About American Style Barley Wine

About American Style Barley Wine
Traditional barley wines range from golden copper to dark brown in color and are around 8-13% in alcohol. They are characterized by extravagant caramel malt flavors and bitter hops that prevent their malt sweetness from being cloying. Rich and viscous, the most complex manifestations of the style have wine-like flavor profiles, with just a hint of sweetness. These brews are popular among US craft brewers, especially as winter specialties. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale, Rogue XS Old Crustacean, Fish 102 Barley Wine Ale and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale.

Top Picks for American Style Barley Wine

Great Lakes Brewing Co. 2017 Barrel Aged Barleywine
95 points
Old gold color. Aromas of lavash, pineapple cake, peshwari naan, toasted sesame and poppy seeds, and crisp celery with a round, crisp, effervescent, fruity medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long apple cinnamon compote, roasted walnuts, bitter greens, and raisin toast finish. A rich barley wine packed with fruit, spice, and intrigue; cellar-worthy.
Awards: 2017 Best American Style Barley Wine
Lift Bridge Beer Company Commander Barrel-Aged Barleywine
93 points
Maroon color. Curious aromas and flavors of coriander, dark chocolate, marshmallow, thyme, and marzipan with a satiny, crisp, spritzy, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish evoking notes of toffee and carob finish. A distinctively herbal barleywine that will be a statement-making cheese pairing.
Potosi Brewing Company Grand Amber Brandy Barrel-Aged Barleywine
93 points
Light reddish mahogany color. Nutty aromas of almond windmill cookies and nut roll bar with a velvety, bright, dryish medium-full body and a warming, breezy brown butter, multigrain bread, dried fruits, and rum raisin finish. A fantastically malty and rich barleywine with incredibly seamless flavor and texture.
Delafield Brewhaus Old Number 27 Barrel-Aged Barleywine
90 points
Cloudy murky walnut color. Grainy, umami aromas and flavors of mixed grain sacks, soy nut mix, sautéed and dried mushrooms, and wet clay with an oily, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity fat body and a peppery, delightful, medium-long finish with notes of molasses cookie, gingerbread, and caramelized figs and peppers finish. A rich, chewy, warming barleywine.
Rogue Ales XS Old Crustacean Barleywine
88 points
Reddish mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of espresso, dried cherry, gingerbread, and bitter chocolate chips with a round, crisp, effervescent, dryish medium-full body and a peppery, subtle, medium-long finish evoking touches of chocolate chews, crunchy peanut butter, soft bread crusts, and pepper finish. A chocolatey barley wine that will be perfect as a winter-warmer or after dinner treat.
Island Brewing Company Big Island Barleywine
87 points
Burnt sienna color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of orange oil, mango pit, and roasted and caramelized root vegetables with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, dryish medium body and a warming, amusing, medium-length finish revealing notes of allspice and gentian finish. A warming barley wine for hopheads.