Griffin’s Bow Oaked Blonde BarleywineJanuary 1, 2012 Boston, MA
Boston Beer Co.
Through experimentation with different recipes and aging techniques, the brewers took the traditional barleywine style to the next level and created this oaked blonde version, a variation they never tried before. Inspired by the legendary medieval griffin, a symbol of strength, courage, and boldness in English folklore. this barleywine’s strong rich flavors live up to its name.
Original gravity: n/a
Handsome package hints of good things to come… and delivers. It was unquestionably blond when it was brewed, but after aging with oak, is decidedly copper in color. Very faint nose of treacle and spice. Full flavored, and strong, 11.5 percent The palate is fruity, with vanilla, dried apricots and peaches. I believe it will improve as the disparate flavors marry with time. We tried it with several dishes including spicy smoked ribs, and minestrone soup but found that the beer overpowered the food. Recommended as a digestive, perhaps with dried fruit and nuts.
- Charles Finkel
Begins with an erudite light amber hue endorsed with big coconut and tropical fruitiness. Any hop aroma is overwhelmed by the bigness of fermentation. Complex vanilla from wood is transformed into a speculative complexity. Hours of pondering in every bottle. Smooth woody flavors of vanilla and coconut keep coming on. Highly defined with care and ageing. Nutrition for the mind indeed. Cool flicks of the wrist evolve into an eventual cloud of joy. A very compelling and engaging date. Speaking of which: figs and dates? Perhaps they are lurking in the enormity of this expansive brew.
- Charlie Papazian
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
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