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.