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.
On tap at Growler & Gill, complex booze-soaked barleywine offers heady oaken bourbon influence to caramel-burnt toffee, chocolate and maple molasses sweetness, contrasting light nut-charred hop bittering. Rum-spiced vanilla, cherry, marshmallow and toasted coconut illusions enjoin fruit-caked fig, apricot and plum undertones at the back end.
On tap at Growler & Gill, lovely cellar-aged Armageddon celebrator brings syrupy molasses fruiting and brown-sugared Graham Cracker sweetness to pungently bitter piney-hopped alcohol phenols. Honey-glazed peach, pear, grapefruit and orange tang usurps subsidiary cherry, raspberry, plum and raisin illusions to secure the juicy-fruited ambiance.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead, ‘hoppier’ amber-hued Americanized barleywine allows sharp India Pale Ale fruiting to infiltrate barleywine-ish dewy malt sweetness and chewy caramel backbone while minor alcohol bite ascends at the dry-hopped grapefruit-peach-tangerine finish.
On tap at Amazing Grapes, rich wee heavy subtly aged in Scotch barrels (10% ABV) blends smoky brown chocolate malting with vanilla-spiced sweetness, subsidiary dried fruiting and dewy cellar-like mustiness.
Highly approachable Brit-styled barleywine lifts majestic caramel-malted chocolate molasses malts above candied dried fruiting and sugared spices in soft-toned manner. Subtle sherry, cognac and brandy illusions as well as light medicinal cherry tones further enliven chocolate-fruited delight. Latent red grape, hazelnut, pecan, fig, plum and raisin wisps remain in the distance.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, vintage strong ale (13.4% ABV) saturates mighty mocha fudging with bourbon-barreled sherry-port-cognac sweetness and caramelized molasses richness. Elegant bourbon chocolate pleasantry picks up latent candied fig, toasted coconut, plum wine and blackberry accents. A perfect mélange.
By blending an Imperial Red Ale and Red Double IPA with an American-styled barleywine, wintry “rainbowed chaos” turns up the sharp alcohol brashness (10% ABV) to saturate its IPA-like piney fruiting and toasted caramel malting. Sparkling orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine and mango tang and subtler cherry-fig-plum undertones receive resinous wood-lacquered coating.
Considerable bourbon-barreled barleywine strikes a nerve with rich molasses-candied fruiting, chewy caramel malt creaming and boozy 11.7% ABV sway. Luscious bruised cherry, moscatel sherry, port, cognac and triple sec illusions pick up spicy tingle. Perfect late night dessert treat.
On tap at Ambulance, astounding collaboration with Poughkeepsie’s nearby Plan Bee Farm Brewery brings forth elegant port-wined bourbon warmth and maple molasses sugaring to guard dried-fruited prune, raisin, red grape and cherry overtones. Sharp hop spicing penetrates the sweet surface at rummy fruitcake finish.
On tap at Ambulance, well-defined English-styled barleywine (13.2% ABV 2016 version) layers toffee-spiced caramel malting atop luxurious white rum-spiced molasses, tantalizing bourbon vanilla, chocolate-glazed dried fruiting, chewy cookie dough yeast and mild port wining. Sweet brown-sugared cherry, fig and raisin conflux sidles delightful butternut, pecan and almond illusions at the busy finish.
On tap at River Of Beer, approachable moderate-bodied barleywine (collaboration between Vermont’s Otter Creek and Lawson’s Liquids) brings raisin puree sweetness to light port-sherry wining as subtle maple molasses syruping sits softly in the backdrop. Tertiary red grape, candied apple, brandied cherry, red currant and bourbon vanilla undertones add depth.