The featured beer painting of the day is of Olde School barley wine style ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware! This excellent bottle of barley wine was from 2009! Dogfish Head went through the trouble of cellaring it, and we gladly purchased it right at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach last November (along with a 2010 bottle that I still have in my cellar). I felt like a pirate when I cracked this one open! The directions on the bottle say, “Pour contents into two snifters,” implying that one should share this strong beverage. Sam Calagione believes that this is the strongest barley wine in the world, although I know that 2013 A Deal with the Devil barley wine by Anchorage Brewing Company came in at over 17%. I’m used to drinking barley wine that is aged in barrels, but this one was not, and it was so rich, fruity and sweet! The elements of raisins, plums and dates were very evident. There are actually pureed dates and figs added to the beer, which explains why there was fine sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Sam said he was inspired to make this beer when reading vintage copies of English Cellarman’s manual stating that if a barleywine loses its carbonation, you could string up figs and dates and add them to the brew to give the beer a natural yeast boost to complete the fermentation, and to provide some extra carbonation. I give this five-year-old barleywine a solid two thumbs up, and feel like my trip to Rehoboth Beach is the trip that keeps on giving! Overall, a wonderful beer from a world-class brewery! I am glad you read that Cellarman’s manual, Sam! You are a gentleman and a scholar!
Cheers to the finest beers in the world! Olde School is keeping it real ale style right there in the far off corner of Delaware.