Fred From The Wood

12 oz bottle from a recent trade. 2008 vintage.
Pour is a surprisingly light, golden orange body with creamy spotty head. Better head than I had expected considering the ABV and the style. Very lively, bright and impressive appearance for a beer of the style and with some age on it.
Nose has a large sweet element amongst the very rounded, soft bourbon element.
Tastes are an interesting amalgam of English and American Barleywine style. English seems to dominate for me at first with plenty of sweetness upfront. Strong brown sugar character and lots of sweet, mild bourbon tastes. After that, and in the back end, there is a more pronounced American element with some dry tobacco, greater alcohol, some mild burn and then some distinct hop bitterness. Oak is pretty subtle, or at least as subtle as any such beer is ever likely to get. Smooth. Honey builds and comes with a touch of champagne dryness.
Despite this, overall the beer really does seem mild, sweet and somewhat atypical for an American version of a barrel-aged beer of ANY description.
Overall I was surprised at the gentle touch this beer had. Normally I’m not a fan of either American Barleywines or oak-aged beer, but this pulls it off nicely with a with a subtlety that is unusual.
I would definitely pair this with some cheese and crackers and almost any cheese would work for me,

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11/17/2009
Format:
bottle
ABV: 10.0 %
Appearance: 4.5
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 4.5
Smell: 4.5
Overall: 4
Total: 4.18
Series Name:
Year:

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