Blind Pig Winter Barleywine | The Blind Pig Brewery

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Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 4
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American Barleywine | 10.00% ABV

The Blind Pig Brewery
Illinois, United States

Notes: Winter availibility. 
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 4
Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color. Nearly opaque. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. The foam sticks around as a collar, and leaves lots of spiderweb looking lace behind.
S: At first some resiny and oily hops. Though that quickly fades to sweet malt. Dark fruits, and lightly toasted malt. Very nice.
T: This is great. A quick flash of hops that fade to a great toasted malt flavor. Chocolate and toffee Dark fruits of cherries and raisins. Finishes slightly bitter. Very complex and excellent.
M/D: A full body that well carbonated. Not overly effervescent, and not under carbonated at all. Very rich, creamy, and smooth. Easy to drink for the huge alcohol. Very easy to sip on.

A great Barleywine. Lots of complexities, but great balance as well. This brewery continues to make great beers. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got the e-mail update on this and, after showing movies tonight to fellow workers, had to stop by the wonderful Blind Pig Brewery for some sampling.

One and one-half fingers of moderately tan froth top a murky chestnut brown body with ruby trim; lovely lacing and durable foam make this a treat to visualize. For all the advertised hops, this did not deliver a big nose; not close. Modest floral notes and some roasted caramel malt greet the nose, but this could use a considerable upgrade in the smell.

The taste, on the other hand, packs a big hop punch, making it all the more mysterious that, for all the hop taste, this had such an understated nose. The Cascade, Simcoe, and Horizon provide a very floral taste, rather citrusy with some berry, and just as importantly they blend very nicely with the roasted malts--caramel and dark chocolate especially. Very delicious, unexpectedly sweet barleywine.

Combined with that sweetness, the lack of a beefy hop texture to this sweet but potent barleywine might put off those who expect a burly beer. Winter barleywine has plenty of heft, but it is tucked away behind a sweet, fruity taste and smooth texture. Old Ruffian in taste but especially texture, this assuredly is not. But in its distinct way, this is very impressive, drinking more like a good winter warmer than a barleywine, especially given the high ABV--10%. The first one went down so smoothly that I immediately ordered a second, not only to confirm the hunches of my taste buds, and not only to enjoy another fine, locally brewed beer, but also because this was TOO easy-going the first time. Be forewarned, Winter Barleywine is a little sneaky.

And, despite some unevenness in aroma and texture, this might be the best beer that the Blind Pig has brewed; certainly in their top three. A creative, thoroughly enjoyable take on American barleywine, WB is more than worth dropping by the BP Brewery. Get it while it lasts and, if I get the chance to drop by soon, Winter Barleywine might not last too much longer.

Dangerously good.

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Blind Pig Winter Barleywine from The Blind Pig Brewery
Beer rating: 0 out of 100 with 4 ratings