maes • tro
a distinguished musician, especially a conductor of classical styles
In the beer world, it’s hard to find a style more classic than a barleywine. We’re all for respecting the classics here at Alesong, and that’s why with this release we are offering a new version of a beer we first released a couple of years ago: Maestro, our bourbon-barrel aged Barleywine. Deriving their name from a higher than average alcohol content (not dissimilar to that of wine), Barleywines have earned a place as the dean of beer styles. The style originated in England, and the first commercially-named example was packaged by the famous Bass & Co in 1903. Strong, malty and complex, Barleywines tend to age very well. In fact, many of these robust ales were originally aged in wooden casks like we do at Alesong, lending to their unique complexities.
British Barleywines are typically very malty sweet, while American versions, as is typical with most US styles, become very hoppy and often lean toward bitter. This hop character, while almost Double IPA-like at first, ages out over time to a complex balancing act. So, where does Maestro fall on the British vs American Barleywine Spectrum? We're pretty much settled into the middle. We add enough hops for balance, and to make sure the beer doesn't overwhelm with sweetness, but really want the malt to be the star of the show. After aging in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for nearly a year, any modest amounts of hops we have added are fairly faded.
In the barrel, Maestro picked up aromas of toffee, vanilla and spice which play well over the sweet, caramel-like malt flavors. This full-bodied ale is certainly big enough to keep you warm through winter’s bitter end.