Olde Gnarly Wine

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Barleywine
Tags: , , ,

This is my first time trying a barleywine.  I stumbled upon this one by Lagunitas at my local Safeway and since Lagunitas rarely disappoints, decided to pick it up.  Plus it said “limited edition” on the label and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.  Barleywines tend to the strong side and this one is no exception, coming in at 10.6% abv.

It looks amazing as I pour a glass.  A very deep translucent amber with a pale tan head that leaves some of the best lacing I’ve had in awhile.  The aroma is pretty sweet with some citrus fruitiness and just a bit of hops.  The citrus and hoppiness come out in the taste as well, but are joined by some significant pines.  It’s pretty similar to some of the IPAs I’ve had, but not nearly as hoppy.  It’s a smooth drink.  Not too watery, not too chewy.

Really this has all the deliciousness of a good IPA but without killing you with hops.  I definitely would prefer this over an IPA any day and it really makes me want to go out and find some more barleywines to see if I have a new favorite beer style.  If you know somewhere I can find a good barleywine in the East Bay/Napa, leave a comment and I’ll track it down.

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Comments
  1. We have to wait for my favorite “Lagunitas Brown Shugga” which is an even more limited winter release. One night while brewing gnarly wine an extra 50 lb bag of brown sugar made it into the mix after a “smoke break.” The resulting brew is described on the label as “like feeding raw shark to a gerbil” and is one of my very favorite beers.

  2. I spoke to the folks at Lagunitas and the target date for release is Halloween, so I will keep an eye out for it!

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