Alright, taking it back to the Free State on this one to show the midwest some love. On that subject, Midwest people always get toxic shock syndrome when I call Colorado “the midwest” apparently Oklahoma is not either, and Kansas must be DQ’ed by association? Can someone clear this ambiguous swath up for me? Is Montana the mid-west? Iowa? Anyway, fuck it, we are mashing out on barrel aged barleywines in today’s review, GROWLER ONLY NO BOTTLES (GONB) so you know this is colder than the fridge and the freezer, snatching up your bottles at my leisure
Free State Brewing Co.
Kansas, United States
American Barleywine | 10.50% ABV
You read that right, I merked an entire 2 liter growler of this while playing Black Ops. That shit was Blackout Ops after 6 glasses.
Anyway, here’s the deal with this amazing barleywine:
Bronze Medal Winner, 1997 World Beer Championships – Barleywines.
Old Backus contains just over 2,000 pounds of malt and 55 pounds of hops. The original gravity is 25.6 P/1092 which contributes to an alcohol content of 10.5% by volume. This is a tremendously complex beer that should be savoured slowly and in moderation. It will continue to change with age as it is served unfiltered.
This barleywine is named after Richard Backus, an old friend to the Brewery.
This beer is older than your janky ass girlfriend, peep game.
A: Look. at. that. mess. God damn I have never seen such a murky, turbid barleywine. It seriously looks like the dregs from a homebrew fermentation tank BUT IN AN AMAZING WAY. There’s a nice amount of flotsam and jetsam that looks strangely decadent and alluring, like when Augustus Gloomp falls into the chocolate river. You know it is dirty, but you like it like that.
S: This smells flat out amazing. This runs with King Henry in terms of olfactory profile and just tosses hot shurikens of toffee, candied apples, brown sugar, butterscotch, Werther’s Originals, and sweet kisses from Nana. You judged me earlier for killing 2 liters of a 10.5% beer but YOU DONT KNOW WHAT I WENT THROUGH. This beer is official as hell, when you bite this beer, it bites back.
T: The hot 90 minute beats just keep rolling out with an amazing sticky caramel meets graham cracker soaked in chocolate milk aspect. That sounds pretty core, but trust me, when it is in liquid form, IT IS A READING FROM THE BOOK OF DANKERONOMY. The dankest book of the Old Testament.
M: This is chewy and has a nice coating that breaks up malty buds and watches Groundhog Day with you. You get a huge candy presence and a decadent It is thick and roughs up your palate just enough so you know you need to come up with that money. I still think about this beer, is it Winter yet? I hope I still have hookups in Kansas. I crushed this growler like Bruce Banner.
D: See my previous statement and complete lack of restraint. We are talking about a fucking huge barleywine and I drilled the equivalent of 3 bombers while getting lit up by 12 year olds on Xbox live. While they have to rub one out to Mila Kunis, I get to mash on huge amazing barleywines. The world order is restored. I want to tell you not to get this beer so that there is more for me the next time it is on draft, but many of you are mouthbreathers without Fedex accounts so I will say this: this sits in my top 5 top barleywines. Think about that shit.
Narrative: Old Jim Backus listened to Iron Maiden and operated a C&C Corrugated Iron Punchpress for a living. For 12 hours a day he would drill steel and eat Hungryman dinners for lunch. We are talking about over a pound of food, as indicated on the packaging. James Backus once had a supervisor who disapproved of him dipping and smoking at the same time on the worksite, 3 days later, that supervisor joined the Coast Guard. No one could figure out why. Jim never said much but he always ate a huge Abba Zabba with his lunch and far be it for his co-workers to question Jim’s actions. He was a hardass but somehow, people knew that he was sweet to the core. One of his hobbies was going to scrapyards and finding items to spot weld into playground equipment for disadvantaged children. Sure they often cut themselves on the jagged aluminum edges, but Jim wouldn’t have any pussy children horsing around on his iron sculptures of punitive diversion. Old Backus was a bad ass, just dont ask for a piece of his Abba Zabba.