Mmm...Another imperial treat from Southern Tier brewing. This one is a winter seasonal "barleywine" - a typically darker and high alcohol brew often fruity, sweet, and in the USA - hopped. According to the Southern Tier website, the British used to make barleywines with "the first runnings of the mash." I don't know what that means, but it is the inspiration for this beverage and it celebrates the new year and new beginnings. The label proclaimed it to be "the first brew of 2008" so it's getting close to a year old.It poured a dark amber with red highlights. The head was tight small bubbles that left tons of lace.It smelled and tasted fruity and sweet. Cherries and plums, also sweet malts, caramel and vanilla. The hops were present but not super noticeable. The 10% alcohol was felt but not tasted. This was soft and chewey, and complex. I sipped it over a long time, but it was enjoyable. I'd have another. A-
I've always enjoyed a beverage or two. But beer is something I have never really understood. Oh, I have drunk it. And I have enjoyed it. But to understand it...that is something else all together. See my "intro" entry from 10/17/08 for details.
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