Troegs Flying Mouflan – Bourbon Barrel Aged

Awhile back, Val and I took a weekend trip to Pittsburgh. On the way out there, we stopped at Troegs brewery for lunch. I hadn’t been to Troegs since 2010, when they were still located in Harrisburg. While I was there, I picked up a bomber of Flying Mouflan, which had just won a gold at GABF that year. So, I was interested to try this version, because I really enjoyed the regular version.

ABV: 11.5%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Some beers just belong in barrels, and Flying Mouflan – a resiny, chocolatey giant of a barleywine ale – is one of them. We pour every drop we brew into bourbon barrels, taming the sharpness of the hops and uncovering layers of salted caramel, pecan pie and rum raisin.”

Random: This beer is available in cork and cage bottles only and uses Chinook, Simcoe and Warrior hops.

This beer poured with less than a finger of off white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with a moderate amount of carbonation visible. The nose started with the expected bourbon notes. I picked up vanilla, charred oak and then it transitioned into raisins and figs with some toffee and caramel. The taste was equally complex. It had a decent amount of sweetness with caramel and toffee. There was a pecan note as well. Raisins came through next with figs and dates. The bourbon notes were at the end with vanilla, charred oak and brown sugar. It had a bit of alcohol burn as well, which given the ABV, was to be expected. It had a heavy and chewy body, but had enough carbonation to lighten it up a bit. The finish was sticky and sweet with caramel and toffee. This was an exceptional beer. I really enjoyed the regular version and the bourbon barrel aging just turned it up a notch. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Ship Bottom NYE Barleywine

I’m finally back on schedule with my posts and completely up to date. What better way to celebrate than with a barleywine?

ABV: 11.4%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our humble beginnings started in the summer of 1995 in Ship Bottom, NJ. Back then we made our first batch of beer using a home brew kit that consisted of a plastic bucket, large spoon, bottling bucket and some bottle caps. We hardly knew what would be ahead of us 20+ years later! We learned a lot over the last 20+ years and feel that we really refined our craft. We have been encouraged to start a brewery by family and friends that love our handcrafted ales and finally decided to make our dream become a reality! We have grown a lot since opening a Nano brewery in Wallingford PA back in 2012. In the Summer of 2016 we opened a 15 Barrel Production Brewery in Beach Haven NJ located inside Bay Village with an incredible Bay View. We are open Year Round at the Beach Haven Brewery and have a Tasting Room where you can sample or purchase our Handcrafted Ales and Lagers to Go. Our distribution is in cases of canned beer and kegs throughout New Jersey and in South Eastern Pennsylvania. We hope that you will enjoy our passion for handcrafted beer as much as we do and encourage you to let us know how we are doing. Stop by the Brewery and Catch a Wave with Us!”

Random: This is my second beer from Ship Bottom.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger, tan head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with light carbonation. The nose had notes of bourbon barrel and caramel malt. There was some alcohol on the nose. The taste was hot. It had the same bourbon barrel note, but the alcohol overwhelmed it. There was some sweetness from the caramel malt. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with booze. I wasn’t a huge fan of this beer. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cameron’s Where The Buffalo Roam

My work schedule hasn’t been as crazy lately (read: I’m only working 70 hours instead of 90), so I’ve been doing some reading at home. I’m trying to get through a book a week. I just read a book on Trump that was quite a doozy and now I’m reading the Chris Christie book. I’m only about 40 pages in and it’s…something. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.

ABV: 13%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by the wild plains where thousands upon thousands of footsteps have been taken by a truly noble animal, Where the Buffalo Roam takes its roots in oak bourbon barrels so this barley wine style ale can slowly age and meld with the bold, deep flavours of the quintessential southern drink. With notes of dark fruit and hints of toasted coconut, combined with the sweet and warming flavour of bourbon, Where the Buffalo Roam is a real treat to lay down with after migrating home. We invite you to take this distinct passage travelled by wonderers.”

Random: This won Ontario Craft Brewing Awards – Gold in 2017.

