a.s asked in Food & DrinkBeer, Wine & Spirits · 1 decade ago

What does barleywine taste like?

I brew beer for a hobby. You know like five gallons at a time in a carboy. I have been making IPA's because I enjoy the bitter hoppy taste, but am becoming somewhat bored. I saw a barley wine kit on northernbrewer.com and am not sure if I should try making it. Will I like the taste? I like bitter, darker beers. Thanks

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have cut and pasted the Old Ale discription from the BJCP site because it is the basis for the Barleywine Style Ale. On this page you can see the full discription as well as those of BWA. If you like bitter darker beers you may or may not like the BWA. The are heavy and full bodied with a somewhat sweet-malty flavor. Some are very venious while others are more subued. The advise to try them first is a good idea. Only then will you know if you like the style.


    19A. Old Ale

    Aroma: Malty-sweet with fruity esters, often with a complex blend of dried-fruit, vinous, caramelly, molasses, nutty, toffee, treacle, and/or other specialty malt aromas. Some alcohol and oxidative notes are acceptable, akin to those found in Sherry or Port. Hop aromas not usually present due to extended aging.

    Appearance: Light amber to very dark reddish-brown color (most are fairly dark). Age and oxidation may darken the beer further. May be almost opaque (if not, should be clear). Moderate to low cream- to light tan-colored head; may be adversely affected by alcohol and age.

    Flavor: Medium to high malt character with a luscious malt complexity, often with nutty, caramelly and/or molasses-like flavors. Light chocolate or roasted malt flavors are optional, but should never be prominent. Balance is often malty-sweet, but may be well hopped (the impression of bitterness often depends on amount of aging). Moderate to high fruity esters are common, and may take on a dried-fruit or vinous character. The finish may vary from dry to somewhat sweet. Extended aging may contribute oxidative flavors similar to a fine old Sherry, Port or Madeira. Alcoholic strength should be evident, though not overwhelming. Diacetyl low to none. Some wood-aged or blended versions may have a lactic or Brettanomyces character; but this is optional and should not be too strong (enter as a specialty beer if it is).

    Mouthfeel: Medium to full, chewy body, although older examples may be lower in body due to continued attenuation during conditioning. Alcohol warmth is often evident and always welcome. Low to moderate carbonation, depending on age and conditioning.

    Overall Impression: An ale of significant alcoholic strength, bigger than strong bitters and brown porters, though usually not as strong or rich as barleywine. Usually tilted toward a sweeter, maltier balance. “It should be a warming beer of the type that is best drunk in half pints by a warm fire on a cold winter’s night” – Michael Jackson.

  • 1 decade ago

    Barleywines are full bodied, full flavored beers. According to the Beer Judge Certfication Program, the style is broken down between American BWs and British BWs. While both are very malty, American BWs are hoppier and more bitter than their British counterparts. American BWs are usually stronger, also.

    Examples of American BWs include Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, and Leviathon by Longshore Brewing Company.

    Examples of British BWs include Thomas Hardy Ale and Old Tom.

    Barleywines will be available any day in you local package store and brewpubs. Try them before you try making one. They're expensive to make and take several months to do so.

    Source(s): www.bjcp.org and 11 years homebrewing (including barleywines)
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Although barleywine is far hoppier (50-100 IBU) than any other style of beer, the impression you get is not one of bitterness because the hops are counterbalanced by malt. They are not the beers you serve to sombody who drinks "lite" beer. Think of the darkest, most flavorful beer you ever had. Barleywine is more so. I think of it as a wonderful beer for a cold winter's night.

  • 4 years ago

    10% beer can taste good or bad. It depends on what you like and how the beer is made. An IPA can be one example of a High alc. beer that is VERY bitter and doesn't appeal to most run of the mill beer drinkers. A belgian beer like the dubbel or tripel is made with a candi sugar and has high alc. % but not the typical hot alc. flavors. Belgians typically are not bitter like IPA's are and are quite tasty! However I also like IPA's so I'm impartial. SO I guess the question is what is "Ordinary" beer to you. Bud/Miller/Coors? Or do you enjoy craft beers like Bells or Flying Dog?

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  • worth
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Barley Wine Kit

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