Clown King

Brewdog: Clown King (Scotland: Barley Wine: 12% ABV)

Visual: Cherry red. Toffee brown small head. Clear body with no evident carbonation.

Nose: Cherries. Resin. Grapefruit. Custard Cream biscuits. Pineapple. Fluffy hop feel. Honeyed barley. Raspberry syrup. Bitter red wine.

Body: Caramel shortbread. Big pineapple hops. Resinous. Cherries. Big bitterness. Vanilla. Raspberry. Red wine notes.

Finish: Cherries. Hop bitterness. Chocolate. Cashew nuts. Toffee.

Conclusion: Ok, I really should write down a conclusion. I have just been kicking back and enjoying chilling with this beer for a while. Just enjoying the time. Hey, the point of beer is to enjoy it. The point of these reviews is to better appreciate and enjoy the beer. At no point should writing the review come in the way of enjoying the beer. Sorry everyone, that’s just how it is.

Ok, anyway, review. This is basically an IIPA meets a barley wine. Huge sweet cherries and caramel against big bitterness, pineapple and hops. It is huge in abv, flavour, bitterness and sweetness. It is huge, yet you can sip it so easily, too easily, the hop oils and resin seem to just slip down the throat before you realise exactly how much you have drunk. Hence the opening paragraph of this review.

It somehow manages to go big and yet go down easily at the same time. That is a hard proposition at the best of times, but it manages it. If I was to look for one element to define it, it would be the pineapple hops. That comes up front with the sweetness behind and occasional wine like touches giving a sense of class to the candy sweet backing style.

It is such a chilled out beer, you take a sip, love the flavour, swallow it down, and only three sips later do you realise the hops are dancing a bitter fandango on your tongue.

I’ll have to revisit a few times before deciding if it is a favourite. I am unsure if its charm will be so evident once the initial surprise of its easy drinking nature has worn off, but any which way it is an utterly joyful big Jon Snow of a beer.

Definitely a great barley wine.

Background: Another big Barley Wine from Brewdog, this time made heavily with US Hops. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip. Yes again. Those guys rule.

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