Punctilious Beer Review: 3 Floyds Brewing - Owd Engwish
Beer Name: Owd Engwish
Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing
Style: Barrel Aged Barleywine
Bottle: Approx. September 2011
Other Recommended Reviewed Beers: [TBD]
Well, Rupert Witherbottom, you’ve finally arrived. This is a massive, English-style barley wine aged for one year in barrels from Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Review Date: 1/25/17
Poured From: Bottle (54 out of 261)
Rating: 86/100 - “outstanding”
Barleywine beers are supposed to be big, complex beers. This nose does not disappoint. Loads of sweet fruit aromas including cherry, raisin, and plums. Also a fantastic vegetative aroma, herbaceous on the order of fennel. Underneath all of these fantastic and complicated scents, there is a backbone of pure malt. The malt foundation is that of sweet and caramel, also a toast to it that makes you think it’s 7 am and the toaster just popped up two slices of bread bought from your favorite local bakery the day before. Fantastic smell to this one making me excited to try it.
This beer is pouring a fantastic hazy rust color, with gorgeous caramel tones. One thing that is interesting is that it is pouring with absolutely zero head, just the faintest hint of white carbonation. This means that this beer must have a bit of age to it for it to be this flat.
This beer is interesting, exceptionally complicated, yet surprisingly smooth. Notes of the fruit that was in the nose are all there, raisins, cherry, and plums. The fantastic toast notes are in tastable as well. There is a vegetative taste underlying the entire thing that is hard to place, a mix of green pepper and multiple types of leafy herbs. There are some notes of burnt sugar, that are going hand in hand with the toasted malts. Then over the whole thing is this great oaken flavor and all the characteristics you expect from something that has been barrel aged. There is a lot going on with this one, including an obvious boozy flavor. Drinkable for sure.
This beer is pretty sweet, the fruit tastes are coming through as a clingy sweetness, but at the same time it still presents as a drinkable beer. The mouth feel is just a smooth velvety beer, closer to a wine as the style name suggests, this may be due to the complete lack of carbonation. This beer legitimately feels more like wine than barleywine.
You get all the oak you want from the barrel, with all the complicated flavors you want out of a barleywine including a good ole kick in the pants of alcohol. The beer obviously has some age to it due to the softness or roundness of the flavor profile, and also the lack of carbonation. Overall a good drink, I personally prefer a newer barleywine just to get a little bit of bite out of it, but trust me that this works just the same!
Oh wow, another beer from 3 Floyds, this time a beer that has been being held on to by my Dad for 5 years, ever since the 3 Floyds 15 year anniversary party (that’s right, my family is 3 Floyds O.G., as represented by the 10 or so Dark Lord bottles on top of our cabinets). It is crazy to me that this is a 3 Floyds bottle that is one of only 261 bombers. It reminds me of the good old days when it wasn’t hard to get a seat in the brewpub, hell it reminds me of the days where the wait was only ten minutes for the brewpub! It reminds me of when I didn’t have to wait in any line to buy bombers of various beers, or cases of zombie dust. On one hand I am incredibly glad in the success that 3 Floyds has found, if anyone out there deserves it is probably them. However it does make me think about the merits of craft-beer, and if anything gets ruined in the commercialization of the hobby. I don’t know what is better, having that spot that only you and a few regulars know about that is pumping out great beer? Or the fact that tens probably hundreds of thousands of people have gotten to enjoy a fantastic place like 3 Floyds. I’ll probably never know. I want to say the first, but then I just feel bad about how selfish that is. Regardless, back to this beer, I would say buy it, but I think you’d be exceptionally hard pressed to find it. So sorry to say that this blog is just me bragging about having a good, exceptionally rare beer that you’ll never get… suck it nerd…