Sunday, December 20, 2015

Barley Mow Tinsel

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1520) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 20, 2015
This year will be my first Christmas in Florida, so it’s only appropriate I review a winter warmer made here in the Sunshine State. Barley Mow Tinsel is pretty standard for the style: spicy and warm as well as flavorful and easy to drink. Not the best Christmas beer ever, but it’s nice.

I poured a 12oz can into a wine glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.39 ($0.20 per ounce).

Appearance: Deep copper/burgundy hue with a foggy body. There appears to be sediment within. Pours to a thumb-width, off-white, foamy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Traditional holiday spices and a lightly sweet, cookie-like aroma. The nose seems to be a tad mild, though.

Taste: If you want an example of a winter warmer palette, then this beer is it. All the spicy and warming flavors you want in a cold weather beer are here for the taking: ginger, nutmeg, some cinnamon and perhaps some Allspice as well. The label indicates it’s brewed with honey, and there does seem to be a lingering honey flavor in the aftertaste. The malt character is fairly contained: sweet to be sure, but not cloyingly so. I don’t get much in the way of caramel and toffee flavors as advertised. There is a surprisingly strong bitterness here, though. It’s dry and spicy – to the point where it’s a bit distracting. Had it not been for that character, this would be more than just a good beer.

Drinkability: It’s rare that winter warmers are light in any way, shape or form and Barley Mow Tinsel is no exception. The actually mouthfeel is not that intense or viscous, though there is plenty of flavor from beginning to end. There’s also noticeable alcohol warmth from the 7.3% ABV. It’s not distracting like the bitterness in the palette is, though. A beer better paired with Christmas dinner than Christmas dessert.

RATING: 7/10

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