Daisen G Barley Wine

Daisen G: Barley Wine 2012 (Japan: Barley Wine: 9% ABV)

Visual: Dark cherry red. Toffee touched medium head of small bubbles.

Nose: Fruitcake. Sugar dusting. Dry beef slices. Light glacier cherries. Raisins. Port.

Body: Strawberry. Light bitterness. Dry malt. Cherries and fruitcake. Brandy cream. Smooth texture. Ice cream syrup. Raisins. Marzipan.

Finish: Glacier cherries. Malt loaf and margarine. Brandy cream. Cherryaid. Milky chocolate. Sherbet feel. Gin air. Marzipan.

Conclusion: How very sophisticated and yet filled with childlike glee. What do I mean? Well, let’s look. Brandy cream, marzipan over fruitcake, port, gin air. The makings of a classy up market Christmas. A glass of drink in hand, quality cake an good conversation. So, sophisticated.

Let’s look again. Strawberry, ice cream syrup, cherryaid. A kids birthday party mix of flavours, balloon animal making clown an all.

Then, smash, the two styles together in one beer. The adult beverage giving hints of strength and robust character while the child like sweetness making it rich and easy to enjoy.

Nice trick if you can do it.

Pretty easy going for a barley wine, in both weight and flavour. It takes some time to build up a full head of steam. There is an ease of feel to it that belies the higher abv.

It is pretty nice. I can’t rate it against the “Old Numbskulls” of this world as it cannot bring quite that level of depth and character. It does mix class and joy in a way that makes it a pleasurable beverage to spend time with.  Not bad.

Background: Daisen, named after the highest mountain of the Chuugoku region, is the maker of this beer I picked up in Tokyo at the start of my Japan trip. The self same mountain is drawn upon the bottle’s label. I grabbed this one just because the label caught my eye. It turns out to be one of ratebeers top 50 beers of Japan. Huh. Anyway, brought back to the UK with me, I drank it as part of the wind down for a night.