Saturday, August 23, 2014

Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1158) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 23, 2014
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It appears to have been bottled on 4/1/14.

Appearance: Deep ruby red to black hue. Opaque. No carbonation visible. Pours to a large, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces well.

Smell: Sweet and spicy nose of vanilla, wood, bourbon, pumpkin, cinnamon and alcohol.

Taste: Everybody’s aging everything in bourbon barrels these days, so why not a big pumpkin beer? Though Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl is not the first barrel-aged pumpkin beer I’ve had (that distinction would go to Southern Tier’s Pumking), it’s the first I’ve seen readily available in bottles. This is definitely a winning combination as the barrel character really complements the spicy pumpkin brew quite well.

The first thing I notice about this palette is how rich and sweet it is. There’s a sweet taste of vanilla and cinnamon, not unlike pie crust, right away. Though it not overtly pumpkin pie-tasting, it’s almost crème brulee or apple pie. Through the middle comes the traditional pumpkin taste of nutmeg and brown sugar. There’s a touch of rum-like alcohol character on the finish, though that’s likely the bourbon flavor from the barrel. Overall, this is a very interesting combination of confectionery/bakery sweetness and potpourri spiciness. It’s not cloying at all, which is nice, and it’s well-balanced to boot. Pumpkin beer lovers will definitely want to check this one out.

Drinkability: Big, barrel-aged brews tend to be challenging to drink. Not so with Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl. The mouthfeel is calm and soft with a smooth texture and easy finish. It doesn’t leave much of an aftertaste, which is actually kind of a bummer. Minor alcohol warmth from the 8.5% ABV as it goes down, but it fades quickly. It doesn’t feel or drink like a heavy, boozy beer at all. An experienced drinker should have no problem handling an entire bottle by themselves. 
Grade: 9/10

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