When Shane and I were accompanied with a group of friends to the Stoudt’s Brewery tour, I ended up picking up a bottle of the Old Abominable Barleywine (Brewer’s Reserve). The Brewer’s Reserve from Stoudt’s is a chance for the brewmasters to give a twist to one of their signature beers. The brew came in a 750 ml bottle that is hand corked.
When I popped the cork off the bottle the aroma hits you quite nicely. There is a nice subtle hint of toasted hops along with a nice aroma of sweet caramel. I poured and shared this brew into two pint glasses. Each pour had a nice, dark caramel color with some amber hues. There was a nice two finger head which was fluffy and attempted to cling to the side of the glass.
The flavor was what one would expect from this traditional brew. It had a nice, medium caramel malt flavor, some earthy tones and a sharp bitterness from the hops. The maltyness that I referred too tries to be the predominant flavor but the hops come out and balance the flavor extremely well. I was impressed with the Barleywine, as it was nice and smooth for this style.
There was nothing that stood out to really set this beer apart from the competition. I personally felt that this is a solid recommendation for the Barleywine fan. Although, it’s not necessarily something I would order again myself.
Nick Robin is a Senior Writer for Passion Beer.
While studying in college, he learned to tune his palate in to well crafted beers, which never interfered with his studies. Now, he enjoys continually learning about anything and everything beer.