River Horse Barleywine Aged In Whiskey Barrels

Posted: July 10, 2016 in American Barleywine, Reviews, River Horse Brewing Company

When this beer was released, Val and I got tickets to go to the event. Inevitably, I was stuck at work, so I couldn’t go, but Val bought two bottles. I popped this one open and left the other in the cellar to age for a few years.


ABV: 11%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to NJ.com, “River Horse has moved from a 10,000-square-foot location to a 25,000-square-foot building, giving the brewer the ability to produce new kinds of beer, as well as lots more beer than before. Our view was that we just wanted to get in here and start making beer and then expand. The factory floor is geared for expansion. As of now River Horse has 11 beer fermenting tanks and two ‘brite’ tanks, into which the beer goes after fermentation to mature and develop natural carbonation. Walsh has space in the buildings for up to 20 fermenters, each of which can hold up to 40 barrels of beer. The company currently produces 9,000 barrels per year, and hopes to ramp up production significantly over the coming year.”

Random: The press release above was from 3 years ago. I’ve since been to the new brewery and the space is huge, and conveniently located in my town.

The beer poured with a one finger, light khaki head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown and slightly cloudy with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was robust with vanilla, toasted oak and lots of whiskey. After it warmed, I picked up maple syrup too. The oak and whiskey notes dominated the nose, which muted some of the barleywine sweetness. The taste was a pure oak bomb. Notes of toasted oak chips, vanilla and booze (specifically whiskey), were what coated my tongue. Toffee came through at the end of the sip, but this wasn’t an overly sweet beer. It had a thinner than usual body for the style with lots of carbonation. The beer finished shockingly quick with heat from the booze. A bomber of it set me back $15 ($.68 per ounce). This beer was alright, and one that I think age will greatly help. I’m glad I got two bottles of it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


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