A 330ml bottle with a BB of July 2020. Acquired ages ago from the Brewdog webshop and stored in a cupboard - let's see how it ages. As always this beer was created through crowd-sourcing; the result in 2015 was a black, US-hopped barleywine.
A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. A very dark brown hue that appears pitch black in the glass. Produces a large head of creamy light-brown foam that persists for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer.
S: Aroma of rich dark malt with hints of roasted grain, molasses, liquorice, pine resin, subtle weed, vanilla, faint coffee, ale yeast and a warming whiff of booze. Complex and delicious - very nice.
T: Tastes of robust dark malt with notes of roasted grain, molasses, pine resin, mild weed, subtle coffee, a hint of chocolate, vanilla, vague liquorice, ale yeast and a lingering boozy finish. A powerful, malty bitterness upon swallowing. Fantastic.
M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and great body. Aftertaste of bitter roasted malt, subtle pine resin, molasses and yeast.
O: A superb brew that seems to have aged really well. I suspect that this may have been aggresively hoppy when fresh, but now it slides down like a dream. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour are a balanced blend of dark malt notes, pine-laden hops and yeast. Lovely silky body. Simply excellent - if you happen to have one in your possession it's drinking well now.
330ml bottle from Brewdog.com (£3.20):
A very nice Brewdog beer, maybe not quite as good as their 2014 edition of this one but good nonetheless. To be honest I was expecting something a little more from this one, particularly given it was so strong but it didn't quite match up with some of the other strong Belgian beers I sampled over Christmas really; hopefully the 2016 edition will be more like 2014 but either way this was still a great beer.
Dark brown color with milk chocolate head. Aroma has nice chocolate and caramel notes with a fresh thang probably coming from the hops. Taste starts quite balanced with chocolate, dark fruits, nuts and in the finish it gets bitter with deep roasted coffee notes. Medium-heavy body with a appropriate amount of carbonation. Doesn't feel like a barleywine but it's a quite good imperial stout.
A: Black with a quickly dissipating head which reduces to a small rim.
S: Piney hops.
T: Bitter innitially, then pungent liquorice punches through. Very bitter actually. It's a strong black IPA. The orange marmalade becomes apparent after not long. Much better when close to room temperature, by which time I'm half sozzled.
M: Rather fizzy, leaves a little to be desired.
O: Pretty good.
Poured into english pint.
Jet black opaque beer with excellent 2 finger tan head, good retention and laces.
Aroma - american hops at first, pine, mango, citrus, roasted malts (not very wide spectrum, but assertive), toffee.
Taste - nice hybrid of american hop characters, roasted stout tones and common barleywine maltiness, both bitter and malty. Nice and weird try!
Poured in a teku glass from 330 ml bottle. Well, this is a quite confusing specimen. No liquid has ever been less transparent than this. Pure black. The head is the color of brown sugar and does not take a long time to dissipate. The smell is pretty weird for the "style". This thing has a very hoppy aroma, earth types, only a faint malt backbone (strange for a barleywine) and some mango, or even blood orange juice, timidly appearing from the distance. The taste is pretty much in line with the aroma, maybe a little bit hop forward but not very dry, quite bitter and lasting on tongue for a long long long time. The mouthfeel is relatively rich but all these notes are fighting against each other! Well, I got that the beer is experimental and everything, but this unicorn is a punch in the face to harmony. However, it still is a quite enjoyable, even if unidentifiable, type of beer/experience. Let's see what the next polls suggest next year.