Elegant lighter-bodied ‘blonde’ barleywine stays smoother and more sessionable than darker, more robust traditional fare, satisfying Chardonnay lovers more than port-burgundy imbibers. Bruised cherry and orange waft through creamy marzipan center, leaving toasted almond, pecan, coconut and oaken vanilla in its wake. Lilting cognac kick and surging maraschino cherry lick sweeten vodka-like ethanol astringency of soft-toned 11.5% alcohol elixir. 2012 re-tasting: Piney citric overtones ride above tangy apricot, nectarine, cantaloupe, melon and red cherry illusions. At the midst, surging grapefruit-peeled bittering contrasts tart pineapple juicing and honey-spiced Mead wining. Tried Batch #2, autumn 2012, and noticed its lower 10% alcohol volume may’ve propeled the white-wined Sauvignon Blanc-related Nelson Sauvin hops above the oak toasted residual sugaring.