Okay, many apologies. You’re not finding this one at the LCBO. I’m not even sure how available it is in BC, to be honest. But it’s still BC Beer Week here, and I’m pretty stoked about this review. It’s a bottle of Burley Barley Wine from 2008, and I must say, I’m really excited to even have a bottle. It was brought to me by Claude Lefebvre, owner of Double Trouble Brewing and North American Craft (and the guy I work for). Thanks Claude! As I’ve mentioned before here, Barley Wines are beers that not only can age for a while, but often benefit from it. So a bottle from 2008 stands to have gotten better from it’s production. Time to find out!
From a 650ml bomber that says it was a special batch bottled in November 2008, Burley Barley Wine pours an opaque brown with shades of ruby at the edges. Nearly no head was formed, even with a fairly aggressive pour, and what was there dropped off pretty quickly. Aroma is just incredible, berries, cocoa, toffee, rum, a bit of spicy yeast and a touch of musty hops. Taste is more of the same, sweet toffee, molasses, cocoa that seems like powder with the drying hops, ripe raspberries, black tea, cola and a nearly milk-like smoothness on the tongue. There is a touch of oxidization, but it doesn’t really negatively impact the flavour. Hops are present, and are probably related to the tea flavour I got; they also keep what I’m sure would be a cloyingly sweet brew very moderate in it’s sweetness. The weight and carbonation are just great, and despite it’s 9.5% abv, it goes down fairly easily. An excellent bottle, and one I’m really lucky to have gotten. Rarities like this make a fun gig like writing about beer, really awesome. A great English-style Barley Wine with excellent balance.
Cheers to Phillips
About The Brewery
We are a small-batch craft brewery located on the bottom of a medium-sized island on the left coast of a very large country.