Appearance: nearly opaque amber-brown with one finger of medium dense ivory head, good retention and minimal lacing. (3/5) Aroma: raisin, stone fruit, toffee, slightly vinous oak. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, mild bitter, mild tart, mild alcohol. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, lively to moderate carbonation, lightly tart and warming finish. (4/5)
“English Strong Ale”? That’s about as helpful a designation as “American Strong Ale” - which is to say, no bloody use whatsoever. Personally, I call this a barleywine - though it’s got elements of a quad or abt, as well. It’s not overly complex, but I have to say, I enjoy it. It doesn’t seem like the combination of sweet dark fruit and almost white wine vinous characteristics would work all that well, but in fact it does. In particular, the tartness on the tongue persists through the finish and stops the toffee malt from becoming mouth-coating or cloying - think christmas pudding with a not-too-sweet lemon sauce. (15/20)
My 215th from the 2010 Edition (204th from the 2013 edition), and 226th combining both editions.
7.5/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com