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Monday, May 9, 2011

Kickin' it Olde School...

Sometimes its good to forget that you have beer in the basement. Especially when its a bottle conditioned brew that gets better with age.

With the hustle and bustle of Mothers Day and my wife's b-day this weekend, I neglected to leave enough time to go out and select a new brew to review.  Somehow asking for time to go buy a beer to review for a blog didn't seem very important in relation to these other things. This left me high and dry on Sunday night, until I brought some laundry down to the basement and saw that one last bottle of 2010 Olde School Barleywine, just sitting there all alone on the book case. I dusted it off, popped it in the fridge for 20 minutes, and was ready to drink.

Olde School Barleywine
Dogfish Head Brewery, Rehoboth Beach, DE
15% ABV
12 Ounce Bottle, poured into a snifter

This beer pours a gorgeous amber/copper color, with a thin head that grabs the glass. The smell is intense-pungent, flowers and alcohol. It smells almost sweet, which is one of my favorite things about this style of beer. It there was a beer flower, this is what it would smell like.

Taste is equally intense- alcohol coats the palate like syrup-lots of malt, very subtle hops (the hops recede with aging, and this beer aged for about 6 months in my basement) and some kind of earthy sweetness registers. The dogfish web site says this beer is brewed with dried figs and dates, maybes that what I'm getting. But as I don't eat dates and rarely eat figs, I can't say for sure. Whatever it is, its awesome. Finish is very, very smooth- surprising for a beer with  85 IBUs of bitterness (or perhaps my palate is absolutely dead from the alcohol, your guess is as good as mine).

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. This bottle was noticeably smoother than the ones I drank when I first brought it home in December, and that's the beauty of this style. It ages like fine wine. I only wish I had the patience to wait another 6 months before opening my last bottle.

I give this beer a 3.5 out of 5 rating.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Barleywine? I prefer my wine in a paper bag :-)