On December 7, 2007 I posted my tasting notes on the 2007 version of Real Ale's barleywine Sisyphus. It was rather outstanding. Through December I waited, and waited for the 2008 to make it my local Spec's, my only reprieve coming in late January when I was able to have a glass of the well aged 2005 Sisyphus. Where or where was the 2008? Rumors came that it wasn't going to be bottled, but those were quickly squashed, but still no Sisyphus. Finally I made it to the downtown Spec's a couple of weekends ago and what did my wondering eyes find? Sisyphus 2008! Yes! I picked up a bottle or two (ok ok, more than that) putting one in the fridge. It took a while, but I finally had time to crack it open, sit down and really enjoy this beer.
The Beer: The beer weighs in at around 10-11% abv. It pours a slightly cloudy orange along with a thin off-white head. Up front there is an abundance of hops, citrus, apricots, bready. The mouthfeel is thick and tongue coating. Hoppy, resin-y, citrus, grapefruit peel. Apricots with a lot of malt backbone. Yes hops are the king here, but its balanced. Not a lot of alcohol burn with this one, it only showed up later as the beer warmed. There is a marmalade like sweetness to the finish, really good. I'm interested to see how this one will age. The hops may start to dissipate, and the malt become more concentrated with some raisin notes or some bourbon feel to it. We'll see, as I have a few bottles that I'll be aging. This one, the current fresh year, is very good and gets an A- from me.