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Anderson Valley Gatlin Danosis

June 11, 2011

Anderson Valley is an older brewery, founded in the late 80s out in California. For the past twenty-plus years they’ve been steadily growing, and I must say I am intrigued as to why if they have such impressive facilities that we’re not getting them out here on the east coast. Oh well, at least I was able to try something of theirs: the Gatlin Danosis, which is a barelywine. Now I’m not a big fan of barleywines, I find them to be too sweet and often too boozy to be worth it. I often will suggest a barleywine for someone who wants to learn more about beer but might not necessarily be ready to make the plunge into an IPA or a Stout. Still, I try to taste beers from breweries I don’t recognize, and after a tasting glass of this, I was so intrigued that I needed to see if the whole taste persisted throughout a full glass.

The Gatlin Danosis pours a beautiful ruby red color with a nice mild white head, overall a very pretty looking beer. The scent was one of maple syrup with oak hints and sweet cherries, though none of the caramel that was promised but I still can’t complain about the sweet and complex bouquet that it did possess. The scent is what intrigued me from the get-go, since while you can eventually parse out these different scents, a casual sniff makes you think you’re almost holding a glass of red wine. The mouthfeel was light and refreshing while still possessing a certain velvety feel to it, making the beer almost like a chilled sweet cream.

The taste made for a complex and interesting ride. At the foreground there is a taste of maple syrup that quickly gives way to tart cherries. The cherry taste, like I said, is very tart rather than sweet, and it lingers around the edges your mouth. Flavors of oak creep in behind the cherry tartness, lingering as well but more toward the center of your mouth, creating this sort of interesting aftertaste like you’re eating cherries and cream. A quick breath through my nose and expelling through my mouth does find that hidden caramel taste that gets lost between the oaky vanilla and the tartness of the cherries. The better part of this beer is that as it warms, the cherry taste fades in intensity somewhat become less tart and more sweet, creating a good balance with the oak hints. Overall, this beer is worth drinking solely for its novelty (like most barleywines) or for people who are looking for something that will taste particularly sweet.

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