Jun 7, 2016

O’Connor Brewing Brigantine Barleywine

I’ve been becoming a fan of O’Connor’s products and particularly their Steel Battalion series of releases over the past couple of years. As a result, I didn’t even need the attractive label artwork on Brigantine Barleywine to convince me to pick up a bottle for review back in early April. And as has become to be expected with the brewery, this is not your standard barleywine.

Brigantine is a big (10.7% ABV, 75 IBU) example of the style that leans heavily on the hop spectrum typically present in American barleywines. It carries a large amount of citrus notes (orange peel, lemon zest, grapefruit), as well as a good done of pine and resin to accompany those 75 IBUs. That said, it’s not overly biting as a solid amount of malt sweetness does its best to cut in on the bitterness and allow some toffee and caramel to show through.

My only complaint with this particular offering is that it feels a bit thin on the palate. That’s probably a result of the heavy leaning on the hops and perhaps not enough in the malt bill, but I’m cool with that. I’m not sure how this one would fair in the cellar though — the hop presence is really what makes this beer and those would be the first traits to fade. It’s a fun beer that provided just the right amount of warmth and bright outlook toward Spring on a cold April evening.