Full Sail Extra Special Barney
Alcohol by Volume: 6.5%
Look for this beer and more at Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown.
Intro: Any brewery has to have a standard lineup of quality beers that can appeal to the masses, but it is their special releases and seasonals that really lets the brewers shine and have a little fun. Full Sail has been featuring their Brewer’s Share special releases in their Hood River tap room since 2008, but this is the first year they are sharing with the rest of us via 22oz bottles. For 2012, they will be sharing recipes from four of their brewers. Each brewer will also get to choose a local charity to receive a portion of the proceeds from sales of their beer.
First up in the series is the Extra Special Barney from Barney Brennan, Brewing Supervisor.
Description: Pours a clear copper with medium head. Citrus hops pair with lightly sweet toasted malt in an aroma that comes through quite nicely. The flavor starts out with significant toasted malt that is matched with a bit of caramel malt and more citrus hops. The malt is moderately sweet to start in the taste, and a solid bitterness lingers for a bit, but it is just enough to balance things out well. It finishes fairly dry, and there is just a bit of astringency towards the very end. This beer does a great job of featuring both the malt and hop flavors without trying to pack too much in. It is extremely refreshing, balanced, and enjoyable from start to finish. Very well done by Full Sail. If I were in charge, I’d make this a year-round offering.
Verdict: Buy the hell out of it
Click here to see a list of select local bottle shops.
Commercial Description/Press Release:
According to Brennan, this beer is a departure from the big, hoppy, Northwest ales. This Extra Special Bitter, a traditional English style ale, is brewed with attention to balance, highlighting both malt and hops. Five different malt varieties give the beer its orange hue, and caramel complexities. An English hop variety grown here in the Yakima Valley, Challenger, was chosen to complement the fruity esters in the aroma. It is the only variety used, meant to showcase its beauty. The pint first offers the interaction of the aromas of malt and hop, then the medium body and caramel flavors finish with a slight bitterness. Drinkable and quenching with an invitation to return for another taste. 6.5% ABV, 35 IBU
Brennan’s ESB was inspired by two things; a perfect beer moment and an aromatic highlight of the hop selection in Yakima. As Barney puts it, “First inspiration for this beer came during hop selection in Yakima. We had no intentions of purchasing these Challengers, but after rubbing and smelling them we could not resist a small purchase for something “extra special.” We really respect the opportunity to have such a strong connection to our ingredients and the harvest, and deeply value the freedom to follow our inspirations. The rest of the brew revolved around a personal, great beer moment. I was sitting on the deck at the brewery overlooking the river in the sunshine – drinking this beautiful beer we had created, balanced, aromatic – already looking forward to the second pint. I wanted to share a little glimpse of Hood River brewing life and happiness. Hopefully this ESB will be involved in some special moments for others.”