- Style: Barleywine
- Serving: Bottle
- Volume: 22 oz
- ABV: 11.50%
Barleywines can be hit or miss for me, I either love it or can do without it. When you get a good Barleywine it hits all the perfect notes and you just want more of it. Sam Adam’s most recent entry in the world of Barleywines is the Griffin’s Bow, which is an 11.5% ABV oak-aged Barleywine. Promising notes of honeysuckle, pineapple, brown sugar, and toffee, it looks good on the outside.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the Griffin’s Bow has an orange copper color with a thick two finger head that dissipates about half way through with minimal lacing. It has a good aroma that is a pleasant mixture of oak, citrus, sweet malt and a bit of booze.
There’s a lot of oak on the first taste with a good hint of alcohol, the 11.5% ABV is only slightly masked. Diving in a little deeper elements of caramel, toffee and sweet malt hit you. The oak plays nicely with the other elements but isn’t the main selling point. The citrus fruits and sweet malt that work with the alcohol are great and make it so I don’t mind the alcohol kick so much. It has a medium mouth feel with some carbonation to liven things up a little bit.
I feel like I should have let this one sit a little more to let the alcohol mellow out, even though it plays nicely with the other flavors. Although it did feel like the flavors were a bit disjointed and didn’t work together as they should – another issue that could potentially be solved by aging. I did enjoy the beer but it’s certainly not a Barleywine that I would reach for right now. I’ll have to pick up another bottle and age it to see what happens.
out of 100
Mike Hoff is a Senior Writer for Passion Beer.
He is always seeking out the new, weird and wonderful in the world of beer. When he is not writing for the site, you can normally find him with a camera around his neck and a beer in hand.