The use of the name barley wine is used to note a beer brewed to the strength of a wine with regards to its alcoholic level. A strong ale indeed! The first beer to be marketed as barley wine was Bass No. 1 Ale, around 1870. Our brewmaster has been releasing barley wines to the Toronto market since 2004. The 2016 edition was made on March 26, 2015 and was aged in single use bourbon oak barrel for over one year in our beer cellar.
Storage and Opening:
The strength and complexity of barely wine means that it can be ‘laid down’ or stored for months and even years. These types of beers will evolve with aging. This bottle is already aged but will only improve with time. If it is to be laid down then a cool, dark spot is best. It should remain still. Because it is capped and wax sealed it can be left upright.
The bottle is a crown seal. A church key will easily pry through the wax seal, with some care taken so the wax does not enter the beer. A flouted beer or even wine glass works best to focus the aromatics of the liquid, and be prepared for a very big bouquet to reach your nose upon opening. Cellar temperature (~12C) brings out the best flavours in the beer.
Highlights: A complex, balanced very drinkable BIG beer. Starting off malty sweet it finishes with a very clean dry hop, alcoholic finish.
Upon opening this bottle you will note strong aromatics of caramel, maple, vanilla and even buttery oak. A deep reddish brown hue (depending on the glassware) comes from the Ontario malted barley (yes this is a local, all Ontario liquid). The beer will cascade into the glass producing beautiful Belgian lacing with legs on the glass wall demonstrating its strong alcohol content.
First sips reveal massive rich malt tones with hints of toffee and black liquorice/black current. The texture is very rich, not unlike full Rhone or Brunello red wines. As you explore even deeper notes of cinnamon and nutmeg appear with a maple finish. The malt notes fade to introduce the dry hoppiness of our farm grown Ontario hops and the bittersweet alcohol. The finish is clean and prepares your palette for the next sip.