Does how we perceive a brewery or its staff alter our perception of their beer? Or, does the name on the bottle affect whether you consider a beer good?
Every craft beer fan has a brewery blind spot. Sometimes a brewery will use a house yeast that doesn’t particularly fit your palate. Sometimes the brewer concentrates on styles your palate does not naturally gravitate to. This is a people business. One night you and the head brewer met at a bar didn’t like each other. That could affect your perception of the beer. It could be as simple as you do not like the packaging for their beers.
Whatever the reason, you are predisposed to dislike their beers.
One of my blinds spots is in my own backyard with D9 Brewing out of Cornelius, NC. I have no animosity towards anyone who works there. In fact, I like everyone I’ve met from the brewery. Yet, I am not a particular fan of their beer. I don’t hate their beer, I look forward to their Systema Naturae sour beers releases every year. Yet, outside of those beers, I normally don’t find their beers appealing. That makes this review of the Kingsbridge Barleywine interesting.
Kingbridge pours a clear amber color with a thin head with a short retention span.
A bready malt and dark fruit sweetness is the primary aroma. There is also leather, clove, and hints of vanilla present. Alcohol also comes through on the nose, but it is not overwhelming.
In fact, the alcohol is the first flavor you perceive on the taste. It provides a little heat, but nothing too intense. The rest of the taste is a good sweet malt showcase. There is a breadiness followed by a vinous and pruny sweetness. It coats the mouth, but the taste doesn’t cloy or linger. The taste ends with a classic barleywine taste of honey and sherry.
This is a quality offering from a brewery whose style and quality has grown since I first encountered them. I look forward to their beer and my palate growing and evolving side by side as I continue to try all of their offerings.