The first barleywine to pass my lips was last Christmas when I had a bottle of the delightful Benedictus from the Durham Brewery. The style also features in my homebrew calendar as a beer to be brewed in November and then stored for a year in preparation of the next Thanksgiving. I, like many of our regulars coming in for a growler fill at the tasting room, was looking forward to seeing what the brewers would come with for this most venerable of styles.
The weekend when Mrs Velkyal broke her foot, trying to kick some sense into me, I bought a 1 litre bottle of barelywine home with me from work, which we duly polished off over some angel food cake with some friends. So on Saturday I refilled my bottle and decided to do a Cyclops session with the beer, as well as use a little of it in a cooking project I had been ruminating about for a while. First to the Cyclops:
- Sight - dark copper, foamy ivory head
- Smell - nutty, earthy, spicy hops, strongly caramel
Eventually you end up with a beautifully silky, rich sauce to pour over the cake, or in the case of the picture below, around the case - I was watching Hell's Kitchen while I ate my dessert last night and I could help but
think Gordon Ramsay would have beeping loved it!
How could I stop at a single serving of this delight? So I didn't and had a second!