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Tasting Notes: Elusive: BA Mince Pie Barley Wine

By Alcoholandaphorisms
Tasting Notes: Elusive: BA Mince Pie Barley Wine

Elusive: BA Mince Pie Barley Wine (England: Barley Wine: 8.5% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown body with red hints of held to the light. A rim of browned bubbles around the edge of the glass instead of a head.

Nose: Suet, basically mince pies. Carrots. Nutmeg. Cloves. Black liquorice. Chives.

Body: Light charring. Mead. Suet. White sugar. Peppery. Burnt charred meat ends. Brown sugar. Some cherries.

Finish: White sugar. Candy floss. Golden syrup. Suet. Black pepper. Lightly tarry. Brown sugar. Mince pies. Toffee. A general cheap whisky feel.

Conclusion: Ok, so definitely a lot of suet feel here, along with a whole bunch of Christmas spices and sugar dusting for a distinct call to mince pies without losing the rough edged and alcohol warming barley wine base. So, covers the gimmick without losing the base beer to do so, always a good start.

The bourbon aging is there but feels more subtle compared to the big suet push. There is some toffee floating around in there and a general generic whisky air, especially in the finish, but there is little I can distinctly grab onto. It is a recognisable but nebulous vibe around the main beer.

It comes together into a beer that is quite dry and slightly rough edged – which is not always a bad thing. Here though, apart from the well delivered mince pie imagery, the rest of the beer doesn’t hang together as well. Not that is bad, just a bunch of elements that don’t really harm but neither do they enhance the core idea. It feels all a bit all over the place.

Does the core idea well, not special, but also not bad, just not focussed. I’d have it as a bit of fun, but not as more than that.

Background: It is that time of the year ago, waaay before Christmas but everyone has already shoved up all the lights. Prob less so by the time I actual pull my finger out and upload these notes. Any which way, I saw this Mince Pie themed barley wine in Independent Spirit , this time a special edition barrel aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Casks for a year to add a bit special and thought, what the heck, treat myself. I may not be much for Christmas but I am a huge fan of its beers. For backing music I really got in the Christmas mood, nah just kidding, continued my exploration of 80s punk with Discharge: Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing. It is the sound of the season.

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