ClubGonzo’s Old Lovage

Barley Wine, 11% ABV, 50 IBU.

ClubGonzo’s Old Lovage, batch 42.

Looks good right after the beer has been poured, but the head is too short-lived.

I tend to prefer hoppy American interpretations of beer styles over dull British ones. When it comes to barley wines though, I’ve had several inspired by the Old World traditions that I’ve enjoyed very much, so let’s see if Old Lovage fits in that category.

It pours a hazy, very deep brown body with a small, beige head that doesn’t leave much lacing, and that soon reduces to a fully covering film.

The aroma is malty, sweet, sugary and strong, with truckloads of dark caramel. Also dark dried fruits and honey, and in the back I find chocolate and some very overripe generic fruity notes.

Strong flavour of sweet caramel, roasted malt, dark dried fruits and somewhat stinging alcohol. Further behind there is bitter chocolate and liquorice. The taste is heavy sweet and the long-lasting finish is moderate bitter.

The texture is smooth and pleasant, it’s a full-bodied brew with a soft carbonation.

Conclusion: pure malty goodness, with minimal hop influence. Just like a British barley wine is supposed to be.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.5/5.0