Fans of the barley wine rejoice, for it is with this can of malty goodness that we conclude this months beer pack.
Todays barley wines generally fall into one of two categories. A traditional barley wine has its origins in 18th England, and is really all about the malt. Then we have the American barley wine, which is a more recent incarnation and hints at the extra use of hops; looking for much more hop character and bitterness than in a traditional barley wine.
With this beer, we have an American style, as the beer was dry hopped to add that extra bite and a little floral character to the aroma.
It pours a pretty thick, dark amber with a small head that settles quickly. On the nose there is the sweet malt character of caramel, toffee, burnt sugar and dried fruits. There is also a little citrus hint from the dry hopping.
This all follows through in the flavour. Sweet caramel malts, a little dried stone fruit, with a citrus hop bitterness cutting through the sweetness and drying out on the finish. For a big beer it drinks really smoothly, very much belying its name.