NorthGate Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley-wine. ABV 12.4%. NorthGate Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.
Clear, burgundy color, slim, tight ring of beige/tan head atop.
In the nose: Rich. Deep. Caramel. Toffee. Vanilla. Molasses. Anise. Spice. Dark fruit.
In the mouth: Delicious. Big and beautiful. All malty goodness, with growing alcoholic strength. Those flavors from the nose --the vanilla, raisin, caramel, and ever-lasting rich malt tastes--have boarded the palate and brought along traces of tobacco, leather, smoke. Full-bodied, full-flavored, never-ending finish.
An impressive beer, indeed. Sublime.
I bought this months ago, and saved it until today. This would be better in colder times, not in the middle of summer, but I couldn't wait any longer. I tell you this much: If I see another on any store shelves, it's coming home with me.