Troegs Brothers–Barleywine Time!

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March 14, 2013 by kylelecl

Hey guys, tonight I had the privilege of enjoying two varieties of the Troegs Brother’s brewery, one off the tap with lunch, and a session brew out of a 22oz Bomber I had after dinner for dessert. Now coming into today’s review I had only ever tried one Troegs beer, the Nugget Nectar Amber ale from the bottle, which I thought was fantastic.

Anyway I just had the Flying Mouflan so Ill start with that–

Not knowing too much about this beer when I purchased it was intrigued mostly by the brew type, a Barleywine. A friend from high school once told me of the barleywine style of brewing, but those were in my beer-drinking infancy days so I did not pay much attention to him. Now I know, however, that Barleywine beers are brewed in a similar fashion to English ales, however with higher gravity, so as to create a much higher alcohol content from 8-12% similar to wine in that fashion, but since it is grain and not fruit being fermented here it is dubbed Barleywine, as it is still considered beer.

Anyway I opened up my 22oz bomber of this Troegs rendition of Barleywine, and noticed a distinctive soy saucy aroma sneaking out and hitting my nostrils. Unfortunately for me I always have associated that very sharp soy sauce smell to stale or skunked batches of beer. However upon tasting this beer, I realized it wasn’t either of those things, instead the taste was that of an aged ale, super sweet and malty upfront, hints of caramel, chocolate, and very tart fruit. Poured out into my clean Tortuga’s Lie Pint (which is THE greatest Bar and Grill in the Outerbanks NC, owned and operated by my second cousin Richard and now featured on diners drive ins and dives! check it out if you’re ever down in NC!, the beer poured a beautiful deep dark amber, shone through ruby red in the light, nice color!DSCN0237[1]

Upon inspecting the bottle I realized the bottle date of this beer was August 2012. Upon further inspection I noticed the claim on the bottle was that the brothers were still incorporating the hoppy characteristic prevalent in all their other ales, along with the toasted malts, however I didn’t get much hoppy or floral aromas or tastes at all, in fact if anything there was a slight bitterness that I got on the back-end of my sipping that didn’t linger. What does linger on the palette is the extreme sweetness from the aged malt, aswell as slight caramel notes, not much coffee or chocolate, with a slightly strange fruit flavor that i couldn’t really identify, I thought grapefruit peel or something. The body of this beer is somewhere in between an IPA and an Irish stout, smooth yet still retaining some carbonation, a very strange combination, no crispness or refreshing qualities at all. I thought the over sweetness of this beer was interesting, perhaps a side effect of the high alcohol content 9.4% however this sweetness didn’t do much to hide the alcoholic essence of this brew, I feel as though it enhanced the boozy mouth feel and lingering tastes. Drinking the entire bottle however, I realized there was something in this brew that made me go back sip after sip after sip, and now I’m realizing it was the blending of   slight bitterness with extreme malty and fruitiness, that intrigued me and made me curious to try to discover more dimensions in each consecutive sip.DSCN0236[1] Ultimately however, the overbearing sweetness and clinging alcohol mouthiness of this Barleywine beer just didn’t impress me as much as I had hoped for this unique brew.  After reading other reviews of this beer, I noticed that most people allowed for the brew to age for atleast one year, which apparently reduces that stinging sweetness and opens up all those supposed flavors stated on the bottle’s back. For me though, I got a sole flavour and smell throughout super malty sweet, which I really dont care for so unless you have the time and patience to sit on this brew for a year or so I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to pick a bottle up, which will run you about 9 bucks for the 22oz bomber.

Overall Rating: 2.5 rotted malted chocolates out of 5

Thanks for reading, expect another Troegs Brothers review soon, and as always,


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