On tap at Curley’s, easygoing English barleywine brings tingly brown-sugared molasses sweetness to quaint orange-peeled red cherry, red grape, plum and banana piquancy as well as vanilla whiskeyed snip above flaked barley-oats cushion. Caramel malt base contrasts grassy hop astringency beneath the lightly ethanol fruit-spiced surface.
Elegantly suave 2017 barleywine aged in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels (14.4% ABV) really soothes the nerves. Sweet bourbon vanilla sugaring coated by brown chocolate syruping picks up candied cherry tartness and pureed orange bruise. Mild cognac, sherry and burgundy wining regales bourbon booziness. Oaken charcoal bittering (and crisp tobacco roast) underscore cherry chocolate-caked finish. Marvelous.
On tap at Meddlesome Moth, part of St. Arnold’s recommended Bishops Barrel Series, luscious bourbon-aged barleywine (#10) drapes generous whiskeyed cognac sweetness with compact brown-sugared dried fruiting. Black cherry-bruised date, fig and plum tones adorn caramelized bourbon chocolate midst and molasses-candied finish.
On tap at Plank Pizza, sweet bourbon vanilla richness (of 13.6% ABV 2014 reserve – aged four years) thickened by anise-spiced brown chocolate malting, burnt caramel sugaring and ancillary cocoa reminder above mild hop-charred bittering of annual English-styled barleywine. Delicate port, burgundy and brandy wining finds space below alongside bruised cherry sedation.
On tap at Plank Pizza, easygoing Kentucky bourbon-barreled barleywine (8% ABV) needs ‘no overwhelming alcohol kick’ to stay pleasing. Gentle caramel-toasted Scotch malting and light oaken vanilla buttering sidle up against placid bourbon sweetness in mild manner.
On tap at Ambulance, straightforward tropical fruiting streamlines flaked rye malting of somewhat stylistically unassuming 10% ABV barleywine. Continual citrus-spiced spritz overrides dry rye spine (and resinous pine snip). Serve to IPA fans.
On tap at Ambulance, lovely bourbon-barreled barleywine fuses toasted coconut sweetness into enchanting dessert treat (with well-hidden 13% ABV). Brown-sugared molasses, spiced toffee, caramelized pecan, almondine, marshmallow and vanilla illusions receive plentiful bourbon-sweetened coconut glaze.
On tap at Blind Tiger, fine oak-aged 2017 blonde barleywine (with 11% ABV) retains lovely wildflower-honeyed vanilla spicing and coconut-toasted tropical fruiting. Tangy pineapple-peach-orange conflux, caramel-sweetened pale malts and boozy bourbon refrain douse vintage amber-hued dessert treat. Sugar cookie, banana liqueur, syrupy pear, butterscotch, toffee and marshmallow illusions add further luster.
On tap at Ambulance, less interesting Santa Vs. Unicorn variation utilizes dewy English yeast to affect molasses-sugared caramelized fruitiness, spicy bourbon tones, mild tobacco roast and subtle Nelson Sauvin-hopped white wining. Chocolate-covered raisin and cherry sweetness gains mildly vinous purple grape tartness at the finish.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, “hoppier Americanized barleywine” celebrates brewers’ one-year anniversary ale in mild style with tingly toned-down affectations. Soft whiskey tone slowly enveloped by moderate caramel-toasted toffee and coconut sweetness to contrast dry oaken vanilla snips. Just a shade thin.
On tap at Ambulance, provocative whiskey-barreled full body with dark brown-sugared chocolate spicing and bourbon vanilla dalliance boasts warming 10.8% ABV. Oaken wood-chipped whiskey influence enhances booze-soaked cherry, plum and fig subsidy to piquant chocolate truffle finish of richly silken dessert treat.
Understated English-style barleywine offers lovely toffee-spiced sweetness and butterscotch-candied sugaring to earthen hop astringency. But mildly boozy Scotch, brandy and sherry licks become slightly oxidized, causing lesser vanilla, praline and pecan niceties to falter.