Barleywine Tasting (Jan 29-31) Planning & Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SierraNevallagash, Jan 16, 2021.

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  1. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,225) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    Hey everybody,

    As some of you already know, our next BeerAdvocate tasting will be from the 29th through the 31st of this month, and the theme is barleywine!

    Originally, my plan was to push this tasting back a week, however, after hearing from a few people, it seems that the Extreme Beer Fest event will pose too much conflict, so we're going to have this a week earlier to allow as many people to participate as possible.

    The purpose of this thread is to provide an open space for anyone and everyone to plan for the tasting, ask questions, discuss details, talk beer styles, and just get a feel for everything before the party starts.

    What Beer To Bring: While barleywine is the style highlight for this tasting, I want this to also extend to that same family of styles. In addition to barleywine, this means wheatwine, ryewine, and ricewine.

    Other than that, there are very little guidelines for what to open. Be it an old late 90's vintage, or that new hyped pastry barleywine from Four Captains or whatever. Be it Double Barrel Anabasis or your local canned barleywine. Be spontaneous, don't be afraid to open a special bottle, don't be afraid to go with the only option you could find. There are no awards at the end of this, so just have fun!

    Here are some quick links to BA's examples and descriptions of these various styles.

    American Barleywine

    English Barleywine


    Ryewine (not added to BA yet)
    Ricewine (not added to BA yet)

    Overview: Final details will be included in the official tasting thread, but for anyone who may be new to this or unsure how it works, it's very simple - on Friday, the 29th, a thread will go up hosting the tasting. Your job is simply to open yourself a barleywine/wheatwine/ryewine/ricewine, and share your thoughts in the thread. Include a photo of your ale of choice, along with a review of it. Reviews are highly encouraged - they needn't be a full wall of text, but some notes describing the appearance, aroma, flavour, body/mouthfeel, and overall thoughts on the beer are more than sufficient. Just enough to give everyone else an idea of what it's like. This isn't WBAYDN, but a tasting event, so anything you can say about the beer and it's characteristics is greatly appreciated.

    How to upload photos to forums

    With all of that out of the way, let's get to planning! I hope to see many of you there, and I encourage anyone who has any kind of barleywine laying around to pop in and pour it with us! These are difficult times, and social activities have been severely stunted, so hopefully this will serve to inspire just a little more meaning to opening a beer and enjoying it with others in some capacity.

    I hereby invite you to join the Online Barleywine Tasting: January 29th - 31st, 12pm EST. 11am CST, 10am MT, 9am PST. Hope to see you there!
    Premo88, Mbgreg, SawDog505 and 41 others like this.
  2. keithmurray

    keithmurray Meyvn (1,413) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    If I can secure employment by then, I'm saving a JW Lees to pop to celebrate the occasion.
    SawDog505, VAcrossr, SABERG and 20 others like this.
  3. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,225) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    I have a small vintage set of J.W. Lee's bottles. I will hire you to be my bottle popper and pourer. Be aware, this is a temp gig.

    Good luck on the job hunt! I've been out of work since March, just eating away at my savings. I fully understand the struggle.
  4. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (6,951) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Don't see too many barleywines around here, but if I do, I will join in.

  5. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (3,580) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    I already got two barleywines sitting in my cellar ready to go and hope that I will be able to pick up another bottle of the best barleywine I've ever had next week.
  6. woemad

    woemad Poo-Bah (3,753) Jun 8, 2003 Washington
    Society Trader

    Nice! I've got a couple barleywines on deck, including one I just picked up yesterday, that I'll save for this occasion.
  7. IKR

    IKR Crusader (779) May 25, 2010 California

    Damn, sounds good and normally I'd be in for a barleywine tasting but I'll be still be "drying out" then. I'll be living vicariously through all the participants though!
  8. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Crusader (792) Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

    In the immortal words of Yoda, "Search through my Bourbon County Barleywine stash, I must."
  9. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Crusader (765) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    I'm in. I'll probably go with a River Roost Soaked in Sin Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine I picked up at the brewery in September 2019. Even though it's categorized as an American Barleywine it has almost no hop presence and should be considered an English style. I usually restrict my beer drinking to Saturday (long story and not germane to the topic) but if that is extended I have Old Stock in my cellar from 2012 on up.
  10. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Meyvn (1,170) Nov 4, 2015 New York

