What's the difference between DIPA and American Barleywine?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by aslamm75, May 15, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. aslamm75

    aslamm75 Aspirant (202) Nov 6, 2009 Indiana

    I just had GD Old Ruffian and I can't distinguish it from a lot of DIPAs in style. Is there really any difference?
  2. lic217

    lic217 Savant (924) Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut

    I think there is a very large difference. The barleywine is usually higher in alcohol and in sweetness. it is less drinkable. The DIPA is more bitter, more drinkable, and a more hoppy profile.
  3. Handyandy58

    Handyandy58 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2011 California

    I find most barleywines to be much heavier, sweeter, stickier, and juicier than IIPAs, even though they may be of similar hoppiness.
    Kadonny likes this.
  4. alysmith4

    alysmith4 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2005 District of Columbia

    Huge difference. Basically BWs are wines made from grain (rather than fruit).. Much higher in alcohol, totally different mouthfeel (less carb'ed), and syrupy/sweeter.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  5. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,104) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Time. I usually don't chime in on this topic, but there really isn't any difference. A barley wine is a IIPA that is designed to change to a maltier, more blended, less citrus, relaxed bitter with time. Others may argue this, but an American Barleywine is simply a IIPA with time on it. Look at recipes for the similarities.
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,907) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Well, one can say the American BW was around first, and was a hoppier version of a British BW.
  7. Jacurdy60

    Jacurdy60 Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Massachusetts

    I can see why you'd think this. The first time I had SN Bigfoot, it was too cold and I couldn't distinguish it from an IPA/DIPA. So, the next one I drank, I let it warm up and it was much sweeter than a DIPA and had a smoother mouthfeel.
    Roguer likes this.
  8. Higy

    Higy Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2012 Indiana

    freshness of the DIPA. if the beer ages it will start to taste similar to a barleywIne.
  9. Kahless

    Kahless Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2013 Kansas

    An American Barleywine is brewed to not suck after a while
    Roguer, joshbhs04, MattXT and 12 others like this.
  10. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2011 California

    Depends on the brewer. A lot of beers I'd call barleywines get labeled DIPAs. But it's all on a spectrum, the line is fuzzy.
    Cvescalante and KWMiles like this.
  11. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Ohio

    Try a fresh IIPA vs an American BW and there is a huge difference. On the other hand, let a IIPA sit around for a 6-12 months, and its more like a BW...Weyerbacher Unfiltered Double Simcoe IIPA is a good example of this event.
    Roguer, watsonmd and alysmith4 like this.
  12. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 California

    I've never heard this before but it makes sense. Not sure it's a catch all though. Bigfoot and Torpedo/Hoptimum are pretty distinct I think.
  13. mudbug

    mudbug Defender (622) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    American (craft) beer for the most part doesn't exist in set ridged easily defined boxes. Think of it as a kind of continuum with lots of examples able to exist in more than one "style" Bigfoot when chilled and fresh could easily pass as a DIPA. Black Butte reserve porter is a stout IMHO. A lot of it is just up to the brewer.
    albertq17 and YogiBeer like this.
  14. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    rubbish. absolute rubbish.
  15. TheBoog013

    TheBoog013 Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2011 California

    Sometimes everything and sometimes, IMHO, absolutely nothing.
  16. KWMiles

    KWMiles Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2012 Minnesota

    Double Crooked Tree is a good example of this, imo.
    jRocco2021, dianimal and KhakCane like this.
  17. lbour

    lbour Initiate (76) Jul 17, 2011 Texas

    Sure I've had a few Abacus (Sucaba) tonight... but huge difference in a quality English-style BW and traditional American style BW or IIPA's, especially if they're barrel-aged. Been mentioned above but a heavier mouth-feel. Just "chew" the beer and you'll feel the difference.
  18. inchrisin

    inchrisin Zealot (571) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Whereas an IIPA?
  19. mjtiernan

    mjtiernan Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2008 New York

    A shitload of malt and a lot of hops vs. a shitload of hops and a lot of malt?
    GustavGuero, darky, Roguer and 8 others like this.
  20. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2010 California

