Monster Ale Barleywine 2007 Vintage – Brooklyn Brewery (Aged aprox 9 years 4 Months)


From Brooklyn Brewing out of Brooklyn New York comes their “Monster Ale” this bottle being a 2007 vintage Barleywine.  This bottle was opened on May 2nd 2017 making it in the neighborhood of 9 years and 4 months old if I assume the beer was released in December.  Unfortunately this beer was discontinued in 2013 after their cat named Monster passed away.  The beer poured a chestnut brown colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, brown sugar, sweetness and some mint.  The flavour is of chocolate, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, orange, sherry, mild resin, tannins and sweetness.  This beer coats your tongue with every sip.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.1% with an IBU of 47.  I am really bummed to hear of the demise of this beer as this close to 10 year old bottle tastes bloody amazing!

Commercial Description:  Brooklyn Monster Ale is a classic barley wine, a style of ale originally brewed by the butlers to the English and American aristocracy. It is brewed from three mashes of heirloom British malt and spiced with aromatic American Willamette, Cascade and Fuggle hops. After four months of aging, it has a magnificent burnished copper color, an aroma redolent of sherry, citrusy hops and fruit, a soft, warming, complex palate, a spiritous finish, and a strength of 10.3%. It is vivacious when young, but will age gracefully for many years, becoming more complex over time.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  Brooklyn Monster Ale is a fine accompaniment to a variety of cheeses (especially Gruyere, Stilton and aged cheddar), ice cream, flourless cakes, crème brulee and good cigars.

Here is my review of the same vintage from December 2012.

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FIG JAM IPA – Burleigh Brewing


From Burleigh Brewing in Burleigh Heads in Australia comes their “FIG JAM IPA”. In Australia FIG JAM is an acronym for Fuck I’m Good, Just Ask Me. Gotta love a cocky brewery!  The Beer pours a copper colour with a white head. The aroma consists of stone fruit, caramel and floral hops. The flavour is of brown sugar, caramel, sweetness, citrus, lemon, pineapple, stone fruit and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 70.  I quite enjoyed this and I am happy I got the chance to try it. I am glad my friends and family buy me Beer on their travels.

Commercial Description:  Traditionally, India Pale Ales (IPAs) were brewed extra strong and hoppy to last the long journey by boat from England to India. These days, we brew ours that way because we love it.  And, you know, for history and nostalia… The incredible balance of Burleigh Brewing FIGJAM India Pale Ale belies its 7.0% abv and 70IBU IPA statistics. The fine balance of malt, hops and alcohol is deftly managed through five separate hopping phases, delivering the classic IPA characters of floral hop aromas and a distinctive hop character on the finish. All the ‘punch’ of an IPA, carefully delivered with Burleigh Brewing’s trademark balance.

A.E. Cross Barley Wine Barrel Aged – Last Best Brewing & Distilling


From Last Best Brewing & Distilling in Calgary Alberta comes their second ever bottled beer the “A.E. Cross Barley Wine Barrel Aged” the second of their Lineage Series.  For the second release they split the beer into two versions one unoaked and then this one that was barrel aged for 10 Months in Alberta Rye Whiskey Barrels.  The beer pours a deep amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee and sweetness.  The flavour is of brown sugar, dark fruits, stone fruits, toffee, honey, oak, rye whiskey, sweetness, mild bitterness and some alcohol in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.8% with an IBU of 25.  Not having access to Last Best Brewing and having only tried their two barrel aged beers so far I have a very high opinion of this brewery so far.  This beer was very well crafted and amazingly full of flavour.

Commercial Description:  With our 2nd lineage release, we pay homage to a prairie legend with our riff on a classic style. The Alfred Ernest Goss Barley Wine uses locally sourced barley wheat, and rye as a fitting tribute to the founder of Calgary Brewing & Malting and the embodiment of the Last Best West.  We split this release into two: one unoaked and one aged for 10 months in 100% Alberta rye whiskey barrels Layered with subtle, integrated oak and a developing rye spiciness, this beer is characterized by its sweet caramel and barley malt base alcohol warmth, hints of dark fruit and a touch of light malted wheat Serve it at cellar temperature and age for years to come.

 

No 82 Amaretto Altbier – Doan’s Craft Brewing Company (Sons of Vancouver Distillery)


From Doan’s Craft Brewing Company in East Vancouver in collaboration with Sons Of Vancouver Distillery in North Vancouver.  This beer is a blend of Doan’s Altbier and Sons of Vancouver’s No 82 Amaretto and called “No 82 Amaretto Altbier”.  The beer pours a deep amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of honey, vanilla, caramel and apricots.  The flavour is of vanilla, honey, caramel, brown sugar and apricots.  The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 25.  While Doan’s Craft Brewing makes a tasty Altbier adding the Amaretto from Sons of Vancouver takes it to the next level.  This is a crazy good dessert beer without being really sweet.

Commercial Description: The story goes that Evan met James Lester from SOV back when the two were homebrewing funky beers. Evan, then working at Dan’s Homebrewing on Hastings, struck up a conversation with James. A few years later the two now small business owners were cheersing one day and thought it might be nice to collaborate on something. The idea was to fortify one of the Doan’s darker beers with the No.82 Amaretto. And so the Altaretto was born.  Releasing a subtle nuttiness from the Amaretto, the new beer is surprisingly well balanced with a great base provided by the German style pale that finishes with a light honey sweetness. Buy a pint at either the Brewery or at the Distillery in North Van.

Blue Monk Bourbon Barley Wine 2016 – Brewsters Brewing Company


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.

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