Barley wine is a style of beer that I stayed away from for a long time. Perhaps because my first experience with this type of beer was in college buying it on clearance….
Life rule No. 114: Never buy anything you plan to ingest on clearance.
The experience was off putting to say the least and I didn’t try another one till last year. When I tried Goose Island’s Bourbon County Barley Wine and for the record I thought it was better than the stout. So it’s about time for me to put my prejudice for this style behind me and give barley wine another chance.
For today’s post I chose Denmark’s Gypsy Brewer, Evil Twin’s Freudian Slip.
-Color: A cloudy deep amber. Really no head to speak of and carbonation that dissipates rather quickly. Tiny bit of sediment at the bottom of the glass.
-Nose: Sweet malty notes along with piney hops. The bouquet would lead one to believe it’s an IPA with the level of hop scent coming off this bad boy.
-Flavor: Very hoppy. More so than I expected from the nose or just from the variety of beer in general. The pineyness really sticks with you. A straight up palate wrecker. Cereal notes in the malt. Leaves your mouth tasting like cheerios and wanting another sip. Not as boozy as I expected from a barley wine with an ABV of 10%. With the amount of hops you get on the tongue it more than likely hides the alcohol.
-Rating: ⅗: a good step back into the barley wine area for me. Not nearly as bad as I had expected from some previous barley wine experiences that I’ve had. Maybe that’s the booze talking after the end of this pint. I wish it was just a little bit more balanced. The hops just won’t let go of your tongue. If somebody is looking for a barley wine and doesn’t mind hops, I would highly recommend this beer.