Have I talked about barleywines on this here site? No? Well I’ll have to fix that in the near future. If ever there was beer that typified the passion of a craft brewer or a craft beer fan, Barleywines would be it. They hold their own little place in the world with the dignity of a good bourbon. Yet the general populace seems to be woefully ignorant of the type.
Below is a review of an American Barleywine, made from one of my favorite breweries – Deschutes. The reason I have a love for Deschutes is simple enough: when I think of Oregonian micro-breweries, Deschutes is the first one to come to mind. Your own mileage may vary.
Appearance: A brilliant amber/ruby color with a nice beige head. Beautifully translucent. The head lasts for a long while, leaving only a slight Belgian lace.
Aroma: Hoppy, but in the floral sense. Just a hint of the grain beneath, as well as a bit of sweet wine. The hops do dominate tho’, and my bias against this shows through.
Taste: Creamy with strong caramel overtones. The bitterness of the hops balances nicely with the sweetness. A sweetness that sits a bit too long on the after taste, and then a bit of a metallic taste at the end. Great up front, mediocre at the end, so a B average here.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, creamy, creamy, but in a good way. Not viscous, as some barleywines can end up being. Exceptional.
Drinkability: A delicious companion, and an interesting counterpart to other barleywines. The taste is a tiny bit off, but overall, an excellent representative of barleywines.