Barley wines have a fully ripened body and an alcohol percentage up to 12%. Residual sugars make this a fairly sweet beer.
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What is Barley Wine?
Barley wines have a wide colour range but are often a golden to amber colour. Due to the low amount of carbon dioxide, the head of barley wines is less stable than other beers. Barley wine is also defined as being quite sweet with strong aromas of honey and toffee. This is not a common style of beer due to the multifaceted flavours, which are produced due to the large amount of barley that’s included. Despite the name, barley wine should be clearly distinguished from wine made from grapes.
Barley wine is ideally suited to the cold outside, warm inside winter months. And even though not many people drink them, one sip is all it takes to realise that barley wine is one of the best styles of beer. Strong, robust and intense, barley wine has a rich flavour that’s best savoured in front of the fire and shared amongst good friends or family. Add some Stilton to the cheeseboard and bring out a platter of Kalamata olives, salami and roasted almonds for a winning combination. Barley wine also ages well, which means that if you don’t have plans to catch up with anyone anytime soon, you can simply shelve it for later and enjoy a more refined taste further down the track.
How is Barley Wine made?
In order to achieve the high alcohol content of barley wine, a lot of malt must be included so that there’s more sugar to be fermented. To then offset the sweetness, more hops are added which help contribute towards their balanced finish.