On tap at Ambulance, supersized bourbon-barreled barleywine segues syrupy caramelized bourbon vanilla warmth into molasses-sapped chocolate dalliance, leaving tingly cognac, brandy, burgundy, port and sherry tones in the deep recess. Spruce-hopped mineral graining and leathery dried fruiting of original Third Coast base hidden far beneath the surefire cherry-bruised bourbon vanilla resonance.
Botanical sloe gin-fizzed cocktail spirit too low in the mix to perk up stylishly underwhelming barleywine. From the limited edition “Irish Punch Up Series,” caramelized citrus fruiting glides above biscuity cereal grained base, leaving subliminal orange, tangerine, peach and pineapple illusions to undermine any initial juniper berry bittering. Interesting, but inessential.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, luxurious barleywine glazes whiskeyed red cherry tartness with mildly sweet white chocolate spicing as well as wispily serene cacao nibs and vanilla adjuncts. Strong 15% ABV brings loud liquor lead-in to mocha cherry continuance, boasting bustling brandy, bourbon and burgundy profusion. Tertiary bruised orange, grilled pineapple, tannic red grape and dried fig illusions seep into busy mix.
“Epic” high octane collaboration combines Wild Turkey bourbon-barreled Clown Shoes Billionaire Barleywine with Shmaltz Jewbelation 11. Eager bourbon-spiced dried fruiting contacts molasses-sugared vanilla sweetness in a sinewy mix. Loud fig, raisin and prune illusions pick up a light alcohol burn that dries out the cognac-licked dry whiskey finish.
On tap at Growler & Gill, slow sippin’ English-styled barleywine reveals rustically dry complexion thanks to soily earthen dewiness and reedy wood tones contributed to Black Dirt malting. But its caramelized maple syruping adds contrasting sweetness alongside tertiary mango, peach and orange illusions, giving 10% ABV medium body its proper counterbalance.
Expressive Merlot grape musk provides lightly vinous blue grape esters for vanilla bourbon-infused oak tannins sweetened by caramelized barleymalts. Terse Chardonnay-buttered chestnut, pecan and praline undertones deepen its subtle complexity. Spritzy champagne bubbles add carbolic flare.
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.