On tap in a 12oz snifter at Mikkeller Brewery, San Diego. Like most taprooms in SD, Mikkeller is dog-friendly, so we were able to bring our Yorkie - Sofie (named after the Goose Island Belgian-style beer) - to enjoy some attention from the bar staff. When Mikkeller first opened their brewery, just over a year ago, we were dismayed to find a string of West Coast-style beers on tap. This was definitely not the Mikkeller we knew and loved, so we backed off for a few months. As it turned out, the West Coast bias backfired and Mikkel Borg Bjergso made a public statement in the local beer press suggesting that it was a mistake to try and emulate what the (many) local breweries had turned into an art form and that Mikkeller San Diego would now concentrate on the beers that have made them a class act in over 40 different countries. IPAs are still prevalent, but they now follow the East Coast Hazy IPA trend which compliments the rest of the SD portfolio. Hooray for that! So this brings us to Ol Nagelfar Barley Wine (subtitled Fit for a Viking Funeral). It began with a gentle nose of light caramel and toffee with a touch of oak. This led into a beautiful smooth satin body giving not-too-sweet flavours of the aforementioned caramel, toffee and dark fruits - notably prunes, dates and raisins. Light oak and a mild earthy hop presence accompanied a dark fruity, warming finish. This little ripper was beautifully balanced - everything was kept in check with the flavours blending perfectly. You’d never know this was a 12% beer. Welcome back Mikkeller!