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Friday, January 05, 2007

Making Beer: Tasting Our Barleywine After One Year

About 14 months ago I started brewing a barleywine. Not too long after this website was started. Since that fateful day when Bryan and I walked into Home Sweet Home Brew and asked Nancy about brewing a barleywine I wanted to taste my own homebrewed barleywine. Thanks Nancy! What a great start to the recipe.

When I brewed this beer I knew I would need to ferment for a longer period of time and store it for a long time before I could really know what it was going to taste like. Over the past six months a case of it has dissappeared. Some was for Bryan and some for Jeremy and I guess I could lay claim to a few of those empty bottles myself. Each time I crack one of these puppies open its like opening a birthday present. I have reached the time where I must ration the last 18 bottles. I would like to enjoy these for as long as I can. My plan is to drink one or two of these each year and record my impressions. I would like to stretch this out over 10 years. The following are my tasting notes.

Packaging & Date Stamping: 12 oz. brown bottle, oxygen barrier cap

From where & how stored: extract brew by Adam and friends 10/1/2005, bottled 12/14/2005, stored in cellar for the past year with varying cool temperatures

Availability: one off ;-)

ABV, IBU, and Other Available Stats: 11.5% ABV, IBU 90+

The Look:
dark cherry wood
substantial head thinning to islands of foam
very clear, nothing in suspension
hard to see through

The Aroma:
huge malt nose
figs, dates, licorice

The Taste:
wow that's strong
bitter, tang, not sweet
very bitter, but, smooth
slight butterscotch
well carbonated, almost more than I like
it helps spread the taste around, but, is somewhat distracting
the finish has lost the bitterness and gently lets you down with a nice malt carpet

The Verdict:
Well this just gets better and better. I tasted it on New Years Eve as well. It was dirtier that night, because, I jostled it around too much in trasport. What a shame :-( Lesson learned. This one however was very clean and clear! Everytime I taste this beer I like it. I'd like to think it is getting better over time. Overall it is a pleasantly bitter and malty barleywine with a huge malty aromatic nose.

I'll gather all the posts related to this beer together and post them tomorrow with a summary of the life of this beer from beginning to end. Ahh...there goes my last mouthful. :-)

1 comment:

Bryan said...

You're brutal. Tempting us with these tasting notes during the work day. Now, I'm thirsty! Save one of those bad boys for me :)

I'm glad the batch is working out well for you. Must be gratifying :)

It sure will be interesting to follow your notes year after year ast they mature.