BC Beer Bloggers Local Winter Favourites – This special review is part of a multi-blog collaboration between five BC Beer Bloggers (including a guest from over the mountains in Alberta) where we each chose our top three local winter releases and are blogging about them. Please take a look at the bottom of this review for the other links to see all the beers we chose in no particular order and bookmark these sites so you can check them often. I chose this particular beer for many, many reasons as I can honestly say it is one of the best Barleywine’s I have ever had. Back before they had their big brewery, the bottle release of this (if it was bottled) was very rare so the only way I could bring this beer home was to trek out the brewpub on Christmas Eve during the only time they would fill growlers of this and fill as many as I could carry to have enough for the next couple of days of holidays. This a monster beer at 11.5% abv, it’s awesome to have that much of it but I prefer to have some bottles I can ration out a little more which I now have the opportunity to do so.
Central City Brewing Thor’s Hammer: Is a Barleywine brewed in Surrey, BC at a strength of 11.5% abv and is typically matured for almost a year before it is released so it has some time to mellow and clean itself up. Likely, they are currently brewing next year’s batch if they haven’t finished it already. I really like it when breweries so this as Barleywines often come out of the fermenter a little hot from an abv perspective whereas this one is quite drinkable.
Aroma and Appearance: From a gold wax sealed bottle, it pours a cloudy brown colour with some orange tones, almost no foam yet some sporadic small carbonation bubbles. The aroma is complex, with raisins, malty sweet toffee, plums, leather, vanilla bean and hints of booze.
Flavour: There is a very complex malt profile up front, with loads of malty fruity sweet toffee and plums that attack your palate. In the middle is a array of mellowed bourbon like booze, with vanilla, nuts, leathery earth and molasses finally finishing with a wood resin slightly dry bitterness that just begs to be replaced with more of this stuff.
Overall Impression: This is one of those beers that pauses the world for you when you take a sip so that for a brief period of time all you can focus on is the beer. What’s crazy is that they have a Bourbon Barrel aged release coming soon too, I had it on cask at the BC Beer Awards and it was outstanding albeit powerful.
Rating: I give it an awesome and a half rating of 9.5/10 , very complex and enjoyable now while some age will really give it some unique character.
Food Pairing: A super rich moldy cheese, the best I’ve had was Blue Stilton which brought both of these to new levels of amazingness.
Gary Lohin breaks this beer down in an older video before they had the big brewery, talking about how these beers tend to be at their best after 3-4 years of aging if not more.
Participating Bloggers: be sure to check them daily, I’ll add in their links as they go up!
West Coast Beer Geek – A beer geeks perspective on craft beer, beer events, beer pairings and more.
Mike’s Craft Beer – Not for the weak of taste buds. Lots of great beer reviews, brewery reviews and events on this site.
Dennis the Foodie – Weaving a personal story of food and beer in Vancouver, BC. Very thorough food reviews, great photos and beer pairings.
Western Suds – An Alberta craft beer blog written by a craft beer enthusiast and ambassador for the growing Alberta craft beer scene.
Beer Rater – A beer guide without all the fluff, just some straight forward drinking advice.
How to stay tuned into what we are doing? Look for the hashtag #bcbeerbloggers as we will be using it a lot. Please engage us in conversations, enjoy our posts, try these beers and share our work if you like it.