May 16, 2011

Climax Brewing 15th Anniversary Ale

Climax Brewing 15th Anniversary Ale label

I can’t recall who it was, but I remember someone relatively recently recommend that I look into New Jersey’s Climax Brewing and their product line. I’d seen a few of their bottles on the shelves before, but they always took a back seat to items that I was either already looking for or happened upon that peaked my interest more.

So, it is with the brewery’s 15th Anniversary Ale that I decided to finally take the step and try them out. This Barleywine-style brew weighs in at 10.5% ABV and is packaged in a convenient hinge top just in case you can’t make it through the full 500ml bottle. I ended up having no need to recap the bottle and save any of this tasty brew for later.


Rust in color, this brew sits in the glass with just about no head to speak of.


There’s a great nose on this beer with elements of dark fruits (cherries and raisins in varying degrees), a malt sweetness and a welcome boozy nature.


The flavors within this brew are a bit more subdued when compared to the aromatic nose. It’s got a smooth and viscous mouthfeel that leaves a slick sweetness on the tongue. There’s a pretty strong malt sweetness that lingers for a long while after a slight hop-forward presence (with a moderate level of bitterness) starts things off. The dark fruits are certainly in the mix and combine wonderfully with the lightly warming finish.


This was a pretty darn good beer. It’s got a solid dark fruit component, but I’d like to have a bit more of a hop presence to counter the higher levels of malt sweetness. The elevated ABV and viscous mouthfeel made this one a slow drinking brew which lasted a good portion of the late evening after dinner &$151; which is just what I was looking for when I decided to crack this one open. All in all, this anniversary release from Climax was a nice introduction to the brewery. I look forward to trying more from them.


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