Total Score: 7.3/10
Time to take on the mighty Mjölnir, aka Thor’s Hammer, the mythical weapon of mass weather destruction (or creation, depending on your viewpoint – or what you’re standing under during a typhoon). This Tors Hammer comes from Ægir Bryggeri – those guys from that fjord who I’ve been reviewing brews of this last week. At 13.2% ABV this is easily the biggest beer I’ve had all year (sorry about the January jokes… come back in Feb if they bother you that much). Actually the last time I had a beer stronger than this was back in 2014 (Moon Dog’s Jumping The Shark) it really has been more than a year, so 😛
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Presents a thick murky sepia body, yeast clumps evident, with a thin beige head that quickly subsides to a lace ring and naught much else. Pretty normal to have a non-existent head at 13.2% ABV, so no disappointment there. The yeast clumps however… 7/10.
S: Quite dark fruit driven with stewed plum, date and raisin, along with toffee and a hint of brandy. Expecting enough sugar for me to speed dial my dentist and ambulate myself to the nearest ER for immediate insulin injections – here’s hoping Ægir Bryggeri can balance it out somehow. 7/10.
T: Super sweet toffee hits upfront (I actually felt my dental fillings quake in fear) with the above noted dark fruits throughout and a sharp brandy-flavoured booze hit towards the finish. Aftertaste evokes some bold bitter herbal notes. So it is fairly well balanced, bit on the sweeter side but you expect that with a Barleywine, however that booziness is a touch on the aggressive side… I mean I’m looking to get drunk here, not so trashed that I bet away my house and car then wake up with swear words shaved into my head… that’s more a Friday night deal for me. 7/10.
M: Pretty dense bodied and oily… carbonation is near flat, as much you would expect given the style/ABV. 8/10.
D: So it’s a big fat drunken malt-fest of a brew, but it’s hard to fault it for that is what Barleywines generally are – they’re the John Belushi of beer styles: Loud, brash and rambunctious at the best of times, and smacked out at the worst. Overall, and apart from a bit of booziness, Tors Hammer fits the Barleywine profile well. All it really needs is finesse… and a free Berocca with every purchase. Note to self: Don’t forget to drink that pint of water before bed. 8/10.
Food match: I’m thinking Viking food – giant slabs of meat would help right now.