Lagunitas Brewing Company Olde Gnarlywine (2015) – Barleywine at 10.6% ABV

Lagunitas Brewing Company Olde Gnarlywine (2015) Barleywine at 10.6% ABV (C$5.78 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before)

Pours clear medium amber with a short light beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (3/5) Nose is pine resin, dark boozy fruit, caramel and toffee. (8/10) Taste is moderately strong sweet, moderately strong bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate to low carbonation, warming and lingering bitter finish. (3/5)

An interesting barleywine. At this age, it’s still pretty strongly hoppy, but surprisingly not excessively hot, especially for a double digit plus ABV. Right now, the bitterness of the hops is just as pronounced as the toffee malt and the alcohol heat. I’m not sure if I’d call it “balanced”, as such – more like an armed détente, given the magnitude of each of these players. I’d be interested in seeing what this turns into as it ages – I might pick up one or two more to cellar. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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