Monday, December 9, 2013

John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale


Looking around the internets, I noticed that indeed I'm supposed to use the "John Barleycorn" signature on the beer label as part of the full name of this beer: John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale from Mad River Brewing Company. Looks like this is the 2012 version, though it was put on my local shelf on 11/12/13. Hmmm, too tired to do that research, let me know.

Around the label is a quote. "They let him lie for a very long time Till the rain from heaven did fall, Then little Sir John he sprang up again, And he proved them liars all." Wow, good for him! That passage surrounds the art on the label done by Julia Montgomery. It appears as though this Sir John is hiding in a cornfield while a crow watches on. Probably some symbolism this 11.1% beer is making me overlook at the moment.

Sweet maple syrup, toffee and lightly nutty aroma. Rich raisin and prune flavors meet a heck of an initial boozy wallop. Wow! Caramel and toffee come next, also rich and sweet. But that alcohol coupled with a good dose of hops take that edge off a bit. The alcohol, however, continues to be a little rough and hot on the palate and throat. Woody dry at the finish.

Nice flavors, big body, low carbonation. But that alcohol is too overbearing on an otherwise nice beer. Perhaps you cellar types would like this after a few years.

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