London Balling - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tut2528:
4.55/5 rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from growler into a snifter. Pours a deep caramel-like brown with about 1/2 fingers worth of head formation.
S: huge toffee/caramel notes, vanilla is present as well as some slight hops. Alcohol is also noticeable. A sweet oaky character balances out the beer quite nicely.
T: sweet sugary toffee/caramel, oak and vanilla are all very bold in this brew. alcohol is well hidden for the most part behind the sweetness but still detectable, and there is some mild dark fruit notes as well.
Overall, I really enjoyed this brew. The drinkability is rather high and since the alcohol is well hidden it quickly sneaks up on you. By no means is this a King Henry, but a growler for ~$10, this is awesome. Complexity is very well balanced.
Serving type: growler
04-01-2012 19:18:44 | More by tut2528
More User Reviews:
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
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.
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 +0.2%
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
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
London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
92 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.