John Barleycorn Barleywine Style Ale

John Barleycorn Barleywine Style aleJohn Barleycorn is a "Certified Organic Barleywine Style Ale" brewed by Mad River Brewing Company. At 9.5% alcohol, it’s not as strong as some of these X-Treme Monsters being put out these days, but it’s still plenty strong for the style.

The label is cool; according to their site, it’s "created by local artist Janis Taylor, is a folksy woodcut based on the tale of John Barleycorn in verse." You can also view the rest of the series (they change each year).

Appearance: Dark brown, murky—like dark maple syrup. Almost no head when I poured.

Smell: Sweet, alcohol, plummy fruits, fig, raisin, brown sugar.

Taste: Strong alcohol (phenols?), coffee, caramel, dark berry, brandy, hint of vanilla and molasses.

Mouthfeel: Nice and syrupy thick, alcohol numbing, pleasantly warming.

Overall: A very decent barleywine with a lot of complex character happening there.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores 84 out of 100, with 91% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.48 out of 5 and is in their 82nd percentile.

One comment

  1. I bought this one too after tasting it at a barleywine fest last month. Really solid example of the form, not too sweet, covers the alcohol taste really well, and probably the best thing I’ve had from Mad River, who’ve been around a while.

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