Mendocino Brewing Company hails from Mendocino County, California. Medocino is one of the older craft brewers in the U.S. as they has been brewing since the early 1980’s. New for 2010, the brewery is adding an “Imperial Series” to their lineup. The Imperial Series will include 3 titles to start : an IPA, a stout, and this release – “Imperial Barleywine.”
American barleywines are probably first and foremost described as alcoholic. I don’t know one under 9% to start. American barleywines differ from their English couterpart, and are almost always complex. Barleywine’s can have everything from a hoppy aroma and flavor, to a palate full of alcohol, fruits and sweet malts. Mendocino has made another barleywine recently called Talon Barleywine. Similarities in these 2 brews I’m sure exist and would be worth doing a taste investigation.
Mendocino’s Imperial Barleywine Description –
“This Imperial Barley Wine Style Ale has a rich amber color with a full, robust body. This Barley Wine style Ale has a traditional warming malt flavor with a delightful hop finish. While exceptionally drinkable now, it will continue to improve with age — taking on subtle flavors of dark fruit, sherry and anise. Hop flavors and aromas will become more rounded and luscious caramel malt notes will become more intense. Brewed with an astonishing starting gravity of 24 Plato and finishing at 11% ABV, this Imperial Barley Wine Ale is not for the faint of heart, though it will reward the adventurous drinker with an unparalleled taste experience.”
Taste Expectations – Toffee, & dark fruits. Some fruit & sweet caramel/dark malts mixed with some alcohol.
Availability – 12oz/4 pks. Seasonally brewed in Mendocino’s “Imperial Series.”