So here's the final recipe as I brewed it:
Title: Belgian Barleywine
Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: English Barleywine
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 2 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3.2 gallons
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)
Original Gravity: 1.124
Final Gravity: 1.031
ABV (standard): 12.23%
IBU (tinseth): 58.16
SRM (morey): 29.31
4 lb - Belgian - Pilsner (46.6%)
3 lb - United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (34.9%)
0.67 lb - Belgian Candi Syrup - D2 (7.8%)
0.25 lb - Belgian - Special B (2.9%)
0.67 lb - N/A - Lyle's Golden Syrup (7.8%)
0.7 oz - Ultra, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 9, Use: Boil for 60 min
0.7 oz - Willamette, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 20 min
1) Infusion, Temp: 152 F, Time: 90 min, Sacc rest
1 each - Whirlfloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil
Wyeast - Belgian Abby Ale II 1762
This was one of my first All-grain brews, so I was off a bit on my target numbers, but I just let it ride. I ended up with 2.4 gallons of 1.110 OG wort, and finished at 1.026 for roughly 11% ABV. I brewed this beer on 7/26/2012, so it's about a year and a half old now. I pretty much forgot about this batch and haven't had one in almost a year.
One the nose I mainly get fruity notes. Black cherry is probably the closest descriptor, but there's also some black plum and maybe red raspberry. There is some bready malt in the background and a touch of raisin. As the beer warms I get an increase in the raisin as well as a bit of caramel. As it warms further I start to pick up the alcohol on the nose with a hint of Belgiany banana/circus peanut way in the back.
On the palate there is more of that black cherry/plum fruitiness. The cherry evolves a bit to dried cherries/raisins along with some biscuity notes and a touch of dark toast. There's not a lot of sweetness here, but it's definitely not dry like a Quad, either. Body is medium, on the lighter end of the range for an English barleywine. There's definitely a vinous, red wine character to it. It's pretty smooth at this point. You don't get much alcohol/heat unless you take a big sip. Which is surprisingly tempting for a beer this big. There is only a hint of banana as the beer warms up.
So in my mind I was shooting for a sipping barleywine in the sherry-like Thomas Hardy style accented with some of the flavor components you get from a dubbel. I didn't hit that, and I foolishly wrote this beer off as a "miss". What I ended up was something closer to a fruity red wine than a sherry. And coming back to it a year later with no expectations I can say that this is actually an awesome brew. I would definitely brew it again as-is.
It's more English Barleywine than Quad, but that malty MO note is turned way down. I think the combination of the 1762, Candi Syrup and Special B is really pushing the black cherry flavor, while the Pils malt is bringing a grapy/winy thing.