    I picked up a bomber of Old Horizontal Wednesday ($5.19:+1:) with the talk of this in mind.
    BB date of 12 Nov 2020. Anybody know what that means for bottling date?
  11. hillind

    hillind Aspirant (259) Apr 24, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I want to say Old Ho is 5 years, but man it’s been a while.
  12. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,225) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    Should I open my Anabasis and attempt to solo dome it, or save it to share with someone?
  13. lucius10

    lucius10 Meyvn (1,208) Aug 1, 2017 California

    #solodome #teamsolodome :grin:

    My beer bros sometimes fuss at me for solo doming whales from time to time...but, I mean, sometimes you need to just crack one open all by yourself and sip on it for a while and appreciate life. LOL! Like tune out the world and enjoy it! Haha! #allbymyself
  14. FlaviusG

    FlaviusG Initiate (125) Aug 15, 2009 Illinois

    I’ve got a 2002 JW Lees

    2014 Bourbon County Barleywine might be good too
    SFACRKnight, woemad, WCKDVBZ and 12 others like this.
  15. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,644) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I've been hanging onto a 2018 §ucaba, and I'm off that weekend. That can mean only one thing: I'm in.
  16. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,225) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    Feel free to help me pick. Maybe 3-4 potential choices are narrowed down to this:

    Pelican - Mother of all Storms (2014)
    Side Project - Anabasis b4
    Side Project - Maple In The Wood b1 (wheatwine)
    Perennial - Devil's Heart of Gold (wheatwine)
    Fremont - Brew 3000
    Bottle Logic - Intrepid Orchid (2020)
    F-W - Sucaba (2013)
    F-W - Helldorado (2015)
    Barreled Souls - Reap What You Sow (ryewine)
    Revolution - Ryeway to Heaven (ryewine)
    Revolution - Straightjacket
    Kane - Stacking Casks b2
    J.W. Lee's - '02 Harvest, '09 Harvest, '12 Harvest Calvados, '13 Harvest Sherry, '16 Harvest Port, '17 Harvest Lagavulin

    Those are my options. Help me out!
    SABERG, SFACRKnight, woemad and 9 others like this.
  17. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,707) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Got an old Old Foghorn, some Bigfoot of a few years, possibly a Sucaba. Do old ales count? I work weekends so , more than one of these type of beers on any night will be pushing it. That'll probably rule out the main local example which only comes in bombers
    Jaycase, Whyteboar, ChicagoJ and 11 others like this.
  18. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,991) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    Will try and make it. Christmas day I was packing up to go to the in laws and grabbed my Anchor Christmas beer out of the fridge. Popped it open after I pulled the turkey out and went outside to enjoy it for a few minutes. Nose was off, color was off, taste was off, went back and grabbed the bottle and it was a 2015 Foghorn that I found on a shelf and was going to drink for new years. Not really a big fan of starting the day off with a 10% beer, but it was enjoyable
  19. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,225) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    As much as I love old ales (and have a few late '90s vintages I'm dying to open, myself), I'm thinking that they deserve their own tasting, and should probably not be included among barleywine. However, this is the planning thread, and that's certainly open to discussion. If the overwhelming consensus is to include them, than I haven't an issue with it.

    It's worth noting, that if the bottle opener just happens to slip, and the old ale spills into your glass, and the photo is accidentally uploaded, along with an accidental review, it's not like I'm going to report you for breach of contract or anything.
    AlexIrigoyen, o29, Jaycase and 13 others like this.
  20. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (3,580) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    I also know one place that should still have a bottle or two of Sucaba around, but I'm not paying 18€ for that :confused:. Besides, I enjoyed most beers from Pohjala, Pühaste and De Molen a lot more than American stuff that is 2-3 times as expensive anyway.
    Roy_Hobbs, o29, Whyteboar and 9 others like this.
  21. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,265) Feb 15, 2010 New York


