John C. Tull's picture

XS Old Crustacean Barleywine

May, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

This beer has a huge malt character that is somewhat nutty and sweet on the nose. Complex aromas of alcohol, hops and esters are also present in this beer’s aroma. The color is a dark copper with a tan, creamy head that persists. The flavors are dominated by hops, but moreso of traditional varietals with a huge floral, spicy and slightly grassy flavor. The malt flavors are quite sweet, as expected in a barleywine, with a nutty-caramel character. The hop flavors stay on the palate long after the beer is swallowed, leaving an almost minty sensation and some alcoholic warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is full, slightly cloying (not unexpected for the style), has the aforementioned warmth of alcohol and is moderately carbonated. All told, this is a strong example of an American Barleywine because of the dominance of the hops in the flavor, but with an old-world twist that foregoes the American citrus and resiny varietals for floral, earthy and spicy hops. This would be a great final beer for an evening gathering that you might want to sip next to a fire on a cold evening, either inside our outside.