What is a Barley Wine?
Barley wine is a strong ale, known for its high alcohol content and rich, malty flavor profile. It is a style of beer that typically ranges from 8% to 12% alcohol by volume (ABV), though some variations can be even stronger. Barley wine is characterized by its deep amber to dark brown color, often with a noticeable alcohol warmth.
The name “barley wine” can be a bit misleading, as it is a beer style rather than an actual wine. The term originated in the 19th century in England, where these strong ales were considered to be as robust as wine.
English barley wines tend to be more malt forward with rich, sweet, and caramel-like flavors. They tend to age well, with flavors evolving and mellowing over time.
American versions of barley wine often have a more pronounced hop character, balancing the malt sweetness with a significant level of hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma.
Barley wines are typically sipped and enjoyed slowly due to their high alcohol content and complex flavors. Our own version is a once off special barley wines that we aged for 21 months onsite in Kilmaley. But some enthusiasts age them further to allow the flavors to mature and develop. Overall, barley wine is a beer style that appeals to those who appreciate bold, robust, and complex brews.