The beer poured with a two finger, tan-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing and a crown on top of the body. The body was a deep mahogany color with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with booze and sweet caramel malts. The taste was also quite boozy, but the sweetness of the caramel malt helped to counter it. There was some toffee as well. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a sticky finish with toffee. I liked this beer, especially on a cold night, but I wish it had a bit more depth. I hadn’t heard of the brewery before, but I will be looking out for more from them.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Lost Abbey Devil Went Down To Georgia

Tonight’s beer is one that I’ve had my eye on for a long time and finally pulled the trigger.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “They were told not to eat the fruit from the apple tree. It was off limits and the fruit was forbidden. They were tempted by the serpent and made a choice to eat from the tree. Their actions were not preordained but rather the actions of beings with free will. We have all been given free will and it is this notion of free will that affords each of us the opportunity to make choices in our lives. At every fork in the road, there are signs marking the struggle of Good vs. Evil. The Lost Abbey was imagined as part of a crusade in this ongoing story of Good vs. Evil beer. Everywhere we turn these days, there is a battle being waged between those who make good beer and those who make evil beer (bad beers). But, how did we get here? Why us? Why these beers? Do you want to join our crusade?A few years and beers ago, Vince Marsaglia (one of our co-founders and half of the family duo that owns Pizza Port) was inspired by the numerous Abbey Style beers that he tasted and dreamed up a brewery project that produced a range of beers produced with a nod to the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium. As Vince imagined it, this brewery had no actual Abbey property involved, making it ‘lost’ from the very beginning.”

Random: This beer was originally called “Track 11” from their Box Set Series.

The beer poured with a wispy, less than half a finger, tan colored head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a murky, dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose was big. It had a lot of bourbon and oak up front with some caramel and a touch of peach liqueur. The taste also had a lot of bourbon and vanilla up front. Booze made an appearance as well, but it wasn’t overwhelming. There was a touch of peach and black tea. It had a sweet, caramel note as well. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. The finish was sticky sweet and lengthy. I picked this bottle up for $16.99, which came to $1.32 per ounce. It was definitely an expensive beer, but worth every penny. I forgot how much I love beers from The Lost Abbey.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Kane Vengeful Heart

Kane beers are usually outstanding, so whenever we make a trip to the brewery, I pick up bombers of whatever they have.

ABV: 10.3%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Vengeful Heart is a true American-style Barleywine loaded with 98 IBU of our favorite hops. We used a heavy dose of Simcoe and Chinook in the boil and even more Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe and Chinook in the whirlpool and at dry-hopping. This huge hop bill is supported by a blend of four different crystal malts to create flavors of caramel, toffee and dark fruit. As a result, Vengeful Heart is deep ruby in color with big tropical fruit and pineapple aromas and a firm bitterness that is followed by a slightly sweet, caramel finish.”

Random: We’re about halfway through season one of “The Good Fight.” It just makes me miss “The Good Wife” more.

The beer poured with a half a finger of cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a medium brown color and cloudy with light carbonation. The nose was filled with sweet, caramel and toffee notes, which transitioned into some hoppy pine and citrus notes. Booze and earthiness came through next. The taste had a significant dose of sweetness to it with the caramel and toffee, but had a nice dose of hops to cut it. The alcohol was hidden for a barleywine, but some dark fruits, specifically dates, came through at the end. The body was thick, but not syrupy, and had plenty of carbonation. The finish was sweet, yet had a punch of citrus hops at the end. I don’t remember how much this was, since I picked it up directly from the brewery, but I thought this beer was really outstanding and not just a sweet barleywine, like so many examples from the style are. I would definitely get this again and throw a few in the cellar to age.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Firestone Walker Helldorado

After I landed, Val and I headed out to our local bar for a late lunch. They have a decent tap list and I hadn’t tried this one yet. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 13.2%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Part of the adventure of aging beer in retired spirits barrels is the synergistic interaction of different malt flavors with the oak and spirit flavors from the barrel. Darker beers like stouts and darker barley wines have typically been the favored candidates for barrel-aging, due to their deeper caramel and roasted flavors. Helldorado breaks that mold with a deep golden color from being brewed solely with English and American pale malts. The bready, honeyed flavors of pale malts pull out rich wildflower honey, vanilla and coconut notes from the oak, creating an overall flavor evocative of bourbon-glazed graham crackers that stands as singularly unique in our Vintage lineup. Helldorado may be lighter in color but it is a full-bodied and densely concentrated sipper at 11.8% ABV.”

