About 14 months ago I started brewing a barleywine. Not too long after this website was started. Since that fateful day when Bryan and I walked into Home Sweet Home Brew and asked Nancy about brewing a barleywine I wanted to taste my own homebrewed barleywine. Thanks Nancy! What a great start to the recipe.
When I brewed this beer I knew I would need to ferment for a longer period of time and store it for a long time before I could really know what it was going to taste like. Over the past six months a case of it has dissappeared. Some was for Bryan and some for Jeremy and I guess I could lay claim to a few of those empty bottles myself. Each time I crack one of these puppies open its like opening a birthday present. I have reached the time where I must ration the last 18 bottles. I would like to enjoy these for as long as I can. My plan is to drink one or two of these each year and record my impressions. I would like to stretch this out over 10 years. The following are my tasting notes.
Packaging & Date Stamping: 12 oz. brown bottle, oxygen barrier cap
From where & how stored: extract brew by Adam and friends 10/1/2005, bottled 12/14/2005, stored in cellar for the past year with varying cool temperatures
Availability: one off ;-)
ABV, IBU, and Other Available Stats: 11.5% ABV, IBU 90+
dark cherry wood
substantial head thinning to islands of foam
very clear, nothing in suspension
hard to see through
huge malt nose
figs, dates, licorice
wow that's strong
bitter, tang, not sweet
very bitter, but, smooth
well carbonated, almost more than I like
it helps spread the taste around, but, is somewhat distracting
the finish has lost the bitterness and gently lets you down with a nice malt carpet
Well this just gets better and better. I tasted it on New Years Eve as well. It was dirtier that night, because, I jostled it around too much in trasport. What a shame :-( Lesson learned. This one however was very clean and clear! Everytime I taste this beer I like it. I'd like to think it is getting better over time. Overall it is a pleasantly bitter and malty barleywine with a huge malty aromatic nose.
I'll gather all the posts related to this beer together and post them tomorrow with a summary of the life of this beer from beginning to end. Ahh...there goes my last mouthful. :-)