Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old Blarney

Old Blarney is an American Barleywine brewed by Moylan's Brewing Company of Novato, CA.

While the term Barleywine dates to 1903 and Bass brewing's description of one of their early beers, the style itself dates back to the origins of modern brewing.

Barleywine is basically a really high ABV ale which came out of the first mashing of grains. The first mash produced the most sugar and thus the most alcohol. This was used for what we now call Barleywines. The grains would be reused to make lighter beers with lower ABV and flavor. The term for this is Parti-gyle brewing.

I bought this at the brewery in Novato. It has an ABV of 10%.

The beer pours a dark amber with a thin, off-white bubbly head that leaves very little lacings. The aroma has an assertive sweet dark chocolate aroma, with whiffs of dark fruit and alcohol. The taste has notes of sweet chocolate, dark fruits upfront followed by roasted malts. The finish finally reveals the big ABV with a smooth but distinct alcohol taste that fills your nostrils and builds after each sip. It has a great full body, perfect carbonation and smooth through out. The flavors I get change from sip to sip, with some featuring more of the chocolate and other the roasted notes.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. The full body, undercover alcohol flavor, and smooth finish make this Barleywine stand out. The flavors are subtle and not as big as I expected. But this is very drinkable and enjoyable. I suggest you Try It.

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