Of course, when I was looking for an anniversary brew to review for the last Session posting, I couldn’t find any. When I don’t need to write one on anniversaries and don’t have any anniversaries to celebrate, I find them everywhere.
So, I think I’ve already mentioned that I’m quite a fan of Weyerbacher. I am also always jumping at opportunities to try their new stuff because for whatever reason, I can’t get it in NH. So I saw this, noticed it was a barleywine, didn’t read the label to carefully and just picked it up.
Upon reading further I discovered two pleasant surprises. One, that this was released in July of last year, already having been aged a year, and it was now officially 2 years aged. Cool. The second was that this isn’t just any barleywine. This is brewed with 50% pale malt and 50% rye malt. Most of the time, in even the “ryest” barleywines would have no more than 12% rye malt. So to have half the malt be from rye is quite a leap of faith. I read online that the rye is a pain and would “stuck” the mash during the brewing process. I’m not entirely sure what that means but the end result is interesting, this beer is very thick. Not Guiness like creamy fake thick, but just slower pouring like you know that this beer has some oomph to it.
It pours slowly and thickly and has a light amber color. It smells like a typical barleywine with a bit of alcohol in the nose. I’ not sure what the ABV on this is but I got warned to write the review before getting to the end of the first glass. There’s visible sediment in my glass, and it hangs like snowflakes in a snow globe.
The taste on this one is out of this world weird but good. It tastes at first like the pale malts, a typical barleywine which stings of alcohol and has a sugary sweetness to it. But then, at the end, tastes so much of rye I felt like I had just dunked a pieces of genuine rye bread from Long Island in it. I tasted it again. It has this crisp taste at the end and the rye isn’t subtle. It is certainly not a taste that I’m used to getting, because so few brews really feature the rye in this way. I have to say I’m a fan just because its different, and I love rye.
I want to go to a tasting at the Weyerbacher brewery! I’m planning a beer road trip and I’m not sure when it’ll get exectued, but Weyerbacher has made my list. I haven’t had a single thing from them that wasn’t at the least interesting and at the best phenomenal. Check this one out if you see it.
Oh, and I looked up the ABV. 10.2% I have to say getting buzzed on one glass is what makes my job fun sometimes.