Oscar's Brewing Company Barleywine: 11% abv
I'd be willing to bet you haven't heard of Oscar's Brewing Company, and there's also a good chance you've never had a barley wine either. Well, you get both in one review. Oscar's Brewing Company is actually a one man operation by a gentleman in western Michigan who crafts his own brews. You might wonder why we're messing with the small fries, but really we're not. This particular brewer has some accolades to his name, including winning a contest with Bell's and having his IPA produced by them for a limited time. That's the same company that makes Oberon. So now we've got your attention.
Here's the deal on barleywines. Categorized also as Old Ales, these are beers that sit between 8 to 12%, which gave them the title as "wine", for being on par in alcohol content. Some tasting notes before you get bored: On the nose, we got apple, malt, lemon, orange, honey, rye, wheat, slight floral notes, and a creamy character. The nose is well balanced and pleasant.
The taste is malty and creamy as well, showing off some citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit, even going so far as to showcase some orange. We also noted tastes of caramel and cereal grain. The finish was medium in length with complex flavors of grapefruit, oak, dry pine, apple, pear and slight bitterness carrying through. So in conclusion, this is a fantastic beer, albeit not the most complex, nor having the best finish. It almost felt as if some unknown quality was just slightly missing, but we couldn't put it on paper. We'll be doing several more of OBC's beers scattered over the next reviews. Keep a look out if you liked what you've seen.