LIFE, Volume 4
Bottling Date: January 16, 2022
For the fourth batch of LIFE, we are featuring Crisp Malt. For no particular reason other than habit, Crisp is the maltster that we are least familiar with at Breakside among the ones that we’ve now used in this series. That’s a shame, because the malt expression in LIFE, Vol 4 is really something special
Volume 4 is slightly lighter in color and ABV than Volume 3, and substantially lighter in color than Volumes 1 and 2. We’re not at the point of calling this a Spring Barleywine yet– it is only January after all — but this batch leans very lightly on darker crystal malts and there is no roast malt presence in this version at all. As a result, the esters, melanoidin notes, and base malt flavors take center stage with medium-low caramel in the background.
How does this all present flavor-wise? Malt sweet, berry, and other bright ‘red’ flavors take precedence over some of the nutty, woody, and molasses-like notes of the earlier batches. Brown sugar, plum, baked bread, date, and spice all fade to the back palate and intermingle with these lighter, fruitier, and honeyed notes. And, it’s all youthful, if only slightly brash. Our focus in this series has been to create beers that are high octane, elegant, and approachable when first released. While there is a school of thought that seeks more oxidative flavors in barleywine– typically from long boiling or heating, we’re squarely in the camp that believes that non-aged versions of these beers should taste young, fresh, and refined. Volume 4 captures that spirit beautifully. Cheers!