Beer advocate considers this to be an English Strong Ale which is pretty malty and described on the site as bigger than a pale ale and smaller than a barleywine. I don't know if that is the best description in the world, but it's pretty close. They also will have fruity esters that are really noticeable as well as the alcohol noticeable. Hops can vary.
This one fits the bill perfectly with it's amber colour as well. Basically, this beer is supposedly an exact replica of a Thomas Jefferson recipe using all ingredients grown on his land in Virginia. That alone should give this beer points. That and the fact that it is absolutely delicious!
I poured this beer at about 55 degrees F into a standard pint and it poured a light amber colour with a full one finger ivory head of tiny bubbles that stay as a nice ring and Friar Tuck center cap and sticky balcony-like lacing pattern. Very attractive this beer is!
Right away I notices the darker fruit notes with this beer as well as the pale sweet malts, honey and a bready yeast. The honey aroma is just fantastic! As the beer warms the honey is more pronounced. This beer is approaching room temperature and it is coming alive!
As you sip, your nose takes in the honey and your tongue is greeted with pale malts, honey, green raisin, sweet citrus a bit of tart fruit and not until the very end do you get the earthy hop bitterness with a black peppery numbing feeling on the tongue that I assume is a combination of the carbonation, the alcohol and the hop dryness. This beer is a pleasure to drink and drink her just a tad lower than room temperature. 60 degrees is awesome.
The mouthfeel of this beer is silky smooth, creamy mildly sweet and approaching full bodied. The carbonation is one step above moderate, no where near hot, but she's a lively English tart this lady.
Overall, I am deeming this lovely lady world class. She gets the Cate Blanchett award for being a true beauty! There is absolutely nothing that I don't like about this beer and I feel that it fits Beer Advocates criteria to a T. Although they mention a solvent aroma as part of the class, and I don't get that, OR want that! 5 out of 5 on this baby Yards! I don't think that I have given a score like that yet!
If you freaks don't get out there and try this beer or seek it out, then stop reading my blog. You are going to die one day VERY unhappy. That day may come sooner if I see you with the decision before you and you buy a Buttweaser when this is at your disposal and affordable too!