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No Label 5th Anniversary Barleywine by Tony

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5th Anniversary Barley Wine

No Label Brewing Co.

Katy, TX

Barley Wine

ABV: 11.4%

IBUs: Couldn’t find accurate info anywhere online, but we’ll reach out and ask them

Packaging: 22 oz. Bomber

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No Label has been known to push the creative envelope farther than many in town, and sometimes that bravado is met with applause. Other times, it’s a bit more creative for the average bear, but thats alllllright by me!

The beer that began my love for local craft was their Don Jalapeño, and I’ll forever have a special place in my heart for No Label because of it. My wife told me about it one day, and I told her she was crazy. She stumbled upon it one day and said we had to try it, and the rest is history.

This No Label 5th Anniversary Barleywine marks their 6th anniversary. But wait, it’s the 5th anniversary beer? It seems as though they say on it a while, but it was worth the wait. (I’m a little behind the curve, too.) Unfortunately we weren’t able to get out there this weekend to celebrate with them.

The 5th Anniversary Barleywine is pretty bold, and it starts off even bolder. It has a strong hoppy nose, with subtle fruity, woody notes, all wrapped up in the smell of pure alcohol. The tastes mirror this pretty well.

As it hits your tongue, it has a slight burning alcohol sensation with a little sweet, caramel malt flavor to follow. No Label Barleywine finishes dry with the dried fruit notes you’d expect, but they’re a bit more subtle. The alcohol flavor gets bigger as the beer gets warmer, so drink accordingly. At 11.4% ABV, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

This5th Anniversary Barleywine doesn’t compare to much of anything. It’s far hoppier than others. Saint Arnold BB15 is worth mentioning here, but only because they share the barleywine style – other than that, they’re pretty far apart.

I’m giving the No Label 5th Anniversary Barleywine a solid 3 stars because it’s good stuff. I can see this being a good beer for the winter season if you happen to have a little fireplace in the backyard, and it can stay cold long enough for you to light it!

No Label Barleywine pours a deep, semi-cloudy, copper-brown with a finger worth of sandy-tan head that lingers for a minute or so, and leaves a very fine lace down the side of the glass. It has a fair amount of carbonation for a barleywine, and it finishes long, dry and a bit puckering.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this 5th Anniversary Barleywine, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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The No Label 5th Anniversary Barleywine has gold, yellow and white artwork with a line-drawn illustration of the silos that play home to the brewery in the background. Atop that, sits a big yellow and gold 5.

This was a celebration beer that will be gone as quickly as it came, so grab a few bombers. I got mine at HEB, but I’ve seen them at Spec’s too.

So what about you? Was the No Label 5th Anniversary Barleywine something worth celebrating, or do you think it should’ve stayed home? Let us know below, and as always, beers to you, Houston!

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a Creative Strategist at https://ledgeloungers.com/, an adjunct instructor of Visual Communication at Lone Star College, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. Anthony lives to help others and that's found a home helping some of the coolest breweries on earth with creative and marketing projects that can be seen on our Portfolio page. Fueled by hoppy lagers, sessionable IPAs, and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking the most unusual Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or very patiently rooting for the Rockets.

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