Mill Street Barley Wine 2013 (Canada - Ontario - Toronto) 11.5%
A golden amber colour, very similar to a rich honey. Alcohol, herbal hops, caramelized malty sweetness with some clover, nectar and red fruit tones in the aroma, that I find a little reminiscent of some meads I have had, along with biscuit and honey.
A surprising chocolate flavour greeted me at first followed closely by the honeyed, sweet, caramelized roasted malt flavours. There are some red fruit (black cherry and red pear) esters and there is something about the mix of herbal hops touches, alcohol, clover and nectar that makes this barley wine taste 'meadow infused'. It is a very natural and somewhat medieval tasting ale. Chocolate never really came back as strongly as on the first sip but I taste it in there as part of the malty backing of this formidable barley wine. Mill Street's is a very nice American barley wine with a bit of a hops slant with the herbal flavour colouring things.
A few words about the ceramic bottle, the wax seal is a nice touch and more than just decoration if you want to age this beer for a few years. Also the little metal handle that is attached to the swing-top cap is a nice touch. This would make good gift for the beer geek on your Christmas list (is it too early to be giving out Christmas gift suggestions?).