OK, a ‘Black Barleywine’ brewed by an American brewery is frankly unlikely to be a beer that I fall in love with, so for that reason I decided to sit on this one for a while.
I’ve had it since it first came to Georgia, so a decent amount of time on it now. Opening corked & caged affair gives a pretty alarming pop with some good gun smoke.
A really dark chestnut colored pour that reminds me of the most mature conkers that I had as a kid. A thin, creamy film/cap forms on the beer as things settle down and some mocha like lace attaches self to the inside of the Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs goblet.
A somewhat bready, chocolately nose that has a grain character as well. The grain/cereal notes are carried forward to the taste. the beer drinks with a dry bitterness that one would expect from the style, and finishes a little burned. The grainy notes are surprisingly evident and there’s a strange build up of warming alcohol at the end of the beer. The beers a little thin and lacks presence for me. Not an entirely aggressive beer by the standards often set by the style, but nevertheless it still offers the rough edges and lack of refinement that is commonplace in this style.