Bent Stick Resolutions 2017
Reviewed by Brady White on December 30, 2016 in Holiday Guide
- Brewery: Bent Stick Brewing Co.
- Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA
- Rated On: December 30, 2016
- Best Before: N/A
- ABV: 10.0%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: American Barleywine
- Rating: GOOD !
This 650ml bottle pours a mostly clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with barely a full thin cap of simple bubbly ‘head’ (it looks like a soda), which slowly melts away, a few bursting bubbles at a time. A bit of scattered mitochondrial lace is the result once things progress.
It smells lightly of bready and doughy caramel malt, biscuity toffee, sultana raisins, a bit of earthy yeastiness, and some very understated leafy, weedy, and gently perfumed floral hoppiness. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, toffee squares, reduced brown sugar syrup, a bit of earthy mustiness (not quite like that in the English style, however), besotted raisins, and a sort of generic bitterness, which is strong, but not really associated with any particular flavour, especially that of hops. The carbonation is obviously damned-near lacking, with no frothiness of which to pithily speak, the body a solid medium weight, and sort of smooth, what with that spectral bitterness pervading. It finishes off-dry, with the big, fruity malt starting to falter a tad, in the face of, yes, some metallic and stoney ‘hop’ bitters that seem altogether foreign to me.
Overall, I’m wondering if the dearth of carbonation could be the cause of the not-so-obvious hoppiness being so muted in flavour esters, if not in basic bitterness. Not a bad attempt, and easily drinkable for its 20-proof strength, but perhaps more illustrative of a lesson in cause and effect in the chemistry of brewing. Happy New Year, y’all!