This evening I opened up that bottle of Redhook’s latest Limited Release, Treblehook Barley Wine, their 10.1% alcohol American-style barleywine (as I prefer to spell it), using the snifter glass they also provided in the package. This is a beer that won a Gold medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival, and a Silver at this year’s GABF; add that to the fact that the beer is “brewed by hand” and, according to the bottle, double mashed, and that sets up some high expectations.
Fortunately, they met those expectations and have brewed a really good barleywine; this beer will be fantastic when it ages. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Appearance: Nice deep copper color, fairly clear, with very light tan head.
Smell: Sweet and candy-ish—very appealing. Candy-hop character—flossy and slightly fruity. Some almost-brandy notes. Great nose.
Taste: Very nice—malty-sweet with a beautiful balance of bitterness from the hops, the alcohol, and a hint of roasted/aromatic malts. You can taste lots of hops but they don’t overwhelm or detract… the sweet body shines here, lush and complex with a nice punch of alcohol heat.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and nicely sticky. Leaves a bit of heat on the tongue—like a sipping brandy—but very smooth and almost creamy.
Overall: Masterfully brewed and one of the best barleywines I’ve had lately.