Tuesday, November 16, 2010

427. Skinny Dave Williamson Barleywine

The latest homebrew to grace my presence; this beer is based upon the Big 10/20 recipe that Dave found on the Brewers Association website. Dave gave this beer to me on National Homebrew Day (May 1) when we brewed a Dunkelweizen on his system, and I dutifully stuck it in my basement. When I came across it the other day while rooting around in the cellar, I decided it was time to pull the trigger on this bad boy. So here we go.

Pure beefcake...

Skinny Dave Barleywine pours a slightly hazy rich caramel copper with a creamy rich tan head; while it has a brilliant and active carbonation made up of very tiny bubbles, the carbonation is very light on the palate. It does, however, look awesome in the glass. The nose is equal parts creamy and rich malty caramel; as it warms, the creaminess comes to the forefront, although the rich malt is still present. Flavors start with balanced caramel malt sweetness, moving into a creamy softer middle, and finishing dry and sweet on the tongue. There is no alcohol or stickiness—just a nice even clean malt flavor across the palate. This beer has had time for the alcohol and flavor to marry together—there is an ever so slight warmth that develops in the back of my throat, but that is it. The mouthfeel is smooth and balanced; there is a slight carbonation bite in the final third, but it mostly helps to put the dry finish on the beer. While good as is, the malt character still needs further time to develop complexity and depth, although the creamy sweetness in the front and middle is delicious. This beer is on its way to someplace better; I’ve cracked it after the first stage of marrying and coordinating flavors, but prior to the second stage of the full development of complexity that comes with age. But it was such a delicious learning curve.

OG: 1.098
FG: 1.016
Malt: mostly 2-row with some crystal
Yeast: WLP002 to 1.034; champagne yeast in secondary to 1.016
Brewed: Easter weekend, 2009
Bottled: June 1, 2009


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