05 March 2008

Nirvana in a glass

Granted, this beer isn't going to be everyone's fancy--I can think of a few people who would turn up their noses at it--but I'm sitting here enjoying a glass of Red Brick Station's Batch 1000, an outrageously BIG barleywine. Murky brown, the color of Thomas Hardy's or a good nut brown, a bit of haze, very lightly carbonated, served through a regular CO2 tap.... aged in a new oak cask for a solid year...... This smacks of a dark ESB crossed with a bitter orange liqueur. Back when it was made, I positively screamed that it reminded me of Keller's Scottish orange marmelade, and it still does--sharp bitter Seville orange peel dominates here, laced with rye whiskey notes in the background. A very full-bodied British-style barleywine, with pronounced oak notes untypical of the usual heavy-hitting bourbon stouts or oaked big beers, and a refreshing change from same. Granted, this is a beer all should try a sample of first before ordering a full serving, but for someone who loves aggressively bitter beers like the over-the-top imperial IPAs, this should be a must-have. (Ringwood bashers, please resume your sometimes-warranted critiques of the yeast style on your own blogs, please........)

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