Another beautifully welcome delivery to my door- the next in the limited release series from Redhook made me smile. I like the frosted glass bottle, the details on the label, and signed (though electronically) by the brewmaster. I would have liked if there was also a non-handwritten verion of the brewmaster’s name, however, its a bit hard to read. Danny – or maybe its Davey – brewed up a hoppy, aged barley wine that is reportedly “brewed by hand.”
I like barley wines. They’re often high in ABV (This one is a 10.1%ABV) and can have a very strong flavor of hops and alcohol. When I am seeking something that is strong, assertive and tasty, I turn to barley wines.
The Treblehook pours a dark cherry wood color, with a foamy head that stays around for quite a while. The smell is very sweet and alcohol tainted – with a big burst of hops if inhaled deeply enough. I’m encouraged by the very strong hop smell because I was really hoping for a strong barley wine taste.
The taste doesn’t disappoint, either. A big burst of flavor falls over your tongue. The hops are front and center, and I very strongly presented here. I also like the underpinnings of sweetness, with a tart zing towards the end. Its very difficult to pin down the taste of this one, but its all barley wine. Not bitter like an IPA, but really flavorful with hops. The alcohol is certainly not absent in the taste – but is not unpleasant. There’s almost a candy-like quality to it. Like the aftertaste from a sweet liqueur.
I think that Redhook is making a good move with its limited series. I was initially a little skeptical of the “limited release” series because Redhook has always excelled a session beers of various styles, but rarely pushed the boundaries into high ABV or complex styles. But both the Treblehook and Belgian Style have impressed me so far. I look forward to seeing what comes next for Redhook.