When I saw the beer I hold in my hand on the shelves of The Four Firkins I knew not one thing about the brewery that it hailed from; Amager Bryghus other than what the bottle states which is little more than the fact that it was brewed in Kastrup, Denmark and that the brewers obviously have an inventive spirit from reading the brief paragraph on the bottle. After searching the web briefly it appears that this again is a two man inspired operation founded in 2006 and is located ever so securely in an air-raid shelter (lest anyone tamper with the beer). It appears their brews only reached the American market late last year and I am ever so excited to sample this American inspired Barleywine who’s hoppy aroma keeps calling to me. Color is a nice hazy date like brown hue with some red tones that brighten greatly in light. Head is off white and about 3 fingers that fade with in a few minutes leaving a thin layer around the surface and just a small bit of lacing. Though from a distance I kept getting hop aromas as soon as I put my nose in the glass the first thing I notice is dark pitted fruit, raisins, dates and a bit of alcohol. There are also a few floral hop aromas but there are hard to seperate from the malt backbone of this beer though it adds a nice moderate contrast. Floral hop flavors come first to me but are almost immediately ushered away by the somewhat sweet dark fruit flavors produced by the malt and finished with a bitterness in the end that attempts to balance the brew though it isn’t quite enough to hide the alcoholic flavor of this 9.2% ABV beer. This beer as well only uses Simcoe hops and as it warms in my glass more citrus flavor comes through though frankly I’m surprised they don’t shine through a little more. As this beer continues to warm flavors from the caramel malt become much more apparent and work to balance this beer much better than when it was colder. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is pretty smooth making this a rather drinkable beer if you don’t mind a bit of alcohol coming through. You can tell this beer has plenty of sugars present though it is not incredibly sweet and I would be very interested to see how it ages. Definitely a good beer for those who are into big beers regardless if you prefer more malt or hops. I probably allowed this beer to warm for at least fifteen minutes before drinking it but I would encourage everyone to allow this beer to warm even further as all flavors are more identifiable when warm. The dark date flavors are nicely balanced by the caramel malt and the simcoe hops are much more noticeable throughout when served a bit warmer and the alcohol flavors are toned down quite marvelously making this a much more rounded brew. Provided it isn’t still raining tomorrow I will definitely have to grab another bottle of this fine brew to age. If you’re not into high ABV beers this is probably not for you but if you are you should absolutely try it out. Give it a shot and ride your bike!
(Picture awfully dark need to work on my new camera’s settings)