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London Balling - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Not Rated.
London Balling
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 5.76%
Wants: 12
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
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: 73 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TMoney2591:
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TMoney2591

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at Green Lady.

Must...resist...making...Clash...joke... Whew, that was harder than it should have been... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear garnet topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet caramel, sweet toffee, light oak, light walnut, mild vanilla bean, and a hint of dark fruits in the background. Everything coalesces amiably around a thin core of mild booze. The taste brings in more of the same, with a bit of bourbon, a heightened sense of fruitiness, and some added sweetness from a buttercream character. Damn, this is some tasty shit! The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a very nice b-wine, possibly the best AtG has made (at least from the selection we've received here in Chicago thus far). Get some.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2012 20:37:39 | More by TMoney2591
More User Reviews:
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jbriggs7

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

07-14-2014 16:34:37 | More by jbriggs7
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DanGeo

Michigan

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-26-2014 12:08:39 | More by DanGeo
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Holland

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-24-2014 02:57:20 | More by Holland
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JamesStreet

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-14-2014 14:11:00 | More by JamesStreet
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ncstateplaya

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-12-2014 19:20:18 | More by ncstateplaya
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LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2014 06:31:31 | More by LambicPentameter
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Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-05-2014 19:43:37 | More by Davepoolesque
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szmnnl99

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

05-23-2014 02:05:25 | More by szmnnl99
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nicole309

Alaska

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

05-18-2014 18:14:21 | More by nicole309
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CDCNAM

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -4.1%

05-13-2014 23:37:07 | More by CDCNAM
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moarmare

Missouri

4/5  rDev -4.1%

04-30-2014 13:15:03 | More by moarmare
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phishbfm

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

04-29-2014 16:59:43 | More by phishbfm
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Kmlund

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -4.1%

04-29-2014 16:32:52 | More by Kmlund
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threedaggers

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

04-28-2014 00:37:46 | More by threedaggers
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ralerwen

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

04-24-2014 23:16:42 | More by ralerwen
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gillagorilla

Maryland

4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 06:43:17 | More by gillagorilla
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billyshears

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

04-19-2014 16:39:45 | More by billyshears
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Zimm

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

04-18-2014 16:01:25 | More by Zimm
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DRBiser

Maryland

4/5  rDev -4.1%

04-18-2014 13:53:21 | More by DRBiser
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Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

04-17-2014 20:45:18 | More by Hopheadjeffery
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iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

04-14-2014 21:58:20 | More by iL0VEbeer
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Tone

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, liquor, wood, yeast, and slight dry hops. Fits the style of an English Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of liquor, alcohol, sweet malt, slight hops, sight roasted malt, and slight wood. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2014 16:19:25 | More by Tone
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trevor_s

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

04-14-2014 01:17:42 | More by trevor_s
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TheBrewo

Michigan

4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This brew was served on tap at One-Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, Michigan. It arrived in a generic stemmed tulip, showing a murky apricot coloring. It held a one and a half finger tall head of eggnog colored bubbles, showing nice retention into crystalline spider webs of lacing left around the glass. An intense haze cut clarity persistently, while no sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared to be light. The aroma gave notes of sourdough bread, thick ale yeastiness, and rye, pale, and amber malts, with sweeter caramel richness on the back as its grainy base. This was laid over with notes of authentic lemon juiciness, sharp booze that was only initially reminiscent of bourbon, soured wet oak, creeping moss, warm buttery diacetyls, airy sweetness of Vermont maple syrup, intense honey sugars, dryness of red wine grape skins without the fruitiness, and tannic leafy teas. With warmth came an enhancement of the booze to bring more burn, but of the harshest alcoholic cider. Our first impression was that that flavoring was beautifully warming, with sensational buttery representation of the barreling blending seamlessly with the base grain and sugars of the barleywine. As we sipped, the taste opened up with heavily fumy bourbon, rich roasty caramel and red maltiness, paper towel dryness, candied cane sugar, massive melted butters, steely metallics, big oaky depth, granite, and graphite. The middle came forward to meet, with a blend of cloying syrups of liquid caramel, tannic breakfast teas, mild cloven phenol, black pepper, citric and herbal hop bitters, deeper grainy roast of caramel and coffee maltiness, blackstrap molasses, and a shoe polish burn to transition us to the finish. The end followed with a final punch of big woody mossiness, with vanilla slick across its surface, with massively buttery diacetyls, spicy burn on bourbon, rich caramel sweetness, chalky yeast, cough syrup cherry depth, candied almonds, and butter-soaked doughnuts. The aftertaste breathed of heavy toffee stickiness, bitter oak barrel, musk and dust, echoing bourbon bite, massive vanilla bean, corn husk, ground lemon seed, burning sea salt, general rumbles of hollow chemical ethanol, and chalky English ale yeastiness. The body was full and chewy, while carbonation was higher, with a hearty, lingering prickle. Each sip afforded syrupy thick cream, slurp, smack, froth, glug, and pull to the finishing pop. The mouth was completely coated, with slow, eventual chalky bitterness. The abv was high, and it sipped appropriately.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this brew was the quality of the barreling throughout the flavoring. Top notch. The wood added undisputable authenticity of bourbon and heavy, heavy, heavy oakiness, both of which lent a balancing bitterness to the cloy of the malts and residual alcohol sugars. The nose and feel complement the taste well, comfortably marking this beer as a knockout. There are so many layers to the aroma, and it just becomes stickier and stickier with each passing moment. We also loved how it left your mouth both cleanly sweetened and dryly chalked, without offense from either the bitters of the cloy. This is a stellar English barleywine, and should be a foremost example, along with the likes of Artic Devil, of how to properly utilizing barreling.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2014 22:09:52 | More by TheBrewo
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London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
92 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.