Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Tale of Six Barleywines

First of all, I have to try and keep blog posts brief. I do admire those who do a lot of blogging, but I do work for a living and have other interests. So this and many future postings will be briefer, as I would rather get multiple articles out there each month, as opposed to one opus magnum biannually. Or is that semi-annually?

Barleywine. My favorite style. BJCP Style Guidelines say:
17D. English Barleywine. Overall Impression: A showcase of malty richness and complex, intense flavors. Chewy and rich in body, with warming alcohol and a pleasant fruity or hoppy interest. When aged, it can take on port-like flavors. A wintertime sipper.
22C. American Barleywine. Overall Impression: A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales. The hop character should be evident throughout, but does not have to be unbalanced. The alcohol strength and hop bitterness often combine to leave a very long finish.

But as we shall read, a Barleywine is a difficult style to brew...

Treehouse  - Tree of Life – 2019 - American Barleywine [6.5 / 10.0; beer 10,639]
Couldn’t wait, but reminds me more of a Belgian strong dark ale; weak flavor; thin mouthfeel; no hops; nice raisin aroma but way off stylistically.

Sierra Nevada - Bigfoot – 2019 - American Barleywine [6.5/10.0; beer 10,640]
Hops were too strong, and rich original flavor and mouthfeel is gone. Slightly harsh which may mellow with age. Is this the same Barleywine I’ve had for a decade or more?

Untitled Art & Horus – Barleywine  - 2018 - English Barleywine with coconut and coffee [7.5/10.0; beer 10,641]
Light roasty coffee aroma with a sweetish rough coffee taste; notes of coconut. Full, smooth mouthfeel with a coarse head. Granted it’s a Barleywine variant, but a good sipper.

Weyerbacher - Blithering Idiot - 2012  - English Barleywine [7.5/10.0; beer 10,643]
Caramel and barley aroma, faint sour snap (last aging year to be drinkable?). Boozy and full bodied, foamy head.

Black Pond – Now that I’ve stood up... – 2019 - American Barleywine [8.8/10.0, beer 10,662]
Good body nice and full, slightly harsh as it’s a new barleywine, boozy hint in the finish, creamy head.

Perennial Artisan Ales – Vermillion – 2017 - American Barleywine [9.7/10.0, beer 10,791]
Raisin plum aroma with a full barley taste, faint sugary finish with a syrupy mouthfeel.

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