Archive for the ‘barley wine style’ Category

olde-school-barleywineThis Dogfish Head brew is, or should be, the flagship of the brewery. Olde School: A Barley Wine Style Ale packs an intense whalop with 15% ABV. The cunning of the drink is that the smoothness and drinkability hide the impact of the alcohol. Drinker beware!

My first experience with Olde School came on an evening of much beer tasting – the great Christmas Eve beer tasting. Some where around midnight we reached for a new brew -the Olde School- and started in with much exclamation on its complex character, multiple tastes and utter enjoyment. It was the standing up afterwards that betrayed the power of this sleeper of a strong ale.

Really, now that I understand this barley wine I enjoy it even more. Prepare for a Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto and you will have the right perspective. Sip slowly, serve in a stemmed snifter and savor each mouthful. Great with cheese and crackers, after a hearty meal or as a stand alone. Share a bottle to start, although I know you will reach for another. It is that compelling a drink.

Like many high voltage Dogfish Head Occasional Rarities this barley wine ages very well tucked into the dark recesses of the basement until just the right moment arrives. Alas, I just finished the last bottle of the season and stare at the empty bottle in front of me on the table. Time to turn to lighter fare. The sun has climbed higher in the sky, the solstice is a scant month away. A shift to a bitter IPA is in order.



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