Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mad River's John Barleycorn Review

Mad River Brewing Company's John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale (2011 Vintage)
American Barleywine - 11.1% ABV
Purchased at: Weiland's
From: Blue Lake, California

Drink/avoid: DRINK

I just can't stay away from Mad River beers - they make good stuff! John Barleycorn barleywine is no exception. It's an ale fit for a king, or three.

If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be "bold." It's a bold copper-ruby color topped by a tan head that settles to a foamy top. Bold, hop-forward aroma. The aroma isn't so hoppy that it drowns out the barley, though.

My first impression of the taste is that's it's very smooth and balanced. Not as bitter as the nose suggests. The hops and malts are balanced superbly well. The bitterness only comes into play during the finish. The malts are just a little toasty, and the hops are more on the spicy end.

This is a great wintertime beer, because the alcohol heat (11%) is hidden very well. It gave me some warmth on this brisk early spring day, but not quite enough. Wish I'd bought another!

Appearance: 2.5/3
Aroma: 3/4
Hop/malt balance: 4/4
Mouth feel: 2.5/3
Finish: 2.5/3
Overall: 2.5/3
Total: 17/20

Watch for another update later tonight!

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