Nearly there. Into the last quarter of the #12beersofxmas now and only 4 beers to go. Although there is the biggest ABV of the lot to come, the finish line is in sight. Today’s beer was sent to me MONTHS ago by Shepherd Neame. It’s an English Barleywine collaboration with Sigtuna Brygghus in Sweden that came about as a result of master brewers from the two breweries coming together at a trade show.

Once again, some great presentation on this beer. Boxed with a uniquely shaped bottle for Shep’s there’s a brief description of how the beer came about on the side. The initial aroma gives that traditional Shep’s malty, woody backbone with hints of the barrel aged booze coming through.

12b9

The initial flavour is a little sharp and rough round the edges. The letter that came with the beer in May 2014 stated “don’t drink it…put it away and forget about it” and I wonder if maybe I went too early with this. The aftertaste is sharp and a little harsh, it’s like dark chocolate covered raspberries with slight hints of vanilla. It gets sweeter and softer as it warms and the bourbon ageing really begins to shine through. Yeah, maybe should have left this one another year.

Tomorrow’s beer has been aged for almost a year and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Thornbridge’s ‘Sour Brown’. Before then check out what else has been going on through Storify below (or on our Storify page) and check the ‘blog directory’ here for the latest writings.