Big beer. Really big beer. There’s no other way to describe this one. Tons of malt flavor with a strong alcoholic note and a syrupy mouth feel. That’s what you’re going to get when you’ve got a beer at 12.3% abv. I initially detected a slight hop bitterness finish, but wasn’t so sure after making it to the end.
Don’t let your non-craft brew friends try this one or you’ll probably scare them off for life. Served in half pints, it “wouldn’t be prudent” to have more than one, though the allure is certainly there. It is a fun beer to sip and savor and try to figure out not only how to describe the color (which is lighter than the picture suggests) but what flavors you’re tasting. I can’t quite figure this one out, but I know I like it. Like many of Montana’s breweries, the folks at Blacksmith are not afraid to develop small batches of interesting beer to keep us entertained and coming back to see what pops up next.
Name: Backwoods Barley Wine
Brewery: Blacksmith Brewing Co., Stevensville, MT.
Style: Barley Wine.
Color: Reddish with brownish (I stink at colors); white head.
Packaging: draft only.
Stats: 12.3% abv, ? IBU.
Bought: at the brewery, Stevensville.
Ruling: Four out of Five Hops. Very good example of the style. Big malt flavor and heavy alcohol.