Thornbridge: Bracia (England: Traditional Ale: 10% ABV)

Visual: Looks like treacle or coffee liquor on the pour and leaves a thin sheen over the glass where it has been. Sheer black with a solid coffee brown head made up of a thick bubbled froth.

Nose: Honey. Chestnuts, aniseed and treacle. Very sweet and cloying. Apple orchards and raisins.

Body: Slick thick and smooth. Sweet honey.  Treacle tart. Froths up very easily bringing a light milky coffee to it. Raisins again. Very sugary dried apricots has a light influence.  Can be black cherry and liquorice near the end and finally develops tons of fruitcake and port as it sinks in.

Finish:  Rich chocolate. Treacle tart again. Light apples. Malt drinks. Dry liquorice grows throughout the beer.

Conclusion: Hope you like your beers cloying thick and sweet. That isn’t a criticisms but it is damn important if you are going to break a bottle of this open.

It really is like someone poured a horn of mead into a thick fruity traditional English ale, then aged it in port for good measure.  It feels a very old beer, it seems to weigh down your tongue. The weight and mead kick makes it feel every inch of its abv. That oddly is not a bad thing, as it feels strong but does not burn thus just seems to seep into your system.

It feels like it should be drunk from a massive tankard in a feast hall full of roasted pigs on a spit.  It really does feel that massive a beer. Whilst not as madly awesomely proficient as Hair of the Dog Adams it does feel like a British take on the style (with mead of course) and does pretty damn well for itself anyway.

A mix of insanely honey sweet, lashings of dark fruit and a light touch of porter like flavour.  This may be a too rich beer for some tastes, but will be a godsend for others.

Background: Bottled Winter 2010: Drunk Autumn 2011. Picked up from the bottle shop in York.  Thornbridge have been a solid brewery for me so far, and Bracia comes with a hell of a rep.  Made with chestnut honey this is a loose recreation of an old style based on descriptions of what it was like.  The beer has the beloved Sorachi Ace hop in it, even if its influence is not overly evident.  Whilst talking with a mate I pretended something was wrong with the beer, which led to said friend thinking and saying, “yes, it has a slight metallic taste, doesn’t it.”  Thus the power of mind games to alter a tasting has again been shown. That and the fact I’m a total bastard.