This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Lakefront Brewery's Beer Line Barleywine Style Ale.
I am a big fan of Barleywines even though I have limited experience with them (to see my previous review of Uinta Barleywine click here - http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2010/04/sunday-night-suds-brooklyn-monster-ale.html and for the review of Brooklyn's Monster Barleywine click here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2010/04/sunday-night-suds-brooklyn-monster-ale.html ).
I found the Beer Line Barleywine at DeCicco's in Brewster, NY when we stopped for a family bathroom break while driving on our annual pre-school summer trip. There was only one on the shelf and while I looked high and low, I could not find any more of these so I bought the only bottle in the cooler.
As explained by the gurus at Beer Advocate
Despite its name, a Barleywine (or Barley Wine) is very much a beer, albeit a very strong and often intense beer! In fact, it's one of the strongest of the beer styles. Lively and fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but always alcoholic. A brew of this strength and complexity can be a challenge to the palate. Expect anything from an amber to dark brown colored beer, with aromas ranging from intense fruits to intense hops. Body is typically thick, alcohol will definitely be perceived, and flavors can range from dominant fruits to palate smacking, resiny hops.
English varieties are quite different from the American efforts, what sets them apart is usually the American versions are insanely hopped to make for a more bitter and hop flavored brew, typically using American high alpha oil hops. English versions tend to be more rounded and balanced between malt and hops, with a slightly lower alcohol content, though this is not always the case.
Most Barleywines can be cellared for years and typically age like wine.
This Barleywine was definitely a sipping beer as it is 12.5% abv. Still, this was not a heavy brew and the alcohol content did not hit me over the head. Instead it was a rich full flavored beer which Mrs KB gave two thumbs up too.
I have no idea whether this beer is available in the NYC area, but the beer guy at DeCicco's told me that he had stocked it in four packs so I would assume that it is not available in 12 packs. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for it.
Lakefront Brewery Beer Line Barleywine is under the kosher supervision of the Star-K (there is even a Star-K on the label). For the experts' take on the brew, please click here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/741/3048.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver. If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
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