Friday, April 5, 2013

John Henry Colonial Cream and Brown Ale

Type: cream ale, brown ale, wood aged
Origin: Cold Spring, MN
Price: $7.99 per 750 mL
ABV: 9.3%
NSP: 8.7

I have been on somewhat of an oak barrel aged kick (not really a kick, more just trying to find one I really like), so when I saw this at Best Damn Beer Store, I had to have it for the price. I believe all of John Henry's beers are barrel aged in a variety of styles (I also have a rum barrel aged pale ale in my fridge). Before I start, I should note this is from Cold Spring Brewing, the makers of the Big Fucking Can (BFC) you may have seen before and were surprisingly tasty. They also do some contract brewing for 21st Amendment, so you know they are good at following a recipe.

Let me start off by saying this is a tricky combination for me.  I absolutely have fallen in love with cream ales.  Thats good.  I absolutely hate brown ales.  Thats bad. I like brandy.  Thats good.  I am very impartial to oak barrel aging....Thats bad I guess. It comes with your free choice of topping....and thats enough.  This isn't a beer that is going to change the way you look at beer, but its pretty good and really easy to drink.  The thing I really like about this is you can really taste the cream ale half of the beer, and the brown ale just brings over the malts to play without the dirty dog taste so ubiquitous with brown ales. The cream ale half is not overly sweet though like with some cream ales, probably due to the brown ale mellowing.  I have a real tough time picking out the brandy oak and it seems that it was only added in order to smooth out the beer's rough edges.  You can slightly smell it if you get your nose really deep in the glass, but then you look like a snob, and thats not the point of this website.  All in all, I am kinda looking forward to the pale ale just to see what the rum barrels do to it.  If someone gave this to me at a party, I would definitely oblige.

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