Name: Griffin’s Bow
Brewer: Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.), Boston, Mass.
By the numbers: 300 calories per 12 oz.; 10 percent alcohol by volume
Note: Griffin’s Bow is a part of Samuel Adams’ Limited Release portfolio of beers. The brewer calls these a haven for experimentation, so these small batches are really a test that they’ve bottled and allowed us to taste. There are currently six brews in limited release, four of which I found at my local beer shop. I chose this one because it listed toasted oak as its special ingredient and I love oaky, malty beers. A barleywine by style, this beer is aged in oak and includes Nelson Sauvin (from New Zealand) and Zeus hops, neither variety one you’d find in common beers. It poured a golden amber color with a huge head. The aroma was of burnt wood and sugar and very boozy. The taste and texture was more silky like wine. I made out fruit, but it was more like raisins than citrus to me. The oak came through strong and the toffee sugar flavor as well. It was interesting and enjoyable and also quite intoxicating.
Try it with: Sudden warmth. The alcohol in this barley wine will warm you up fast, which fits with our weather. I was on the deck, sitting in the sunshine as the temps pushed 80 and the birds sang. Quite unusual for March 14 in Central Illinois.
— Posted by Mike Freimann