Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Hvedegoop: Malaga Wine Edition (Denmark: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Dark cherry red. Large beige froth.

Nose: Raisins. Malt loaf. Bitter. Wheat. Very milky coffee comes in lightly. Red wine. Cherries. Rum. Musky grapes.

Body: Quite bitter red wine. Raisins. Prunes. Cherries and malt loaf. Spicy. Chilli seeds and green peppers. Red grapes. Fruitcake.

Finish: Bitter red wine. Malt loaf. Wheat. Dry. Dried spices. Quite bitter. Chilli seeds. Alpen (Without milk). Plums.

Conclusion: How very odd, this thing is very much a musky red wine of a beer, bitter red wine and musky grapes along with an almost chilli seed spiciness.  I’m not a wine expert but from the barrel ageing chose I would have guessed something sweeter. Huh.  It is a very dry and bitter beer with a closed bitterness that hangs around long after you have stopped sipping.

Interesting, yes, but feels closed even though it has a range of flavours. Maybe the barrel ageing had a different effect than I expected, or the wheat used in making it, or maybe just the design of the beer itself, but the muskiness and dryness can feel almost moth ball like at times. The flavours never seem to be able to spread their wings. There is a lot of flavour there, but it doesn’t express itself well for my tastes.

I think it is the dried spices and chilli seed that pushes it too far, the elements stick too much with the beers texture and leave a curried feel along with the bitterness. A pity as the red grapes and raisin fruitiness within shows promise but is quickly overshadowed. It does better warmed up, more robust that way, but still leads to a finish that lets it down.

There is, for all my criticisms, a base of a solid beer underneath. Late on becoming more fruitcake, cherries and a solid texture. Unfortunately everything about that solid base seems to weaken it.

Not the best I’ve had from these two giants of brewing.

Background; Ok, technically it is a wheat wine but I’m not adding a new category for every * wine variant they come up with.  As you can guess this has been aged in Malaga wine casks, I never drank the original Hvedegoop but have enjoyed the various *goops that have been released over the years that I have tried. Drunk after watching “The Royal Tenenbaums” which I enjoyed and it put me in a good mood for reviewing.