Aside from Brooklyn Brewing, it can be a little hard to get offerings from that far north this far down South. Luckily, between American Craft Beer Week and the great selection at Corporate Brew and Draft, I was able to snag a couple of their special offerings:
Did you also at some point in your life get seduced by promising words like ‘probably (not) the best in the world', ‘it (doesn't really) work every time' etc. This American Barley Wine says it how it is. It's intense, attention seekingly hoppy and definitely your kind of beer. A beer with a big ego, drive and a huge thirst for recognition.
In my experience, Barley Wines are either for you, or they're not. Tend to have very high alcohol contents, which usually means they're more on the heavy and sweet side. And sure enough, this one is 10.3 percent alcohol-by-volume.
This has a rich yellowish brown, butterscotch kind of color, and the aroma matches it, sweet with a kind of singeing, boozy quality. The opening is lightly malty, but then it gets very sweet, with that same rich flavor you'd expect from the bouquet. Closes with a bit of a bite from the heavy alcohol content. It's not so sweet as to be hard to finish, but you probably won't want more than a 10-ounce snifter. I think this one really comes down to your taste -- I just don't think barley wines are quite mine. That said, it was tremendously flavorful, and if you're interested in this style of beer, I'd recommend this variety. 3.75 out of five stars.
Aún Más Café Jesús
Now this one, was more my speed -- an imperial stout brewed with coffee and spices.
Pure stout bouquet of roasted malts that you'd expect. Sweet, but not overly. And you can kind of feel the texture on your tongue -- not grainy, mind you, but with a richer consistency. You get a hard Irish coffee kind of flavor, with a bit if roasted bitterness before a boozy sweetness. There are some dark chocolatey notes, that kind of add to that bittersweet combo, but the spices are just enough to really cut that sweetness so that it doesn't overpower. It can be really easy for imperials to get overly sweet, especially with a high alcohol content (12 percent), but this one gives you a bit of cinnamon that adds some nice depth. Bit heavy, but still, well worth a taste. An even 4 out of five stars.