Real Ale Sisyphus 2008 & 2009

April 26, 2011

Texas’ Real Ale is becoming one of my favorite brewers.  With the sole exception of their Octoberfest, I have loved every one of their beers, and as I tend not to enjoy the Octoberfest style, Real Ale gets a pass for that one.

I recently stumbled upon these limited release barleywine style ales while I was wandering around my local beer emporium, and I am happy to report that Real Ale’s record of excellence continues.

The 2008 Vintage was smooth, with prominent dried fruit flavors and just a trace of hoppiness to it.  It had a mild green apple aftertaste that counterbalanced the alcohol burn.  The 2008 retained enough carbonation to make it a velvety smooth and highly enjoyable drink, 7.5/10.

As much as I enjoyed the 2008 Vintage, and I truly did, the 2009 Vintage moved on a higher plane.  This beer was damn near spiritual.  Smooth toffee and bread malts are up front, coupled with a butterscotch and hot caramel aftertaste.  This is the smoothest 11% ABV I have ever had, 9.5/10, and if I can track down any more bottles, I am going to lay them down to age.

I have a bottle of the 2010 edition that I will drink soon and report back to all of you.

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