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Differences between IIPA and American Barleywine?

Perhaps my all time favorite beer style is Barleywines. I recently tried two Barleywines that I’d never had before- Hog Heaven by Avery, and the new New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine. I have to say these tasted to me more like an IIPA. This made me wonder…are there really any distinct style differences between an IIPA and an American Barleywine?

Thoughts?

Ironically…I have a hopped-up Barleywine in primary right now. Perhaps this will turn out like these two beers I recently had. We will have to wait and see. My Barleywine should come out >10% abv.

Search this on the forum. Its been discussed a lot. Fun thing to figure out though

IIPAs are hop forward, BWs are more balanced between malt and hops. I like IIPAs to be attenuated and BWs a bit sweeter, too.

I tend to agree.
The lines between some “styles” as presently defined in the commonly used published guidelines are quite often blurred (and your example of IIPA vs. ‘American’ Barleywine is a very good one).
The ‘guidelines’ (if indeed you are using them to determine style) have little real relevance in the world of commercial brewing…they were, after all, designed only for amateur competition judging.

The beers you mentioned could probably easily (and correctly) be labeled as any one of several “styles”. In the end however, it makes little difference whether the beers you listed were IIPA or Barleywine; more important is whether or not you enjoyed them and whether they agreed with your own definition.

I agree - it really doesn’t make much differnce in the end. I was just asking out of curiosity mainly. I am not worried about any ‘competition guidelines’ since i only brew for myself. This barleywine, for example, was brewed with a lot of extra hops just as an experiment for myself. Up until drinking these other two barleywines, I hadn’t thought about the chance that the extra hops COULD push the style over to an IIPA. I also hadn’t thought about the two styles being as similar as they are…

Just learning, and enjoying my own brews along the way.

[quote=“aolson”]I agree - it really doesn’t make much differnce in the end. I was just asking out of curiosity mainly. I am not worried about any ‘competition guidelines’ since i only brew for myself. This barleywine, for example, was brewed with a lot of extra hops just as an experiment for myself. Up until drinking these other two barleywines, I hadn’t thought about the chance that the extra hops COULD push the style over to an IIPA. I also hadn’t thought about the two styles being as similar as they are…

Just learning, and enjoying my own brews along the way.[/quote]

If it does push it to IIPA give it time and it will come back.
Several years ago I entered a British barleywine in a comp and got dinged: “Too hoppy for style” and got scores under 35. A year later the same batch was ruled as spot on and my scores hit the low 40s.

Barleywines are also usually stronger and have higher terminal gravities. IIPAs tend to have some simple sugars to help dry them out, whereas BWs are almost always all-malt.

+1 to residual sugars. I think a general difference is in terminal gravity. Barleywines are often sweeter.

[quote]If it does push it to IIPA give it time and it will come back.
Several years ago I entered a British barleywine in a comp and got dinged: “Too hoppy for style” and got scores under 35. A year later the same batch was ruled as spot on and my scores hit the low 40s.[/quote]

+1 on this. The fresh hops flavors will settle down over time. Big barleywines don’t start to really come into their own for at least a year or two in my experience anyways,

Just to followup on this…

I racked my beer to secondary after 3 weeks in primary. Fermentation FINALLY stopped completely by about 2 weeks.

I couldn’t resist. I took a taste today after letting the final yeast settle over the weekend. Wow. Boozy, hoppy, not too bitter, definately not sweet. Even at this young age, this could already be described as smooth. The beer came out at about exactly 10% abv (1.100/1.024). There is definately a boozy kick on teh backside, but DAMN its delicious.

I used an ounce of Chinook at 60 for bittering, then I used a combination of Simcoe/warrior/amarillo (8 oz total) throughout the boil. The hops are not overpowering and definately add a nice cistrusy zing to the brew. With that being said, i would say this is an IIPA for sure. I’m going to let this age a few months and will sample it now and then to see when i want to start drinking it.

[quote=“aolson”]Boozy, hoppy, not too bitter, definately not sweet…With that being said, i would say this is an IIPA for sure.[/quote]Everyone has their own take, but to me a IIPA has to have substantial, noticeable bitterness - it’s an Imperial IPA after all and should just be more of everything that makes an IPA an IPA. On a similar note, I see people calling 4.5% ABV hoppy pale ales “session IPAs”, which is an oxymoron for sure.

