London Balling - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Not Rated.
London BallingLondon Balling

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

175 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 175
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 6.67%
Wants: 23
Gots: 14 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
English style barleywine brewed with Maris Otter pale, Aromatic and caramel malts, then balanced with English Nugget and Kent Goldings hops. Aged in Angel's Envy bourbon barrels for nearly 3 months.

(Beer added by: JDizzle on 03-01-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City. Poured into a small round tulip glass with no flaring on the lip.

Appearance - Pours a ruddy brown that gives the impression of red clay and is hard to see through due to some murkiness. Atop the body sits a small half finger of beige colored head that dissipates pretty quickly to a ringlet of foam around the edge of the glass, with just a smattering of soapy bubbles on one side of the glass. Lacing is pretty nonexistent.

Smell - Lots of notes of sweetness and grain, with contributions of rich caramel, light molasses, vanilla, and even some syrupy characteristics, like sweet sorghum. There is also a bready presence beneath the sweetness, but it's not savory enough to overtake the dominant notes of sweet. The bourbon and wood components are faint, with just a hint of heat and a touch of oak from the barrel.

Taste - The overarching sweetness from the aroma continues along through the taste, with more syrup, caramel and vanilla on the tongue. Brown sugar and toffee come through on the aftertaste a little more, with a slight bitterness like burnt sugar providing some depth of flavor alongside hazelnut and almond notes. The grain is aggressive enough to be present, but not overpowering, with undertones of toasted barley and rye bread. Please to say that there is a bit more mustiness from the oak, riding on a breeze of vanilla and tannins, with just a touch of boozy heat on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate to low carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel, but not unpleasant. Lingering sweetness and some viscosity.

Overall, a very good take on the style. There is just enough barrel aging to impart the vanilla and bourbon characteristics, but without drowning out the base barleywine. The sweetness is pleasant and not cloying, enticing swallow after swallow. I will say that the 80 IBUs surprises me on this one, but perhaps that's the key to preventing a sweet beer from becoming overly so.

More User Reviews:
Photo of braugon
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of mikejonze
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of jeonseh
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap and served in a snifter

A - Has a deep brown and burgundy color with a small white head. Light carbonation and a nice clean body. Appears to have a bit of a thin body for the style - 4

S - Light hints of vanilla, toffee, light dates, oak, oats, and cherry. Definitely can tell the bourbon influence on this one. As it warms up, you really get the bourbon presence in it - 4

T - Get hints of vanilla, dates and a slight cherry bourbon aspect to it. Get a nice caramel and toffee in there as well. In the finish, get slight lemon peel, oak, and definitely a slight alcohol presence in the finish that gives it a warming quality. I can see the Angels share presence in this one as it gives it a slight dark fruit presence. Has a complex aspect to it as each sip brings a slightly different flavor - 4.5

MF - Has a nice stickiness to it in the mouth but manages to not be cloying. Light carbonation that goes well. Has a slight bite to it near the end and a light lingering alcoholic bite that sits on the tongue post finish. - 4

O - A solid beer from Against the Grain that makes me want to try to find more of their beers. Has a great smell and a complex flavor profile. I would like it to be just a bit smoother. Like that it takes a strong presence from the bourbon barrel - 4

Photo of justme
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of JamesStreet
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

12 oz bottle ( I think...small and fat) into snifter

A- Dark brown, but still able to see through it... a bit like dark iced tea. No head
S- Big bourbon nose. Like smelling a shot of bourbon or a fresh barrel. Oak, booze, smoke
T - A lot like it smells. Sweet malts that work with the sweetness of the bourbon. Oakiness is great. Nice finish
M- Medium.

O- Nice suprise on this one. Picked it up at Bo & Luke day 2014 from AtG.

Photo of woodchip
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of sourman
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of BigJim5021
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gr8zehaman
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of richj1970
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of JSBILK
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Kmlund
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of rhynosorus
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Photo of gillagorilla
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample had at Max's during their Rare & Obscure Festival (from notes, 4/17/14)

A: Dark amber copper brown. Consistent head and lacing that is quite thick.

S: Sweet with some light roasts.

T: Nice even barrel flavors here. Prevalent whiskey but melds well with the rest of the beer. Quite warming. Light roast and slightly sweet with lots of barrel.

M: Smooth.

O: This was some good stuff and my first beer of the festival. Very good use of the barrel and not overpowering.

Photo of nnutthowze09
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a brandy snifter at Green Lady.
Review from quick written notes.

The beer has a dark reddish brown color with a thin layer of white foam on the surface. After five minutes or so, it breaks to a thin surface veil with minimal spotty lace. Looks the part of a barrel-aged barleywine...

Sweet toffee, caramel, and vanilla in the aroma, sweet with some depth to it. Rich toffee flavor punctuated by an odd sweet candy note like gummy fruit. To be hyper specific: raspberry "Nordic Sweets Forest Berries" gummy candy ... strange. Could be the port sweetness coming through possibly. Smooth feel, rich and not overly cloying, but the candy note is ever present. Dry malty finish. Worth a try, though the flavors didn't really coalesce to me.

Photo of johnjohnbeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of bigaddy
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
93 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.