Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mendocino Imperial Barley Wine Ale '10

Tonight I have a bottle of Mendocino Brewing Company's Imperial Barley Wine Ale. I've never had this barleywine before, and I'll be sharing my impressions with you - sip-by-sip.

This is an amazing smelling beer. I spent a while just inhaling the friuty, nutty, and almost bran/cereal type aromas, in anticipation of the first sip...

Head Rentention:
This barleywine lost it's head within about 20 seconds, but the level of carbonation feels just right on the tongue.

Sip #1:
Cereal. Fruit. Light and pleasant hop bitterness. Clean finish.

Sip #2:
Slight estery/fruity notes. Pleasant mouth feel. Firm and lingering but with no lingering aftertaste.

Sip #3:
The fruity and subttly nutty qualites are what seem to keep coming through. Seems slightly astringent, but not unpleasantly. Slight warming. Very subttle cogniac type notes.

Sip #4 & beyond:
Can't a guy just enjoy his beer? Let me be! lol

I was surprised by the complexity of this barleywine. Having never tried it before, I had no idea what to expect. I've had Mendocino's 'Red Tail Ale', their ' Bule Herron Pale Ale' and their 'White Hawk Select IPA' (All good beers in their own right), but I never had the opportunity to try their barleywine until now.

It almost has a port wine type quality. Lingering on the tongue - in a very pleasant way. It has a fruity/wine grape type quality with a firm mouthfeel and a clean finish.

If your local bottle-shop can get their hands on a bottle, I highly reccommend it. Now excuse me while I get back to my beer!

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there!


  1. Hi there,
    Thanks for a very considered and thoughtful review.
    If you don't mind I will FB and Tweet this page to my people.
    Hilarious >>{Sip #4 & beyond:
    Can't a guy just enjoy his beer? Let me be! lol}
    Cheers! :)

  2. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the write up. I plan to write up pretty much every new beer I drink. :)

  3. Frag,
    Your description of the ale made me want to stop reading and rush and get a bottle to taste. So well worded your comments were! I know I am looking forward to read all your reviews, so don't waste time reading my comments, get yourself another brew to review!