Bridgeport Old Knucklehead Barley Wine Ale

I've had other barley wines, and the experience hasn't been 100 perfect for me.My friend Will decided to pick me up some beers for the blog, and this was one of the ones I have the fortune to try. I expect I will like some of them and dislike others, but I will enjoy the process, and that should be worth it, right?

This might be clear, if it wasn't so dark. It's head dissipates into a thin film protecting the top from stray dog hairs that may or may not be in the air. the aroma is pretty strong with its sweet malt, slight spices, floral scents, and noticeable hops. I have to admit, I'm really looking forward to the whole bottle. After all, I'm writing this on the weekend. Why not indulge just a little?

First sip is freaking strong. The sweet malt starts things off, but the rest of the beverage is dominated by the taste of liquor. I'd say that it is closest to Southern Comfort as far as taste goes, but I wouldn't recommend anyone who drinks Southern Comfort to check me on that. Either way, this isn't what I expected from the first sniff.

Well, a bigger draught might bring out what is best in the beverage. I've certainly had that happen enough times that I know there is a good possibility. So, here we go.

A big swig alters things a bit. Tip-in is still the sweet malt, and that trails off to a sweet toffee and spice with some butterscotch and vanilla dribbled in fairly liberally. The middle brings a lot of earthy tones to it. However, the finish starts and the hard liquor that was hinted at before hits pretty hard. For someone who doesn't like hard drinks, this is not a nice sensation. It has an off-putting amount of alcohol with a certain nuttiness and a solid oak flavor.

I hate to say I'm not a fan, but this is clearly not the beer for me. It's too complex to the point of getting in its own way. I'm sure others out there will really be a fan of this beer, but I am not one of them. Really, Will only bought it for the name.

0.5/5

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