Year of New Beer: A Wine Dark Sea Rum Barrel, Rock House Brewing (Lexington)

Written By: Dion on 01/13/2021

The nose is immediately met with dark fruit, most notably plum and date. Purple grape is evident with warmth, along with increasing toffee and caramel notes. Very smooth on the tongue with a big, bready malt presence that seems to be the perfect base for everything going on here. Still plenty of the dark fruit sweetness, but these are balanced by the rum spices. The rum never overpowers, though. Hints of nuts and oak along the middle, with a velvety caramel on the finish. Doesn't drink anywhere near its nearly 13% ABV. From the first time I tasted this base beer, I felt like Rock House really had something with a lot of potential. That feeling hasn't changed. Is it a perfect English Barleywine? No. But they're definitely on the right track.