Better than 2016 [AND 2015 HURRDURR] but a far cry from the Charizard holofoil small format bbw’s [also InBev] Let alone that gracefully aging malty Diane Keaton, King Henry [also sold under inbev] examples of barley perfection. That being said this is still on the upper end of the pile of barleywines alone, which means it will stomp almost every other beer even with a slappers only handicap. The bad: the body is relatively thin [somewhere below @firestonewalker Sucaba, but scarcely above the Natalie Portman BMI of @cwbrewing] so it has less lead to play with and as a result the fusel notes burn through the seams. Further, the carb drops to a @hairofthedogbrewing level of carb that Alan Sprints would floppily embrace, but these are goopy D cups lazily filled without heft or buoyancy.
The good: the barrel character itself is arguably the best it has ever been. This blend is complex and has a dizzying depth of cola nut, Mr Pibb reduction, Bookers saturated prunes and this cocoa dusted fig on the swallow. It’s also the driest and least saccharine forward of all the Bc bbbbw’s and the casual encounters are forthcoming [that was a barrel shaming joke not a body shaming punchline.] I know I am supposed to suck the marrow out of the InBev ownership and lambast this on principle, but it is unequivocally exceptional and on par with the likes of Mother of All Storms. I would be remiss to nerf what is clearly a very well made beer that creeps eerily to the absolute best in the style simply based on corporate holdings. There are subversive aspects to beer consolidation but this is fucking tasty and the Piggly Wiggly uncles of the world might explore a Jasminesque whole new world of barleyjoints as a result of taking a flyer on this. I’m not a malt apologist, but this may have greater net good to barleywine exposure than most other recent releases. Now I flex my core and engage my obliques for the battery of solar plexus shots and hilariously trite InBev jokes and shitposting. This is what we train for.