I try not to pander with abject hyperbole but, honestly, try to name another beer that is 1) canned and 2) as compelling as Sebago barleywine.
At this point someone will undoubtedly mention like BA ten Fidy or some treehouse shit, but let’s return to reality. In what realm do you exist where a barrel aged, multifaceted malt bomb is presented in aluminum confines? Even finding a barleywine in a can at all is remarkable, but to add layers of nougat and oaky depth, coupled with residual herbaciousness from faded hops and a baker’s cocoa closer: this is apeshit.
I wanted to include this in the old BLIND Ba barleywine shootout but didn’t have one on hand. This is a criminally overlooked gem that hovers somewhere in between Sucaba blended with Ba behemoth. Considering the latter sells for a comical $40.00/750ml, they could charge $12 a can for this and I would still be on board.
The depth of the barrel is structured with a sweet but lightly bitter malty magnum/warrior type of fade. It’s a 2 guard on the sides but a blast of barrel driven length up top.
I constantly count my blessings that the cadres of dessert stout dipshits have yet to unearth the majesty of old ales and barleywines, because that is the last thing this segment needs. I hope they continue to trade low and enjoy the sweet shade of less complex giants. I will sip Great with contempt and nod at the uninitiated in the rank and file plight, for they enlisted in a battle of brownie batter and candy aisle bullshit. Those who silently secret away bottles of Bbomb will rip their cap knowingly to Sebago and keep the tenants of this underground society within a clandestine lapel.
If nothing else, buy a ton of these and take them out on the lake. Shit will get real very fast.