London Balling | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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London BallingLondon Balling

Brewed by:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

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.

Added by JDizzle on 03-01-2012

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Ratings: 385 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of sourman
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of bgold86
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Braden
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of starshark
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Czequershuus
4.96/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark and hazy reddish brown. The aroma is so tantalizing a swear I spent over a minute before drinking. I get chocolate, nuts, toffee(almost a snickers bar here), raisin, black currant, sour blackberry, chocolate malt, and prune. The flavor is much simpler and more concentrated than the aroma, but no less enticing. It leads with a srt of bread pudding flavor, replete with caramel, toast, toffee, and dark fruit. The feel is rich and creamy, but my only complaint is in does leave rather a sugary afterfeel. Overall this is an awesome beer, one just to sink into as the weather starts to cool.

 613 characters

Photo of Cheezus
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of boomecho
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JakeBarnett
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

4.81/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of chrismattlin
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of CerealKillerKP
4.79/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Impfan
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of khargro2
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of otrejo
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of woodychandler
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The CANQuest (tm) has fallen behind in its stated mission, acCANulating a backlog that is embarrassing. It will take a CANcerted effort on my part, but I would like to get caught up. Such is life on The CANQuest (tm)!

From the CAN: "Balls Deep! Big, ballsy, barmy and barrel aged. London [B]alling is not typical. It[']s a skirmish of flavor. The barrel imparts oak and vanilla, mixed with the caramel sweetness from a malt bill with brick, that'll knock your bloody bollocks around. Hey bloke? ... fancy that, and you'll be gobsmacked."

The Crack! unleashed a spray of foam, whether from being overly full or just highly pressurized, it gave me a surprise. Color was Copper-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity & I CANnot imagine a more beautiful example. Nose smelled like loads of oak, treacle, vanilla, caramel, walnuts & fusel alcohol. Oh my. Mouthfeel was beyond thick and full. It was downright syrupy! The taste was really oaky, initially, but then the caramel and nuttiness got a turn. To me, this is a Barleywine! I get the idea of super-hopped AmeriCAN Barleywines, but this is what I think of when it comes to the style. Loads of caramel malt with flavors of barrel aging. Phew, but this one was big! The heat of the fusel alcohol was the part that was making it tough for me. Otherwise, it tasted (& felt) like flan (caramel pudding), which was even more amazing! I took Advanced Foods in HomeEc in high school and we got to devise really decadent meals. I made a kick-ass flan that really garnered rave reviews and this was very reminiscent of that dessert. It was absolutely hot & sweet and I have no idea that it would age CANtastically, but I wanted to add mine to The CANQuest (tm) sooner, rather than later. If I CAN score another one, it will go into the basement, but I have no regrets. Finish was dry, if hot is CANsidered "dry". Jeez-O, man, this left me gasping for breath & grasping for the fire extinguisher! Wheee. I may need to wrap it up. Warming, it really took on a great coconut flavor! Double wow!

 2,045 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.66/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brown murkiness with a thin head. Wonderful smell of Carmel malt and bourbon. The fast is very much enhanced with the bourbon as it accentuates the dark fruit, Carmel malts, and vanilla. As the beer warms, the hop and bourbon bite become bigger. A great beer.

 278 characters

Photo of gobuccos
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EdgarGerik
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MizzouBeerNerd
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Doublechar0517
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of rob_o_rob
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Spikester
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with one finger of bone color head.
Smell is vanilla oak and alcohol.
Taste is vanilla oak and medium bitterness.
Mouthfeel is medium to full with good carbonation. Finish is dry and lightly bitter.
Overall a fine beer. Is it worth $12 for a pint can? Well compared to the Goose Island biggies it is right in line with those heavy hitters.

 350 characters

Photo of sendbeer
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 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.

 740 characters

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London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
4.17 out of 5 based on 385 ratings.
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