Second up in the Barley Wine spree comes a monster bomber from Southern Tier.
Back Burner: a 10% fiery beast.
The aroma is classic American Barley Wine. Huge on the sweets. Lots of toffee, fudge, caramel. There's lots of lemon sherbet and orange rind too suggesting a good dose of hoppy bitterness. It should do really, apparently there's "voluminous" amounts of Chinook in the kettle, Willamette for aroma, Amarillo and Centennial for dry hopping in this brew. Like I say though, I prefer my BWs to be more about the malt, which, in this description just gets a bit of a side mention really.... "2-row pale malt, light & dark caramel malt" as if to say, 'yeah, this is here, but it's not that big a deal.'
Thick and rich in the body, intensely sweet to start with and nearly no bitterness that I can find. This sweetness then just dies away enough for a lingering vegetal dryness to come around in the finish to make you want more. Rum, Rum, Rum. However, not really much boozy presence, it's dominated by the candy sugars and candy floss flavours in the body. Thinking about it, the big vegetal essence in the finish is slightly distracting, and not as moorish as it really should be. Some fruit too in here too though. Pineapple soaked in brown sugar with some fresh raisin bread. A nice sipper, which is kinda hard cos there's so much of it, and besides - I never really was much of a sipper, but then again, that's what happens when you drink Imperial Stouts all the time...
It's a great beer, but somehow there's just something about the vegetal aftertaste that I think it could do without.
Join me on day 3 tomorrow for more Barley Wine won't you!