Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy 2016

Reviewed by on June 2, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Alley Kat Brewing Company

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: June 2, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 10.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Barleywine

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

It’s been a long while since we took a look at Alley Kat’s most venerable offering – their vintage barleywine, Olde Deuteronomy.  After not producing it for a while a few years ago, they revived it in 2015, and now have released the 2016 version, still with the old-school label imagery, and still with the loose gold foil cap covering.

The 341ml bottle pours a mostly clear, dark orange-brick amber colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy tan head, which settles in for a spell, eventually leaving a few instances of low-lying iceberg profile lace around the glass.

It smells strongly of lightly boozed-up dark orchard fruit (cherries, bruised apples, plum, and raisins), gritty and grainy caramel malt, a touch of biscuity toffee, brown sugar syrup, a hint of tobacco-stained leather, and some gentle leafy, musty, and earthy hoppiness. The taste is warm, bready caramel malt, my wife’s molasses cookies, baked apples, candied orange peel, a bit of tannic, cherry-forward red grape must, and more subtle leafy and earthy green hops, which are more prone to come out and play, alongside the shy-seeming alcohol, as things warm up a tad. The carbonation is pretty soft, what with its barely palpable frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and rather smooth and unctuous in its ode to all things malty. It finishes on a strange drying trend, the resident hops finally screwing up the courage to make something of themselves.

Overall, it’s nice to see this big, bad brew still kicking butt and taking names, and making no apologies for it.  Complex, complicated, and hard to get to know, but once you do, you’ll thank yourself (and this Edmonton craft brewery) for it.  Just be careful, as always, with the north of 20-proof alcohol quotient – it too has remained in place, even if it keeps to itself for the most part.

Brady White

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