Brewery: Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams) Boston, Massachusetts
Beer: Griffin’s Bow
Serving: 22 oz bottle
Information: 11.5% ABV,
Style: American Barleywine
Price: $4.99 / single
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
Pairings: “The rich flavors of the beer will cut through strong washed rind cheese. Pair with nuts, honey and dates to bring out similar notes in this brew.”
Golden amber in color, this blonde barleywine pours with a pillowy ivory head that’s well-retained and decorates the snifter in spotty lacing.
Griffin’s Bow exudes bold complexity right off the bat. There’s exemplary underlying malt sweetness of toasted bread and toffee slivers with bitter, resiny hops laying on top. Great depth and character, but what I keep coming back to is the awkward burnt rubber aroma that lingers throughout the beer. Toasted oak spirals and phenolic alcohol continue the depth nicely; bits of white grape skin finish out.
Toasted oak spirals really spring forward throughout this beer! They add great depth to the caramelized sugar and deep malty base. Hops develop low but persistent citrus characteristics that resemble lemon zest and grapefruit emerge. Complexity, thy name is Griffin’s Bow.
Full, rich-bodied, and very smooth, with a well-carbonated bubble base gives Griffin’s Bow a well-balanced finish of lightly dry, citrusy hop bitterness and lingering, warming alcohol.
Besides the odd but rubber component to the aroma, this is a very complex, unique Barleywine with great repeat drinkability despite the thin, mildly solvent, phenolic alcohol characteristics of the 11.5%. At a measly $6, it’s easily worth grabbing a few of these bottles, one for now, a few for aging. I know I will be!
Score: 86 / 100 - Wonderful