Barleywine, a style of strong ale, is a personal favorite for cellaring, as well as for drinking in late winter and early spring. I wrote a brief explanation of the style for the Burlington Free Press and BTVfoodie.com and mentioned some of my favorites.
To help me write this column, I grabbed a vintage bottle of Stone Old Guardian Barleywine from February 2015 and cracked it open. A deep mahogany amber in the glass, it offers up rich notes of dark cherries, tanned leather, shade-grown tobacco and toasted wood. The palate is big and expansive with caramel, toffee, sherry, dried figs and dates up front, with some woody hops on the long, gripping finish.
One update: The Queen City Brewery Chardonnay barrel-aged barleywine is called “Old Monty” and was released at the brewery tasting room on Friday, March 4th.
Barleywines mentioned in this column:
- 21st Amendment Lower De Boom
- Drop-In Brewing Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!
- Queen City Brewery Old Monty
- Rock Art Vermonster
- Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
- Stone Old Guardian