Session #12 Barley Wine

In response to the Session:

My wife hates barley wine. Every time I buy one, I know I’m drinking alone. I’m drinking the bomber by myself. I’m spending my evening with a barley wine. Nothing else. You can’t open a barley wine, leave it in the fridge, and then return to it the next time. The flavors quickly fade. The alcohol loses its touch. A flatness takes over.

Right now, I have a Moylans Old Blarney and a Full Sail Old Boardhead that I’m waiting to open. I have a couple bottles of Bell’s Third Coast sitting in the fridge at all times. They are my on the fly barley wines. Last year my brother in law and I downed a bottle of Upstream Batch 1000. Then he sent me another bottle for my stash. Who will I share that with? My sister brought me some Lagunitas Brown Sugga last year. In six pack form, they are easy to drink alone. My buddy CBD and I did a tasting of several years worth of his barley wine. It was lovely.

The barley wine, as we know, is not a wine.  Wine is gentle. Barley wines are rough. They are not for everybody. Last summer, while visiting friends in West Lafayette, I bought a bottle of Three Floyds Behemoth. Every now and then I’d stick in the fridge thinking a moment to share was about to arrive. And every time, the chosen guest would leave, and the beer would remain unopened. Finally, I gave in and called the six month rule (which I’ve now reduced to three months). If I own a beer for six months, it must be opened. No cellaring. No hording. I need to keep my beer nerdness in check. Beers aren’t comic books. Don’t keep them wrapped up in plastic, never to be touched or read. Enjoy your stash. Drink that baby. And so, with no one to share with, I eventually opened the Behemoth.

Three Floyds never fails me. This is a strong beer. It’s a beer that mixes sweetness and alcohol. It brings the Hunter Thompson out of the bottle. If any beer should be the theme beer of Fear and Loathing, it’s this one. Most of my tastes run the gambit of strong. Strong, smelly cheeses. Strong ,spiced olives. Strong, dark coffees. I can say the same about beers. “You are not worthy,” Stone threatens. I am. And that’s why I love this barley wine. It reaffirms my need for strong tastes, arrogance, no fear. When the going get weird, as Thompson would say. They should drink Behemoth. Threaten with taste.