One Barleywine to Rule Them All

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by spoonhawk, Aug 3, 2013.

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  1. sweethome

    sweethome Initiate (0) Jun 25, 2004 Illinois

    Seek out a Thomas Hardy's too; I'm also in for Old Ruffian, Victory Old Horizontal blends American NW and English styles quite well.
  2. JohnnysBarIsIt

    JohnnysBarIsIt Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 Massachusetts

    I really like Old Guardian from Stone. I find that to be a very good barley wine.
    sweetLew and Lantern like this.
  3. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa

    My favorite so far is easily CW BBBW. One of my favorite beers period actually. Would love to try the Kuhnhenn BBBW.
  4. brian4beer

    brian4beer Initiate (182) Jan 27, 2013 Indiana

    coast old nuptial is a good one
  5. jplopez21

    jplopez21 Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2012 Illinois

    There's king henry... and then... there's everything else.
    CarolinaKevin likes this.
  6. striker2160

    striker2160 Disciple (347) May 5, 2013 Minnesota

    So far the best I have had is MOAS. CWBBBW is pretty good to. I have a KH coming so maybe a new #1 we will see.
  7. GodlessWatermelon

    GodlessWatermelon Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2012 Maryland

    I'm gonna have to go with Blithering Idiot just because I can't find a better Barleywine at ~12ish/4 pack, and although I really don't like Brooklyn that much, $8 for a 4 pack of Monster is a steal. My store still has some sitting around, I think I'll grab some now that it's been discontinued; RIP Monster
    Now ignoring availability and price, Old Guardian and Sucaba come to mind, and I've had an '08 JW Lees Harvest Ale that was phenomenal. Should've bought the one aged in Lagavulin cask as well...
  8. KWMiles

    KWMiles Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2012 Minnesota

    Is your name actually "John Snow"? Or do you think you just look like the character from the HBO show?

    Cause if not...

    Minor spelling error on your part.
    mixed_master7 likes this.
  9. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    In NO particular order my BW list
    Bigfoot probably being the most consumed out of the bunch
    East End Gratitude
    Midnight Sun Arctic Devil
    Pelican Mother of All Storms
    HotD Doggie Claws
    Firestone Walker §ucaba
    Troegs Flying Mouflan
    SN Bigfoot
    Founders Bolt Cutter
    Santa Fe Chicken Killer
    Alesmith Old Numbskull
    Steel Toe Lunker
    BA Sebago
    3 Floyds Behemoth
    BA Bigfoot
    Alesmith BW Decadence
    Old Tavern Rat
  10. ClippersSD

    ClippersSD Initiate (154) Jul 17, 2013 California

    Stone- Old Guardian Barley Whine
  11. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    Not my real name, and I know. I've been using the name for years. The forum I first started using the name on already had "Jon" I went with an incorrect spelling. Just been using it ever since.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  12. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,142) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    (All aged)

    -king Henry
    -double dba
    -horn dog
    -something blue

    Old ales
    -fullers vintage
    -boulevard stingo
    -old stock
    -old Tom
    -schells burton

    All in no particular order
    alysmith4 likes this.
  13. jdmandel

    jdmandel Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2011 California

    For non BA, DFH Olde School is excellent, having just had it for the first time recently.

    For BA, Alesmith BA Old Numbskull is quite good.
    Lantern likes this.
  14. CaptFrothy

    CaptFrothy Aspirant (236) Dec 9, 2006 Maryland

    Baladin Xyauyù Etichetta Rame (Copper Label)

    The very best barleywine I've ever tasted (as it should since it was $40!). The brewing process is very involved and this is a very low carbinated barleywine that can be recapped and enjoyed in small samples over a extended period.
    Here's the brewing process, the 'transparent membrane and oxygen hat' sound cutting edge:
    A beer brewed and matured to 13.5% ABV going to 14.5% in next productions.
    Malts: Pilsner Durst, aromatic Dingemans, caramunich 140 Dingemans. Hops: Hallertau Hernsbrucker, Spalt Select and East Kent Golding.
    Brewing process: the wort is hyperconcentrated then boiled for two hous and half. Primary fermentation for 25 in steel vessels. Then after a sterile filtration (to eliminate primary yeast strains) the beer is transfered in a steel vessel with transparent membrane and a "oxygen hat". Afeter several tasting from 6 to 24 months later (it depends on the oxidation velocity, very inconsistant!) the brewer decides when it’s time to bottle in 50cl. champagne shape bottles with good quality cork. The production is very limited. Three productions brewed during two years will be available from October 2006.
  15. hey5hitgoose

    hey5hitgoose Initiate (193) Feb 28, 2013 Illinois

    im more of an, "m" guy myself
    quirkzoo likes this.
  16. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Ohio

    Olde School
    BA Jackhammer
    Doggie Claws
    BA Naked Evil
    alysmith4 likes this.
  17. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2012 Canada (ON)


    The ONE to rule them all. No need to mention a second.
    LeeMarvin and alysmith4 like this.
  18. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Sucuba is at least available to most who want it, KH isn't available kinda making it unfair when you have a one time release. I'll never get to try a KH unless I shell out $100 for one and I'm not, there's more like me than those who have had a KH.
    alysmith4 likes this.
  19. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,443) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I'm a big fan of the style (English and American) and I've had a handful of the heavy hitters out there. It's really close 'cause they're all good beers, and no two taste the same, but (:wink:), I'm going to defer to title, and say:

    King Henry

    Princes in King Henry's kingdom:
    Sucaba (vies for the throne)
    Barrel-Aged Bigfoot
    Arctic Devil

    Old Ruffian (tough to ignore)
    alysmith4 likes this.
  20. baconman91

    baconman91 Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2009 Ohio

    BIGFOOT ....( or ) Hog Heaven.
  21. tigrstylz

    tigrstylz Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2012 Texas

    Both are not bottled and limited availability in the US but Kraken (Real Ale) is absolutely delicious.. and Live Oak Tree Hugger is really well done as well. I lean towards the english style less hoppy bw's. I haven't had all of these BW's but MOAS is goosebump good. WOW!
  22. mikecharley

    mikecharley Devotee (402) Nov 6, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Probably alpine great.
    Second place is arctic devil. ( no slouch)
  23. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica

    King Henry when fresh to 4 months old was one BEER to rule them all. Better than anything. J.W. Lees Harvest Ale with ten years on it comes next.

