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Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel 15 by Tony

 

Bishop’s Barrel 15

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Houston, TX

Barley Wine Ale aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels

ABV: 13.1%

IBUs: 28

Packaging: Bottle, 12oz. and on draft at finer establishments

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BB15 is definitely a winter beer. I cracked one open, so I could write this review while it was still fresh, and I wish I woulda waited a bit.

This beer starts off mild, all things considered. The second it hit my tongue, I was surprised at the mildness. As it went down, the flavors began swirling and growing. BB15 goes a little like this: sweet, malty, whiskey bitterness, lingering boozy rye bitterness, and then some super subtle caramel flavor, but it happens almost all at once. Kinda like greased lightning at Astroworld, for those that remember. *Single tear*

I could compare it to a cup of whiskey and coke with less bubbles, less sugar, and + beer flavor, but beyond that, there’s no macro comparison!

This is a good beer for what it is. It comes across a little flat in all aspects other than flavor, so I can’t call it great, although I enjoy it, and I wish I could get more than two at a time!

BB15 has a deep copper color, somewhere right in between red and brown. It poured with a tiny tan head that dissipated instantly. Not a bit of lace, and a medium thick mouthfeel – a bit heavier than expected for the color.

I expected a bit more, to be honest. It’s a good beer, like I said above, but it just didn’t meet the expectation I had for it.

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The Bishop’s Barrel artwork is probably one of the most minimal of the Saint Arnold artwork, and it’s been unchanged for years. It’s got a tan colored background with the iconic Saint in his oval, but it’s done in a brownish color, as if it’s burned into wood or if it were a sepia illustration. Some grain stalks come up on the sides of the Saint to symbolize the grains in beer.

BB15 can be found at most decent Spec’s or HEB’s once it’s released, but you have to ask somebody to go get it from the back, and you’ll only be allowed two bottles. Or you can find it on tap at finer establishments like Hay Merchant or Hop Scholar.

BB15 is definitely something special. It’s not the kind of thing you drink daily, but you ought to grab one or two if you can, and bust them out when you have a friend like me over! They’re also a good brew for aging or saving for trades. Have you had any BB15? How do you think it compares to previous Bishop’s Barrels? Let us know!

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Tony D
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Tony's an artist that loves craft brew almost as much as he does Houston. He's worked in the oil industry and owns a few small businesses. Tony isn't picky when it comes to beer types, as long as it's refreshing and sessionable.

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