May 8, 2015

Beer Review: Sleeping Warrior Barleywine from Isle of Arran Brewery

The folks at Isle of Arran were kind enough to send over a sample bottle of their barleywine, Sleeping Warrior. At 8.3% ABV, it’s on the low side of alcohol spectrum for the style, especially for what us Americans are used to.

330 ml bottle. No date. Prob about a year old?

App: Garnet with beige head. Good retention with clinging Belgian lace

Aroma: Raisins, nougat, a fruity apricot fusel presence. Reminds me of a slightly aged Westy 12.

Taste: Quite bitter. Malt presence is somewhat restrained, but comes forward in a fig newton biscuity way. Alcohol presence is still a bit astringent at this phase.

Mouthfeel. Medium fullness, though a bit low for the style. Medium low carbonation. Warming alcohol presence.

Overall: Enjoyable. However, a bit conflicted on its cellar potential. The alcohol presence will mellow and add some complementary aldehydes (sweet), and the hop bitterness will fade to come more in line with the overall profile, but the low residual sugars area bit worrisome as the beer will only get thinner. The fruitiness of the nose, pushes me to say it’d be worthwhile.

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