But whatever style you want to call it, sounds like you brewed a winner! :cheers:

Not sure I’d age an IIPA, maybe dry hop it for a week or two and it ought ti be ready to drink. Hop character starts to go downhill fairly quickly.

well…that was the other part of this discussion. If you let an IIPA age…does it not slowly become a barleywine? Besides, its only 3.5 weeks old. I’m curious to see what happens in another month of sitting in secondary.

Kind of depends, if a lot of your hop character is late additions then yes it can slowly age into more of a barleywine. If it really has a firm bitterness, that doesn’t really age out.

What you describe matches my recipe exactly. I had a single ounce of Chinook at 60 minutes, and the rest was late hop additions. I think i had one ounce at 30 min, but other than that…

[quote=“aolson”]I had a single ounce of Chinook at 60 minutes, and the rest was late hop additions. I think i had one ounce at 30 min, but other than that…[/quote]That’s how I did a recent IIPA except I did 2 oz FWH.

I had some Cascade and Mt Hood to use up:

1.00 oz Cascade [5.00 %] - First Wort 20.0 min Hop 7.6 IBUs
1.00 oz Mt. Hood [3.00 %] - First Wort 20.0 min Hop 4.6 IBUs
1.50 oz Magnum [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 41.3 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [8.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 14.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6.9 IBUs
1.00 oz Mt. Hood [3.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 4.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 4.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Mt. Hood [3.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 2.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Mt. Hood [3.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [8.00 %] - Dry Hop

I thought i’d followup on this - my original post. Its now been 4 months since brewing my IIPA/Barleywine. I had a pint of it tonight, and wow…its evolved.

Initially it was more of a hop-bomb/IIPA for sure, adn i have to say i kind of enjoyed that since it was a style i wasn’t all that familiar with. The simcoe/amarillo/warrior hop mix is something i will definately use in an IPA in the future.

But, tonight…it was definately more of that indescribable “barleywine flavor” that I do love so damn much. There was still a hop presence, but it had faded a bit and it is now definately a barleywine.

This definately confirms something - i do love me a good barleywine, and this is a good barleywine.

I think soon I’m going to brew this again so taht it will be ready in a cold winter months. I think i will brew it with a couple oz of Fuggles at 60, and perhaps another ounce at flameout.

I know what you mean. With those stronger brews, as good as some of them taste right off the bat, once they have had the time to mellow & get their flavors together, well, there’s nothing quite like it.
Having been an extreme hophead for 42+ years (all of my adult life) I have really grown to appreciate the more toned down hop mellowness of a well aged BW…whether British or American “style”.
Actually, in truth, I’ve become more partial to the old British take on the “style”’, as long as it has had adequate time to age. My annual holiday ale is in this “style”, and I’ve taken to brewing a lot more of it with each passing year year (and brewing it earlier each year) so that I have plenty left after the gift giving to allow to age further.

If you can, save some bottles for tasting a year (or 2, or 3) down the line and be amazed all over again.

And for god’s sakes man…make the next one a double batch.
I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Seriously.
:cheers:

I totally agree with the previous poster. Save a bottle for each year out you want to taste it. I brewed a super hopped IIPA a while ago. I think it was like a pound and a half in a 5 gallon batch. The first month it was done I hated it. The hop flavors were pretty awesome since I had intended for it to be very bitter and very aromatic but the alcohol felt harsh and it was too sweet. A year later I had a loss in my family, and one of my uncles was saying he wished we had a good strong IPA around. I said “I dont know if its any good but Ive got a IIPA thats been aging for a year.” Popped it open, poured us both a glass, and it blew my mind. Still had some slight bitterness, it was mildly sweet, the booze character was mellow. Clocked in around 10 percent. I was shocked.

Long story short. Keep a bottle a long time.

I agree that aging a barley wine is the way to go. My best is a 2008 Christmas brew that I brewed in the summer of 08. I only have a few of those left and I wonder if I should have told those to whom I gave it to age it a year, too!

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