21st Amendment Brewery – Lower De Boom Barleywine: I found a 4 pack of these 11.5% abv and 92 IBU cans hidden on a bottle shelf at a huge store (with a few others) just sitting there not looking like a typical barleywine. Needless to say I always try new barleywines, so split a 4 pack with my father and decided to crack one open last night to cure my insomnia (aka Starbucks Venti Latte at 7pm). I poured this into a snifter, let it warm to cask temperature and proceeded to sip away.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours an amber caramel colour with a thin layer of foam and some bubbles that can only be seen if you look at this beer from a birds eye view. The aroma is fruity maly, caramel, toffee, vanilla, dried apricot, prunes, dates and some booze.
Flavour: This has a very complex flavour profile again starting with fruity malt, booze and mango with a middle dominated by caramels, toffee and dates with a dry medium bitter brown sugar finish.
Overall Impression: Woah…some serious flavours going on here seriously good stuff. I really like the 8.4 oz can here, it allows a “serving” of beer but in barleywine form. It’s great to have 22 oz of lovely barleywine, but sometimes you don’t want 5 standard drinks in a bottle. I really commend them for this and hope to see more places go down that path. The 4 pack was $12.99 I believe, so for 32 oz of this stuff that’s a very good deal.
Rating: I gave it an awesome rating of 9/10, so very complex and would age well (even in a can).
Food Pairing: Go for some pancetta here, the salty cured meat would pair well with the dates and toffee flavours.
Will buy more and age, plus so easy to store because the cans are small I’ll buy a bunch!