One more night of bigness, then I need to give my palette a rest! Hailing from Seattle, WA, Hales Ales Brewery is new to me, but I couldn't pass up Hale's Ales Rudyard's Rare Barleywine.
Hale's Ales Rudyard's Rare Barleywine was heavily carbonated and poured a cola color in the glass, capped with a medium tan head. Molasses took center stage in the nose, accompanied by a subtle burnt pine smell.
Hale's Ales Rudyard's Rare Barleywine opened with equal parts pine and coffee, with little carbonation. The ale settled into a body of toffee, vanilla, and caramel with a surprising increase in sweetness towards the end. Rudyard's Rare ended with a slight bitterness and some alcohol heat.
The bottle didn't have a date on it, but Hale's Ales Rudyard's Rare Barleywine came across a a young but drinkable ale. It is more aggressive than one would expect when considering the 9% ABV, and the hops could use a little time to mellow out. Pick up a few, drink one now, and lay the rest down for a year.