Now we turn our attention from Vermont back to the Vermont of the Pacific, full of greenery and tolerant, socially conscious people. Also, shortsighted artistic hipsters with no post-30’s goals. Way back in the beer timeline, people were super jazzed, Charlie Parker even, for this barleywine to drop. Let’s see how it fairs in today’s review.
Oregon, United States
American Barleywine | 10.00% ABV
A: This had a deep brown copper color to it with a great clarity considering the amount of frothy carbonation and lacing that it leaves on the glass. It seems pretty par for the course, not exactly turbid, not transparent, just by the numbers like a Jake Gyllenhaal movie.
S: The wood just leaves the bottle and the glass and makes itself right at home in the immediate vicinity. This has more wooden notes nice and boozy bourbon to it than most beers I have encountered, however the bourbon seems a bit imposing and overstays its welcome like basically every character in any Neil Simon play. There is a nice caramel smell with some vanilla and toffee, BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT.
T: This beer dries and imparts a nice booziness to the palate in short order. Each sip is strangely overwhelming and alcoholic for its 10% profile. That’s not to say that 10% is insignificant but this is the life and substance of this beer: booze, oak, and caramel. It is a wire frame drawing stripped down to the component frame of what a barleywine is. I need some more padding before I get double stuffed like an Oreo.
M: This has a great caramel body to it that coats nicely, however, no one should smoke around you as you will clearly be a fire hazard. The waft of this is like rubbing alcohol that is somehow abated by the sticky wood and malty notes. Unbalanced, but refined, is how I would describe this beer. Take your Nova II and drop a 454 into it, allow your 16 year old to take it to prom. Post obituary results.
D: This is incredibly shippable, for long periods. Drinkable? I guess that comes down to how much time you have on your hands. Get yourself and old tymie rocking chair, and a Victorian porch, sure you could pass the days away sipping this and telling the neighborhood kids what words “used to fly back in your day.” But for the rest of us, this is just too big of a beast to control. That being said, please send me more of this, for the lulz.
Narrative: “Well nah….I aint no big city lahyuh!” Atticus Oakwood boomed to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury. “But I say, I say, it seems to me that if you exude negligence, then proximate cause is just gonna, I say follow!” The voir dire went almost as strangely. This man was clearly drunk each day of Trial, reeking of cigars and cheap whiskey, yet somehow, he could articulate the finer points of incredibly dense material. “See now here, hyennnnhhh, see now, if the perpetrator were using the oak resaw machine, wouldn’t the shavings land to the right? Closer I say to the barrel refinery?” Each juror nodded intently and breathed through their mouth to avoid the acrimonius cloud that was imparted upon them with each passing word from Mr. Oakwood. “SO THERE CAN BE NO NEGLIGENCE!” he declared triumphantly and the words resonated against the rich mahogany walls of the courtroom. “Mr. Oakwood, your methods are unorthodox, but I must concur, I RULE IN FAVOR OF THE DEFENDANT!” He wiped his brow and popped a Worthers’ Original into his mouth, just another day in the office for that old boozer Oakwood.