Tis the season for homebrew competitions and I have a question about a Barely Wine. Should I enter this 4 month aged American Barely Wine into the Barley Wine category if the oak flavor is not quite obvious, or should I enter this beer into the wood aged beer category?
This Barley Wine is true to style (so I think), here is where my question lies; I aged this beast in a French oak barrel for 4 months and it picked up a VELVET character from the barrel. I can kind of make-out the taste of oak, (but what is oak right?) the oak flavor is border-line and anyone who knows oak aging will know it was oak aged because of the velvet mouth-feel, and vanilla roundness. The mouth-feel is awesome, velvet, smooth-thing, and it seems like the barrel aging has rounded all the harsh flavors of the American Hops that would still be present if I had not aged it in an oak barrel. Also the body has toned down a bit (it lost a lot of body) because of the barrel aging (it’s not chewy, but it is smooth medium-full bodied). The problem is the oak flavor is not that noticeable. What category would you enter this Barley Wine into?