The Session: Barleywine

Below Decks

Riding out the storm
Below Decks with my crew mates
Fearing Davy Jones

Old Horizontal

After a couple
I enter a dream-like state
Or maybe passed out

Criminally Bad Elf

Long past Christmas day
I find myself harassed by
Gangs of scofflaw elves

Written by Captain Hops.

the Session: Barley Wine

References: This post is part of The Session. The Session is a monthly beer-themed group writing project for bloggers. This month’s theme is Barleywine or as they are known in the US: Barley Wine Style Ales. This month, the Session is hosted by the Brew Site.

To be honest, barleywines always seemed rather exotic and intimidating to me so I don’t have a lot of experience with them. (Feel free to read that as too expensive for me.) However, this session gave me the excuse and the gumption to finally take the plunge.

I went down to the Wine Source, and picked up Below Decks from Clipper City’s Heavy Seas label (Baltimore), Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company (Pennsylvania), and Criminally Bad Elf from Ridgeway Brewing (England).

All of them were different, but they were all good and they were certainly potent. The Below Decks was the hoppiest of the bunch, but all of them had a strong malt profile, almost fruity.

Barley Wine is beer not wine. It got it’s nomenclature because it is brewed to be as strong as wine. The alcohol content is probably the defining characteristic of this style because the flavor profiles can vary a great deal.

I chose to share my barley wines with friends in wine glasses and found it very pleasant. It was almost startling to see how quickly you could feel the punch so I wouldn’t recommend sitting around downing pints of this stuff.

All in all it was a good experience. I’m not about to put barley wine on my regular list, but they certainly make the grade for special occasions.


Check out the full round-up of barleywine posts, now up at the Brew Site.

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The Session: Winter Beers

Winter Storm “Category 5” Ale

the ice storm outside
mighty adversary to
the storm in my glass

Snow Goose

warm hoppy reward
for the temporary path
I dug through the snow

Santa’s Private Reserve

After breaking in
to Santa’s Private Reserve
I’m now jolly too

Written by Captain Hops.

the Session: Winter Beer

References: This post is part of The Session. The Session is a monthly group writing project for beer bloggers. This month’s theme is Winter Beers and is hosted by Barley Vine.

You gotta love winter time when brewers turn up the cheer and release their seasonal Winter Warmers. It’s like a little reward for beer lovers simply for living through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the first frost, and a general increase in stress as the end of the year holidays approach.

Some brewers feature beers with spices, others offer beers with heftier malt and hop profiles, nearly all increase the alcohol content a smidge… or more. In any case it’s special and fun and the variety is astonishing.

In the haiku above, I’ve highlighted some local brewers from Maryland as well as the Rogue Brewery from Newport, Oregon. I think these three beers are outstanding examples of the Winter seasonal. I could go all Winter with these three beers alone, but I am very glad that I have an incredible assortment of other Winter Warmers to choose from as well.

Wishing you a warm and wonderful Winter filled with cheers!

Checkout the complete round up of The Session: Winter Beers.

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Holy Sheet

with floral highlights
and the strength to save my soul
Uber Abbey Ale

Written by Captain Hops.

References: Another successful brew from the Heavy Seas line by Clipper City Brewing.
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Peg Leg Imperial Stout

Imperial Stout
strong foundation without edge
smokey creamy smooth

Written by Captain Hops.

References: Peg Leg Stout from the Heavy Seas brand at Clipper City Brewing. I like these guys.
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Heavy Seas

Winter Storm warning
Prepare to be blown over
This is a big one

Written by Captain Hops.

References: I just tried a bottle of the new Winter Storm “Category 5” Ale from the Heavy Seas brand of Clipper City Brewing. This is really good stuff. Get it while it lasts.
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