I started this post thinking about how weird my patterns of reviewing are. Sometimes I buy something, bring it home, and write it up right away. Other times, I come home with lots of things, then there are one or two bottles that slide to the back of the fridge and get passed over for the new, the next, the weird.
Described on the bottle as being an “ale” this one lead me to do more research to find out just what it was… The Troeg’s website lists it as a barleywine, and that makes much more sense. It comes in at 9.3% ABV which is high but not earth-shattering.
The aroma of this beer is full of the hotness of alcohol, some caramel and sugars but not sickeningly sweet like some other barleywines. The hops come through in the aroma, too, and it is quite tempting.
The color was darker than I expected – an almost toasty looking brown, like the best parts of creme brulee. It had a nice head, too, which was creamy colored and stayed around for a while.
The taste on this one is right where it should be – a malty backbone, a sweet, but not overly sweet middle, and a nice hop bitterness that lingers with you at the end. I think that this would age well, and the (Troeg’s people would agree, according to their website) but you can certainly taste some of the alcohol still present here. That’s what makes a beer a good one to age, though, so you can see what happens after it settles out of its hot and wild teenage years.
While this is good I can’t say it’s the best barleywine I’ve ever had, nor can I rave that Troeg’s is moving up my list of favorite breweries, but I can say honestly that they make solid beer, and that I’m always eager to see what they come up with next.