Beer Review: SUN KING JOHAN THE BARLEYWINE

Beer Review: SUN KING JOHAN THE BARLEYWINE

The liquid poured from the 16 oz. can into a goblet resembles a dark iced tea amber, lacking any substantial head. The absence of a head may disappoint those who appreciate a visually dynamic beer, as it lacks the initial foamy allure common in this style.

Aroma

The olfactory experience of Johan the Barleywine is a medley of raisins, prunes, and a subtle hint of spiced rum. While these scents contribute to the beer’s complexity, it doesn’t diverge significantly from the anticipated aromatic profile of an English-Style Barleywine.

Taste

Caramel and hops take center stage in the flavor profile, accompanied by notes of chocolate and sweet grapes. The taste is undoubtedly solid, but the sweetness dominates, leaving a lingering desire for a more pronounced hop bitterness to balance the overall flavor profile.

Mouthfeel

Johan the Barleywine presents a full-bodied experience, complemented by a prickly carbonation that adds a certain liveliness to the palate. However, the mouthfeel leans towards the heavier side, which might be overwhelming for those seeking a more nuanced and easy-drinking barleywine.

Overall

In the grand scheme, Johan the Barleywine stands as a commendable brew, firmly grounded on the sweet side of the spectrum. The careful cellaring and barrel-aging processes contribute to its solid foundation, but the absence of a discernible hop bite may leave enthusiasts longing for a more pronounced counterpoint to the prevailing sweetness. Ultimately, this offering from Sun King Brewery aligns more with the characteristics of an aged, sweet English Barleywine, making it a suitable choice for those with a penchant for malt-forward, less bitter brews.