Review: Avant-Garde Vin d'Orge (2017)

I visited the awesome peeps over at Avant-Garde Artisans Brasseurs back in May when I was visiting Montreal, one of these days I'll post photos from my visit of the then not-yet-completed-brewery, so for now, time for a review - Vin d'Orge (2017). This Barley Wine was aged for five months in Bourbon barrels. Copper colour with super intense brilliant undertones. Glass: yes. Aging potential: you bet! Tasting notes: Really super good! Production date: 20/03/2017.

Appearance: This English-style Barley Wine pours a very murky muddy brown with a bit of floaties floating throughout the body of the beer. The head is a light amount of yellowish-beige with only a scattering of bubbles near the middle of the beer.

Aroma: Sweet, rich notes of caramel, a hint of vanilla and a moderate amount of oakiness and Bourbon. Not quite as sweet and in-your-face as many barrel aged Barley Wines, so it's nice and subtle.

Taste: Definitely not subtle this time around - the barrels pop out big time to give off rich notes of oak, a hefty amount of boozy presence of Bourbon, and a light amount of vanilla to it. I'm getting quite a bit of a burn from the booze, which isn't too surprising as most Barley Wines do that to me anyways (as they're generally 10% or so!) There's a moderate amount of earthiness to it, a good amount of caramel and a bit of dark fruit to it (figs, raisins).

Overall Thoughts: I would have loved to aged this longer but I have bad luck with aging, if I did end up aging this for longer, I feel like it could've ended up being oxidized like the dozen other bottles of Barley Wines from other breweries I have in my hoard. I find the barrel is overpowering the actual Barley Wine but it's still absolutely tasty - it has a rich caramel sweetness to it, notes of dark fruit, bit of earthiness to it.. also lots of oak, a bit of vanilla and a noticeable boozy burn thanks to the Bourbon. Thanks Shawn & Renaud for consistently making awesome beer!

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