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  1. #1
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    The Barleywine thread

    Any other fans out there? It's my favorite style by a long shot. They don't get near the amount of glory they deserve. It's like sticking a straw into a loaf of bread. The hoppier the better I say.


    What's your favorites?

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    Stone's Old Guardian is very good, especially the Smoked version they released this year.
    Alesmiths Old Numbskull is fantastic.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

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    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. All you want and need.

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    I haven't tried that kind... I am a solid fan of Shock Top and Blue Moon.. they're the best.
    I'm Dante. I'm a passionate programmer who occasionally does some research paper writing on the side.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Stone's Old Guardian is very good, especially the Smoked version they released this year.
    Alesmiths Old Numbskull is fantastic.
    Yeah it's good for sure. A bit boozy, I can never sit on it long enough to age and simmer down a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. All you want and need.
    Bigfoot is superb, this year isn't as good as last IMO. I did manage to get a bomber of barrel aged bigfoot this year, I've managed to age it for 3 months now and am hoping to hold out for atleast a year.

  6. #6
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    Oh yeah, I just polished off the last of my Brookyln Monster Ale from 2011. It was exquisite. Walked into a local gas station and saw it peeking out from under 2 inches of dust, these college kids obviously don't know what in the hell they have.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteFrizzoli View Post
    I haven't tried that kind... I am a solid fan of Shock Top and Blue Moon.. they're the best.
    Are you trolling us, or do you just not know much about beer? I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    Oh yeah, I just polished off the last of my Brookyln Monster Ale from 2011. It was exquisite. Walked into a local gas station and saw it peeking out from under 2 inches of dust, these college kids obviously don't know what in the hell they have.
    I brought some Monster home with me from NYC this past march, I think I have one left. To me, it is just so-so, not the best Barleywine out there. I also brought back some Old Cremudgeon from Founders, that stuff is good as well.

    To me a Barely wine has to be a bit more boozy to qualify for the style.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

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    I'm not sure if Old Stock Ale by North Coast is technically a barley wine, but I'm quite fond of it.

    I always make a point of grabbing some Big Foot every spring and having one fresh, while laying the others down. It's been a spring tradition since finishing my last final at West Valley College in 1993. I also used to like Anchor's Old Foghorn, but it's been years since I've had one. I'm going to make a point to look for it soon.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Are you trolling us, or do you just not know much about beer? I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt for now.
    He's a troll/spammer. You can always tell by the garbage unrelated links posted in the signatures - no idea why so many of those idiots favor this site...

    Back to the OP. I also love barleywines, but I am not a huge fan of hoppy American barleywines. I prefer complex English style, usually barrel-aged. I did buy a few bottles of BA Bigfoot, but I'll be sitting on them and hoping the hops fade after a year or so.

    Based upon its price and nearly year-round availability, I think Weyerbacher's Insanity is one of my top beers in the style. For a very classic version, J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale is tasty, and older vintages can still be found easily.

    My other favorites include Firestone Walker Sucaba, Pelican Pub Mother of All Storms (and the non-BA Stormwatcher's Winterfest), Midnight Sun Arctic Devil, Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Naked Evil and Deschutes Mirror Mirror. The best is Goose Island King Henry, but that's quite a hard bottle to find these days.

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    Of the beers I've had/recognize in your last paragraph, I didn't realize any of them were "barleywine". I had the Sucaba on tap a few weeks ago and it was fantastic.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Are you trolling us, or do you just not know much about beer? I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt for now.



    I brought some Monster home with me from NYC this past march, I think I have one left. To me, it is just so-so, not the best Barleywine out there. I also brought back some Old Cremudgeon from Founders, that stuff is good as well.

    To me a Barely wine has to be a bit more boozy to qualify for the style.
    I haven't had that Barleywine from Founders, everything else from them is exceptional though. The only brews from them that is typically carried in my area are the Breakfast Stout, Centennial IPA, Rye PA, and that strong ale. Some bite is good in Barleywines, but I find that if it's too strong it overpowers the malt and the overall complexity of the beer. Just my opinion though, we all have our own preferences.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    He's a troll/spammer. You can always tell by the garbage unrelated links posted in the signatures - no idea why so many of those idiots favor this site...

    Back to the OP. I also love barleywines, but I am not a huge fan of hoppy American barleywines. I prefer complex English style, usually barrel-aged. I did buy a few bottles of BA Bigfoot, but I'll be sitting on them and hoping the hops fade after a year or so.

    Based upon its price and nearly year-round availability, I think Weyerbacher's Insanity is one of my top beers in the style. For a very classic version, J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale is tasty, and older vintages can still be found easily.

