Review: Granville Island Barley Wine (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

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Review: Granville Island Barley Wine (Barrel Aged) by Cody La Bière
My second entry for the Singles Awareness Day (drink all the single beers!) Now it's Granville Island Brewing's Barrel Aged Barley Wine (2012 edition). As you can tell, barrel aging is one of the newest trends in beer that's picking up a storm. But hey, when you have a distillery in your back yard, why not use their waste (the barrels!) for your own advantage? It adds a bit of a zing to it every time!

One thing I like about the Barley Wine already is the waxed top, it makes me miss back when Half Pints' used to wax the seasonals for 1) differentiating each annual batch and 2) making it tamper proof.

Appearance: A thick dark brown mahogany, like a dark Belgian ale, not quite coffee dark, but quite quite thick. Pours a nice amount of foam for a barley/wheat wine, a slight beige-cream film that clings to the glass.

Aroma: Headcold 2.12 won't go away so my nose isn't its best but it has a bit of a fresh malted barley aroma (I miss the farm) with a minimal (at best) aroma of bourbon barrel.. though can't compare to the Russell Nectar of the Gods in barrel aroma in annnny way. Quite light in aroma from my minimal experience in drinking Barley Wines.

Taste: A bitterness akin to the Nectar of the Gods, hoppy bitterness, yum! It has a moderate amount of sweetness, but no where near as sweet as some of the past Barley Wines I've had in the past like the famous Half Pints Burly Wine (RIP), but still quite a treat none-the-less. A bit of caramel notes, alcohol zing to it, a bit of a slight bourbon/oak sweetness to it, as well as a hint of the grape notes I notice in most Barley Wines. My senses are really off, but the constant trying-to-decipher-the-notes gets me a bit more used to the flavours. It gives off a bit of a bitter/metallic aftertaste that doesn't really seem to go away. Not the most flavourful Barley Wine I've had, but since this barley wine likely JUST got released, this bottle didn't get to live to see its potential!

Overall Thoughts: My senses hate me because of this head cold, but it's overall a decent barley wine, a decent amount of bitterness, a light caramel sweetness, an overall alcohol zing to it, a bit of an oak and bourbon flavour to it and pretty solid overall. If it wasn't Single's Awareness Day, I may have saved this for a few years. 11.5% ABV