Barley Wine 2014 Vintage – Parallel 49 Brewing


From East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing comes their latest beer in their Barrel Aged series the “Barley Wine” 2014 Vintage.  The beer pours a cloudy brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, caramel and some pretty big malts.  The flavour is of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, honey, caramel, malty, vanilla, oaky, hops bitterness and some alcohol warmth.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.8% with an IBU of 46.  This Barley Wine tastes different than most that I have tried but it is darn good!  I look forward to how this vintage ages over time and how subsequent versions taste.

Commercial Description:  The granddaddy of English ales, this beer pours a tawny amber and boasts a huge mat flavour. Aging in whiskey barrels for 10 months has added a woody vanilla note that will age beautifully. This beer begs to be cellared.

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Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine (2014 Vintage) – Central City Brewers & Distillers


From Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey comes their most anticipated beer of the year in “Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine” 2014 vintage.  This beer was released December 2014 and has been aged for a full year according to the bottle.  As Barley Wine’s often require a year to mature enough to be really drinkable it is a great thing that Central City cellars it for you.  The beer pours a Deep cloudy brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, sweetness, sugar, malts and caramel.  The flavour is of dark fruits, sweet sugar, caramel, toffee, hops bitterness, pine and resin with some alcohol warmth in there also.  The alcohol content comes in at 11.5%.  This happens to be one of my all time favourite beers of all time.  This will get better with age but it is already amazing.

Commercial Description:  Matured for almost one year, mahogany in colour, this award-winning barley wine is crafted from fine barley malt exuding deep, rich notes of dried fruit, plum and candy with a walnut ester.

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Wooly Bugger Barleywine 2013, 2014 – Howe Sound Brewing (BC Beer Bloggers Local Winter Favourites Part 2, #3)


BC Beer Bloggers Local Winter Favourites – This special review is part of a multi-blog collaboration between five BC Beer Bloggers (including a guest from over the mountains in Alberta) where we each chose our top three local winter releases and are blogging about them. Please take a look at the bottom of this review for the other links to see all the beers we chose in no particular order and bookmark these sites so you can check them often.
West Coast Beer Geek

Winter beers are often higher in alcohol content and darker in colour.  With higher alcohol content comes the opportunity to age beer and see how they change over time.  With this in mind I got my hands on Howe Sound Brewing’s 2013 and 2014 vintages of their “Woolly Bugger Barelywine”.

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When I poured both beer side by side I did notice that the 2013 was slightly lighter in colour although both were a dark chestnut colour.  Much like the differences in colour the 2014 had a much more active and larger tan head than the 2013.

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Woolly Bugger Barleywine 2013 Vintage

The aroma consists of dark fruits, big malts, caramel and molasses.  The flavour is of dark fruits, big malts, caramel, molasses, some sweetness, pine and hops bitterness.  There is a hint of alcohol but more present as warmth.

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Woolly Bugger Barleywine 2014 Vintage

The aroma consists of dark fruits, sweet malts, caramel and some brown sugar.  The flavour is of dark fruits, big malts including caramel, brown sugar, sweetness, hops bitterness and pine.  This beer is still fairly hot with alcohol but it is still very drinkable.  It is obvious that this beer was fairly fresh with the high alcohol content.

Both Vintages of this beer come in at a big 10.5% alcohol by volume and an IBU of 75.  As both versions warm up the flavour builds and this is quite noticeable with the bitterness.  With a year of aging this beer looses a big chunk of its boozy nature and the malts take over.  Not every beer should be aged but when it comes to big winter ales like Barleywines it is almost better to buy a couple bottles and hold onto them for at least a year before consuming.

Commercial Description:  A rich, malty barley wine-style ale, with an intense the depth of flavour. Named for the Woolly Bugger wet fly, one of the most effective and widely used patterns in fly fishing. Brewed with pale, crystal, cara, chocolate and special B malts, Nugget, Fuggles and Golding hops, water and ale yeast.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  The malt & caramel flavours of this barley wine make it a great accompaniment with hearty meals and desserts and aged cheeses, nuts and winter specialties.

Awards for beer
2014 Bronze Medal in the North American Beer Awards
2013 Bronze Medal in the North American Beer Awards
2012 Gold Medal in the Canadian Brewing Awards
2011 Bronze Medal in the Canadian Brewing Awards

Participating Bloggers: be sure to check them daily, I’ll add in their links as they go up!

West Coast Beer Geek – A beer geeks perspective on craft beer, beer events, beer pairings and more.

Mike’s Craft Beer – Not for the weak of taste buds. Lots of great beer reviews, brewery reviews and events on this site.

Dennis the Foodie – Weaving a personal story of food and beer in Vancouver, BC. Very thorough food reviews, great photos and beer pairings.

Western Suds – An Alberta craft beer blog written by a craft beer enthusiast and ambassador for the growing Alberta craft beer scene.

Beer Rater – A beer guide without all the fluff, just some straight forward drinking advice.

How to stay tuned into what we are doing? Look for the hashtag #bcbeerbloggers as we will be using it a lot. Please engage us in conversations, enjoy our posts, try these beers and share our work if you like it.

 

Super 8-Bit IPA 2014 – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks


From Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks brewing out of Big River Brewpub in Richmond BC comes their “Super 8-Bit IPA 2014”.  This years batch has been brewed with a bunch of Australian hops as well as a mix of other hops.  The hops included are citra, amarillo, zeus, simcoe, dr. rudi, topaz, ella and green bullet.  The beer pours a cloudy copper colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of floral hops, fruity, citrus, lemon and caramel.  The flavour is of big caramel, pine, resin, hops bitterness, citrus and tropical fruits.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.3% with an IBU of 69.  This is an awesome IPA and well worth hunting down in Metro Vancouver on tap.

Commercial Description:  Oh yeah baby, it’s back!  Super 8-Bit IPA 2014.  A vibrant West Coast IPA with 8 exotic hops: Citra, Amarillo, Zeus, Simcoe, Dr. Rudi, Topaz, Ella, Green Bullet.  Every year we will change up the hops and this year we are featuring a few sexy Aussie hops and our favorite West Coast hops!

 

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ReNEWale 2014 – Ninkasi Brewing Company


Limited Release

From Eugene Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company comes their “ReNEWale 2014″ a pale ale inspired by Norther German Altbiers.  This beer changes every year.  The beer poured a copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of malty, mild fruits and a very mild hops.  The flavour is of bready malts, fruity and some hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.4% with an IBU of 32.  This was a really refreshing pale ale with a great balance.

Commercial Description:  New year, new beer indeed! A pale ale brewed with an alt yeast strain, this year’s ReNEWale is subtly malty yet deliciously crisp and smooth. Grab some friends and cheers to the year ahead!  Inspired by the traditional Northern German Altbier, our ReNEWale puts a Northwest spin on this style, offering a beer with a pale ale base brewed with an alt yeast strain. Similar to the German Altbier, this beer is copper in color with a malty aroma and little hop presence. It is crisp and smooth with a fairly bitter yet balanced malt flavor.

Food pairing as per brewery:  Pastas, meat dishes, stews, chicken, fish

Check out my Build Your Own 6 Pack that this was a part of!

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