Granville Island Brewing Co. – Barrel Aged Barley Wine (2013) Review
The Granville Island Brewing Barley Wine is back for 2013 in a barrel aged format. As a part of brewmaster Vern Lambourne’s Small Batch series this is surely a big beer with an 11.5% ABV rating and an IBU of 60. The beer pours an opaque, chestnut brown colour with three full fingers of thick, slow to settle and heavily lacing head. The smell is not as sharp as you may expect for a big barley wine but it is still intense. An oaked scent comes through up front with a light whiskey back. Along side is a strong caramel and big malted aroma which is mellowed by a vanilla smoothness. The flavour is extremely smooth with a thick creamy texture. The Tennessee whiskey is noticeable but the oakiness stands taller in comparison. With this infusion comes a caramel sweetness and the vanilla notes do a great job of smoothing out the whole ordeal. Despite a 60 IBU the size of this beer’s flavour masks any hop bitterness making for an oaky, lightly sweetened finish and only a touch of hop-bitterness. This beer is already very smooth, give it a year or two in the cellar and it will be phenomenal!
Alcohol – 11.5%
Size – 650ml Bottles
IBU – 60
Price – $9.65 (Private Liquor Store)
Limited Release (Oct. 2013 release)