Hangar 24 'Hammerhead' 2012 Barleywine Style Ale

Hangar 24 Hammerhead Barleywine Ale 1
Hangar 24 Brewing 'Hammerhead' 2012 Barleywine Style Ale. 13.8% abv. 83 IBU. Hazy dark brown color. Thin tan head that retains a nice collar. Good retention and lace. Nose is rich sweet malt, raisin, warm brown sugar, toffee. Front taste of caramel, oak, bittersweet dark chocolate, spicy bright fruity hops. Aftertaste of caramel, bright herbal hops, pungent fruit. Full body. Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, pungent, chewy.

This is an outstanding brew. The flavor profile is complex and deep, with rich roasted malt, warm sweet tones, bright fruit, woods, and a river of bourbon running underneath it all. This is one of those superbly crafted decadent beers where every sip makes me tilt my head back and mutter to myself how goddamn good it is. Hammerhead is the fourth in Hangar 24's 'Barrel Roll' series.  Strongly recommended.

NOTE: Special thanks to Tim McMahon of the Central Valley Craft Beer Drinkers for the end photo.

From the brewery:

"A well executed HAMMERHEAD is smooth and dramatic. This beer is no exception. Hammerhead is a big, complex, American-style Barleywine featuring two English caramel malts and four American hops. Hammerhead’s character is enhanced by dry hopping and then aging the deep amber liquid for six months in charred oak rye whiskey and bourbon barrels. Spicy aromas spill from the glass: rich caramel, citrusy hops, bourbon and oak. Layered flavors of toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, spice and rye whiskey lead to a warm and slightly bitter finish. This is a strong ale, meant to be sipped, savored and enjoyed."
[source: hangar24brewery.com]

Hangar 24 Hammerhead Barleywine Ale 2
I was lucky enough to enjoy Hammerhead on tap after a barrel-aged beer event at Peeve's Pub.

Hangar 24 Hammerhead Barleywine Ale 3
Photo courtesy of Tim McMahon of Central Valley Craft Beer Drinkers