    Wait a sec... Bigfoot isn't a IIPA?
  21. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Poo-Bah (1,832) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I've never found any close similarities between the two. Even if I had one or the other without knowing what it was I could distinguish between the two, especially the barleywine.
    fdm_2k and mjtiernan like this.
  22. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Zealot (588) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    In my mind, the barleywine has more malt presence that tones down the bitterness and the DIPA has a ton of hops that add an unbalanced resin presence that overwhelms the malt. To me, the barleywine has more drinkability.
    mjtiernan and RochefortChris like this.
  23. litheum94

    litheum94 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2008 California

    I have some trouble distinguishing the two sometimes. Sure, you could make the argument that the American BW has some more malt base to it, but both have a big hop profile and there are some instances where the names are interchangeable. For me, a perfect example of this is Stone Old Guardian. That beer is hopped to hell, and does not resemble a BW to me at all.

    I prefer English BW, so I am very weary when I see an American BW, and usually expect something similar to a DIPA.
  24. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,917) Mar 9, 2007 New York

    All beers are made from grain (malt). IPAs or DIPAs are not made with fruit, at least almost all aren't. What you're getting is the hops.

    I think a brewer (even home brewer) would answer this the best on a top to bottom "what goes into the beer" point of view.

    From a beer drinker's point of view, you can just see the color difference.
    ABV wise, barleywines range from 8-12%, which makes them bigger than DIPAs.
    Barleywines generally just have bigger malt character, more sweetness, more caramel.
    Then again, some are hopped so much that they almost tasted like a DIPA or even "Triple" IPAs.
    So yes, there is a difference, which can be blurred.

    On the other hand, with today's brewing of porter and stouts (despite their difference historically), I am much more dubious of that distinction. Someone who's never tried Stone Espresso Russian or Ballast Point Victory at Sea, blind taste, I doubt someone can point out one is a Imperial Russian or Baltic Porter. Not the same with most American Barleywines and DIPAs.

    GustavGuero, fdm_2k, Roguer and 2 others like this.
  25. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

  26. raynmoon

    raynmoon Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    barleywine: caramel, toffee, pine needles, alcohol, wood, leather, dirt, oak, candy
    dipa: grapefruit, papaya, mango, orange peel, citrus, pinecone, dead baby.
    fdm_2k, Roguer, RichardMNixon and 7 others like this.
  27. marquis

    marquis Champion (825) Nov 20, 2005 England

    Neither does any other beer. We are in the middle of our Mild month over here and yet to define Mild is quite beyond us , everybody thinks they know what it is but can't be dogmatic because there are many interpretations.
    All beer exists along a continuum and there exists no overreaching authority to determine what constitutes a particular style. When bodies attempt to do this they fail dismally because the genie is out of the bottle.Either the guidelines are very loose which doesn't suit a lot of drinkers or they try to deal in great detail and end up with anomalies and contradictions all over.That's why it's futile to discuss whether a beer is a Porter or a Stout, ( and even more ridiculous to subdivide them!) it's been a free for all for so long that any definition will bring up as many exceptions as followers.It's really up to the brewer and this brings with it the law of unintended consequences, a drinker judges styles on experience but the experience is based on the brewers' opinions.
    It's all a matter of names.How many parents look at the meaning of names before naming their children?I know at least one fair haired girl called Melanie :slight_smile:
    johnsonni, cavedave and PaulQuinn like this.
  28. lic217

    lic217 Savant (924) Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut

    Really? I love to sip a barleywine. it usually takes me a long time to drink. I love to see what happens as it warms. The DIPA I usually drink twice as fast, but that is just my preference. To me RIS and barleywines take me a long time to drink. DIPA's are dangerous for me because they go down like water.
  29. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Drinkable was probably a poor choice in words. While, with proper context, we can figure out what you meant, it is rather misleading in its original context. Ease of consumption may have been a better term. Clearly you think both are drinkable yet the DIPA is easier to consume.
    watsonmd likes this.
  30. VladTepes

    VladTepes Initiate (0) Oct 18, 2012 Finland

    Actually not necessery.

    When you take Barley Wine and Imperial IPA for instance from Green Flash, you are right. Barley Wine is more sweet and less bitter. But many Barley Wine's are still more like Double IPAs like just Old Ruffian.

