This barley wine from Woolworths (yeah, it’s Sail & Anchor, but they’re owned by Woolworths, so it’s from Woolworths) was the reason I started cellaring beer. Of course. I’ve now stopped that practice, unless you consider the definition of cellaring to be ‘‘not managing to get around to drinking something for a while’’.
Anyway, this beer was a special release for Christmas 2013. Yes, releasing a barley wine in the Australian summer was a brave move. As was releasing truckloads of it – around Christmas time, the stuff was everywhere. Another brave move was packaging it in a metal box and whacking a $20-something price tag on it.
This series of brave moves led it to sell not very much at all. Well, that and the fact it didn’t taste too great – was way too sweet for my liking. I remember being disappointed because I’d liked their previous limited releases.
So, it was not entirely surprising to see it get some savage markdowns in price through January. When I saw it at my local Dan’s for about $5 a bottle I figured that was cheap enough to take a chance. So I bought about six of them and left them under the stairs to see if the sweetness would fade.
I tried one after six months and was a little concerned because it tasted the same.
So I left them alone for a bit longer. This time around, improvements were afoot. There was still some malty sweetness present but not anywhere near as much as I found before.
As for the rest of the beer’s flavour, I can’t really tell you. My notes just make reference to the disappearance of all that sweetness. Because I was so very, very stoked that it was fading. Perhaps it’ll be good to go by this Christmas.
Categories: Drink It You Idiot