Home > Barleywine > Russian Doll – Barley Wine

Russian Doll – Barley Wine

Rating: 4.0

My final beer from Brewdogs Russian Doll series now (finally), this barleywine being the strongest of the four beers released and one that comes in at 10% abv. following the trend of each beer being 2% stronger than the one that preceded it. The Russian Doll four-pack is one that I’ve been surprisingly pleased with on the whole, granted the pale ale was average at best but both the IPA and the double IPA were very nice and I wouldn’t be adverse to trying either of them again; it’s not often I say that about Brewdog special release four-packs with their annual IPA Is Dead release never going down well. This is the beer from the series that I have been most looking forward to trying, that’s one of the reasons I’ve saved it until last, and it’s one that I’m hoping for big things from so here’s hoping that it carries on from the IPA and double IPA in the series and actually delivers. The beer will also be my second review of a barleywine from Brewdog in a row, following from another bottle of theirs that I had over Christmas and new year; their #Mashtag 2015 offering.

Russian Doll - Barley Wine

Appearance (4/5): Hazy and slightly murky brown with some orange and amber tinges coming through, this one forms a thin and foamy head on top of it that is a tan coloured surface lacing that gets slightly patchy looking around the edges.
Aroma (8/10): This one starts with some nice hops coming through on top of a solid malt base, there was some decent tropical notes early on with a bit of pineapple, mango and apricot coming through alongside a couple of darker fruits, most notably plum. There was strong caramel malts around the middle with a bit of alcohol backing it up before some raisins and sugars seen things out.
Taste (8/10): Quite a hop-filled beer that was strong and complex on the taste buds with some ripe, dark fruits opening things up along with a few sugars; plums and raisins seemed the most pronounced with some dates in there as well. The beer was further sweetened by some nice caramel malts and sugars around the middle before a bit of orange and some bitterness at the end helped to level things out a little.
Palate (4/5): Thick and full-bodied, this one came through with plenty of sweetness which seemed most pronounced at the start. There was a warming and slightly boozy feel to the beer like I was expecting, the balance was good though and carbonation was quite light too.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a nice offering from Brewdog with a nice hop presence and some good tropical fruits on the nose that I wasn’t expecting. The dark fruits and malts seemed to take over by the time the taste came around but there was a nice warming feel to the beer and it proved highly drinkable, even given the strong alcohol content. An enjoyable and well executed beer that I enjoyed, it was also probably the best from the brewery’s Russian Doll series that I tried but it didn’t quite blow me away like I had hoped.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2014
Type: Barleywine
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £2.50 (approx.)

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