Helder from Black Eye Beer. We don't actually know each other very well, but chat back and forth about beers fairly regularly.
However, visiting his company website again today, I learned quite a bit more. Black Eye Beer is based in Boston and brews "Aggressive, Small Batch Beers". The company was built on Helder's home brewing experience. Personally, I can't wait to taste them!
The beer being reviewed today is from Uinta Brewing in Salt Lake City, Utah. I only recognize the brewery name and have never had any of their beers. Here you go!
Uinta Sixteenth Anniversary Barleywine
First of all, let it be known- I tend to prefer my barleywines on the hoppier side of the scale. In popping the top and pouring out this Uinta XVI it quickly became obvious I was in for a different experience. The first thing that strikes you when you smell this is the sweetness. The nose is full of caramel/toffee/molasses notes. Also pretty obvious are the aromas that will often result from a 10.4% ABV bad boy- the alcohol is there for sure. It's a good looking beer, a thin tan head that recedes into an ever present ring, leaving very little lacing (in my case at least).
The taste of this barleywine is actually pretty balanced. Again the caramel malt takes over with just a touch of hops bitterness to round out the palette. The alcohol burn is there for sure- this is no doubt a sipper. Hey- it's a barleywine, enjoy it, don't chug like a douche. As a matter of fact, sipping will pay dividends as I noticed the character of this beer change as it warmed. The flavor became "rounder", easing onto your tongue in a more mellow way with each passing sip..God I love craft beer. In terms of mouthfeel, we're not talking anything too thick here, despite the malt presence. The carbonation is low, but I wouldn't consider this to be a heavy beer-it's just right. Pick this one up..they come in 4's.. maybe even cellar one and see how it ages.