They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Now Drinking S.N. XXX B.B.W.


Sierra Nevada, one of the classics to me. Tonight I have the pleasure of consuming one of their latest products brewed to celebrate their 30th anniversary -  Jack and Ken's Black Barley Wine.

This is a collaborative brew between Ken of S.N. and Jack McAuliffe - the first "micro" brewer from the states. This beer is a definite nod towards the legendary ales produced by Jack in his tiny brewhouse at New Albion brewery in Sonoma, CA. While drinking this beer on a cold yorkshire eve it's hard to believe beers like this were produced for the brewery's summer solstice parties!

Now down to the beer; it pours intensely black, with a massive foaming, rocky cream head. One whiff and the words "whoa" and "bloody hell!" come to mind. Aromas abound of burnt toffee, dried fruits and rich wood. Small inklings of licorice and a bit of single malt, but overlapped by a big dollop of hop bitterness.

The same sort of flavours come through in the taste. At 10.2% it's very warming. Thick, chewy and resinous. Lots of wood and a little vanilla. It's a hugely bitter beer, the huge amount of hop bitterness melds together with the bitterness of roasted barley - which seems to have been set on fire.

When I think of barley wines, I think of amber beers with a lot of caramel malty flavour, and a rich warming effect. This beer takes things to a whole new level, it's a sort of cross between an imperial stout and a barley wine, one could call it a hybrid!

A lot of this beer to get through (75cl bottle) so it's a good thing it's so moorish, should get me through the rest of the evening quite nicely. Cheers to Jack and Ken!

2 comments:

  1. Wow - that looks and sounds awesome and perfect for right now; must try to get my hands on some of this...

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