Sunday, 9 December 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 9- Uinta Brewing Company Anniversary Barley Wine

Good evening all. After waking up relatively late I took a trip out to the beach with my family to give the dog a run-around and feel the brisk power of the coastal wind, so it's fitting that day 9's offering is high in alcohol and rich in flavour. It's Anniversary Barley Wine, a Barleywine from Uinta Brewing Company (Utah, USA). Brewed to celebrate the aforementioned brewery's seventeenth anniversary, this particular bottle has had two years age on it since it was bottled, so I'm looking forward to it quite a bit already! Review after the pics....

Anniversary Barley Wine (10.4% ABV) pours a dark amber colour with a thick white head that quickly settles to a patchy covering over the surface of the beer. The aroma is classic barleywine, with resinous hops, candy sugar sweetness, grapefruit, mango, a significant maltiness and a slight awareness of the alcohol content in the background. The hops come across as very piney at first, which compliments the burnt sugar sweetness very nicely, but soon after this the citrus/tropical fruit notes come out and diversify the proceedings. There's a hint of yeast extract and some rich malt, with the alcohol hidden behind everything and manifesting itself as a light acetone smell. The taste delivers much of the same- grapefruit, resin, mango, caramel and a subtle alcoholic burn in the back of the throat. The hops remain resinous until the finish/aftertaste, where they transition into a light grapefruit flavour that helps to offset the bitterness that starts during drinking and lingers on until the next sip. The alcohol is more prevalent on the palette and creates a tartness that amplifies the hop bitterness, whilst the caramel sweetness has mixed success balancing this twin-attack on the taste buds. When the flavours coalesce they create a general flavour of dark fruits, possibly even going as far as diluted fortified wine. The mouthfeel is thick and the beer is lightly carbonated, which works well with the alcohol content and the power of the flavours on show. Overall, this is a great barleywine with all the hops and malty sweetness you'd ever want- a true winter warmer that's perfect for this season. Definitely recommended, I can't attest for fresh offerings but it sure tastes good with some age behind it!

Until next time....

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