Thursday, December 1, 2011

Griffin's Bow

Today I'm drinking Griffin's Bow, an Oaked Blonde BarleyWine Ale brewed by The Boston Beer Company in Boston, Cincinnati or Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. This is the third beer I've had in this new experimental series. I thoroughly enjoyed both The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock and Tasman Red IPA, both within the past week. Here's for rooting to keep the streak alive!

The label depicts a griffin shooting an arrow with his bow. So as weird as that whole idea may be, at least the beer name is right on target. Big 22 comes in the interestingly shaped 22 ounce bottle, just like its cousins and gives a lot of descriptions about the malts and hops while including a story to set expectations on the back. This is Batch No. 1 of this beer and Sam Adams suggests you drink now or age it to develop further rich and unique flavors.

Sweet honey, fruity pineapple and orange citrus aroma. Very nice. Very sweet tropical fruits spare no other flavors in the beginning of this beer. Tangerines, peaches, apples, etc. Hello, oaky wood flavors. I guess I should have read the label before I started drinking you, as I was warned. But holy moly oak tree beer!

More sweetness in the form of toffee and pure sugar and candy corn and... yes, that's it, HONEY! Wowza. A slight amount of black peppery spiciness and faint hoppy citrus do try to make some difference in this beer's balance, but barely scratch the surface.

I can't believe I haven't told you about the other MAJOR factor in this beer yet. The 11.5% alcohol is hot and boozy and seemingly has a direct path right to the blood stream. Heavy and sticky, thick body. Good carbonation. Now I will say that the beer got a little better with some warmth but it was hard to overlook the (almost sickly) sweet malty thick flavors. In addition, the wood was pretty damn annoying after less than half the bottle and the alcoholicness was unjustified!

I can't recommend you buy or drink this beer. There are just way too many other barleywines and beers that are enjoyable. No, I didn't finish it, though I easily could have--it wasn't that unenjoyable. If the beer cost more, I'd have forced myself to finish.


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