Great Lakes Brewery Beard of Zeus Barrel-Aged Barley Wine with Ryan

Great Lakes Brewery Beard of Zeus Barrel-Aged Barley Wine.this It’s a name whose length is only bested by how long I’ve been meaning to post this review – there just always seemed to be something better to talk about.

I believe Ryan picked this up for us to try. We cracked it open and had a taste before reading on the label: best after December 31st 2014 – we were incorrectly drinking an expensive bottle of beer.

Dig that – we paid extra for a beer you can drink wrong. They should have called this Great Lakes Brewery Beard Of Zeus Insufficiently-Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, I guess, but they had already used all of the letters.

To jump the gun a bit, the beer was exceedingly sweet. Disgustingly, even, to the extent that we poured most of it down the drain. I believe they had intentionally left active yeast and extra sugar in the beer so that the beer would bottle condition over their recommended timeline and be pretty good, a couple months from now. Instead, our opening it gave us access to an essentially unfinished beer.

There’s a few questions we should ask about a beer that costs more so you can hang out with it for a while because it’s not finished yet. Kind of like when you pay extra for early access for a game – isn’t this something that should be cheaper than its peers because of its qualifiers, not more expensive? I don’t know about that, but here’s what we thought of the beer:

Ryan – coca-cola, red tinge
Simon – cloudy, thick

Ryan – molasses, cranberry
Simon – chocolate bitter orange, thick

Ryan – molasses on toast, dates, oats, bitter
Simon – bitter chocolate, oak, so sweet but biter finish

Great Lakes Brewery Beard of Zeus Barrel Aged Barley Wine – 13% 650ml – $9.95 – Ontario

Try it? Nope. Buy it? Hell no.

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