From Brewsters Brewing Company out of Calgary, Alberta comes their “Blue Monk Bourbon Barley Wine” a bottle from the 2016 vintage. The beer pours a deep copper colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of bourbon, oak, toffee, caramel, booze, candied sugar and dark fruits. The flavour is of bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, treacle, dark fruit, earth, mild roast and alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 11.8% with an IBU of 60. While I cant say that I have had a huge amount of Brewsters beers I feel comfortable saying this is the best beer that Brewsters makes. If you find this beer buy more than one bottle for sure!
Commercial Description: The 2016 edition of Blue Monk Barley Wine aged for 3 months in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. After a bit of research with the brewery I have found out that the barrels are a mix of Woodford Reserve and Heaven Hill Barrels.
From Brewsters Brewing Company out of Calgary, Alberta comes their “Blue Monk Barley Wine” a bottle from the 2016 vintage. The beer pours a deep copper colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of dark fruits, caramel, candied sugar and sweetness. The flavour is of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, candied sugar, earth, bitterness, resin and alcohol with a dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 10% with an IBU of 65. I am a massive fan of Barley Wine beers and this one hits all the notes. I would recommend this one to anyone.
Commercial Description: The monk represents discipline, respect and morality but that doesn’t mean he can’t indulge in a holy brew now and then. Blue Monk Barley Wine is an English style strong ale characterized by an intense, fruity flavour with notes of bread and toffee. Malt varietals include 2-Row, Carastan, Special B and Munich. Hop Varietals include Chinook, Magnum and Cascade.
From Halifax Nova Scotia’s Garrison Brewing comes their “Winter Warmer” 2016 Vintage. The beer pours a ruby red colour colour with a beige head. The aroma consists of cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, fruits, berry and some hops. The flavour is of strawberry, dark fruits, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, caramel, earth, bitterness and a dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 20. This one is not all that warming at 7% but I am quite enjoying the flavour anyways. Its been a while since I have had a beer from Garrison Brewing and I just don’t know why its been this long.
Commercial Description: This strong dark amber beer is brewed with spices evocative of the holiday season. It’s warming character makes it a great accompaniment on cold winter nights. Complex and inviting aromatics of strawberry jam, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar and molasses. Rich caramel avors dominate and persist through a warming nish; starts sweet with a touch of dryness followed by a snooth aftertaste of caramel and clove.
Food pairings as per brewery: A great compliment to rich and meaty dishes.
From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes the “Woolly Bugger Barley Wine” 2016 vintage. Once again Howe Sound has released this beer in a bomber opposed to a smaller bottle. The beer pours a deep reddish brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of dark fruits, toffee, caramel, brown sugar and some hops. The flavour is of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, earth, mild chocolate, bitterness, some pine and of course alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 11% with an IBU of 75. Woolly Bugger continues to be one of the best barley wines in the province and this year gives us a very tasty beer! I look forward to trying this against multiple vintages!
From Winnipeg Manitoba’s Half Pints Brewing Company comes their seasonal “Old Red Barn” 2016 Vintage a sour red ale. This beer was aged for two years in stainless and barrels. The beer pours a reddish brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of cherry, sour funk, oak, vanilla and some sweetness. The flavour is of cherry, oak, big acetic notes (quite sour), vanilla, sugar, red wine and a hint of vinegar. The alcohol content comes in at 6.4% with an IBU of 23. Having tried the original around three years ago I can say that they made a beer this beer to the same great standard. I wish they would release this far more often.
Commercial Description: The Old Red Barn is our first foray into the wild world of sour beers. This special ale is fermented with a mixed yeast culture that takes almost two years to produce all the complex flavours that you’re about to enjoy. Fermented in stainless then barrel aged for two summers, the beer reminds one of the sweet rewards of patience with cherry pie, vanilla, and almond aromas. the flavour is bracingly tart with a background of oaky vanilla and a low hops bitterness to accentuate the bready malts. Try it at 10C in a large Bordeaux glass, with a creamy, warm Swiss Raclette or buttered scones with sour cherry preserves.