I love me a good Barleywine. The problem is that they’re not all that readily available. Sure, a handful of breweries have one in their rotation, but few make them well. Will this one make the cut?
TUMBLEDOWN SHACK is an American Barleywine with a 10% ABV.
The beer pours a delicious looking maroon/mahogany color. Head is a 1/2 inch of creamy eggnog-like foam. Plenty of lacing crisscrosses the glass. No visible carbonation.
Here’s where I knew I was in for a treat. The nose was booze, burnt toast, figs, cookie dough, and rye bread. Each one of those scents was noticeable and oh, so delectable. As it warms up the booze takes over, at which point it becomes recognizable as a brandy smell.
Thankfully the taste was just as good as the nose. As a kid I used to love to dip graham crackers into grape juice. Don’t ask me why, but it was delicious. This beer reminded of those wonderful days. Once I stepped out of my nostalgia-fueled haze I was also able to pick up notes of bourbon-soaked wood and figs. There was a definite after dinner feel to this beer. Also, it felt really festive. Which was odd since there didn’t appear to be any traditional Winter Warmer spices in the beer.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. It goes down like a mild cough syrup, leaving residual stickiness in its wake.
I ordered this beer because it was the one GRB offering on tap that I had never had before. Boy am I glad I did. Tumbledown Shack tastes almost like a Winter Warmer meets a Barleywine, which is just fine by me.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
As an AMERICAN BARLEYWINE: 8 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: New Glarus THUMBPRINT, Deschutes MIRROR MIRROR, Great Divide OLD RUFFIAN