Ah, the new issue of Beeradvocate magazine and its cupie doll tap handles. There was quite an outrage over this among circles so small that they might not even form circles. Funny no one thought that they were in drag or just detritus of toy box.
Anyway, this is a very light take on barley wine from Vermont's Rock Art Brewery. Plenty of pale malt graininess with a nice seam of apple butter, smoke and brown bread lightly cut by twig hops and, I think, a little black malt. A bit of mineral drying in the water. It pours a gorgeous brown that is a notch redder than beer bottle brown and sits under rich lacing deep cream froth. And at 7.5%, the brewery - interestingly - calls this a mild barley wine. So maybe this is a beer living in a parallel universe with Scots wee heavy ales or even Ron's beloved Victorian high-test mild. Not overly complex but also none of that beer broth thing that can pop up in the higher test barley wines if not handled well.