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Reviews for 2019

January 2019 - Best Barleywine & Best Winter Ale

January 2019 - Best Barleywine & Best Winter Ale
This month's Beer feature is Best Barleywine & Best Winter Ale

Best Barleywine & Best Winter Ale Reviews

Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. Black Sheep Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout
95 points
Dark brown color. Aromas of dried figs and dates, almond butter, pedro ximénez sherry, and caramel laden nuts with an oily, crisp, off-dry medium-full body and a smooth, complex, long chocolate covered espresso beans, blackened toast with butter, chicory, and tobacco finish. A rich, smoky, and mysterious oatmeal stout that goes down like some kind of silken tar of molasses and malt.
Lift Bridge Beer Company Commander Barrel-Aged Barleywine
93 points
Maroon color. Curious aromas and flavors of coriander, dark chocolate, marshmallow, thyme, and marzipan with a satiny, crisp, spritzy, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish evoking notes of toffee and carob finish. A distinctively herbal barleywine that will be a statement-making cheese pairing.
Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. Double Justice Imperial IPA
91 points
Copper color. Aromas and flavors of dried mango, coriander, peach, and carnation with a satiny, crisp, spritzy, dryish medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish that exhibits notes of fresh parsley, sourdough, and black tea finish. An assertive IIPA that hits the nail on the head; brawny yet balanced.
Vancouver Island Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Hermannator Ice Bock
89 points
Walnut color. Baked aromas of dried fruit, apricot studded challah, roasted nuts, and apple butter with a velvety, bright, spritzy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a warming, stimulating, medium-long malabar pepper, toasted chocolate muffin, and cream cheese frosting finish. A rich and smooth Eisbock for the winter months; warms one to the bone.
Brouwerij Van Steenberge Gulden Draak
88 points
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of cherry preserves on buttered toast, chamomile tea, candied almond, and banana with a satiny, vibrant, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, intricate, long candied ginger, baked stone fruit, flaky pastry, and toasted raisin bread finish. A cellarable barley wine with a nice spectrum of malty, complex spicy flavors.
Ohio Brewing Company Jingle Bell Ale
88 points
Red oak color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate covered pretzel, toasted coconut, sticky toffee pudding, and drinking custard with a velvety, bright, spritzy, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a polished, refreshing, medium-long finish. A sweet and festive winter ale packed with holiday confection; coquito flavors in a toasty brew!
Island Brewing Company Big Island Barleywine
87 points
Burnt sienna color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of orange oil, mango pit, and roasted and caramelized root vegetables with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, dryish medium body and a warming, amusing, medium-length finish revealing notes of allspice and gentian finish. A warming barley wine for hopheads.
OHSO Brewery Ales From the Crypt: Two Pump Chump Barrel Aged Pumpkin Ale
87 points
Dark mahogany color. Aromas of egg nog with nutmeg, tres leches cake, and chocolate covered cherry with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, buoyant cherry cola and gingerbread finish. A fun and festive Barrel Aged Ale that will be a sweet hit for the holidays.
Stanley Park Brewing Layer Up Winter Wheat Ale
87 points
Mahogany color. Aromas of blackberry jam, raspberry thumbprint cookie, sasparilla, and grape candies with a satiny, crisp, fizzy, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, quick kvass, mixed nuts, and wintergreen finish. A fruity beer for crowd-pleasing; a warming winter wheat ale.
NoDa Brewing Company Olde Voyager Port Barrel Aged Barleywine
86 points
Sunburst color. Aromas of fallen cherry, dried leaves, nougat, and ground coffee with a satiny, vibrant, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, medium marinated mushrooms, parker roll, cracked pepper, and oatmeal with brown sugar finish. A solid barleywine with a nice thread of peppy acidity.
Vancouver Island Brewing Misthorn Winter Amber IPA
85 points
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of fresh tangerine juice, ripe peach, fruit punch, and panettone with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, medium-length almond croissant finish. A flamboyant and fruity IPA with wide-appeal and in-check bitterness; akin to a radler.
Brouwerij Van Steenberge Gulden Draak Imperial Stout
84 points
Dark mahogany color. Aromas of fruitcake, bubblegum, rum-raisin, nutmeg, and spiced pumpkin with a satiny, bright, effervescent, very sweet medium-to-full body and a medium-length egg custard, nut shells, and parchment finish. A very sweet beer that might be a nice holiday desert pairing.
Narragansett Brewing Company Holiday Spiced Ale
84 points
Red oak color. Vegetal aromas of cabbage, cacao nib, tinned asparagus, and gingerbread with a silky, crisp, effervescent, dry light-to-medium body and a medium-length sourdough toast, pepper, shaved wood, and winter spices finish. A funky winter ale for the table.
NoDa Brewing Company Olde Voyager Cabernet Sauvignon Aged Barleywine
80 points
Copper color. Interesting aromas and flavors of mead, cedar, green apple candy, and tea leaves with an oily, bright, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, nuanced, medium-length finish that presents notes of stewed apricot, orange marmalade, mushrooms, parchment, and sherry finish. A fruity barley wine that could be a nice introduction to the category.
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