    It has been authoritatively established beyond any doubt by multiple historians that there is absolutely no difference whatsoever between old ales and English barleywines. None. "Old ale" isn't even a "style" anyway and never was, it just meant old beer. For that matter, there isn't much difference between old ale/strong ale/stock ale/English barleywine and traditionally made "wee heavy" or "Scotch ales" either. The idea that "Scotch ale = peat-smoked strong beer" is an American fiction. Scots smoke their whisky, not their beer (and they don't even always do that either).

    So really, we should feel free to include non-smoky Wee Heavy/Scotch ales in these lists too.
  24. Ivegotmule

    Ivegotmule Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 North Carolina

    Central Waters BBBW is one of my favorite beers, period.
    Also 2012 Bigfoot is drinking amazing as of yesterday.
  25. mntlover

    mntlover Poo-Bah (2,648) Jun 30, 2003 Tennessee

    Hard to beat a good old fashioned Bigfoot. A bargain and tasty to boot.
    Johnny_Duck likes this.
  26. drrone

    drrone Aspirant (265) Dec 18, 2011 Utah

    Interesting. Thanks for the info! It definitely makes sense.
  27. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    Blendiculous is good, but not that good.
  28. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    DFH Olde School for me.
    jdmandel likes this.
  29. sibhuskyx

    sibhuskyx Initiate (31) Jun 2, 2008 New Jersey

    According to Horst Dornbush old ales can be distinguished from barleywines as such:
    "the alcohol level was kept in check by mashing techniques that favored unfermentable sugars"
    "6% to 7% alcohol by volume"
    "The original old ales were literally old . . . matured for months and often years in wooden casks. Long aging in the wood allowed the ale to mellow in bitterness but also to acquire some flavor from the raw wood, a slight stale taste from oxidation, and a dash of sourness from wild years, particularly Brettanomyces, and lactic bacteria with which the brew would invariably come into contact"
    "Old ales were often blended with young "running ales," thereby conferring to the young beer some of the richer properties of the older fraction"

    I don't believe that those alcohol ranges, nor the wild character, nor the blending with younger brews are characteristics of an English Barleywine.
  30. Boris9p

    Boris9p Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2013 Indiana

    Hands down BA Behemoth from Floyd's. Best thing I have ever drank.
  31. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica
  32. sibhuskyx

    sibhuskyx Initiate (31) Jun 2, 2008 New Jersey

    According to that website written by Mr. Martyn Cornell: "The fullest early commentary on the mild/old/barley wine continuum comes from the British Medical Journal in its issue for January 15 1870". Then follows some analysis of the reference. The author then states "how did the BMJ . . . decide in which category, old or mild, to put each ale? The only answer, I suggest, is . . . age."

    Let's go back to your original statement.

    Mr. Cornell only suggests that the differentiation between mild and old ale was based on age because age was the only parameter left off the list. This is hardly a reasonable assertion. Thousands of factors weren't included on the list and to suggest that age alone defined an old ale is quite a broad leap to make. If he can't himself show the origin of old ale, then he certainly doesn't authoritatively establish beyond any doubt a single thing about how old ale differs from barleywine.

    Let's consult another reference. How about Ronald Pattinson's critique of the Oxford Companion to Beer entry on Old Ale:

    In it he raises questions about the information in the Oxford Companion and asserts that old ale was similar in many respects to barleywine. Pattinson however does admit that, "He is right about the Brettanomyces. That's what made Old Ale old - a long, secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces that gave the beer the "aged" flavour. Brettanomyces can break down complex sugars that normal yeast can't. That explains some of the very high degrees of attenuation in the table above."

    So there you have it. At least one characteristic of old ale that distinguishes it from barleywine. The statement that it has been "authoritatively established beyond any doubt by multiple historians that there is absolutely no difference whatsoever between old ales and English barleywines" is ludicrous. There is lots of doubt around the subject regardless of what references you believe.
  33. DanE

    DanE Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2012 Connecticut

    I have a NEBCO Premeditated Murder in my cellar. I'll humble bag its deliciousness when I grow the pair required to open it.
  34. Johnny_Duck

    Johnny_Duck Initiate (0) Apr 19, 2013 Tennessee

    I've only had one barleywine so far and it was Bigfoot. If the style gets better I'm afraid my head may explode. Enjoying one now!
  35. Moose90

    Moose90 Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2012 Washington

    Bigfoot and Old Ruffian to the rescue
  36. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa

    I enjoyed Big Sky Olde Bluehair too. Wish I could find another bottle.
  37. Knapp85

    Knapp85 Poo-Bah (9,475) Dec 25, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    alysmith4 likes this.
  38. ScottO

    ScottO Aspirant (299) Mar 4, 2012 California

    Leon. Nothing else I've tried is even close. It killed King Henry for me.
  39. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Not anymore :slight_frown:
  40. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    The Prancing Pony has a pretty solid one. Draft only of course.
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