This beer is a limited release from Hallertau Brewery in commemoration of their 10 year anniversary. Ten is the them here, following their first four numbering style this is the No. 10, and it is 10% ABV, all very fitting. Being a barley-wine the flavors change as the beer ages, Drews Brews Reviews did a good review about the different flavors of barley-wines and how they change over time which is worth checking out. Me, I’m being impatient with this one and cracking into it now, but you could leave it for up to another ten years if you can.
The nose is at first quite refreshing, almost like peppermint, but this gives way to a subtle malt like smell. The taste is hard to pin down, malts are in there and the flavor is thick, and gets thicker towards room temperature. The flavor is sweet at times which is probably the alcohol coming through, and there are smoky notes of manuka in there as well. To finish the flavor is slightly smoky with notes of manuka.
The flavors in this beer are complex, there is certainly a lot in there and if you keep looking you keep finding different ones. The thing is that at this stage all of the flavors are quite subtle. I’m not sure when the beer was bottled but with barley-wines it is better to leave them if you can. The whole experience was enjoyable and I don’t regret trying it now, but I may have to try and get another one and save it to try this beer in its matured glory. If you have a chance to grab one, even if you don’t feel like it now, grab it and save it because the flavors are only going to get better with age.
Who: Hallertau Brewery, New Zealand
Nose: Malt, peppermint(?)
Look: Clear gold
Taste: Barley, sweet, malt, thick, smoky, manuka
Finish: Smoky, manuka
Form Tried: 500ml bottle