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Sam Adams Griffin's Bow - Oaked Blonde Barleywine

I’ve been pretty harsh on Sam lately, more so on the mass production lines than the craft-stuff. Loved the specialty beers in the Christmas box, used the rest for cooking. Alpine Spring is decent, but not great.

Saw a bottle of Griffin’s Bow in the local Central Market and gave it a shot. At worst, I’d be dumping a $7 bottle of beer. According to the label, I got batch #2 - not sure how useful that information is. 22oz bottle, poured golden with a minimal amount of head into a couple of Ommegang goblets. Good lacing. Definitely caught the scent of the fruits and the oak, but wasnt overpowering. Started a little bit tame, but the fruity hops came through nicely (they’re using hops I’m not familiar with - Nelson Sauvin and Zeus) and finished with a light oak. The oak is about perfect for this beer - it mixes with the other flavors, rather than competing with them. Its a really big beer though, runs about 11.5% and I felt it pretty quickly.

All in all, a really good beer. They can still make a delicious craft beer when they want to.

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