Random: I’d be curious to give this one a shot with a few years on it.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a golden-orange with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was really sweet with candi sugar, honey and vanilla with some toasted oak. The taste was also sweet, but complemented with toasted oak. The booze was present, but not overwhelming. The body was thick with a decent amount of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with sugar. I enjoyed this beer a lot, although given the ABV, I wouldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

River Horse Barleywine Aged In Whiskey Barrels

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, “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

Round Guys Nautical Disaster

Awhile back, the other half and I visited a bunch of Pennsylvania breweries, one of them being Round Guys, which is on a side street in Lansdale. It was a nice bar and the staff was friendly. I would go back there. This beer was part of their “Mug Club” series and they bottle some depending on popularity.


ABV: 8.7%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Rich nutty, toffee, and caramel malt driven flavors inundate and balance against a offsetting citrus and floral hop.”

Random: I am having a craving for thin crust pizza.

The beer poured with a finger of cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. It did leave a slight crown on top of the clear, amber-colored body. There was little carbonation visible. The nose had a sweet caramel note. It also had a leather note with some wood. It didn’t smell nearly as sweet as the typical barleywine. The taste was hoppier than the nose implied. It was aggressive and had none of the sweetness that the nose hinted at. It barely tastes like a barley wine. It also had a strong black pepper note that wasn’t in line with the nose. Grass came through as well. The body was on the thinner side of the style with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and had the same hop note as the taste. This beer was a miss for me. The flavors were off and it needed some more sweetness. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Pipeworks Santa Vs. Unicorn

This is the first beer from Pipeworks that I’ve managed to get my hands on. Their label art is ridiculously cool. Even if I wasn’t into craft beer, I’d want to buy these bottles. Conceptually, it’s also cool…like what other brewery would name a beer after a fantasy fight between a unicorn and the mascot of Christmas. I think Santa would win.


ABV: 10%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Malts: 2-row, munich, caramel 80, special roast, rye, flaked oats, midnight wheat. Hops: columbus, galaxy, zythos, falconner’s flight, cascade. Adjuncts: dextrose”

Random: I am not a big fan of when brewery websites don’t capitalize things.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off-white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a deep sienna color with no visible carbonation because of the color. The nose had some alcohol and big hop notes. Specifically, I got pine resin, grapefruit pith and pine needles. After the beer warmed a bit, there was some sweetness with caramel as well, but I was shocked at how hoppy the nose was. The taste had some hop character as well. It manifested as pine and was moderately bitter. Caramel and toffee came through too. The alcohol was hidden on the palate. It had a lighter than expected mouthfeel for the style with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with the piney bitterness. A bomber of this was $11.99 ($.55 per ounce). This was a really nice beer and great if you enjoy hops. I would highly recommend this one if you can find it, since it’s not distributed in Jersey (I had to go to New York for this one).

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Otter Creek Double Or Nothing Maple Barleywine

Tonight’s selection is one that has gotten a lot of press. I’ve seen both good and bad reviews of the beer itself. I saw a bottle on the shelf at Half Time and figured it was worth giving it a try.


ABV: 10.5%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our second collaboration creation with Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Double or Nothing is a devilishly sweet Barley Wine that’s aged on maple wood and brewed with a heavenly dose of Vermont maple syrup.”

Random: The bottle art is a marked departure from Otter Creek’s normal labels.

This beer poured with less than a finger of cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark sienna color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was very strong with wood and maple syrup. Toffee came through with booze and molasses. The taste started with vanilla and oak. Maple syrup was prevalent as well, although it didn’t apart as much sweetness as I would have guessed. The booze had a lot of warming on the throat. Molasses were there too. It also had a misplaced, green, vegetal note that bordered on medicinal. The body was thick and syrupy with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with maple syrup and brown sugar sweetness. This beer was expensive at $5.49 for a single ($.46 per ounce), which is most likely a result of the hype factor, since this was a collaboration beer with Lawson’s. I thought I would love this beer, but it was very aggressive and the flavors were a bit disjointed. I wouldn’t revisit this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0