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Barleywine

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Barley Wine is a very intense and complex beverage with alcohol content equal to most wines. It is not for the faint of heart. It has a hearty, sweet malt flavor which is offset by a strong and bitter flavoring from the hops for balance. Because of the preserving qualities of alcohol, this is the best beer for storing over a long period of time. The color ranges from copper to medium brown. The strong scent of malt, hops, and even the alcohol are evident. You can even feel the warmth of the alcohol as you swallow. The bitterness ranges from medium to the highest of all beer types.


Barley wine or Barleywine is a style of strong ale originating in England in the nineteenth century (derived from the March or October beers of the 18th century) but now brewed worldwide. The term was originally coined around 1900 by Bass to refer to their No. 1 Ale. It is the strongest member of the bitter family of styles.

A barley wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 8 to 12% by volume and is brewed from specific gravities as high as 1.120. It is called a barley wine because it can be as strong as wine; but since it is made from grain rather than fruit, it is in fact a beer. In the United States barley wines are required for this reason to be called "barley wine-style ales." This is taken by some to imply that they are not truly barley wines; in fact it only means that they, like any barley wines, are not truly wines.

Its natural sweetness is usually balanced with a degree of hoppy bitterness.

This beer is meant for slow sipping and savoring of its fruity, high-alcohol and well-aged character. It is brewed most often to celebrate events. Because they contain a lot of hops and have a high alcohol content, some barley wines are aged for years, much like wines.

Most barley wines range in color from ambers to deep reddish-browns.

Style statistics

* Original gravities: 1.090-1.120;
* Alcohol: 8.5-29 percent;
* Bitterness: 50-100 IBU (International Bitterness Units);
* Color: 24-48 EBC (European Brewery Convention)

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