Punctilious Beer Review: Right Brian Brewery – North Shore Iron Works

Beer Name: North Shore Iron Works

Brewery: Right Brain Brewery

Style: Barleywine

ABV: 9.6%

Bottle: Unknown

Other Recommended Reviewed Beers: [TBD]


A big boozy brew made with Michigan Maple syrup and Honey. Brewed in honor of our neighbors in Sofo as thanks for all their hard work around the brewery.

Tim’s Review:

Review Date: 12/27/16

Poured From: Bottle

Rating: 74/100 – “very good”

Aroma: 8/10

Wonderful fruit aromas are coming though, a cherry smell is the most predominate one, followed by some other stone fruit flavors such as plum and peach, fairly typical of a barleywine. Strawberry is also coming out in the nose, which is a really nice addition to the aroma profile. There is also a very slight spice flavor coming through, something like a clove, or allspice. A lighter bouquet when all is said and done, but still enjoyable.

Appearance: 8/10

A nicely deep redish brown beer, about 18-20 on the SRM scale. The head is a solid one finger and is a slight off-white in color. Not much else to say about it, the beer is a solid looking barleywine.

Flavor: 7/10

A fairly light barleywine, and surprisingly not much of that fruit from the nose is coming out in the flavor profile. Instead, it is being replaced with a nice malty backbone. The sweetness of the fruits on the nose are coming through, but being transformed into more of a molasses and brown sugar flavor. A really nice toasted nut flavor, presumedly from some of the malts giving the beer it’s nice color. There is a sweet, slightly chemical finish to the flavor profile, but not enough to get fully in the way of my enjoyment. Also, almost no alcohol taste, which is pretty impressive for a barleywine.

Feel: 8/10

Overall the body of the beer is lighter, but there is a nice balance between sweetness and bitterness in this one. Even with all that sweetness up front, the beer finishes dry and finishes with a slightly chemical, tacky feeling.

Overall: 7/10

Overall this is a very drinkable barleywine, it is sweet but not overbearingly so. The beer finishes dry and fairly clean, especially considering the alcohol level. A good beer, but nothing spectacular. However in a beer type that has limited commercial options, such as this barleywine, this presents itself as a very drinkable and buyable beer.

Closing Thoughts:

This beer makes me wish there were more widely available barleywines, it really is a fantastic style of beer. The potential for loads of deep, complex flavors is always there. This is a good offering coming from Right Brain Brewery, not the greatest barleywine I’ve ever had, but very easily in the top tier of them. A very drinkable entry point into a fantastic beer type, one that is easily worth a try.

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