the barrels. Dried berries, and spice, dark sugar and bourbon start the aroma as the pine gradually moves forward. It’s a chestnut brown beer pierced by streams of rapidly rising bubbles and capped by 2” of light tan foam with good retention. The flavor starts malty quickly yielding to fruit and spice with noticeable dried cherry, and nuts. The pine is not at retsina levels but acts more like a spice gently nudging the fruit and adding to the hop bitterness in a pleasant way. It mingles especially well with the bourbon flavors in the finish. The beer has an insanely creamy, chewy texture. The alcohol is pleasantly warming and not hot or harsh.

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