Archive for the 'Barleywine' Category

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2012 and Waffles

Waffles topped with reconstituted dried fruit and Bigfoot 2012

I don’t know what my obsession has been with waffles, as of late. Barleywine obsessions are understandable, well, any beer obsession really. I was struck with  an idea while drinking another barleywine one night. The dark fruit and caramel notes got me thinking; why not pair it with something similar?
I began by tossing butter, brown sugar, bourbon, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a heap of dried fruits (apples, pears, dates, figs, and apricots) together and let simmer until the fruits were nice and plump again and the sauce had thickened  considerably. This combination was a bit too cloyingly sweet, so to cut through that, I added some balsamic vinegar.

Dried fruits reconstituting

While that was simmering and doing it’s delicious reconstitution, I set up to make the waffles. Just usual waffle batter, but with a bit of almond extract, salt and cinnamon added, and the final touch, crushed up chocolate almond biscotti. Nothing too special here.
Now, there are a few reasons I decided to pair this with a 2012 Bigfoot. One, it has those classic barleywine style features; deep, sweet caramel malts, toffee and sugar cane. However, if this was all it had to offer, the pairing would become, once again, far too cloying in terms of sweetness. Which brings me to my second reason; the hop profile. This is a fantastic beer simply because of how balanced they’ve made it. There is a hop bitterness to it that helps cut through the sweetness and lightens the palate, where as typical barleywines sit a bit heavy on the tongue. Thirdly, once again involving the hops, the citrus flavor given off by the hops would go very well with the underlying citrus flavors of the fruits.
Now finally, onto the tasting….

The waffles themselves had a very nice crunch from the biscotti. It gave the dish some texture that would have been lacking without. This is something else sommeliers should take into consideration with food and beer pairings; it gives the taste and the effect on the palate a different twist and makes it much more enjoyable. The fruit topping was very sticky sweet. All of the ingredients were present, but they all melded nicely together. The bourbon and maple syrups seemed to be intertwined, the balsamic vinegar, though placed to break up the sweetness, played very well and seemed to be very helpful. The fruits themselves seemed to take on the essence of the sauce, while still keeping their citrusy, fruity flavor. A sip of the Bigfoot along with the waffles brought out some unexpected, but very pleasant notes. The nutty, almondy taste that had been subdued by the topping was brought out and sat well on the middle of the tongue. The bittering hops helped clear the palate so that the next bite would be a different experience. The chocolate, which was also subdued, came out nicely, but only for a brief moment. The sweetness and caramel malt of the Bigfoot really played well with the waffles; both had the same sweet profiles. All in all, a very successful pairing. Though this was a VERY heavy meal, the pairing of the two kept me wanting to try it again and again, as it was an ever-changing, and delicious, marriage.




Pairing: Tiramisu

Pairing Notes: Flying Mouflan is a fairly low key Barleywine, it’s flavors meshed well with the Tiramisu while not overpowering. The abundant malts of the beer linked with the sweet creamy flavors of the desert, while the Amaretto flavors of the Triamisu teamed nicely with the bitter malt flavors and alcohol. The big, creamy mouthfeel of Mouflan identified itself well to the creamy filling of the Italian desert. A very nice combination of beer and desert flavors leaves a terrific moderate finish behind, while the alcohol swipes through cleansing your palate.

Fantastic pairing with the proper Barleywine, be sure to choose one that’s well balanced and not too hot.

beer + food = Barleydine


Barleywine | 13.00% ABV

Beer Notes:

Beautiful amber color with a thick tank head. Alcohol and malt are most abundant in the nose which both carry nicely right to the palate. This is a very nicely balanced Barleywine between the heat and the malt. There is a slight hop bitterness that is tough to detect beneath the alcohol flavors. Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with a very memorable finish.

Pairing Suggestions:

Very hearty meat stew, aged cheese and choco lava cake.

beer + food = Barleydine

Beer reviewed by LEP Himself.


Barleywine | 11.00% ABV

Over the course of the past year I’ve begun to truly appreciate the complexity of a well made Barleywine. I’ve had the pleasure of trying some fantastic renditions of the style as well as some big flops. These beers are big, the original big beers. They have it all, high malt, high hops and high alcohol. They certainly aren’t for the bleached beer drinker. Some can absolutely shred your palate while others are so smooth, balanced and calm. Currently in American Barleywine’s are a tad underestimated in my opinion because the crowd is so interested in super hopped blonde ales. If your not familiar with the style certainly give them a try. There are some gateway Barleywine’s such as Red Hook Treblehook which will get you tip-toing into the style.

