Blackberry Barley Wine

Colorado
United States
lips of faith blackberry barleywine new belgium beer
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
88
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20
Description 

The darker the berry, the sweeter the barley wine—that’s what we thought when brewing the first barley wine in New Belgium history. Blackberry Barley Wine channels the elegant spirit of a classic English barley wine, but with a kiss of blackberry to elevate the sip beyond convention. A deep wash of caramelized sugar and toasted bread, courtesy of Caramel Munich malts, adopts subtle laces of floral fruit for a pairing as proper as sipping snifters beside a crackling fireplace. Make this winter berry delicious with a warming, rich pour of Blackberry Barley Wine.

Profile

ABV: 
10.0%
IBUs: 
50
Hops: 
Nugget
Malts: 
Pale, Munich, Caramel Munich, Oats
Judges Review 
Jason Johnson's picture
Judges Rating:
88
Aroma:
21 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

The beer poured a solid, deep amber color with excellent clarity and a short-lived, loose, off-white head. For a barleywine, the overall malt aroma was very low; the normally rich and intense caramelly malt presence of barleywines was just not present. I do get some medium-low caramel malt, but nothing to suggest this beer is a barleywine. There are some very low floral undertones from the hops, and the blackberry aroma is evident; when mixed with the malt, it also gives off a cherry-like impression. The flavor is similar low in intensity – I get some sweet caramel, and a high amount of fruit. While I get the blackberries, I also get some cherry flavor as well – just as I did in the aroma. The fruit gives the beer a mild tartness that I enjoyed, and it helps make the beer fairly quenching for a barleywine. The hop bitterness is fairly low and could be a bit more assertive to battle the sweetness. This is a fairly sweet and the fruity barleywine that's a bit too thin for the style. The alcohol is well-masked and doesn’t present itself as intense or hot. The balance is leaning solidly to the sweet fruit, and the finish is also sweet. The beer is medium-bodied at best and fairly creamy, and there's a moderate amount of alcohol warmth as well. Overall, this is a nice beer, but a bit more hop bitterness would help to cut the sweetness. For a fruited barelywine it’s good – just a bit thin compared to prime examples of the style.