Today I have a rather limited ale from the brewers of Boulder Beer Company out of, you guessed it…never mind. First brewed in 2002 this ale has been available for quite some time but has only been released as part of their Looking Glass Series of bottled ales since 2008. According to the bottle only one 50 barrel batch is brewed each year making this their rarest beer. Brewed in the colder months of the year and obviously intended to be consumed at the same time clocking in at a solid 10% ABV. Bottled in a fancy 22oz wax dipped bottle with a wooden seal proclaiming its year of 2009 I can’t wait to dive in (though it still needs to warm up a bit so I’ll be patient). I believe I sampled this ale once before at a tasting and found it not to be overly complex for a Barleywine, regardless the purpose of sampling a variety of beers is the experience and I am content with being an optimist. Pours a rather dark amber hue that becomes a very translucent bright red hue when brought to light. Head is a massive four fingers and consists of tight cream colored bubbles that settle after a few minutes leaving a solid millimeter and change of carbonation on the surface of the beer as well as a small amount of lacing around the glass. Aroma is quite nice, dark pitted fruit esters, Candi sugar, a nice dose of bitterness and a surprisingly limited amount of alcohol due to the contrasting malty sweetness. Tastes largely of dark pitted fruits, raisins, dates and plums in particular, a lot of Candi Sugar and a notable does of alcohol. Gentle esters of caramel and light bitterness are present, but not dominate at all. Body is light for the style and the mouthfeel is rather thin, but it sure is easy to drink for such a big beer. The 10% ABV of this beer will certainly be noticed by those not accustomed to such strong ales but the serious sweetness of this ale does a good job hiding it, particularly the more you drink. Not a very complex Barleywine but certainly not bad. If you enjoy easy drinking strong ales this might just be the beer for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.