    I would also like to say, that many American Strong Ale are also pretty close.
  31. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    The only difference is that you don't know the difference because you think that what someone names something is an indication of what loose guidelines it falls between, on or around without understanding that down is up and so therefore up is down. What makes brown a better red without acknowledging that without red brown would be a vertical pile of steaming hot lunch. There.
    StuartCarter likes this.
  32. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (835) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    14C. Imperial IPA

    Aroma: A prominent to intense hop aroma that can be derived from American, English and/or noble varieties (although a citrusy hop character is almost always present). Most versions are dry hopped and can have an additional resinous or grassy aroma, although this is not absolutely required. Some clean malty sweetness may be found in the background. Fruitiness, either from esters or hops, may also be detected in some versions, although a neutral fermentation character is typical. Some alcohol can usually be noted, but it should not have a “hot” character.
    Appearance: Color ranges from golden amber to medium reddish copper; some versions can have an orange-ish tint. Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy. Good head stand with off-white color should persist.
    Flavor: Hop flavor is strong and complex, and can reflect the use of American, English and/or noble hop varieties. High to absurdly high hop bitterness, although the malt backbone will generally support the strong hop character and provide the best balance. Malt flavor should be low to medium, and is generally clean and malty although some caramel or toasty flavors are acceptable at low levels. No diacetyl. Low fruitiness is acceptable but not required. A long, lingering bitterness is usually present in the aftertaste but should not be harsh. Medium-dry to dry finish. A clean, smooth alcohol flavor is usually present. Oak is inappropriate in this style. May be slightly sulfury, but most examples do not exhibit this character.
    Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-light to medium body. No harsh hop-derived astringency, although moderate to medium-high carbonation can combine to render an overall dry sensation in the presence of malt sweetness. Smooth alcohol warming.
    Overall Impression: An intensely hoppy, very strong pale ale without the big maltiness and/or deeper malt flavors of an American barleywine. Strongly hopped, but clean, lacking harshness, and a tribute to historical IPAs. Drinkability is an important characteristic; this should not be a heavy, sipping beer. It should also not have much residual sweetness or a heavy character grain profile.
    Comments: Bigger than either an English or American IPA in both alcohol strength and overall hop level (bittering and finish). Less malty, lower body, less rich and a greater overall hop intensity than an American Barleywine. Typically not as high in gravity/alcohol as a barleywine, since high alcohol and malt tend to limit drinkability. A showcase for hops.
    History: A recent American innovation reflecting the trend of American craft brewers “pushing the envelope” to satisfy the need of hop aficionados for increasingly intense products. The adjective “Imperial” is arbitrary and simply implies a stronger version of an IPA; “double,” “extra,” “extreme,” or any other variety of adjectives would be equally valid.
    Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing); can use a complex variety of hops (English, American, noble). American yeast that can give a clean or slightly fruity profile. Generally all-malt, but mashed at lower temperatures for high attenuation. Water character varies from soft to moderately sulfate.
    Vital Statistics: OG: 1.070 – 1.090
    IBUs: 60 – 120 FG: 1.010 – 1.020
    SRM: 8 – 15 ABV: 7.5 – 10%

    Commercial Examples: Russian River Pliny the Elder, Three Floyd’s Dreadnaught, Avery Majaraja, Bell’s Hop Slam, Stone Ruination IPA, Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, Surly Furious, Rogue I2PA, Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial India Pale Ale, Stoudt’s Double IPA, Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, Victory Hop Wallop
  33. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (835) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    19C. American Barleywine

