By Julia Burke, Beer Editor
Flying Bison Brewing Company's "The Herc" pours a hazy amber/russet into a 12 oz. goblet with a delicate and thin but persistant head.
Initially the nose is all caramel and banana cream pie, but with a few minutes to warm up it opens to cedar, clove, allspice and vanilla bean.
The palate is a play between incredibly creamy richness and surprisingly sharp hop character. Buttery, mouth-coating layers of root-beer-flavored rock candy and caramelized brown sugar pulse on the palate between stabs of impressive bitterness.
This batch must certainly have been quite hoppy to start, because the flavors are there in spades but well-incorporated with the benefits of good cellaring. (Stay tuned for an upcoming post on aging beer.)
An ethereal finish, with fresh-roasted coffee notes entering the mix, gives way to tremendous length.
An outstanding beer and a fine example of the aging power of good barleywine.
Producer: Flying Bison Brewing Company
Sample Size: 12 oz. bottle
Stemware: 12 oz. goblet