Monday, September 5, 2011


Happy Labor Day, friends. I'm sitting at home in my pajamas like bloggers are supposed to, bloggin' about this beer I recently had. It's a life - and it's a good one. The beer in question may have been the centerpiece of this recent California/Texas beer swap I took part in, with me sending a batch of Russian River beers to this strange triumvirate based near Houston, while they plied me with rare and interesting treats from their strange land. I had read about REAL ALE BREWING's SISYPHUS barleywine, 2010 edition. Perhaps you had, too. I thought, in service to Beer Samizdat readers, that I'd better drink it and report my findings. Here we go.

REAL ALE SISYPHUS BARLEYWINE 2010 comes in a 12-ounce bottle, the better to preserve your equilibrium and not knock you over into the headache zone. It is 11.5% comprised of alcohol, so this is not a 6-pack you wanna throw back with some hot wings & football with the boyz. It glows a mighty, fruity-looking orange. Look at that one. Wow. Taste is smooth, with the alcohol masked very well - kudos. Those "American-style barleywine" perennials, vanilla and caramel, are the predominant flavors, so nothing too outta the ordinary there. In fact, while this is a tasty barleywine full stop, it reminds me of nothing more than a basic, pedestrian barleywine - if there is such a thing - that gets rolled out at the annual Toronado Barleywine Fest by brewers who don't typically make them. Nothing amazing, just good beer. Perhaps if they'd aged it a stone goblet in a Peruvian cave with extracts of quinoa and gesho we'd at least have something to talk about, but isn't "good beer" enough for a workin' man's holiday like today? 7/10.

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