    My other favorites include Firestone Walker Sucaba, Pelican Pub Mother of All Storms (and the non-BA Stormwatcher's Winterfest), Midnight Sun Arctic Devil, Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Naked Evil and Deschutes Mirror Mirror. The best is Goose Island King Henry, but that's quite a hard bottle to find these days.
    I like all styles of Barleywines, but I do prefer the hoppy ones. I tried that Weyerbacher one a few months back and it was ok, they seem to go overboard with all the grapefruit, it's not exactly what I look for in a BW. Maybe it's some sort of mental issue, but to me all there brews taste like it. I've pretty much given up my quest to get King Henry, I guess it'll have to wait until I head out to their brewery. I would suggest for you to try Hog Heaven by Avery, there's hops in it but they're masked pretty well. I didn't even know that FW made a Barleywine, I'll keep an eye out for it for sure.

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    I'm going to have to try some Bigfoot tonight.
    I've been getting into the stronger beers lately, like DIPA's.
    The problem is that a beer that is twice as strong doesn't take twice as long to drink.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    I haven't had that Barleywine from Founders, everything else from them is exceptional though. The only brews from them that is typically carried in my area are the Breakfast Stout, Centennial IPA, Rye PA, and that strong ale. Some bite is good in Barleywines, but I find that if it's too strong it overpowers the malt and the overall complexity of the beer. Just my opinion though, we all have our own preferences.



    I like all styles of Barleywines, but I do prefer the hoppy ones. I tried that Weyerbacher one a few months back and it was ok, they seem to go overboard with all the grapefruit, it's not exactly what I look for in a BW. Maybe it's some sort of mental issue, but to me all there brews taste like it. I've pretty much given up my quest to get King Henry, I guess it'll have to wait until I head out to their brewery. I would suggest for you to try Hog Heaven by Avery, there's hops in it but they're masked pretty well. I didn't even know that FW made a Barleywine, I'll keep an eye out for it for sure.
    Yeah that Founders Old Curmudgeon is considered an "Old Ale," although there's not a huge difference between Old Ales and Barleywines. In that same style are the delicious Kuhnhenn 4th Dementia and BA 4th Dementia, The Bruery's Anniversary Beers (Papier, Coton, Cuir, Bois) and Hair of the Dog's Adam series (Adam, Cherry Adam, Adam from the Wood, etc.) although those last beers are slightly different than the previous, using a different malt bill that imparts a bit of smoked flavor.

    I have never tasted grapefruit in Weyerbacher Insanity, but perhaps if it's something that you find in all their beers, it could be flavors you're getting from the yeast. Usually when I don't like most of the beers from a brewery, it's due to their yeast since it's used in a lot of their beers. Could also be some base malt they use or something in their water. The flavors I pick up heavily from Insanity are your typical vanilla, oak, caramel and warm dark fruit.

    There's no chance you're going to get King Henry at the brewery, or anywhere else unless you're willing to trade or pay big for it. It was made only once, and unless they're holding some for some special event, they don't have any left. I was at GI a couple months back and asked if they had any kicking around still, and the bartender laughed and told me "no." It's a really expensive beer to make, and will likely never be made the same again. They used the same Pappy van Winkle 23 Year barrels that previously held BCBS Rare to age the King Henry.

    I've had the Hog Heaven. A tasty beer, no doubt, but still not my style. To me, American Barleywines taste like big, malty DIPAs on steroids. Unfortunately I prefer my DIPAs on the dry side with less of a malt presence and mild bitterness, hence my aversion to them. I find that English Barleywines, especially barrel-aged ones, have the rich bready, toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and oak flavors that I enjoy in a big beer. I have about 35 different barleywines in my cellar right now just so I can see what happens to them with a little age.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    Yeah that Founders Old Curmudgeon is considered an "Old Ale," although there's not a huge difference between Old Ales and Barleywines. In that same style are the delicious Kuhnhenn 4th Dementia and BA 4th Dementia, The Bruery's Anniversary Beers (Papier, Coton, Cuir, Bois) and Hair of the Dog's Adam series (Adam, Cherry Adam, Adam from the Wood, etc.) although those last beers are slightly different than the previous, using a different malt bill that imparts a bit of smoked flavor.

    I have never tasted grapefruit in Weyerbacher Insanity, but perhaps if it's something that you find in all their beers, it could be flavors you're getting from the yeast. Usually when I don't like most of the beers from a brewery, it's due to their yeast since it's used in a lot of their beers. Could also be some base malt they use or something in their water. The flavors I pick up heavily from Insanity are your typical vanilla, oak, caramel and warm dark fruit.