    3 groups for 3 days.
    I can’t promise that I’ll get to all three, but I’ll try.
    misteil, Roy_Hobbs, o29 and 21 others like this.
  22. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,166) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Crud I had a Zebulon Wheatwine I picked up over the summer when I was holed up in a cabin in the Smokies on a working vacation, but I drank it last week watching playoff football. Oh well have fun guys. For what it’s worth I enjoyed it.
  23. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Poo-Bah (3,805) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
    Society Trader

    I’m in! My bottle share pals don’t like Barleywine, but I do and the bottles I have tend to fill up my chillers. Yippee!
    Scotchboy, o29, woemad and 9 others like this.
  24. GOBLIN

    GOBLIN Meyvn (1,228) Mar 3, 2013 Ohio

    Should've kept my Copestone around for just a little longer @jrc1093
    o29, FBarber, beergoot and 3 others like this.
  25. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,940) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Count me in, advocates. This is a good excuse to drink something other than IPA. Cheers.
    AlexIrigoyen, Roy_Hobbs, o29 and 24 others like this.
  26. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,265) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    If that doesn't come to fruition, make sure you tell us what beer it was anyway.
  27. Pinz412

    Pinz412 Zealot (510) Nov 20, 2019 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I've got a number of barleywines in the fridge that I've been waiting to get into since I caught wind of this tasting last month. Really looking forward to it. I'm hoping to find some Bigfoot to go along with some of my other selections, but I haven't seen it around here yet.
    Roy_Hobbs, o29, Jaycase and 8 others like this.
  28. cid71

    cid71 Initiate (113) Mar 2, 2009 New Jersey

    A friend of mine recently gave me a Forest and Main Court Etiquette. Really top notch. Made me want more of this kind of barleywine. English. A touch sweet. Not battle aged. Harder to find these days
  29. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,265) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Try Sierra Nevada's beer finder on their site.
  30. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (4,626) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
    Society Trader

    So the question becomes, do I finish dry January a day early? :grin:
  31. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (3,580) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

  32. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (6,940) Sep 25, 2011 England
    Moderator Society Trader

    My mum being dragged around Real Ale places & Festivals acquired a taste for Barleywine, so it is a style really close to my heart.
    Add to that my Birthday is the 28th and I have a JW Lee’s Harvest ale lined up it’s a big thumbs up from me.

    Though I have to say twenty years ago it was a style sadly very much on the decline here in England despite the efforts of CAMRA & it was only Craft beer becoming big around early 2010’s that’s brought a lot more choicesz
  33. jkblr

    jkblr Poo-Bah (2,640) Nov 22, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    That's my plan. What better way to celebrate 30 days of sobriety that to break out a 22 ounce 11% BBA English Barleywine? Besides, lots of months only have 30 days...
  34. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,516) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I have Bigfoot, i have JW Lees, I will have Tree of Hope soon.
    ChicagoJ, woemad, WCKDVBZ and 3 others like this.
  35. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,942) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Never participated in one of these but barleywines are my favorite style so I'm in. I have tons of options, gonna be hard to pick :thinking_face:
  36. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,516) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Tons of options, eh? I wish I could say that.
    Scotchboy and DIM like this.
  37. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,265) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    You might know this, but at one point, barley wines (I think typically in nip bottles) had the reputation as a drink for (old) ladies. (No offense to your mum... I’m just the messenger. :slight_smile:) If that reputation persisted today, I’d happily represent the anthesis of my gender image in that regard.

    Is Harvest easy to buy in your area or is it a rare find?
  38. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,265) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Who needs tons of options when you have what you have? :slight_smile:
  39. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,942) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I went on a barleywine buying spree this fall and then lost my taste buds to covid-19 for about 5 weeks. I have quite the backlog!
    FBarber, ChicagoJ, woemad and 4 others like this.
  40. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,516) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I would have loved to have seen Bourbon County Brand Barleywine in Casper. I guess it was not an option this year?
    We'll never get any of their variants cuz Casper doesn't buy a lot of Goose Island beers. Shrugs.
    Scotchboy, ChicagoJ, woemad and 2 others like this.
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