Shipyard Barley Wine

Earlier tonight I was bottling beer down at Deja Brew, a local brew-your-own-beer shop. This is the second time I’ve brewed there. The first time was back in February. In Feb. we brewed a white, a porter, a bock and a blueberry.

A few of the guys having a chuckle over free beer samples

Pizza joint next door = tons of pizza for dinner

Bottling madness!
This go-around 6 different beers were made:
* Hop Face IPA
* Bassalope (English Pale Ale)
* Deja Fest (Oktoberfest)
* Drunken Monk Ale (Belgian Ale)
* Deja Brau Amber Pale
* Czech Mate Pilsner

I brought home two of each type, and will be reviewing them over the coming weeks.

Fast forward a few hours, back at the ranch….

Shipyard Barley Wine

Coming off of last night’s spectacular barley wine experience, I was feeling like trying another one.

Shipyard Barley Wine is part of a signature series, which is really just a line of “big” beers from Shipyard. I picked up the entire 4-pack series at the brewery.

Shipyard Barley Wine

Smells fairly similar to last night’s brew. Raisiny.

Taste is significantly different. I’ll leave last night’s beer in the past for now, as I don’t want to pit the two beers against each other.

At 8.5% ABV, this is a mild barley wine. Most I’ve tried are above 10%.

Shipyard Barley Wine

Taste wise, there is a lot going on. Burnt flavor is my immediate thought. Flavors bounce back and fourth between bitter and malty too. According to the label, this one has lots of different hops and malts added. This is definitely creating the complexity of flavor.

Shipyard Barley Wine

In summary, it’s quite good. I like the idea of a barley wine with a little less punch but still lots of complexity.

Shipyard Barley Wine

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Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

4 thoughts on “Shipyard Barley Wine”

  1. I enjoyed their Imperial Porter from this series; I had it a few weeks ago. Sounds similar to the barleywine insofar as it's not as big and heavy as other beers of this style, but tries to bring some complexity to the table.

    I will have to try the barleywine because I like the idea of a not-huge barleywine that has a lot of depth and complexity.

    Now that you're done with the review proper – how would you compare the Shipyard barleywine to the Dogfish Head barleywine? Did you prefer one over the other? Why?

  2. Royce:

    They are really two completely different brews. From the smell I thought they would be similar, but when it came to taste, not so.

    I liked the DFH only slightly more, mostly because I'm partial to sweet beers.


  3. The big difference between the DFH and the Shipyard barleywines is style. Olde School is an American Barleywine, while Shipyard is English. English beers tend to be more subtle in flavor. Alan Pugsley, the owner/brewer at Shipyard prefers more traditional styles and likely brewed the Barleywine in a traditional English style. English style beers tend to be lower in alcohol than their American counterparts. So 8% ABV is not necessarily low, just low when you're comparing it to an American style beer.

    You might have also noticed the big "Cellar Aged" sticker on that. That means that Shipyard aged that beer for a while before releasing it. Not all their barleywines are like that. Aging it will smooth out the flavor a bit. When it's fresh, you'll get some more hops bitterness and heat from the alcohol. I don't remember how old your bottle of Olde School was, but it could have been sweeter because it was aged longer. It's also likely sweeter because of the higher ABV, which means more malt.

  4. Wow thanks RunawayJim – that's how you bring the knowledge! Very impressive and well said.

    I'm gonna go ahead and give these a try at some point. I'll report back.

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