Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine

August 11th, 2008 beckel

This one’s been sitting in my fridge since just after my birthday so I suppose it is about time I open up my bottle of Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven Barleywine from Boulder, Colorado. This beer pours an attractive dark red color, that produces a very deep but bright red color in light. Head is more than plentiful as this beer cascades very nicely and then quickly produces lots of thick foam that fades rather slowly and is light tan. The aroma of this beer is wonderful, initially sweet malt is most notable but there is a beautiful citrus aroma present as well as light bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium not particularly thick. Flavor is quite different than the aroma, bitter hops hit the palate first with only a tiny bit of citrus present, some lightly caramelized malt sweetness helps bring the flavor to a balance but this is certainly a hoppy beer. With a 9.2% ABV you will certainly notice you are consuming a strong beer though the bitter hops do a very nice job of hiding the alcohol flavor. As I continue to drink this beer I notice a bit more of a sweet citrus flavor on the back of the palate that does a very nice job of balancing out this beer’s bitterness. Overall a very interesting barleywine, largely what I expected from reading about it’s hop profile. If you like bitter and hoppy, strong but not overwhelming beers than this is a great choice. Certainly more hoppy than most barleywines that I’ve preferred but still very nice.  Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Avery Hog Heaven

Anchor Old Foghorn Barleywine

July 24th, 2008 beckel

As you can see I wasted little time in picking up another brew from Anchor Brewing. This time we have the Old Foghorn a barleywine style ale made in the English tradition. This beer pours a very nice deep dark red color. Head is plentiful, solid and relatively light in color. The aroma of this beer is lovely, strong sweet caramelized malt scents balanced with a slightly bitter smell of fermented fruit and alcohol. This beer has an intense flavor as any good barleywine should. Flavors of intense malt and hop bitterness countinue on to flavors of fermented fruit and sweet caramelized malt, finishes with a delightful dance between the sweet and bitter flavors. Mouthfeel is medium and the ABV of 9.4% is certainly noticeable in this beer but it is by no means unpleasant or predominate. The contrast of flavors make for a delightful sipping beer any time you want a quality strong drink. This is a very good beer, anyone who likes strong or complex beers will likely find this to be a good choice. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Anchor Old Foghorn

Sierra Nevada Big Foot Barleywine

July 14th, 2008 beckel

Sierra Nevada is lucky to have an array of quality beers and good distribution throughout the United States. One that deserves a good amount of praise is from their limited selections: Big Foot a barleywine style Ale. This 2008 edition pours with a very impressive tan head. Color is a nice dark red almost slightly brown. Aroma is grand, bitterness is present as well as sweet roasted malt, light fermented fruits are lightly detectable. Mouthfeel is medium, not too heavy. Flavor is very intense. Coming in at 9.6% ABV the level of hop bitterness in this barleywine is no surprise, what is however is how nicely the sweet malt compliments the flavor. Definitely a strong beer but it has many sweet notes on the palate as well as including less sweet, almost burnt roasted malt flavors. This is a very good example of a properly balanced barleywine, if you like strong beers and intense complex flavors this one is definitely worth your time trying. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot