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London Balling - Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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London Balling
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156 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 7.16%
Wants: 23
Gots: 15 | FT: 2
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: 156 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

LambicPentameter, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of PEIhop
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

PEIhop, Yesterday at 01:58 AM
Photo of RWNay
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

RWNay, Sunday at 10:31 PM
Photo of chrismattlin
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

chrismattlin, Sunday at 04:56 PM
Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev -4.5%

ElGallo, Sunday at 04:57 AM
Photo of braugon
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

braugon, Friday at 09:08 PM
Photo of wtkphoto
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

wtkphoto, Nov 20, 2014
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

belgbeerdrinker, Nov 19, 2014
Photo of mpayne5
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

mpayne5, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of Rogorama
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Rogorama, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of SportsandJorts
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a nice solid brown with some reddish hues to it. a finger or so of a tannish head with decent retention. leaves a small lacing. strong clarity.

Smell: bourbon, alcohol. rich sweetness coming from caramel malts and toffee. vanilla and maple syrup.

Taste: opens with a bourbon flavor with a strong vanilla character. oak flavor, along with a strong sweetness coming in waves. noticeably caramel, toffee and maple syrup. some noticeable strong barley character near the end along with a strong kick and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: medium body. some alcohol warmth. some silkiness. syrupy stickiness at times.

Overall: a very well done bba barleywine. great base beer and a good addition of a bourbon character. great vanilla and oak character. Definitely worth a try but has some tough competition in its category.

SportsandJorts, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of Impfan
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Impfan, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of Duff27
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%

Duff27, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of ystazi
4/5  rDev -4.5%

ystazi, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of lakersfan16
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

lakersfan16, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of justme
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

justme, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of barczar
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%

Very boozy, sweet, treacle aroma, with toasted oak notes, and hints of raisins. Flavor reveals a very sweet backbone, with huge caramel tones, and a moderately bitter, oaky finish. Bourbon notes and vanilla add complexity. Dates dominate the profile. The oak in the finish provides nice balance. Should age well. I'd like more complex dark fruit character.

barczar, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of Rihup
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Rihup, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of EZEKIEL_F
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%

EZEKIEL_F, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of Lare453
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Lare453, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of rspauldi
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

rspauldi, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of KevSal
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

KevSal, Nov 11, 2014
Photo of mattvandyk
4/5  rDev -4.5%

mattvandyk, Nov 10, 2014
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London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
93 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.