Sunday, June 2, 2013

Schell's Barleywine Review

Had a long week at work, and today is technically the start of my weekend. To start things off, I have one more on my list of Barleywines and it comes from another Minnesota Brewer: August Schell Brewing Company or Schell's.

Schell's is known for producing Grain Belt and their other lineup consists of the usual styles ranging from Vienna Lager to Amber Ale, which aren't too interesting but they do have some pretty sweet seasonal beers. Recently they started releasing their Stag Series, which is their limited release series. So far, they have released a Rauchbier, Pilsener, Dark Ale, Altbier, Farmhouse/Saison, Burton, and their lastest release: Barleywine.

While it's incredibly awesome to see them trying out new styles, Barleywine is one of the last styles I would expect from Schell's. I mean, they are the same company that makes Grain Belt after all.

Stag Series Barleywine pours a clear amber color with a fairly brownish head and a high amount of carbonation. The lacing it leaves behind is moderate in volume.

The nose has some nice and sweet caramel, toffee, fruity and floral hops; None of which are particularly strong but each scent is pleasant in their own right. The flavor has a moderate citrus hop profile, along with caramelized malts, barley, toffee, and grapefruit. The flavor is rather moderate and controlled, but at the same time, well balanced.

The body has some moderate weight to it and the carbonation is quite mild despite my earlier observations of the high carbonation; So it's surprisingly easy to drink!

I can't say that I'm surprised that this Barleywine wasn't the strongest based on my expectations. Anyone looking for a Barleywine that'll knock you on your behind should look elsewhere. However, if you're new to the Barleywine style of beer and want to get into it, this is an excellent beer to start out with as it's not too strong and very well balanced in terms of flavor.

Schell's Stag Series Barleywine - 8.25/10

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