Review: Barn Hammer Brewing's Madder Red Barley Wine


We don't get Barn Hammer's beer in Brandon unless if it's part of a growler bar promotion, so I picked this up at the Quality Inn Beer. Barn Hammer's Madder Red is a Barley Wine that tops out at 9.2% ABV/100 IBU. It's described as being an American-style Barley Wine and has a sweet up-front character balanced by a more than healthy dose of centennial and cascade hops for a long lingering finish.

Appearance: Madder Red pours a nutty brown body with a cherry wood reddish hue to it. There's a moderate amount of yellow-beige head on top, minimal carbonation.

Aroma: Notes of caramel, dark fruit (plums, raisins, dates), a light amount of toastiness in the malt to give it just an ever so slight lightly burnt aroma to it.

Taste: This is a sweet, yet fairly neutral barley wine, which surprises me. It has a sweet caramel profile as well as light notes of dark fruits as stated in the aroma. There's more of a roasted maltiness popping out in here, giving it a bit of a hint of a coffee-like flavour to it. Not as sweet, syrupy and boozy as I would have expected. 

Overall Thoughts: Lighter than I expected, unfortunately. I'm someone who loves a booze-intense barley wine with syrupy flavours in every sip. It's very easy to drink but it's missing the complexity (and syrupiness) of the typical barley wine. The alcohol is definitely creeping up on me though... eep!

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