Tag Archives: Barleywine

Heavy Seas Below Decks

Heavy Seas Below Decks

Heavy Seas Below Decks

Perhaps Heavy Seas are embarrassed by Below Decks, as it’s not on their website, but I’m not sure why.

Pours a surprisingly crisp mahogany with ruby edges. Inviting aroma full of malt that you’d expect from a barleywine. Really interesting flavor. Rye, raisins, cedar at first. Hops take hold for a bit, then hints of currants and cherries. Lots of warmth and heat from the 10% ABV. Each sip I’m trying to find a different flavor, and it’s there.

Take some time with this one. Savor it.

Grade: A

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Lagunitas Brown Shugga’

Lagunitas Brown Shugga

Lagunitas Brown Shugga

Lagunitas is not exactly known for timid brews. Brown Shugga is, as they say, the result of a failed experiment with a batch of Barley Wine.

Pours a slightly hazy copper. Brown sugar and piney hops in the aroma. The brown sugar comes out even more after a sip. Very sweet, but the aggressive, pungent hops cut through to tame it. Big and very tasty, if not complex. Great balance between the hops and sugar, each keeping the other from overpowering. And checking in at 9.9% ABV, you’d never guess it’s close to that strong while drinking it.

Grade: A

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Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot

Trying something new with Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot. Drinking it in a wine glass. Apparently, it’s great to serve Barleywines. Even Weyerbacher recommend it for Blithering Idiot. Let’s find out.

Pours a cloudy copper. Aroma is extremely inviting with rich malt, rum raisins, and toffee. Tons going on here. Brown sugar, banana, raisins, toffee, even a hint of bubble gum. Plenty of the requisite malt, too. Amazingly, the alcohol only shows up warmth and dryness in the finish. And at a giant 11.1% ABV, that is quite a task! I see where the name came from. It is dangerously smooth, complex, and tasty. Deceptively potent. Not sure the wine glass added anything.

Grade: A

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North Coast Old Stock Ale 2010

North Coast Old Stock Ale

Barley Wine is a style that’s been growing on me. If I had the patience to age, these would be the style to age. However, I am not blessed with that virtue when it comes to beer!

This is North Coast’s Old Stock Ale, 2010 version. Deep mahogany color with loads of roasted butterscotch and some wood in the nose. That butterscotch flavor absolutely coats the mouth with a bit of sour tang in the finish. Hops add a welcome kick and some bitterness, but don’t get in the way of anything. Picking up some grapes and late chocolate as it warms. It’s a heavy hitter at more than 11% ABV, but the alcohol is just a pleasant warmth.

Outstanding! My impatience has been rewarded

Grade: A

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3 Floyds Behemoth Barleywine

3 Floyds Behemoth

3 Floyds is back in Ohio for the first time since I’ve known anything about beer, so this is pretty exciting news. Great read about the re-release in Ohio here at the stellar Bobby Likes Beer.

My first try from them is the wax-sealed, impossible to open, Behemoth Barleywine. The nose is full of caramel malt and a mix of citrus and spicy hops. This brew is definitely big. Caramel malt, big kick from the hops, and pretty hot from the alcohol. As it warms, more malt complexity is coming through along with a few different hops varieties: grapefruit, pine, and spice.

As a barleywine, I’m sure it’d mellow out and balance from a few years of aging, but that’s just not my thing.

The 10.5% ABV is evident, but it all adds to making this beer live up to its name.

And the lacing! This isn’t rings of foam, it’s coating the entire glass.

Grade: A

 

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Nøgne Ø Sunturnbrew

Nøgne Ø Sunturnbrew

My first foray into Norwegian beer is the Nøgne Ø Sunturnbrew. Classified as a Barleywine, and at 11% ABV, this is going to be a big beer.

Huge ecru head floats on top of a very deep amber color. The nose is full of smoked malt. Even the first sip indicates the overwhelming flavors and complexity. Smoky, but not as much as a Rauchbier, there is vanilla, oak, cherries, rye, and lots of caramel malt. There is not much attempt the hide the whopping 11% ABV.

Complex and eminently unique, it’s one to seek out and experience. Though, not for the week palated. It’s an assault.

Grade: A

P.S. Nøgne Ø translates to “Naked Island”

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot

While my experience with Barleywines is rather limited, I think they’re great so far. One of the strongest styles of beer, and a style that ages over years, just like wine.

A metallic red hue and the aroma of hops and melon come from Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot Barleywine. Fruity, sweet malt, with some aggressive hops at the end. The flavor is full and layered. Quite well balanced, with a finish similar to big IPAs. A bit on the low end as far as ABV goes for a Barleywine. However, that still puts it at 9.6%!

A multiple award winner, and it really is good, but I need to have more barelywines before I can declare it a king. Chalk that up to my lack of experience. But one that I am excited to remedy.

Grade: A

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