Shipyard Barley Wine

Shipyard Barley WineShipyard Barley Wine Style Ale is the second of the two Pugsley’s Signature Series beers I received from Shipyard Brewing. Their description:

Barley Wine Style Ale is a big beer made with six different malts (Pale Ale, Crystal, Caramunich, Wheat, Chocolate and Roasted Barley) and balanced with a very full hop charge of Summit, Challenger and Fuggles hops. It is a deep reddish brown color with a complex fruity nose, a very full body, and an interesting balance between grains and hops which ends with a pleasing dry taste. To fully enjoy all the flavours, this ale is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 8.5% alcohol by volume.

I loves me a good Barleywine, and this does not disappoint.

Appearance: Dark brown (mahogany) with a cappuccino head. Very like a thick coffee… wine red at the very edges when held to the light. It leaves a sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Deep wine aromas, brandy-alcohol, dark brown sugar, plums, figs, black currant, molasses. Rich and complex—like a dark fruity liqueur.

Taste: Amazing array of flavors here, overlapping each other. Smoky, dry, roasted malts; spicy hop that brings a mellow, twiggy bitterness; coffee; wood-aged brandy in the alcohol heat; some dar and not-too-sweet fruit—like elderberry, maybe, but not sour; coffee again—a dark, thick blend; blackstrap.

Mouthfeel: Nice, rounded full body, well-balanced with a dry finish.

Overall: Excellent, tasty sipping Barleywine with a nice brandy-ish character. Smoky, roasty thing going on—it’s really good.

On BeerAdvocate, four reviews give it a grade of B. RateBeer is having trouble again, but the cached version reports a score of 3.2 out of 5 (and only four reviews also).