Friday, January 20, 2012

Beereview: Blue Point Old Howling Bastard

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(Note: Congratulations to any of you who let your Representative know that you didn't want SOPA or PIPA! We won! Think about the power that was just exercised; can we harness it again to change the world? I'm encouraged by this and I hope you are too!)

I don't often buy beer because of the name; there are so many clever titles out there that I'd be bankrupt in about a day. I had to make an exception for this eye catching bottle though, as it features shiny bronze and silver lettering (oooh shiny) and a garish screaming zombie Moses. If there is such a thing as a tasteful screaming zombie Moses I'd be all over that too, but you take what you can get. The name "Old Howling Bastard" really sealed the deal on this one.

I found this interesting post about the label design if you want to see a close up photo of this local legend (apparently he was a crazy homeless guy, not a zombified Charlton Heston) It's a pretty creepy label, although I think seeing anything from Flying Dog has left me desensitized, intrigued by the macabre, and more likely to buy beer exactly like this.

So how does it measure up to my lofty expectations? 

Beereview: Blue Point - Old Howling Bastard

This Barleywine Style Ale pours a cloudy apple cidar color with a thick head that quickly recedes into a steady but very thin film.

The aroma is sweet and hoppy with a bit of that citrus twang that I really enjoy. Not exactly what I'd expect from a barleywine as it smells more like an IPA.

The taste is... complicated. There's an initial sweet rush followed by an intensely bitter hoppiness closer to Arrogant Bastard or Hop Devil. It has a slightly oily aftertaste with an alcohol burn. At 10%, this beer can keep up with the best of them if you manage to keep it down.

Summing it up, this beer is HARSH although not low quality. It isn't something I'd recommend to many people but I do like how they didn't over-sweeten it to cover for the high ABV. It really is more like a weak bourbon than a strong beer.

Have you tried this? Is barleywine supposed to be this hoppy? Let us know in the comments below!

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