Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale 2012 – Driftwood Brewing (Aged 0 Year)


Winter Seasonal

From Victoria BC’s Driftwood Brewing comes the “Old Cellar Dweller Barleywine Style Ale 2012″.  This is a Winter 2012 Vintage opened up soon after release.  The beer pours a deep amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma of this beer consists of dark fruits such as plum, spices, molasses, nuts, hops, malts but not very sweet.  The flavour consisted of dark fruits, molasses, some spices and sweetness, huge hops bitterness and a pretty decent boozy kick.  This brew has a medium body and a very light carbonation.  The alcohol content of this beer is 11.8% with an IBU of 75.  Like most barleywines it is always good to lay them down for at least one year.

Commercial Description:  Three times the malt bill and five times the hops of a normal strength beer, this Barleywine tests the limits of our brewhouse and our backs! But the real struggle is in getting this massive brew to completely ferment, a true test of our skill and the vigor of our yeast. Consisting of 98% Pale Malt (with a bag of CaraMunch thrown in for color) and just one hop variety, Columbus, this beer showcases these two basic ingredients in their most concentrated state.

Enjoy this very special beer young, but save a few bottles for future winters. Enjoy not too cold, say about 13C! Barleywine will age indefinitely, like wine; thus the name.

Driftwood Brewing recommends food pairings as follows:  Rouquefort, Gorgonzola and washed-rind cheeses like Oka or Port de Salut, Dried fruits, and sweet nuts such as Brazils.

This beer was part of Mikes Craft Beer’s Barleywine Tasting.  It was highly regarded by all tasters involved.

Read about the tasting here

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Barley Wine 2012 – Granville Island Brewing


Winter Seasonal

From Granville Island Brewing located in Vancouver BC comes their Winter seasonal “Barley Wine 2012” the breweries first Barleywine.  Like all Bombers (650ml bottles) produced by Granville Island Brewing this beer is actually brewed on Granville Island not brewed elsewhere.  This barleywine has been aged for a period of time in Bourbon barrels to add to the flavour.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of dark fruits, grapefruit, cherries, hops and maybe a hint of malts.  The flavour is composed of dark fruits, bourbon, oak, citrus, cherries, sweetness with some good alcohol present.  Some will think this barleywine is a bit to sweet.  The alcohol content of this beer is 11.5% with an IBU of 60.

This beer was part of Mikes Craft Beer’s Barleywine Tasting.  I personally really like this barleywine but I was overruled by the others at the tasting.

Read about the tasting here

I would like to thank Granville Island Brewing for helping me acquire this Barleywine for my tasting.

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Woolly Bugger Barleywine (December 2012) – Howe Sound Brewing (Aged 0 years)


Winter Seasonal

From Squamish’s Howe Sound Brewing comes their Winter Seasonal the “Woolly Bugger Barleywine (December 2012)”.  This beer was released in December 2012 and consumed in December 2012.  Like all barleywines you have to take this beast seriously!  The beer pours a deep redy/brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma of the beer is filled with Sweet malts, caramel, grapefruit and hops.  The aroma was described as very faint but interesting!  The flavour consists of a malty sweetness, dark fruits such as prunes, caramel, citrus and a mild hops bitterness and a mild alcohol finish.  Like many Barleywines this brew is low on carbonation.  This barleywine has an alcohol content of 11% and an IBU of 75.  The hops is well hidden in this brew.

Malts: Pale, crystal, cara, chocolate, special B
Hops:  Nugget, fruggles, goldings

This beer was part of Mikes Craft Beer’s Barleywine Tasting.  It was highly regarded by all tasters involved.

Read about the tasting here

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Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine (Vintage 2011) – Central City Brewing (Aged 1 Year)


Limited Winter Release. (99 cases of 12 650ml bottles made)

Review Based on Vintage 2011 brewed in aprox December 2011 released on late November 2012 and consumed on December 1st 2012.  Central City is one of the few breweries to age their barleywine in house for a year before releasing.

From Central City Brewing (Red Racer Brewing) in Surrey BC comes “Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine (Vintage 2011)” a bottle conditioned beer that has been aged for almost a full year before release!  This beer pours a cloudy deep amber colour with a tan head.  The aroma of this brew is of sweet dark fruits such as prunes, malts, toffee, mild chocolate and hops.  The flavour shows characteristics of sweet dark fruits, cherry, strong bitter hops, brown sugar, toffee, chocolate, tons of malts and alcohol.  The beer has a smooth mouthfeel and picks up strength at the tail end.  This beer starts cold in your mouth and turns warm as it hits your throat.  This is a slow sipping and amazingly tasty beer!  I have a bottle of this vintage put away in the cellar for consumption at least a year down the road!  Thor’s Hammer has a commanding alcohol content of 11.5% which like his hammer, it should not be taken lightly!  Barley Wine’s should be aged as they reduce the alcohol flavour and increase the other flavours of the beer.  With that in mind I can not wait to try the next 2011 Vintage when I decide it is time. This beer has opened my eyes to an amazing style of beer!

Commercial Description: Made with the best ingredients, with uncompromising standards, this Barley Wine is fermented traditionally within our tanks, and then conditioned for up to a year in its bottle. Enjoyed for up to five years after brewing.

Food Pairing as per Central City: Desserts, spicy dishes, breads.

This beer was part of Mikes Craft Beer’s Barleywine Tasting.  It was highly regarded by all tasters involved.

Read about the tasting here

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