Time to get down to brass tacks and finally review what many have dubbed as the “King Henry” slayer although others believe that Bloody Mary is the true King Henry slayer, wakkawakkawakka. I was holding out for someone to send this 1200 bottle limited release AND NO ONE SENT ME ONE FOR FREE, but then I landed this bottle on mybeercollectibles.com go check them out. So anyway, an apple brandy barrel aged barleywine? Does it have the temerity and strength to overcome the progeny of Rare? Let’s find out.
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
English Barleywine | 13.00% ABV
A: This has a dull reddish mahogany hue to it that doesn’t go a particularly turbid route but maintains a beautiful sheen to it. The sheeting was minimal considering the 13% abv but the carbonation left nice archipelagos. They are tiny apple brandy islands of foam where the indigenous people are wasted non-stop like a Vengaboys concert.
S: This might be the most amazing part of this beer, flat out. This is like if someone burned a Werther’s Original factory to the ground. This boasts a full caramel bouquet with nice sweet roast to it. This also reminds me a bit of a Payday bar but with a prominent brown sugar all up in the mix like some official Creme of Wheat action. The finish of it lacks much alcohol presence and reminds me of Bruery White Chocolate and a macadamia nut cookie. This is pretty decadent, even by my 10 year old palate.
T: This goes a bit sweeter than the roasty balance of the nose and if you have had apple brandy treatments of anything, you know what I am talking about This has a nice brandy aspect at first with a sweet almost cognac caramel aspect to it with the malts pulling full steam with some dark fruits like plums and pluots be grinding on one another like a slow jam. This feels like a hybrid between a nice Belgian Quad and an Old Ale given the sweetness but roasty balance. This is an exceptional beer.
M: The coating is pretty substantial but doesn’t go balls out like Hunah, which is a good thing for this execution. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the base beer but this, like Hunah, is a completely different beast altogether. The alcohol doesn’t seem to lend heat so much as it lends a stickiness like so many ungrateful Craigslist girlfriends.
D: For 13% and massive sweetness, this is strangely drinkable. I did not find myself wincing at working through a 750 of this. Then again, most beer drinkers are gigantic blubbering labias and will find something to complain about. This will likely be where they voice their shitty timid concerns about how when it warms it is too sweet or how they wanted more chocolate stout notes in their English Barleywine just the way Mama Goose Island likes to make. Wah wah wah, don’t listen to them. Seek this beer out. This is an interesting beast and can go toe to toe with Sucaba and Kuhnhenn with Alpine Great nodding knowingly upon an altar made of bone.
Narrative: The Kingdom of Leon held its traditions proudly, despite the constant Moorish interference with their golden heritage. The bowed masses gnashed their teeth in the gold mines, awaiting the coming of a ducal potentate to liberate them to a sweet future. They indulged on holy days and presented sweet gifts in the classic tradition. It was upon these backs that the roasted fields presented the sticky promise of a future holy barrel empire. The citizens of Leon would be challenged again and again with unerring faith, harvesting the sweet fields of malt and grain, enduring the mistreatment of a malignant king with cool determination. Leon would one day overcome. Each dynasty results in Patricide and ultimately a free exchange of golden discourse. This was no different and the Iberian Peninsula teemed with wanting desire, for soon the King should fall.