TMS Beer Project: Old Nick

June 28, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to present the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss.

Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Today's beer is...

Old Nick

Brewery: Young and Co Brewery, England
Type: Barleywine Style Ale
Receptacle: 500ml bottle

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 7 - This really depends on your palate. A barleywine ain't nothin' to shake a stick at, son. Though a little on the low side for a barleywine, the 7.2% ABV still packs a mighty wallop, much moreso than your traditional "college" light beer. This is more of a drink for chilling out, not so much for loading into a beer bong or playing flip cup with.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 8 - Again, a barleywine isn't your typical macrobrew. The "beer" pours nice and thick (please don't drink it "hillbilly style" right out of the bottle) into your glass, with a cream-colored, frothy head complementing the dark amber liquid. I can't say for sure, but this probably isn't part of the Atkin's Diet.

Intoxication (1 being a Shirley Temple from the local Elks Lodge, 10 being Todd Hundley and his bottle of Jack during his Cub tenure): 8. It's not as high as many barleywines you'll see (well over 10% ABV), but it's leaded enough to keep you honest. Unlike some of the stronger barleywines out there, I've found that the Old Nick is easier to drink and enjoy the malty flavor.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: Mr. Belvedere, or authors like Dan Brown, Michael Crichton and others whom you'd picture drinking it from a snifter glass by a fireplace in the home library.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $$$ - A 500ml bottle will run you in the neighborhood of $5, so you should make all attempts to enjoy it. You get a bit of a break for buying by the 6 pack, but that's still a big investment. Best to get just one for your virgin run.

Overall: 8 - I would have to say this is definitely a good beer. Not the greatest I've ever had (that will come later), but definitely in the top quarter. It's not a beer that I would drink day in and day out, I'd make it more of a Special Occasion type beer. You know, to celebrate a big sale, toast your good friend's new child, or Jason Marquis pitching into the 5th inning. If you're big on flavor and like to change it up every now and again, take a flyer on it, brah.