Thursday, December 9, 2010

Barely Wine (Trainwreck Barley Wine)

Not a wine as such, but alcohol level similar to wine, flavours vaguely reminiscent of wine and the ability to age for years, barley wine is indeed a beer.  Barley wine and I had our first encounter in Victoria, British Colombia circa 2007 at a little and awesome brew pub called Swans.  Since then we've had a few more passionate encounters, although not as many as I would have liked.  A beer for the true beer lover, a cross over drink that wine-o's and beer geeks can both rejoice in.  Barley wine is the uniter.

For those living in the Victoria or Vancouver area Phillips has recently released their 'Trainwreck' barley wine.  Based on the amount that the store I work at received (2 cases or 24 bottles) and the fact that the rep who dropped them off said that was all we are getting I urge any lover of beer within close proximity to go out today and buy a bottle(or two, one for drinking one for aging).  If you don't live around Victoria or Vancouver panic not.  There are a multitude of microbreweries and brewpubs that make their own, probably equally delicious, barley wine.  It's typically a seasonal release and most probably do it sometime around the winter season.  Because of it's richness and high alcohol it doesn't make for a very refreshing summer drink.

Producer: Phillips Brewing Co.
Beer: Trainwreck
Region: Victoria, British Colombia, Canada
Grain: Barley
Vintage: 2010
Alc: 10%
Price: $6

Notes: Delicious aromas of... beer, let's be honest no one spends much time smelling their beer*.  Flavours are about as complex as you will find in a beer with toffee, orange peel, malt, and some nice hops on the finish.  This is an Awesome beer.

* I once had the unfortunate experience of smelling a beer that had the aroma of a dirty armpit.  It was a big national brand brew, and I assure you was discarded immediately.  Should this happen to you please toss the offending beverage!

Looks like I managed to survive the night, my throat did not swell and I didn't go into anaphylactic shock.  Half the bottle that tried to kill me remains in my fridge for preservation, I don't know if I dare go for a second round...

If I can resist temptation, or manage to avoid anaphylactic shock for a second time a holiday celebration Prosecco is on the list for tomorrow, stay tuned.

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