Thursday, July 14th 2011
Johan the Barleywine
(Sun King Brewing Company)
A very special beer in a very special package. Thank you very much to the folks at Sun King for giving us the opportunity to try a beer that means so much to them. We're honored. Johan the Barleywine is a much anticipated and very limited release. Only 700 cans were released and once they are all gone...well, you know that saying. This is likely the world's first canned barleywine and the first of what will likely be many specialty beers to grace the inside of Sun King's specially customizable cans. You can read more below..
From Sun King:
"Named in honor of a dearly departed friend who was instrumental in both Dave and Clay's brewing careers. Johan the Barleywine was the first beer ever brewed at Sun King Brewing Company in July of 2009.
The beer was cellared immediately; half of it was released on tap for the brewery's first anniversary in July 2010 and half of it is being released in cans for the brewery's second anniversary on July 1, 2011. Sun King Brewing Company pioneered the customizable can in early 2011 and Johan is the first barleywine ever to be released in cans. This particular recipe will never be made again."
Here we go...
Pour - dark chestnut in color with good carbonation that leaves an off-white head about a half an inch in thickness. Some lacing and some legs inside the glass, this shows its strength pretty early on.
Aroma - lots of dark fruits, raisins and prunes, some slight booziness that tickles the nose and an endless amount of caramel, burnt sugar and baked apples. Perhaps a bit of sherry and rum cake as well along with what most surely is a ton of malt going into this brew. This one is a sipper and the smell alone will tell you that.
Taste - brown sugar, dried dark fruits, molasses with some alcohol heat on the tongue. Very smooth with loads of sweet flavors all melding together. Lots of layers unfolding as this one warms a bit. Toffee and caramel along with baked apples hit the palate and despite the strength this is very clean and crisp and soft on the tongue all at the same time. A very satisfying barleywine that certainly hits all the marks for the style and has my head, tongue and stomach all happy too. The folks at Sun King should be proud.
Overall - at 2 years of age Johan the Barleywine is certainly showing it's complexity and smoothness. This was certainly a sipper and definitely a soul-warmer. Cheers to 2 years of great beers and many more to come!
Would I buy more of it? - a moot point. If possible I surely would.
Note - an English Barleywine, compared to an American Barleywine, "places less emphasis on hop character than the American Barleywine and features English hops. English versions can be darker, maltier, fruitier, and feature richer specialty malt flavors than American Barleywines." - bjcp.com
Posted by Russ
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