Generally I struggle with Barley Wines, mainly because they are often far too sugary sweet for me, but this one, packed with Madagascan Vanilla, is superb.
There’s a rich and sexy sweet shop aroma and the beer pours a deep amber with just a wisp of bubbles for a head.
Taking a swig the beer is only just fizzy enough, but it is fizzy enough, its bubbles adding a light fizz to the rich round and chewy malt body, with sticky toffee pudding, honey and pancakes working well against the vanilla that brings a soft Battenburg cake chewiness, while the hops add a subtle swish of bitter hedgerow greenery.
The finish brings a hint of mango flesh and a slap of steely herbal leaves, brown sugar syrup and a brandy snap booziness.
Generally I struggle with Barley Wines, but with this one I’m in love.
Source: Torrside Brewery