Last Christmas I blogged about Bath Ale’s dark porter “Festivity”, so I decided to celebrate this New Year’s Eve with Bath Ale’s “Barnstormer”. I’ve always been impressed by the excellent quality of Bath Ales beers and had stocked this ale for a special occasion. First of all I wanted to mention that I just love the name of this ale. “Barnstormer” makes me think of a crazy barn dance with loud super fast music and a large group of people dancing and cheering, clunking beer tankards together and generally having an excellent time. I was sure this brew would be perfect celebration ale for a New Year’s Eve.
This 4.5% volume dark ale contains wheat and barley malt, and was brewed with Maris Otter, Chocolate and Crystal Malts, and Bramling Cross Hops. This ale is then fine filtered for extra smoothness and quality. On opening there was a fruity smell with a touch of chocolate. Initially there was an almost sharp bitter strong ale taste, softening out with an edge of fruitiness followed closely behind by a subtle sweetness from the chocolate. Barnstormer is like an evening’s merriment rolled into one drink. It starts with the expectation, like my night club days of years gone by, where the men and women would stare at each other at the beginning of the evening across the dance floor. Circling each other like wolves before one, then two, then more and more people would enter the no-man’s land in between and the dancing would begin. There was the bitter start to the drink that reflected the moment of entering that empty zone, that sudden shock to the palate that wakes you up to what pleasures may bring in the night to come. The dancing and singing and joyousness of that bitter first taste, smoothing out to a promise of fruitiness and the sweetness of that final dance. This is what Barnstormer reflects. Almost as smooth as McMullen’s Stronghart and just as full bodied, luxurious and gasping to be savoured. This ale is perfect to warm the insides on a cold winter’s night whilst celebrating the festive season. Happy New Year everyone! ;-)