Mile High Barley Wine (Samuel Adams)

Mile High Barley Wine is another one of the Longshot Homebrew Contest winners.  This big beer has an impressive 9.8% ABV.

Ben Miller’s Mile High Barley Wine is a dark red, flavorful brew with rich plum undertones to complement its caramel malt flavor.  A self-proclaimed ‘hop head,’ Ben used several varieties of citrusy American hops in this beer, creating its resiny aroma followed by clean bitterness.  Ben’s Barleywine is his 100th homebrew, brewed to commemorate two years of enjoying the hobby.

Mile High pours an enticing brown with ruby highlights.  The head is big, manilla-colored and full of bubbles.  There’s a quick cascading effect that is really cool, but it happens in an instant.  Lacing is medium to light.

This barley wine smells fantastic.  I picked up grapes, hops, bread and brown sugar notes.

The taste is sweet, with the hops, grapes and malt balancing together nicely.  Chocolate is also buried in the backend.  The flavors are splendid and well-balanced, but there’s an alcoholic heat that is distracting.  As it mellows the hops start to really stand out.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy.  This beer clings to your ribs, like my grandpa used to say.  There’s a slight burn that remains in the back of your throat.

Mile High is a good, but not great barley wine.  Sadly it’s a little too “hot” and abrasive to become a regular and/or session beer.  In the end I enjoyed this beer, but it didn’t hold up to the awesomeness of other barley wines I’ve had lately.

Overall: 7 out of 10

As a BARLEY WINE: 7 out of 10


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