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Barley’s Auld Curiosity Ale

Barley’s Auld Curiosity Ale
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Serve in Snifter, Tulip


on tap


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RATINGS: 22   MEAN: 3.7/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 24   EST. CALORIES: 228   ABV: 7.6%
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We discussed the possibility of producing a brew with a historical background. We even searched for a George Washington’s recipe for his estate brew. We ended up with a recipe that includes black treacle, and intensely flavored molasses. The combination of ingredients results in a fuitiness that makes for a fine after dinner drink.

Did you know?

Auld Curiosity Ale won the silver medal in 2001 at the national Real Ale Festival for American style Barleywine, Old Ale and Strong Ale category.

It went on to win gold medal as best American Style Ale in America that year.

Not that we’re bragging or anything, but when you order one, remember that you’re sampling some of the best beer this side of the pond.

A curiosity of this brew is that it contains black treacle. Treacle is a by product of sugar refining. During the refining process, raw sugar cane is first crushed then boiled in stages until it has thickened sufficiently to facilitate the growing of sugar crystals which will eventually become refined sugar.

Black treacle is made from the syrup obtained from later boilings and is about 55% sucrose. Treacle was originally the name of a medicinal mixture which was most likely used as an antidote against poisons, in particular venomous bites. The name is derived from Old French triacle, in turn from Latin theriaca meaning "antidote to poison". This medicine originally had honey as its base, but at some point the honey was replaced with treacle.

Black treacle has a slightly burnt caramel flavour that is a bit stronger than that of medium molasses. As the name would suggest, it is black, for all intents and purposes. It is most often used in confectionery such as toffee and baked goods such as breads, cakes and biscuits, where it lends color and flavor, but can also be used in savory recipes such as glazes, sauces and stews or casseroles. It can be used as a substitute in most recipes calling for dark molasses.

Apparently, it’s also used to make award-winning beer. Are you curious?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JaBier (5094) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - FEB 14, 2010
On tap at the Alehouse. Pours a cloudy light brown with a medium tan head. Dank English malt nose with some earthy hops and alcohol. Dank malt flavor with lots of bitter hops, a bit of booze and a bitter finish. Not bad overall, but a little too English for me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
egajdzis (5459) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 17, 2009
Poured a cloudy red brown color with a medium sized, light tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel malts, light floral hops, citrus, nuts, and toast. Taste of toasted malts, nuts, caramel, citrus fruits, light smoke, and a bitter, hoppy finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
vikingbeercbus (34) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 14, 2009
At the Alehouse. Name caught my attention. Weak nose, very light aroma. Beautiful brown coloring with light caramel coloring. Quarter inch head, light foaminess. Lacing lasts throughout the drink. Moderate hops, nuts, toasted. Thick but not overbearing palate. Bitter finish, long finish. I’d drink it again, solid beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TomDecapolis (4579) - Milton, Delaware, USA - FEB 11, 2009
Thanks to hopdog for passing this growler onto me. Pours a mostly hazy deep amber with a medium off white head that left tons of lacing. Aroma of spicy noble hops, caramel, toasted malt, floral notes, light chocolate notes, surprised at how hoppy this was...but more noble than "citrusy". Flavor of some resiny hops, moderate hop bitterness, toffee, nuts, toasted malt and grapefruit. This was interesting...not sure I would really consider it an altbier.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopdog (9421) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 10, 2009
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2009 Thanks to moejuck for the Growler! Poured a deep/dark and cloudy amber color with a large sized off white head. Nice lacing left on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, toasty, floral, and some nuttiness. Tastes of chocoalte, nutty, the same toastiness, caramel, and lightly fruity.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - JAN 29, 2008
Tap. Pours a dark brown color with hardly a head. Aroma is sweet malts, dark fruit, raisin. Flavor is dark fruit, chocolate, raisin, caramel. palate is medium to full bodied, mild carbonation finished lightly sweet. Somewhat watery mouthfeelm I think from the lack of carbonation. So-so at best, like most of Barleys stuff.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 5, 2008
Firkin at the Alehouse. Pours dark brown/black with a cobweb of huge fat clear bubbles for a head. Aroma is subtle at first but eventually I pick up red grapes, raisin, faint chocolate, a tiny bit of toasty malts and chocolate and maybe just a hint of hops buried somewhere. Taste is smooth and creamy from the firkin with a flavor of subtle dark fruits and roast with a bitter finish. Not very hoppy but bitterness is definitely evident. I knew nothing of this beer when I ordered it. I thought it tasted like a mix between a brown, porter, and Belgian. Interesting concept but not one of my favorite Barley’s beers.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
Date: 11/08/1997
Source: Brewfest, Real Ale Festival

dark amber, fruity malty aroma, rich malt flavor, slightly sweet, low bitterness

Aroma: 5/10; Appearance: 5/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 5/10; Overall: 16/20
Rating: 3.4/5.0
Score: **4
-------- /> The score was calculated based upon the notes and an old scoring system.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (11372) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2007
Draft at Brewhouse #1. Poured cloudy brown color with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate complex balanced aroma. Medium body with a slick texture. Moderate balanced flavor with a bittersweet finish of average duration. Good drinkable brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ElJefe (553) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 23, 2007
A buddy at work brought me this growler fresh from the brewpub in Columbus. Pours about as pretty as a beer can be - chestnut brown with a thick tan head. Thick foamy lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Aroma of molasses, buckwheat blossom honey, and strong columbus hops. Flavor is mildly roasty and sweet, along with a subtle nuttiness followed by a blast of hoppiness, which sticks around for a long finish. Relatively thick bodied with smooth carbonation. This is a very good beer. I know this borders on sacrilege to some, but I wish they had used a less pungent hop variety in this. EKG or Hallertauer would have worked beautifully, in my opinion. Those who like Columbus hops will love this beer.

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