Brewery: Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri
When I worked in a pub in England, we used to have an elderly gentleman called Peter that came into the pub every day and ordered a bottle or two of Gold Label barley wine. We only had it in our selection for him as no one else bought it. He was a quintessential English gentleman who was very well-mannered and polite at all times. I think I will always associate this style of beer with him and his personality as I served it to him for so many years. He is probably why I always think of this genre of beer as being quite elegant and very complex in its nature. Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri has produced a few different barley wines over the years and I felt it was about time I introduced one into a beer tasting.
Just like the Nils Oscar beers, I’m not the biggest fan of the label design that this brewery has. I believe that just like food you begin to appreciate beer before even sampling it. Unfortunately all their labels look just a bit boring. Maybe I’m just being picky but it’s just not a style for me. The beer looked better though and poured with a clear amber to copper colour and had a thin head that disappeared quickly. The carbonation level seemed rather low. Aromas of dried fruit and brown sugar wafted from the glass along with a boozy scent that gave the beer a warming scent. The taste was heavy and thick, with an oily presence that coated the tongue. The taste was of earthy amber malts, prunes and more brown sugar. The after taste was sweet and warming with the alcohol pulling through very hard.
I enjoyed this barley wine and I can see it being a perfect beer to share on a chilly autumn evening. Although it may only be a 25cl bottle, it is more than adequate to split between two people. I think Peter would have given it his seal of approval too. If you are after something deep, warming and sweet then you should give this a try.