Editorial Dept.'s picture

Boughs of Barley – Cape May Brewing Co. – 93 Rating

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Like many beers here at CMBC, Boughs of Barley was a bit of a collaborative effort, no one person designed the whole beer. The base beer, an American-style Barleywine was first designed by one of the co-founders, Chris Henke, and our Head Brewer, Brian Hink. We had started a fairly robust barrel aging program, but it was all red wine barrels and I wanted to mix that up a bit. Bourbon barrel aged stouts are very popular, but I'd always had a soft spot for barleywines aged in a nice whiskey barrel, and where we are in South Jersey, there's really not too many of those around. So, like most things in our industry, we just made it happen!

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
My favorite aspect of the beer is the complexity and the way the flavor evolves on your palate. It starts off very malty with a slight bitterness kick and then very quickly the vanilla comes up but doesn't overpower, it just stays slightly under the biscuit & toasty malt flavor. Then the oak shows itself as you reach the finish and really lingers. Then as your glass warms up, more of the higher alcohol notes come around and the oak stands out even more.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
This is a holiday beer, so Boughs of Barley is a play off the line "boughs of holly" from the "Deck The Halls" Christmas carol.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
 I think this beer's abv is a tad too high to be my desert island beer. At 11%, sipping this on a sun drenched beach on a desert island might have some negative consequences.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
American barleywine with complementary Bourbon and oak notes to satisfy.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
This beer would go great with a holiday roast (I prefer pork) or as a dessert treat with maybe a double chocolate mousse cake.