In the short five years of its existence, Boston-based Trillium Brewing Co. has made quite a name for themselves in the craft beer community with such popular favorites like Congress Street, a 7.2 percent IPA hopped up with Columbus and Galaxy hops; Mettle, a double IPA with six different malts and Amarillo, Citra and Columbus hops; and various hop incarnations of Fort Point.

Todays beer is an interesting variation on a barleywine. Brewed with Abbey and pilsner malts, turbinado sugar and finished with Columbus hops. Day & Night is a blonde barleywine infused with cold brew coffee from Barrington coffee. Although a blonde barleywine is not considered a true beer style, it varies from your typical barleywine because of the reduction of some of the heavier malts, thus affecting the color and overall body of the beer.

Poured from a 16-ounce can, the color is a crystal clear amber with a medium slightly off-white head and darn near non-existent lacing. Aroma is mainly coffee up front with a sweet maltiness, a bit earthy. There is also a bit of dry spice on the nose that lingers until the end.

The first sip is of graham crackers and marshmallow fluff which is followed by the coffee which takes a few seconds to emerge over the sweetness. Throughout the drinking process, I also pick up some brown sugar and a big hit of booziness that increases more and more as the brew warms. Carbonation is perfect for the style and the mouthfeel is full-bodied, sweet and clingy with a honey-like feel. The finish is surprisingly dryer than expected, yet still allows for the sweet malts to remain present.

Trillium Day & Night Blonde Coffee Barleywine
BREWERY: Trillium Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Boston, Mass.
STYLE: American Barleywine
ABV: 10 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $5.50 (Packs of four 16-ounce cans, $22)
AVAILABLE IN: 16-ounce cans
Not being a fan of barleywines, I mentally prepared myself to review this beer to the style, not my drinking preferences, as I always do when rating and/or reviewing. Sweet, coating malts balance well with the coffee addition and the slightly dry finish was a pleasant surprise. The boozy feel was acceptable at first but became a touch overpowering as the beer warmed, taking away from the overall enjoyment. Blonde barleywine, albeit not a true recognized style seems to produce a more enjoyable beer, especially for those who feel the sweet maltiness is a bit too much for them.
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