S & M Brewing Teenage Computer Barley Wine

Barley Wine, 11.5% ABV, 45.6 IBU.

S & M Brewing Teenage Computer Barley Wine, batch 3. Photographed inside a Mac Pro cabinet.

S & M Brewing Teenage Computer Barley Wine, batch 3. Photographed inside a Mac Pro cabinet.

Batch 3 from S & M Brewing is a potent barley wine. It pours a cloudy, deep brown to copper body, with a creamy, dense, beige and long-lived head that ends up as a thin layer.

Strong aroma of caramel, lightly roasted malt, dark dried fruits and stinging alcohol. In the back I get overripe generic fruity notes, chocolate and honey.

The strong flavour is very much on the caramel malty side, there is very little hops in the flavour, but it has a good bitter bite in the long finish. Also orange and liquorice. I’m not sure if it has enough hoppy flavours to be called an American barley wine? It’s also very alcoholic, it’s stinging and boozy, but there are no solvent or unclean notes.

It has a fantastic mouthfeel (ignoring the booze), with a full body, oily texture and soft carbonation.

Conclusion: too boozy, too little hops but a nice caramel maltiness. It kept growing on me, so I finished the bottle with pleasure. 

 

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      6/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    12/20
Ratebeer score: 3.2/5.0
Trying to copy the picture on the label...

Trying to copy the picture on the label…

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One comment on “S & M Brewing Teenage Computer Barley Wine

  1. Well summarized. I think this will need quite a bit of cellaring to get out of boozyland (I actually agree with you on this one regarding the alcohol). The paradox of creating beers like American-style barley wines is of course that it is a hop-oriented style which requires aging, a process through which the two characteristics of the style (high ABV and hoppiness) end up counteracting each other. In the beginning, this actually was a hoppy beer. I used loads of Cascade and Chinook, as both late and dry hops. Comined with lots of sharp alcohol notes, however, the beer was too edgy to be enjoyable, forcing be to cellar it away and hope for better times. After some
    months, the alcohol sting started to mellow out but by then the hop character – not surprisingly – was pretty much gone.

    The American barley wine and the Double IPA face the same problem: there is typically only a window of time where these kind of beers truly shine; for the most part, some kind of imbalance will prevail. And that is also why I don’t brew them very often. 😊

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