Tasting: May 14, 2011
Style: American Barleywine
“Troegs Nugget Nectar pushed off a cliff tastes like hops dipped in candied sugar and rolled in dark chocolate nips” — that certainly gets my attention. I was holding the bottle in my hand reading those words right off the label of Troegs Mouflan when the beer guru at Gary’s Wine asked me if I like Nugget Nectar? Uh, yeah! I also said I was intrigued about the sweet part. I love hoppy and sweet (see Founder’s Devil Dancer). He said…”Oh, you’re gonna love this then”. Well, ever since the Fegley’s Hop’solutely recommendation from Shangey’s, I’m still a little leary of guru suggestions. But, it’s just too much to resist the description.
I haven’t had a barleywine in a while but, I’m a fan. I was a loyal subject of Thomas Hardy Ale for years. Actually, I have a couple of bottles of the 2004 vintage in my wine fridge. That’s a tasting for another day. I suspect that this American barleywine will be a completely different experience.
Pours a nice rich brown with a cream colored head. I get fresh sweet strawberries on the nose. My first impression is that this has a wonderfully thick mouthfeel (9.3% ABV) — nice. It leaves a sticky residue after only a few sips. I get sweet and roasted malt — molasses/toffee and brown cane sugar. But it isn’t all sweetness. On the back end, I get a wonderful hop flavor. Not an overpowering bitterness, but a beautiful compliment that offsets the sweetness. One main criticism that keeps this from being a hall of fame beer — the flavor is slightly muted like it’s been watered down a bit.
Still, I’m enjoying this one. I’m going to put it in the 91 range.