Bluegrass Billionaire is a recent release from Clown Shoes and is adorned with the creative branding and bottle art I have come to expect from the brewery. The barrel-aged English barleywine clocks in at a hefty 12.5 percent ABV. I am excited to crack it open and am already wishing I had multiple bottles to stash away.
The bottle opens with a faint hiss and pours a deep brown with reddish hues that turns beautiful ruby when held to the light. A healthy khaki head forms that sticks around for a while. The heavy smell of bourbon is the first thing to jump out as I raise the glass. Molasses, brown sugar and oaky vanilla also waft from the glass but I am not met with the big rich sweetness one would expect from an English Barleywine. I get a musty old hop character that would normally come with the American version of the style. Overall the bouquet is interesting but does not capture the imagination like some of the past gems that have crossed my desk: Mother of all Storms and Bourbon County Barleywine.