Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sam Adams Griffin's Bow

11.5% ABV

The Sam Adams small batch series has been anticlimactic so far.  Although the Third Voyage “Double IPA” was fantastically crafted the other brews lacked excitement.  Up next is Griffin’s Bow Oaked Blonde Barleywine.  This was the brew I was most excited to try behind the chocolate chili bock.  Will it be  boom or a bust?

Griffin’s Bow poured with the familiar giant three fingered head.  The nose was reminiscent of some of the other single batch brews with the simcoe-like earthy aroma.  There was maybe a hint of oak aroma poking through but was not prominent.  The flavor starts out fairly unique but the flavors are hard to place.  The flavors do seem to be blended well and are presented nicely on a medium thick mouthfeel.  There is a little sweetness on the front of the palate diving into a grainy oak character in the middle.  The oak holds on and lasts well into the finish.  The oak is not really a prominent character as in some other oak aged beers, it is more of a blended trait.  An earth/mint hop character is paired with a dark grapefruit character in the finish.  The bitterness seemed subdued and is only really noticeable after you swallow the brew.  As the brew warms, the flavors meld and harmonize giving a toasted oat flavor in the middle of the palate.

All things considered this is a fairly unique brew with a well blended character.  It does exhibit some decent complexity.  With that being said I’m not blown away by this brew and was expecting more out of the Sam Adams small batch lineup.  This could be a case of unattainable expectation on my part but I really wanted these beers to be better than they were. 



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