Da Hong Pao Barley Wine – ABV 9%

East meets West in an innovative take on a British-style Barley Wine. Gansu (Sichuan) pepper brings the heat and highlights the boozy warmth in this syrupy BW.

Look: Clear dark amber colour with a slightly foamy off-white head; medium carbonation and good lacing.

Aroma: Sweet dark malts and some orange, like a classic British Barley Wine, with a strong zing of pepper and spice.

Taste: Sweet malts and spices, more dried fruit with caramel and toffee base. Towards the end the pepper kicks highlighting the bitterness and the alcohol warmth. Syrupy mouthfeel, and full-bodied.

Verdict: There are plenty of beers out there that are too innovative to be tasty, but this syrupy, peppery, sweet treat is not one of them. Gānbēi!