Jason Johnson's picture

Blackberry Barley Wine

February, 2016
Judges Rating: 
88
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
37 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

The beer poured a solid, deep amber color with excellent clarity and a short-lived, loose, off-white head. For a barleywine, the overall malt aroma was very low; the normally rich and intense caramelly malt presence of barleywines was just not present. I do get some medium-low caramel malt, but nothing to suggest this beer is a barleywine. There are some very low floral undertones from the hops, and the blackberry aroma is evident; when mixed with the malt, it also gives off a cherry-like impression. The flavor is similar low in intensity – I get some sweet caramel, and a high amount of fruit. While I get the blackberries, I also get some cherry flavor as well – just as I did in the aroma. The fruit gives the beer a mild tartness that I enjoyed, and it helps make the beer fairly quenching for a barleywine. The hop bitterness is fairly low and could be a bit more assertive to battle the sweetness. This is a fairly sweet and the fruity barleywine that's a bit too thin for the style. The alcohol is well-masked and doesn’t present itself as intense or hot. The balance is leaning solidly to the sweet fruit, and the finish is also sweet. The beer is medium-bodied at best and fairly creamy, and there's a moderate amount of alcohol warmth as well. Overall, this is a nice beer, but a bit more hop bitterness would help to cut the sweetness. For a fruited barelywine it’s good – just a bit thin compared to prime examples of the style.

Advertisement

Advertisement