F*ck it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.—Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski Just as many would think that immediately after botching a ransom drop and potentially endangering someone’s life is the wrong time for bowling, it is also a prevailing belief that summer is the wrong time to drink a big ol’ barleywine. After sipping Bluegrass Billioniare from Clown Shoes out on the deck as a hot day turned to a warm evening, I couldn’t disagree more. The beer pours dark amber brown with orange highlights shimmering when held to the light. The pillowy head is massively thick and lasting. It is both cream in color and creamy in appearance. Though there is eventually a partial retreat, a nice layer of bubbles remains and slowly releases a plethora of aromas for the nose to interpret and enjoy. Bluegrass Billionaire Maple and vanilla aromas are detected initially. The nose also pulls out notes of bourbon, dark candy sugar, and milk chocolate. Digging a bit deeper reveals a third and unexpected layer of a slight apple and tart cherry fruitiness. The aromas found by the nose were confirmed in the flavor. The beer is incredibly creamy and thick, but not necessarily clinging. The front of the tongue gets an awakening of carbonation burn combined with just a bit of dark roasted malt bitterness. You can both feel and taste the beer slide down the tongue as a flavor of pure maple syrup fades to that of smooth Belgian milk chocolate and vanilla. As the beer hits the back, there is a bit of oak and heavy chocolate flavors still more of the milk chocolate variety than bitter dark. The aftertaste is initially dominated by a residual hop burn accentuated by a bit of alcohol with a subtle note of bourbon. While the aftertaste lingers, the burn from the hops and alcohol morphs to a chocolate malt flavor. As I type this, it hits me that this beer can be tied to The Big Lebowski in another way. The creaminess, alcohol burn, and chocolate notes are not dissimilar to those of The Dude’s favorite beverage. Bluegrass Billionaire The alcohol burn is expected when considering the 12.5% ABV. However, the beer is surprisingly easy-drinking for such a big beer, and the bomber encourages sharing with a friend or two. So to twist The Stranger’s words a bit, Sometimes, there’s a beer, well, it’s the beer for its time and place. It fits right in there. Bluegrass Billionaire is that, and it’s totally up to you, not the weather or conventional wisdom, to decide when that time and place is. The Dude imbibes. Cheers, Alex Bikepacker Friendliness (bomber is not the best vessel for transport, but it’d be a mighty fine camp beer)…6/10 Aroma (wonderfully sweet and a bit fruity)…9/10 Flavor (complex and delicious)…10/10 Style-Appropriateness (big all around)…9/10
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday. Two weeks ago he reviewed the Infamous Brewing Company’s IPA.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: New Belgium’s Fat Tire and Friends Collaboration Pack: A Mixed Review - Bikepackers Magazine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *