Today I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled Red Hook Brewery’s Treblehook Barley Wine Ale. I have to admit I’m not a big fan of this particular style, but since it is a limited release the bottle was calling to me from the shelf. From what I can remember from previous barley wines they had a very warm alcoholic presence and that was just about all I could taste.
Over time taste buds develops and tolerance strengths so I found this beer very enjoyable. As you can see it is a deep copper color with hints of amber and gold. This beer had a very big nose. You are first hit with robust floral/citrus hop notes. Upon a second smell you pick up more of the rich malty notes. While there is a balance you definitely notice the aggressive hoppiness. There is a subtle caramel/toffee presence. Bold, rich, well balance would be the first things that come to mind. While taking a sip one picks up spicy hop notes with hints of grapefruit. There are four hops used in this beer (Cascade, Palisades, Chinook, and Simcoe) which all have a pretty high AA%. The front of the palate picks up the rich malty notes where there is definitely a sweet caramel and toasted flavor. The malts used are (Pale, Caramel, Special Aromatic, Flaked Barley, Black, and Melenodin). On the back of the tongue there is a clear hop bitterness, but it is still balanced. The beer was carbonated well and there is a light to medium mouthfeel (previous barley wines felt heavier). It finishes dry and crisp, but also leaves a residual sweetness on the front of the tongue. It is rather quenching and as mentioned before, well balanced. Mind your P’s and Q’s though, it boasts a 10.1% ABV.