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Against the Grain London Balling

overall
99
96
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 88   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 80   EST. CALORIES: 375   ABV: 12.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
English style barleywine aged in Angelís Envy bourbon barrels. Brewed with enough Maris Otter pale, Aromatic and caramel malts to nearly overflow our mash tun. We then balanced this beer with some English Nugget and Kent Goldings hops. The resulting ale was sweet, nutty and powerful, but we didnít stop there. The entire batch was put into used Angelís Envy barrels for nearly 3 months to gather the residual bourbon flavor and some aromatic and drying oak notes. By the way, Balling is a measurement of specific gravity.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bluejacket74 (1528) - Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA - JUN 27, 2015
12 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy reddish/brown color with about an inch tan head that stuck around a little while. Thereís also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (cherry, plum), bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, dark bread and a bit of herbalness. The taste is similar to the aroma, the brew tastes like bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruit (cherry, plum, raisins), caramel, earthiness, dark bread, molasses, toffee, and some nuttiness. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, itís creamy and coating with moderate carbonaton. I have to say this is a pretty good barleywine, Iíd definitely buy this again the next time I see it. I think I bought this bottle on a prior trip to ATG, but I donít remember for sure.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
superspak (3321) - Michigan, USA - JUN 13, 2015
12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours hazy deep ruby red/brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, date, apple, caramel, vanilla, toffee, toast, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, light coconut, herbal, and yeast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, date, apple, caramel, vanilla, toffee, toast, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, light coconut, herbal, and yeast/oaky earthiness. Fair amount of herbal hop bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, date, apple, caramel, vanilla, toffee, toast, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, light coconut, and yeast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and earthy hop flavors; with a great bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible English barleywine. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
nimbleprop (5785) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 13, 2015
Weird little 33cl stubby bottle pours a murky deep brown with loads of frothy, off white head. Nose is interesting, quite resinous, pine, some myrhh, some dried apple, some brandy, lots of caramel, some woody notes, orange, some potpourri. Flavor has more of the conventional bourbon barrel character, caramel, green vanilla bean, heavy orange, more resin character, some tobacco, lots of wood. Full bodied, lightly hot and a little astringent.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
wlajwl (4531) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - JUN 3, 2015
Aroma is malts, complex fruit and a hint of bourbon. The flavor is malts, fruit/fruitcake, caramel, light citrus and a very alcoholic/warming finish.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
marcus (7438) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUN 1, 2015
Bottle from City Beer. Pours orange amber with a transient beige head and a marvelous fruit and nut aroma. There is a full-bodied caramel malt flavor that ia slightly fruity with a huge doseof boubon and a strong oak finish. A complex tasty sipper.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bhensonb (12294) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 1, 2015
Bottle shared by Marcus. Pours hazy brown with a very slight head. Aroma of bourbon, brown sugar and oak. Nice aroma. Med +nbody. Flavor is bourbon, brown sugar, and lots of oak. Tongue tingling. Smoke in the finish. Very nice take on barley wine.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JorisPPattyn (8386) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JUN 1, 2015
Small yellowish cream head, fast gone over clear foxy garnet beer. Alcoholic, fusels, vanilla/Bourbon nose. LÚts of vanilla! Eggnog. Bitterish-wood-liquorice, the vanilla coming up retronasal. Something vaguely benzene-aromatic. More fusels. Alcoholwarming, quite slcik-viscous, and well bodied, velvety feel. Good Barley wine, great nose, but Iíve had better in this segment.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
koleminer20 (979) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAY 29, 2015
Enjoyed at an all barley wine tasting at Travisís house on February 21. The pour is a clear amber with no real head to be found. Just a thin ring. The aroma is pretty hoppy, which was a little surprising. There is a decent fruitiness happening, but there isnít a whole lot of barrel. The flavor is a little hotter than the aroma leads on, but the hoppiness combines with a light fruitiness and a decent caramel malt. Itís pretty plain, but decent. The mouth feel is a little thin, but the carbonation helps it coat and linger. The aftertaste is lingeringly malty with a dash of fruit. Not too shabby.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
RexTalionis (2978) - FINLAND - MAY 19, 2015
Bottle. Unclear amber, off-white head. Dark fruity and malty sweetness in aroma with vanilla on the side. Dark fruityness, raisins, some toffee and vanilla in taste. Good, but has got a slightly boozy finish.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DocLock (8497) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2015
Pours hazy brown with tan head, not much head. Nose is bourbon, malt, caramel, oak. Tastes rich, with notes of oak, malt, bourbon, hops. Very complex.


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