    Aroma: Very rich and intense maltiness. Hop character moderate to assertive and often showcases citrusy or resiny American varieties (although other varieties, such as floral, earthy or spicy English varieties or a blend of varieties, may be used). Low to moderately strong fruity esters and alcohol aromatics. Malt character may be sweet, caramelly, bready, or fairly neutral. However, the intensity of aromatics often subsides with age. No diacetyl.
    Appearance: Color may range from light amber to medium copper; may rarely be as dark as light brown. Often has ruby highlights. Moderately-low to large off-white to light tan head; may have low head retention. May be cloudy with chill haze at cooler temperatures, but generally clears to good to brilliant clarity as it warms. The color may appear to have great depth, as if viewed through a thick glass lens. High alcohol and viscosity may be visible in “legs” when beer is swirled in a glass.
    Flavor: Strong, intense malt flavor with noticeable bitterness. Moderately low to moderately high malty sweetness on the palate, although the finish may be somewhat sweet to quite dry (depending on aging). Hop bitterness may range from moderately strong to aggressive. While strongly malty, the balance should always seem bitter. Moderate to high hop flavor (any variety). Low to moderate fruity esters. Noticeable alcohol presence, but sharp or solventy alcohol flavors are undesirable. Flavors will smooth out and decline over time, but any oxidized character should be muted (and generally be masked by the hop character). May have some bready or caramelly malt flavors, but these should not be high. Roasted or burnt malt flavors are inappropriate. No diacetyl.
    Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and chewy, with a velvety, luscious texture (although the body may decline with long conditioning). Alcohol warmth should be present, but not be excessively hot. Should not be syrupy and under-attenuated. Carbonation may be low to moderate, depending on age and conditioning.
    Overall Impression: A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales. The hop character should be evident throughout, but does not have to be unbalanced. The alcohol strength and hop bitterness often combine to leave a very long finish.
    Comments: The American version of the Barleywine tends to have a greater emphasis on hop bitterness, flavor and aroma than the English Barleywine, and often features American hop varieties. Differs from an Imperial IPA in that the hops are not extreme, the malt is more forward, and the body is richer and more characterful.
    History: Usually the strongest ale offered by a brewery, and in recent years many commercial examples are now vintage-dated. Normally aged significantly prior to release. Often associated with the winter or holiday season.
    Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt should form the backbone of the grist. Some specialty or character malts may be used. Dark malts should be used with great restraint, if at all, as most of the color arises from a lengthy boil. Citrusy American hops are common, although any varieties can be used in quantity. Generally uses an attenuative American yeast.
    Vital Statistics: OG: 1.080 – 1.120
    IBUs: 50 – 120 FG: 1.016 – 1.030
    SRM: 10 – 19 ABV: 8 – 12%

    Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Great Divide Old Ruffian, Victory Old Horizontal, Rogue Old Crustacean, Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine, Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, Anchor Old Foghorn, Three Floyds Behemoth, Stone Old Guardian, Bridgeport Old Knucklehead, Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws, Lagunitas Olde GnarleyWine, Smuttynose Barleywine, Flying Dog Horn Dog
  34. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (835) Apr 8, 2010 Illinois

    As you can see there is obviously some overlap in the two styles (looking at IBU, FG, OG, ABV, SRM, etc...) but that is common with many styles (Stout and porter, for example).
    landhoney likes this.
  35. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,403) Sep 5, 2007 Florida

    This, in it's simplest terms is correct.
    beerinNV, beercanman and Kyrojack like this.
  36. mtomlins

    mtomlins Savant (949) Mar 12, 2010 Canada (ON)

    This is what I was thinking also. With so many of the brewing 'laws' being bent by creative brewmasters (and marketing teams), distinction between similar styles is difficult (e.g., stout vs. porter). But for me, the major distinction is what the two styles try to highlight. While both BW and DIPA are malt and hops forward, BW highlight malt more than hops and DIPA are the reverse. There are of course exceptions out there, but speaking in general terms the forward malt or hop profile is the key difference. And perhaps color (with BW being typically much darker)?

    But, as our boy Bill Shakespeare would say, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

  37. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (BW) - 9.6% ABV

    Sierra Nevada Hoptimum (IIPA) - 10.4% ABV

    Cvescalante, Roguer and ChanChan like this.
  38. Knapp85

    Knapp85 Poo-Bah (9,528) Dec 25, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Dead baby? That's a new one... Ha!
  39. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Depends on your perspective.

    When many folks are asked to describe the flavor of the following: Alligator, Snake, Quail, Rabbit, or Kangaroo, they often say "Tastes like Chicken."

    Does that make them all the same? Is their really any difference between them?
  40. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Disclaimer: This is one interpretation of some differences between beers by one entity who has no universal authority over beer classification. This is a guideline for brewers and homebrewers who intend to enter competitions. There have been many historical and categorical discrepancies already identified within these classifications. Please take these interpretations as they are intended only: as guidelines.
    Sesmu, Roguer, ncaudle and 1 other person like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.