From Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing comes the “Woolly Bugger Barley Wine” 2017 Vintage. After a few years of moving to a 650ml bottle Howe Sound Brewing has opted to move to a 750ml bottle for this beer. The beer pours a deep reddish brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consists dark fruits, almost cherry, caramel, some hops bitterness and a sweet finish. The flavour is of dark fruits, cherry, resin, citrus rind, toffee, caramel, bitterness and alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 10.7%
From Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery comes their “120 Min IPA”. The beer pours a very deep cloudy orange with an off white head. The aroma consists of alcohol, dark fruit, caramel and sweetness. The flavour is of candi sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, sweetness, bitterness and alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at around 18% with an IBU of 120. I am a big fan of Barley Wine and this beer is way more of one than it is an IPA.
Commercial Description: Clocking in at 15-20% ABV, 120 Minute IPA is continuously hopped with a copious amount of high-alpha American hops throughout the boil and whirlpool, and then dry-hopped with another pallet of hops. Unfiltered and abundently hoppy, it’s the Holy Grail for hopheads! We brew 120 Minute IPA a few times a year, but it goes fast. If you find some grab a few bottles — some to enjoy and some to age. Every Beer Has A Story…
From Steamworks Brewing in Burnaby BC comes their latest release the “Scarlet Red Rye Ale” a Rye Barley Wine that is part of their 2017 Barrel Aged series. The beer pours a deep reddish colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of rye malts and rye whiskey, oak, red wine, dark fruits and some sweetness. The flavour is of rye malts and whiskey, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, red wine, sweetness, low bitterness and an alcohol note. The alcohol content comes in at a healthy 9.5%. This is probably the breweries most complex beer to date and I really enjoyed it. This beer has some good aging potential also.
Commercial Description: This robust Rye Barley Wine was carefully aged for months in Woodford Reserve rye barrels resulting in a vibrant red brew we fittingly named Scarlet. With rich flavours and a warming finish, it’s perfect for rainy days.
From Brooklyn Brewing out of Brooklyn New York comes their “Monster Ale” this bottle being a 2007 vintage Barleywine. This bottle was opened on May 2nd 2017 making it in the neighborhood of 9 years and 4 months old if I assume the beer was released in December. Unfortunately this beer was discontinued in 2013 after their cat named Monster passed away. The beer poured a chestnut brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of chocolate, toffee, dark fruit, brown sugar, sweetness and some mint. The flavour is of chocolate, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, orange, sherry, mild resin, tannins and sweetness. This beer coats your tongue with every sip. The alcohol content comes in at 10.1% with an IBU of 47. I am really bummed to hear of the demise of this beer as this close to 10 year old bottle tastes bloody amazing!
Commercial Description: Brooklyn Monster Ale is a classic barley wine, a style of ale originally brewed by the butlers to the English and American aristocracy. It is brewed from three mashes of heirloom British malt and spiced with aromatic American Willamette, Cascade and Fuggle hops. After four months of aging, it has a magnificent burnished copper color, an aroma redolent of sherry, citrusy hops and fruit, a soft, warming, complex palate, a spiritous finish, and a strength of 10.3%. It is vivacious when young, but will age gracefully for many years, becoming more complex over time.
Food Pairing as per brewery: Brooklyn Monster Ale is a fine accompaniment to a variety of cheeses (especially Gruyere, Stilton and aged cheddar), ice cream, flourless cakes, crème brulee and good cigars.
From Brewsters Brewing Company out of Calgary, Alberta comes their “Blue Monk Barley Wine” a bottle from the 2016 vintage. The beer pours a deep copper colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of dark fruits, caramel, candied sugar and sweetness. The flavour is of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, candied sugar, earth, bitterness, resin and alcohol with a dry finish. The alcohol content comes in at 10% with an IBU of 65. I am a massive fan of Barley Wine beers and this one hits all the notes. I would recommend this one to anyone.
Commercial Description: The monk represents discipline, respect and morality but that doesn’t mean he can’t indulge in a holy brew now and then. Blue Monk Barley Wine is an English style strong ale characterized by an intense, fruity flavour with notes of bread and toffee. Malt varietals include 2-Row, Carastan, Special B and Munich. Hop Varietals include Chinook, Magnum and Cascade.