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English Barleywine Reviews

Smooth and lusciously malty, English barleywines are the heaviest of the Engish ale styles. These big beers are powerfully malty and rife with flavor complexities to begin with; on top of that, the brews are usually aged, which lends them even more intricacies. Toffee, bready, dried fruit and vinous notes often appear in the aroma, and those same characteristics multiply in the flavor. ABVs range from 8 to 12 percent; the taste and smell should reflect it. The unquestionably malty swallow should be full-bodied and chewy, and carbonation should appear low to moderate. Finally, some versions feature distinct English hop attributes, but these barleywines are decidedly less hoppy than the American style, which also tend to be lighter in color.

Pair: This style’s malt strength tends to crush whatever food’s in its path; play it safe with hearty dishes that can take the heat. Shepherd’s pie, beef stroganoff and bread pudding are substantial enough to stand up to barleywine’s muscle.

Glassware: snifter


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