Temporal Artisan Ales Cosmic Syzygy: a barleywine you aren’t meant to understand or complete

Wait so am I the narrator. Who was even the, ok

There exists this strange Gift of the Magi pecking order in breweries that seemingly keeps each from having everything they want. Haze brewers secretly want to be saison masters. Stout blenders will curse the lack of lagers on draft. Lager powerhouses will often release “big ales” that are ironically fermented far too clean to appeal to the glucophile palates of the modern era. If you have a hit barleywine, often that’s the most remarkable thing you do at that brewery.

I love these cross-discipline attempts. Moonlight making a barleywine. Angry Chair making lagers. It’s that ambition that shirks expectation.

Temporal is a weird brewery north of the wall that makes fascinating gentle wild ales. But what happens when they re-spec their character to wield a massive opal malty club? Things get out of hand.

COSMIC SYZYGY was boiled for 8 hours then incarcerated in a hateful 12 year Caribbean rum cask for long time. One barrel, zero blending, 500 bottles, no margin for error.

Rum casks already are a huge gamble. They can become decadent bananas fosters, or pure astringent punitive juice siphoned from the stills of hell. Like freestyle rapping in mixed company, this can go only one of two ways.

Like Temporal, this beer is strange as hell. If the cliché hallmarks are a series of English brown sugar candy comparisons, this leans more towards Papa’s port cellar liquidation in a will execution. It both feels older and untamed than it should be.

It has muddled prune, but with a phenolic oddness to it, permanent marker, but then delicious iced wine. The swallow gives you a touch of unagi and then wait-it’s back to Fig Newton. The net experience feels intensely experimental, unique, and shredding sections of the fretboard with key signatures my liver was not ready for. Perhaps I am the outdated person still buying Leg Avenue Halloween costumes, illadapted to the swiftly modernizing sensibilities.

The execution feels layered, confusing and intentional, like I am the only one not understanding House of Leaves. I did not love this, but everyone else does: so I feel deficient. You should try this, just don’t expect a clear conclusion.

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