I’ve been receiving Duck-Rabbit beers like crazy in my trades. I’ve heard of them but until recently had never tried anything from them. They claim to be the dark beer specialist and in the couple of beers I’ve had of theirs so far, their claim is true. Duck-Rabbit Barleywine pours a beautiful dark amber color with a small tan head. There isn’t much for head retention or lacing. Upon first whiff I noticed loads of malt with hints of hops and lots of alcohol. I knew at that point I was going to be in for a real treat. The flavor was very big and very well balanced. Loaded with malt notes such as caramel and roasted flavors leading to a large hop bill that is followed by heat. All that heat is brought on by the 11% abv. It’s not an over abundant alcohol flavor. The heat flows very nicely with the flavor of the beer that leads to a very pleasant long finish.

Duck-Rabbit really knows how to brew up a slammin’ Barleywine. I’ve also had the pleasure of trying their Baltic Porter which I will review in the future. I would totally agree that Duck-Rabbit is a dark beer specialist.

Pairing Suggestions:

Very gamy and heavy meat stews, very strong cheese, very sweet desert.

beer + food = Barleywine

Beer reviewed by LEP Himself


American Strong Ale | 12.00%

Pours a beautiful dark brown color with hints and highlights of amber. The malt is forward in this beer with hints of caramel, cinnamon and faint hops. A creamy mouthfeel balances the alcohol flavors and leaves the beer super drinkable. There are hints of grapes and sour cherries in the flavor as well as a slight vanilla taste from the barrel aging. Very nice after dinner beer.

Pairing Suggestions: chocolate torte, caramel cheesecake, mild cigar.

beer + food = Barleydine

Beer reviewed by Uncle Barley Josh


American Barleywine | 10.10% ABV

Barleywine has been growing on me. It really wasn’t one of my favorite styles a little over a year ago, but when you take time and explore a particular style you find a wide variety of interpretations. That is the beauty of craft beer.

Redhook Treblehook is a very impressive Barleywine. It’s not huge, big and ridiculous. It seems like a true to style Barleywine with loads of impressive dark color and a beautiful, pillowy head. The nose is so aromatic, loaded with biscuity malts and sublte hints of hops that follow straight into the flavor. This is a perfect Barleywine to pair with a chocolate, caramel desert of some sort.

Redhook really hit home with this limited release.

beer + food = Barleydine

Reviewed by Lep himself.


   Occasionally one will come across a beer that is so big it will dwarf any dish. The American Craft Beer Industry is pushing the limits of beer by imperializing every style on the board, from Pilsner’s to IPA’s and the standard Imperial Stout. Bitterness keeps on rising, well above the 100 mark on the IBU scale and now quickly approaching 200. I can’t imagine where the top of the chart will be. Recently I was lucky enough to find the coveted Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, a beer that is not easily located. During my trip to Beers of the World I purchased two bottles of 120 so that I could see what all the hype is all about. At $10.50 per 12 ounce bottle, I figured the beer inside must be one magic elixir. Pushing 20% ABV, this beer treads a bit outside the standard characteristics of a traditional IPA, but that’s Dogfish Head for you. Now, I figured that the beer was almost 20% alcohol, that it would be far to big to try to pair and I was dead on. I had planned several days ahead for the night I would enjoy this beer, I kept dinner light and my quantity of beers low previous to this one. To the basement I went and emerged with the 120, which seemed almost historical, I had heard and read so much about it. I pulled a snifter out of the pantry, cracked the bottle and took a whiff. Wow! What a pungent aroma, so full of alcohol, it was very forward on the nose. Hops and malt where also very noticeable upon the first smell. Once poured I inspected the beer, it was gorgeous, so appealing. It was crystal clear, with a deep, amber hue and well built tan head. It looked marvelous. I took another whiff, which changed much after being decanted, the alcohol settled a bit and smelled more like port wine or sherry. The first taste was not what I expected, very sweet and buttery from the excessive alcohol. The malt was very strong as well and it wasn’t as bitter as I had expected. This beer was less like an IPA and more like a Barley Wine. There was a very long finish, given the sweetness of the malt and the beverage warmed the throat on the way down, much like port wine or even bourbon. This was not at all what I expected, it was way to big to even be called an IPA. Once I realized this was not at all a Pale Ale of any sorts and mentally renamed it a barley wine, I very much enjoyed the rest of the beer.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16 other followers