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General Category => Commercial Beer Reviews => Topic started by: juddz on January 30, 2010, 05:01:12 PM

Title: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: juddz on January 30, 2010, 05:01:12 PM
This is a beer style that is somewhat new to me, but I've found that I really enjoy it (and would like to explore it more). Any good recommendations, and do you know of any that are aged in wood before bottling? Thanks much!
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: dontblake on January 30, 2010, 05:05:09 PM
I suppose that if you want to sample some, get a bottle of fullers vintage, thomas Hardy's, and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.
That would cover Old Ale, English BW and American BW.
From there pick what style/flavor profile you like best, then refer to Brewing Classic Styles for a good recipe starting point.
As far as oak is concerned, I would skip it at first, or do an experiment - make a big batch and split it, half being oaked and half unoaked.   It's a great way to see the differences it brings.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: juddz on January 30, 2010, 05:52:06 PM
Great suggestions! Thanks!
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: etbrew on January 31, 2010, 03:50:36 AM
I just tried Dogfish Head's Olde School and it is amazing.  It is a barley wine at 15% but don't be afraid.  It is dangerously drinkable at 15% with aromas of brown fruits (like figs and raisins).  Delicious  ::)
-Eric
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: redbeerman on February 02, 2010, 05:29:40 PM
Southern Tier's Back Burner is pretty tasty too.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: blatz on February 02, 2010, 06:35:33 PM
Avery's Hog's Heaven is starting to push out Bigfoot for my "Best American Barleywine" though the 2010 Bigfoot is the best I've had in years.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: enso on February 03, 2010, 12:05:02 AM
All great recomendations.  Though I found Old School to be a bit out of balance and the alcohol was nowhere near being hidden.  It was a bit harsh.  I am saving some to try with age.

I haven't had any recently but one of my favorite American barleywines is Old Ruffian from Great Divide brewing.  Course I should give a plug for my local favorite, Rock Art's Vermonster!
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: enso on February 03, 2010, 12:07:15 AM
Avery's Hog's Heaven is starting to push out Bigfoot for my "Best American Barleywine" though the 2010 Bigfoot is the best I've had in years.

I have only had one so far of the 2010 Bigfoot so my opinion may change...  But I think 2009 was better.  The 2010 seems a bit less hoppy.  I plan on doing a side by side soon, though I am sure the 2009 will be less hoppy at this point.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: blatz on February 03, 2010, 12:13:08 AM
I haven't had any recently but one of my favorite American barleywines is Old Ruffian from Great Divide brewing. 

ooh - thats another favorite - haven't had that in a while though - may have to reacquaint myself.

I have only had one so far of the 2010 Bigfoot so my opinion may change...  But I think 2009 was better.  The 2010 seems a bit less hoppy.  I plan on doing a side by side soon, though I am sure the 2009 will be less hoppy at this point.

see that was kind of my problem - I wasn't getting as much rich chewy malt in the 09 as I was accustomed to with BF, but 2010 (had at a beer festival midday, so opinion subject to change ;)) seemed to have raised the level of maltiness to be on par with the massive citrus hop character.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: Brewerguy on February 03, 2010, 12:10:20 PM
This is a beer style that is somewhat new to me, but I've found that I really enjoy it (and would like to explore it more). Any good recommendations, and do you know of any that are aged in wood before bottling? Thanks much!

I haven't had it yet, but seeing as how their other beers are really good, I'm waiting for March and the release of Dark Horse Brewing's Barleywine, at 15% ABV!  Also, try their "Scotty Karate" Scotch Ale, at 9.75%.

http://www.darkhorsebrewery.com/content.asp?PageName=OurBrew
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: mikeypedersen on February 03, 2010, 04:44:17 PM
Avery's Hog's Heaven is starting to push out Bigfoot for my "Best American Barleywine" though the 2010 Bigfoot is the best I've had in years.
+1.  Avery Hog Heaven has been my favorite American Barley Wine for a while now.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: juddz on February 04, 2010, 02:27:24 AM
I'm definitely going to try that Dark Horse barley wine... I love their Crooked Tree IPA!

I had an Old Foghorn to cap off last night; I've never had an Anchor beer that I didn't enjoy.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: 1vertical on February 05, 2010, 06:08:24 AM
Avery's Hog's Heaven is starting to push out Bigfoot for my "Best American Barleywine" though the 2010 Bigfoot is the best I've had in years.
I dig this beer, and have it cellered for those "occasions" . I still have 2 bottles of the 2009 bigfoot and have not
seen the 2010 yet,,,,The 09 I had earlier this week was prime and smooth and nice.... ;D

I was down at avery brewery in Nov and hoped to sample some of the Hog Heaven on tap...
but it was not to be....just got the new newsletter and there is good stuff happenin there soon.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: anthayes on October 30, 2010, 09:45:26 AM
I suppose that if you want to sample some, get a bottle of fullers vintage, thomas Hardy's, and ...
That would cover Old Ale, English BW.

Thomas Hardy is no more  - sadly.
Fullers Vintage is not really considered an Old Ale in England - although it does age well.

Instead look for Gales Prize Old Ale - http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=31&pressid=123

Fullers Golden Pride is thought by some to be an English Barley Wine: http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=60

To get a better understanding, read: http://zythophile.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/so-what-is-the-difference-between-barley-wine-and-old-ale/

Ant Hayes
Tonbridge, Kent
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: euge on October 30, 2010, 06:31:20 PM
Avery's Hog Heaven in probably my favorite.

I bought a case of the Lagunitas 2008 Olde Gnarly Wine two years back. It was $3.50 a bottle so how could I pass that up? Wasn't all that great back then but it has significantly improved since. Have four left and putting one in the fridge now.

I have to say my preferences lay in the American style. The over the top hop character balances so well with the sweet malt and alcohol.

North Coast Brewing's Old Stock Ale (http://www.northcoastbrewing.com/beer-OldStockAle.htm) is pretty nice too. Expensive. But the BU's are only 36 so it's a malt driven beer for sure.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: bluesman on October 30, 2010, 06:34:42 PM
Avery's Hog Heaven in probably my favorite.

+1

I had a bottle of AHH last weekend and I think it's on the top of my list of favorites.
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: 1vertical on October 30, 2010, 08:46:42 PM
Avery's Hog Heaven in probably my favorite.

Mine as well Euge, I have that every time I visit the brewery. And whenever I see it on
the shelves, gotta come home with me....and I brewed a clone that needs to be more
malty but otherwise is pretty close....
Title: Re: Good Old Ales / Barley Wines?
Post by: Brewerguy on November 02, 2010, 12:16:21 PM
This is a beer style that is somewhat new to me, but I've found that I really enjoy it (and would like to explore it more). Any good recommendations, and do you know of any that are aged in wood before bottling? Thanks much!

Just had an Eel River Triple Exhaltation Old Ale, 9.7%ABV, which is certified all-organic.  Beautiful dark ruby color, rich carmelly nose, tasting of roasted plums and packs quite a kick.  Try it!