Phillips Trainwreck Barley Wine

Trainwreck-2012Next up in the winter beer series is a seasonal release by Phillips, one of their many, many limited releases that have graced the shelves of your local watering hole over the years! And it’s one that, I have to admit, this is one I have somehow neglected to sample thus far, in spite of the fact that it’s been available for what seems like a few years now.

And to boot, the 2012 vintage of the Trainwreck has the added surprise of being barrel-aged in bourbon casks, providing an extra layer of peat moss and whiskey flavor to what is already a dark and malty beverage.

*Sidenote: I should mention that they advise serving it at cellar temperatures, meaning just slightly chilled. However, I can tell you that served cold, the flavors of bourbon and barley still come through in spades, so decide for yourself how it will be served. I will be sure to procure a second bottle and be sure to indicate how that alters the overall profile.

Appearance: Dark brown/amber, transparent, good foam retention
Nose: Immediate notes of bourbon whiskey
Taste: Immediate burst of whiskey flavor, combined with slightly sweet malts
Aftertaste: Peaty finish, coarse malts, deep and lingering
Overall: 7.5/10

While I’m not a big fan of bourbon barrel-aged ales, I have to admit that this beer has some serious cajones! It might just be my imagination, but the alcoholic nature of the beer also seems just the slightest bit enhanced thanks to the infusion of bourbon flavor. Definitely a rib-tickler and heart warmer, and a winner if you love the taste of whiskey!

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