Start 14-Day Trial Subscription

*No credit card required

Michael Heniff's picture

Judge's Review: 92 Rating - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine by pFriem Family Brewers

November, 2021

Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine

Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine

Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine, pFriem Family Brewers

Apple Brandy Barleywine is highly spirited, yet nuanced, with notes of bourbon, toffee and creme brûlée. It’s aged in American Oak with sturdy tannins and a robust ABV for the most analog of pleasures—like chit-chatting with friends or sauntering old cobblestone streets aglow in romance.

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
40 - 45º F
Simpsons Golden Promise
Chinook, Cascade



The rating and full judge's review for this product is available only to premium subscribers.

Login / Subscribe

Not yet a subscriber? Visit the store now.
Options start for only $9.95!

Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine by pFriem Family Brewers is being evaluated as a Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (category 33B from the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Specialty Wood-Aged Beers are aged in spirit barrels and should have a harmonious blend between the barrel characters (typically vanilla and toasted oak) and the barrel spirits. Barleywines are among the strongest of beer styles with rich malt flavors and alcohol regularly exceeding 10 percent ABV. This beer measures in at 11.8 percent ABV and was aged in apple brandy barrels for 12 months.

Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine pours dark golden in color with excellent clarity and a small off-white head. The aroma is of moderate caramel malt evenly balanced by baked apples and hints of cinnamon; light toasted oak notes add complexity, and the alcohol is apparent. The flavor starts as a simple caramel malt with baked apples but quickly turns into a rich mélange of apple brandy, slightly sweet caramel malt, toasted oak and a punch of alcohol. The beer finishes moderately light in bitterness allowing a little sweetness to interplay with the caramel, apple and toasted oak flavors.

Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine is a solid barrel-aged beer. Look past the basic barleywine base style and enjoy the interplay between the base beer, apple brandy and barrel character. The beer is a little boozy at 11.8 percent ABV but is never hot. Enjoy this one as a perfect nightcap next to the fire.