Brewed as a collaboration with Sigtuna Brygghus of Sweden, as much as I have a soft spot for Shepherd Neame I have to admit I was expecting the worst.
And it feels very good to report that my gut feeling was wrong.
This is a very good Barley Wine.
Pouring a deep mahogany red, the smell is stewed red fruit presented in an old wooden tea chest.
There’s a lovely leatheriness to this beer, it’s all saddlebags full of treacle, satchels stuffed with biscuit s and rum.
The alcohol brings a chest warming heat and amps up all the other things going on in here.
The hopping is all crunchy autumn hedgerow, brightened by lemon juice and bruised apples, and there’s a little liquorice and treacle floating around the edges.
The finish is sticky but brought back from the brink of of being too sweet by a damp earthy wood from the barrel ageing and a good pithy bitterness.
Very good indeed.
Source: Shepherd Neame