A Barley Wine is a style of beer that, with its malty body and increased alcohol content, is one of the more intense beers. The colour ranges from caramel brown to chestnut brown. The bitterness of this beer is also higher than usual. For this, a Barley Wine is perfectly suited for aging.
Beer style facts: Barley Wine
- Appearance: Amber to deep brown.
- Aroma: Very malty and strong. Often sweet and full-bodied flavor. With notes of caramel, toffee, dried fruit, orange, bread or molasses. A pleasant hop bitterness rounds out the flavor.
- Alcohol: Mostly between 9-13%. Sometimes even stronger, rarely lower.
- Classic Beer: Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn
What is Barley Wine?
No, Barley Wine is not wine, not even barely wine. This style of beer is brewed in the typical way of beer with a lot of barley malt. Even so much that an extremely high gravity is produced, which is responsible for an increased alcohol content. It is not unusual for a Barley Wine to contain between 7% and even more than 13% alcohol. The strong, intensive malt body is characteristic of a Barley Wine. Caramel and freshly baked bread or dark biscuits, sometimes also chocolate, are dominant in the body. The hop aroma tends towards herbs and dried fruit such as plums or raisins. A distinct bitterness and high IBU serves as a contrast to the malty beer body.
The beer style originally comes from England and was in fact brewed as a wine substitute, as the English could not get wine from France due to a war and could not grow their own wine due to the harsh climate in England. But since beer was generally the most important drink of the British and brewing beer has always been an important economic factor, a suitable and above all alcohol-rich alternative was simply brewed. The Barley Wine was born.
In many breweries, such as Põhjala, known for dark and strong beers, a Barley Wine is not stored in barrels for several months. Bourbon, Scotch or other wooden barrels are particularly popular. The transferring aroma of the barrels makes the beer appear even more complex and intense. But many other craft beer breweries also have Barley Wines in their range.
Due to the high alcohol content and the proper gravity, a Barley Wine can be aged for several years in a dark cellar. Through correct storage the beer can change its character and become drier in body and develop towards port or sherry.
A Barley Wine is particularly suitable for food pairing. Suitable cheeses are old Gouda, intensive Cheddar, Stilton or blue cheese. But also carrot cake or brownies, cheesecake and dark chocolate go well with this beer style.
Order Barley Wine at Beyond Beer
With us you get this special beer style from different breweries. The special beer style is perfect as a gift, for special occasions or for storage in your own beer cellar. Especially in winter the beer tastes great. Take a look at our online Craft Beer offer at Barley Wine and let us convince you of the intensity and variety of the beer style.