Old Bounder

Old Bounder barley wineOld Bounder is a barleywine from Boundary Bay Brewing Company up in Bellingham, Washington. It’s 9.6% alcohol by volume. The site states:

A rich, full-bodied barley wine with a smooth caramel sweetness, warming alcohol content and balanced hop character. Excellent with desserts as an after diner beverage. To be appreciated in moderation.

Of course, "in moderation" is relative when you have a 22-ounce bottle…

Appearance: Murky, rust or dark copper in color; nice light sand-colored head.

Smell: Sweet smell of caramelized (Crystal) malt and candy sugar; floral and slightly grapefruit hops; cloyingly sweet and syrupy.

Taste: Alcohol heat and sugar syrup in a one-two punch right off the bat. Very nuanced like a cognac here. Bitter—both from the hops and the alcohol—it’s a bit astringent and hot and boozy. There’s almost an extract, liqueur caramel character. Malt does overpower the hops a bit.

Mouthfeel: Warm and thick and carries an alcoholic astringency. A tad harsh, otherwise it’s pretty textbook.

Overall: A tasty strong barleywine, a pretty good example of the style. I think it would benefit from some aging, but no other complaints here.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an average of 3.9 out of 5; there are only 8 reviews (all approving), so there’s not enough for an overall scoring. On RateBeer, it scores 3.42 out of 5 and is in their 76th percentile.