Bellwoods Brewery Barn Owl (No. 10) – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Barn Owl (No. 10) American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$19.00 at The Brewer’s Apprentice, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 7-Jan-2018, reviewed 9-Jan-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale gold with three fingers of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin cap, minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: apricot, pineapple, leather, light oak, hint of red wine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild tart. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter mild tart finish. (4/5)

I missed out on snagging a Barn Owl (though not this batch) by a day or so the last time I made it to Bellwoods on an overnight in Toronto, so I’m not too annoyed at paying double the price it would’ve been at the brewery, to snag one in Alberta. (Actually, three – I bought a couple more at Willow Park today, for three bucks cheaper. Those are intended for long-term cellaring.) As far as the beer itself goes, well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. It’s sure not pretty, but Brett makes that hard. I’m going to criticize just a little the apricot: it’s so heavy that it dominates, even over the Brett. It’s pleasant, sure, but I would’ve preferred a little less, to allow the Brett and red wine foeder character a chance to show. I’m very happy that I’ve got some for cellaring, because I think allowing the fruit to fade a little while the Brett digs in might put this where I’d like it be. This is very good as it stands, but I’ve got high hopes that I’m going to be re-rating this higher in a year or two. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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