London Balling - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 13 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by emerge077:
3.88/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
Serving type: on-tap
09-08-2012 19:05:18 | More by emerge077
More User Reviews:
4.01/5 rDev -4.1%
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.
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
4.18/5 rDev 0%
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
4.36/5 rDev +4.3%
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
London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
92 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.