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Day #359 – Real Ale Sisyphus (2011)

December 26, 2011

I realized very recently that I had not yet reviewed this beer for my blog, and it was another shocking discovery. This is one of the only mass distributed barley wine that is made regularly in Texas. I’ve had it several times before, including a vertical tasting from 2004 – 2009 (excluding 2006 where it was not produced) which was incredible. Today I have picked up a fresh bottle of the 2011 batch.

Real Ale Sisyphus (2011)

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As I mentioned before this is a barley wine from Real Ale Brewing Company out of Blanco, TX. The ABV ranges anywhere from 10% to 11.5% depending on the batch, but I believe this year’s was 10. Barley Wines are usually best when aged, but often times can have desirable (albeit different) characteristics when fresh. Since I do not have a year to age this one, I’ll enjoy it tonight.

I let this warm up to room temperature before trying it.

This beer pours a very slick burnt orange color with light carbonation. The bubbles are small and thin that makes a short lasting head. That’s alright and matches the style.

The aroma has lots of woody characteristics but also a fairly large hop profile. That’s what I was talking about when I mentioned that a fresh barley wine has different characteristics. You can definitely smell the alcohol as well.

The flavor is woody, dark fruit with a hoppy bitterness and light sweetness. There is a noticeable tingle on the tongue from the raised alcohol content. This beer is certainly not for the faint of heart!

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7 to go…

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