Bottle of Mountain Goat Barley Wine and two glassesName: Mountain Goat Barrel Breed: Barley Wine 2016

Style: Barley Wine

Country: Australia

ABV: 11.3%

Beer Description: Mountain Goat is a brewery from Melbourne in Australia. They’re one of the bigger craft breweries in Australia and haven’t been without controversy since they were bought out by Asahi. That hasn’t stopped the brewery from continuing with their Rare Breed and other limited edition beers like this Barrel Breed. In fact, the brewery seems to be able to leave their regular releases to Asahi while concentrating on concocting new and exciting beers.

Mountain Goat’s Barley Wine is out for a second year with the the barrel aged goodness. As with last year, the brewers allowed the beer to age for a few months in world famous Lark Distillery oak whisky barrels. According to the Crafty Pint, the original Barley Wine went into the barrel at 8.9% alcohol by volume and aged down to the final strength of 11.3% alcohol by volume.

The brewery (and the bottle) are clear to tell drinkers that it’s good to age this beer further as it will keep on giving for years to come. We allowed this beer to age for a further six months past its release date in May 2016, as we just couldn’t wait to drink it. However, for those cellaring this drop, we’re jealous as this already amazing beer will surely be awesome after a few years.

The colour of the beer is really interesting. It’s a beautiful amber colour with the slightest hint of yellow. The beer seems to take on the colour of whatever is around it. It looks sweet to the taste just by looking at it.

According to the brewery’s tasting notes, they’ve thrown in Super Pride of Ringwood hops, which goes well with the Australian Lark whisky barrels combined with the more traditional elements of a Barley Wine. That being said, being a Barley Wine, this is far from a hop forward beer. Surprisingly though, there seemed to be a little bit of spice in the aroma of the beer, which pointed to hops beyond the Super Pride. Along with this is the unsurprising scents of whisky and the vanilla of the oak, as well as aromas more typical of the style such as toffee and caramelised sugar.

This continues in the taste, especially the vanilla and sweet elements. Adding to this are the sherry elements that are often very typical of Barley Wines. While Lark are known for pretty strong whiskies, the flavour of the whisky in this beverage is far from harsh. Instead, the beer is quite smooth, unlike the harsher Lark whisky.

Mountain Goat’s 2016 Barley Wine went down a treat and was perfect to be savoured as a slow drink. The style of beer is always big and bold, and well worth the challenge to drink.

For those of you who still have a bottle of this beer hidden away, good on you or holding onto it. For those of you who didn’t pick up a bottle this year, be sure to pick up next year’s vintage, as it will surely be just as good.

Check out other Barley Wine reviews.

Go to other Mountain Goat beer reviews.