Beer Profile: Knucklehead Barleywine from Bridgeport


Profiled by Ken Carman for

Beer-Profile1-258x300As the lady said at Midtown in Nashville, I too have never been all that impressed with Bridgeport beers. Some “OK,” some a tad less than “OK,” some a hint over “OK.” This is an oak aged Barleywine @”OK.” Oak nose: light. Amber with good clarity. Head lasts quite a while: pin point bubbles with a nice compliment of pillow. In bottle picking a hint of barleywine sweetness on the nose.

Mouthfeel: oak/wood cling with some sweet. Medium body with a hint of barleywine sweetness. Very thin for style. Needs more malt background. A bit sticky, but barleywine can get so. This is probably the only barleywine sense that matches other bws.

To be honest, this is a nice, but very one dimensional, barleywine. There’s a nice sweetness backed up by a amber/caramel malt sense. Taste-wise a weak barleywine at best. Bourbon barrel aged? Getting the oak but a very, very tiny hint of bourbon at best. Oak, oak, oak. Some sherry notes though I suspect that’s the bourbon. Hops way in the background, but not as crucial as the other way too background issues.

“Too restrained” comes to mind. Less bw than it should be.

The issue here is balance, though I’m curious what aging will do. The oak is obvios, everthing else takes a background and one would expect both aroma and mouthfeel to be more aggressive. To the taste more of an aggressive amber with aggressive oak.

Suggestion: get the barleywine right first, then the rest.

Welcome to the new PGA rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.” This beer was rated…


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