    There's no chance you're going to get King Henry at the brewery, or anywhere else unless you're willing to trade or pay big for it. It was made only once, and unless they're holding some for some special event, they don't have any left. I was at GI a couple months back and asked if they had any kicking around still, and the bartender laughed and told me "no." It's a really expensive beer to make, and will likely never be made the same again. They used the same Pappy van Winkle 23 Year barrels that previously held BCBS Rare to age the King Henry.

    I've had the Hog Heaven. A tasty beer, no doubt, but still not my style. To me, American Barleywines taste like big, malty DIPAs on steroids. Unfortunately I prefer my DIPAs on the dry side with less of a malt presence and mild bitterness, hence my aversion to them. I find that English Barleywines, especially barrel-aged ones, have the rich bready, toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and oak flavors that I enjoy in a big beer. I have about 35 different barleywines in my cellar right now just so I can see what happens to them with a little age.
    Sorry, I got Insanity mixed up with blithering idiot. But yeah, I guess they're pretty stubborn with which yeasts they use. I swear, the first sip I took I thought that there was a mix up at the brewery and they mislabeled Merry Monks. Just not a fan of their style I suppose.

    I really do need to find a shop that carries some English style Barleywines, I've had some before, but I feel lucky if I go in and see Old Foghorn, Anniversary(Uinta), or Hog Heaven on the shelves. Just not a big demand for Barleywines in my area, which is unfortunate for me.

  15. #15
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    Firestone Sucaba. Good luck finding it.
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    My beer cellar's got a nice little barleywine section, but they are all BC brews so not much availability elsewhere. It's not at the top of my list as a beer style but not to say I don't really enjoy a nice BW. Driftwood's Old Cellar Dweller is a good one.
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    Unita Cockeyed Cooper is pretty tasty. I also like the Stone Old Guardian for the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptikl-jc View Post
    Unita Cockeyed Cooper is pretty tasty. I also like the Stone Old Guardian for the price.
    I bought a 12oz bottle of Uinta's anniversary barley wine tonight, but mostly because it's so hard to find barley wine in 12oz. bottles. I haven't had one in years, so we'll see how it goes.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Danger View Post
    I bought a 12oz bottle of Uinta's anniversary barley wine tonight, but mostly because it's so hard to find barley wine in 12oz. bottles. I haven't had one in years, so we'll see how it goes.


    Uintas Anniversary Barleywine is quality. Surprised me because it was the first of their beers I tried.

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    The Barleywine thread

    The Barleywine thread-imageuploadedbytapatalk1370222259.716283.jpg

    Class of 88. This the best Barleywine I have ever had. I can't get enough of it.
    It is a collaborative effort from Deschutes, Rogue and North Coast. They all opened up in 1988 and are celebrating their 25th anniversaries with this big brew.
    Class of 88 is unlike any other Barleywine. Big malty start. Loads of vanilla and mahogany. Big hop finish, fruity, citrusy. Zero boozy alcohol kick at the end. Very easy drinking, despite a 10.2% apv.
    Damn, I'm going to go open one right now.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Stokes View Post
    Uintas Anniversary Barleywine is quality. Surprised me because it was the first of their beers I tried.
    I liked the Uinta Anniversary. I generally don't go for big alcohol beers, and many years ago when I dabbled in barleywines, I didn't really get into them. I saw the Uinta at $2 a bottle and figured it was a great, cheap way to have another go. Brewtality's raves for Class of 88 has me thinking I'll pick up a bottle of that if I ever see one.
    You're so cute internet tough guy. Noogie...Noogie...Noogie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Class of 88. This the best Barleywine I have ever had. I can't get enough of it.
    It is a collaborative effort from Deschutes, Rogue and North Coast. They all opened up in 1988 and are celebrating their 25th anniversaries with this big brew.
    Class of 88 is unlike any other Barleywine. Big malty start. Loads of vanilla and mahogany. Big hop finish, fruity, citrusy. Zero boozy alcohol kick at the end. Very easy drinking, despite a 10.2% apv.
    Damn, I'm going to go open one right now.


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    I'll definitely have to check if that's available in my area. Looks a bit on the lighter side, but I think that would be perfectly suitable for warmer weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteFrizzoli View Post
    I haven't tried that kind... I am a solid fan of Shock Top and Blue Moon.. they're the best.
    You’re in the wrong thread. I think you wanted the Lightweight Girlybeer thread. This is a thread about barleywines, not girlybeers that are served with a wedge of orange in them.
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    Anyone try Dogfish Head Olde School? I bought a four pack of it about 3 months ago and have yet to try one.

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    I just found "Stormy Monday"by Bush Pilot Brewing. Their first beer and reviews are ....mixed... I'm going to leave it on the shelf for a few years to see how it mellows out with age.

    Our barley wine

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