Sal Mortillaro II's picture

Tavern Ale

December, 2016

Tavern Ale

Judges Rating: 
96
Aroma: 
23 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

This Barrel Aged Ale pours a deep amber color with hazy clarity.   A fine-bubbled white head quickly dissipates and leaves ring and lacing around the edge of the glass.  An aroma of barrel qualities of oak character and vanilla lactones are prominent in the nose followed by a malt character which is perceived as low English style continental malts.  There is no perceivable hop aroma in this beer.  Alcohol and whisky are noticeable but fleeting in the aroma and adds a layer of complexity.  On tasting the beer, malt sweetness is perceived as medium with English style biscuit, caramel, and slightly nutty notes.  Moderate-low bitterness comes from the barrel qualities as well as hops, though hop flavor is lost to the use of the barrel.  Fruity yeast esters are present in the flavor and are low and apricot like.  The barrel aged character of vanilla and “nutty” lactones take a back seat to whiskey notes in just the right amount.  This beer sits in the mouth with a medium-low body with a restrained low carbonation.  There is noticeable alcohol warmth, but this is not out of character of a barrel-aged beer; the warmth is pleasant and appropriate, not hot or solventy.  Slight tannic qualities from the barrel tend to dry this beer out in the finish.  Overall, this was a very interesting beer with a barrel aged American twist on a beer with English qualities; it is an excellent use of the barrel while still retaining the showcase of malt.  This beer is a lovely savoring and sipping beer and an interesting combination of the two cultures.  I found it to be a very well balanced beer overall with a great and harmonious interplay of malt, barrel, and whiskey.  This was a very enjoyable beer and could easily be enjoyed sitting in your local establishment of choice over conversation with friends.

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