First Barleywine Tasting

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by notchucknorris, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. notchucknorris

    notchucknorris May 28, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm doing my first barleywine tasting tomorrow and wanted some advice. First of all, I'll list the beers, but should the order matter? I was thinking of starting with the most straight forward ones (Old Guardian, Bigfoot) and then moving to some of the rarer ones (Sucaba, MOAS). Also, do you guys like to have some kind of food (or something else) in between so that your palate isn't completely shot by the third beer? Anyways, here's the list and thanks in advance for the help!

    Marin Old Dipsea
    Stone Old Guardian
    Dogfish Head Olde School '06
    Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws '10
    Firestone Sucaba
    Pelican Mother of All Storms '11
    Alaskan Barleywine '09
    Sierra Bigfoot '12
    Uinta Cockeyed Cooper
    Hangar 24 Hammerhead
     
  2. theCoder

    theCoder Oct 24, 2011 Minnesota
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I personally would go American Style to English Style. But that's me, I'd like to start out hoppy and bitter and go towards sweet. Mind you a lot of the English Style tend to be boozier. I only know a few in this list but I can tell you the Alaskan isn't going to blow any minds even aged it gains minimal if anything IMO.
     
  3. TheBeerDad

    TheBeerDad Sep 6, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Throw in a bigfoot '13 for the hell of it, show what a year does.
     
    LeeMarvin likes this.
  4. notchucknorris

    notchucknorris May 28, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Damn, I was hoping that Alaskan was going to be tasty. Oh well. I'm sure there will be at least a few stinkers in there. Bigfoot '13 is a pretty good idea. I may have to go with that. Thanks for the help, guys.
     
  5. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    With big beers like those you'll definitely want some food and water around. Cheese plates, chips and dip, cold cuts and crackers, or even just pizza.
    Random plug, but the Dry Dock Bligh's is one worth hunting down for barleywine tastings. The 2011 one is especially terrific, but the 2012 is a lot easier to trade for.
     
    KevSal likes this.
  6. bramsdell

    bramsdell May 27, 2011 North Carolina

    I would save the American styles for later. I prefer English BWs, so it would be unfair to the American beers, but the hops on something like Bigfoot '12 (and you should pick up a '13 to go with) are still so aggressive, you could wreak havoc on your palate.

    Also, I would do the '06 DFH first. You want to be able to enjoy every facet of that better, plus, if anyone isn't familiar to aged beers and oxidation, that will be the best candidate to demonstrate those flavors.
     
  7. bobv

    bobv Feb 3, 2009 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    A log of Gose as a palate cleanser is the only way to go.
     
  8. premierpro

    premierpro Mar 21, 2009 Michigan
    Subscriber

    I am suprised that you did not like this. I have only had Alaskan's Barly Wine one time and enjoyed it.
     
  9. theCoder

    theCoder Oct 24, 2011 Minnesota
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Its not that I didn't enjoy it, it just didn't blow me away. It was solid and when I tried it cellared with comparing it to fresh I saw no improvement. So its one I would drink again, not going to buy it or if I do I'm drinking it fresh so I don't waste the space in my cellar. That being said I very much prefer English Style Barleywines. As far as American Ones go Alaskan I enjoyed probably most aside from cellared Bigfoot. So take my words with a grain of salt, but this was one of the very few BW I saw absolutely no change with age.
     
  10. FosterJM

    FosterJM Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Put the hoppy americans 1st, then go english, then go barrel aged.
    Have food, water, dump buckets and lots of snacks around.

    Cheers!
     
  11. jbertsch

    jbertsch Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I'd be uncomfortably hammered after that tasting...assuming you're tasting more than a few oz of each.

    I recommend pairing the sweeter barleywines with a nice blue cheese. That's a go-to pairing in my house.
     
  12. premierpro

    premierpro Mar 21, 2009 Michigan
    Subscriber

    I too prefer English Barley Wines.
     
  13. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Aug 1, 2012 New York

    That DFH 06 is gonna be sick!!!!!
     
  14. neverenoughhops

    neverenoughhops Oct 22, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    i'm very jealous
     
  15. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I would recommend dates (the fruit) to pair with barleywines. They work really well together.
     
  16. homebrew311

    homebrew311 May 19, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    The most important advice about a barleywine tasting has nothing to do with tasting order. It has to do with pace and length of time. I was involved in one 2 years ago and literally every beer was 12+%, if you want to remember your evening, take your time!
     
  17. LeeMarvin

    LeeMarvin Jan 15, 2005 Massachusetts

    AGREE. This year's Bigfoot is so drinkable it's scary. My first barleywine back in '94, and still one of my go-to's.
     
  18. Douggo

    Douggo Oct 24, 2009 Minnesota

    For me, it depends upon whether I was likely to be drunk at the end. If so, I wouldn't put ┬žucaba or MOAS there.
     
    laymansbeerfan likes this.
  19. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yup! DFH brought an '04 to the Denver Rare Beer tasting 2 years ago, making it similar. It was terrific.
     
    jaIsPoAn likes this.
  20. notchucknorris

    notchucknorris May 28, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Appreciate the help, guys. And yes, I'm definitely looking forward to that '06.
     
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