Monday, February 14, 2011
Barley Wine for Monday
I have not had a lot of experience with the Barley Wine style of ale and recently found a seven ounce bottle of Rogue’s Old Crustacean and brought it home. I did look up an explanation of the style in a few of my various beer books and learned that Barley Wine is to ale as Malt Liquor is, supposedly, to lager. (Malt Liquor is no longer a higher gravity version of lager as the name once implied.)
The Old Crustacean pours clear and coppery. It looks like southern sweet tea but smells of hops and nuts. The first sip is all Rogue, full of hoppy flavor. The sour, alcoholic taste reminds me of the citrus hops flavor of Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard Ale. I can feel the alcohol, 11% ABV, after the first few sips.
This seven ounce sample of Barley Wine is just enough to reintroduce me to the style. Barley Wine is not an everyday beer style, rather an untraditional beer to be reserved for more traditional special occasions. I give Rogue Old Crustacean a five out of five pints as a drink to celebrate weddings, holidays, promotions, births or political over throw; Viva Egypt!