Barleywine is a beer characterized by its high alcohol content and rich, complex flavor profile. It is typically brewed with a high proportion of malted barley, contributing to its full-bodied texture and caramel-like sweetness. Barleywine is often aged for months or years to allow its flavors to develop and mature.
Barleywine can be divided into two subcategories: American style and English style. American-style barleywine tends to be more hop-forward and assertive, with a greater emphasis on the bitterness and aroma of the hops. On the other hand, English-style barleywine is more malt-focused, with a balance of sweetness and anger and a subtle, earthy hop character.
Barleywine is a sipping beer that is best enjoyed slowly and in moderation. Its high alcohol content can make it quite potent, and it is often served in smaller quantities than other beers. Barleywine pairs well with rich, hearty foods like stews, roasts, and strong cheeses, and it is an excellent choice for cold winter evenings or special occasions.
Breweries around the world produce many excellent barley wine beers. Here are a few of my favorites from this past year, listed in no particular order:
Orpheus Brewing- Room of a Thousand Years
Old Thunder- Time out of Time
East End- Gratitude (Rum Barrel)
Dewey Beer Co.- Outsiders Only
Voodoo Brewing & Equilibrium- Conntium
As always, cheers, everyone! These are just a few examples of the many excellent barley wine beers domestically. As with any beer, personal taste will vary, so it's always a good idea to try various brands and styles to find the ones you enjoy the most.