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Friday, June 15, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Tin Roof's Barley. Barleywine

By Eric Ducote

Hey everyone, it's time for another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze.  Today's tasty beverage comes from local brewery Tin Roof, their Barley. Barleywine.  Barley. is named after the brewery cat Barley that for several years frequented the brewery and the taproom.  Barley was always extremely friendly, allowing visitors to give them a pet and frequently enjoying the sunshine on the Tin Roof logo mat by the side door. Unfortunately a few months ago Barley the cat passed away, so in their honor, Tin Roof brewed the Barley. Barleywine.   

Barleywines have long been one of my favorite styles, starting with the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot series, and moving into offerings like the Old Guardian from Stone and the Old Ruffian from Great Divide.  I remember always being excited for a Houston beer run where I could find that offering from Great Divide and if I was lucky an Old Numbskull from Alesmith.  Before too long the Louisiana breweries started getting in on the action, most notably with the Grand Reserve series from Parish, but Abita also put out a select series barleywine and Bayou Teche got into the game.  So, when I heard Tin Roof was putting out a barleywine, well I had to stop in and give it a try, and buy a 4-pack for a later review of course.


Tin Roof Barley.

Tin Roof describes the beer as, "In memoriam: Barley the Cat. Dedicated to our late friend and cat, Barley, this Barleywine features complex malt character from a blend of American, Belgian, English, and German malts. Look for rich flavors of caramel, dark fruits, and sweet malt. All American hops in both kettle and dry hop layer classic aromas of grapefruit and pine. Raise a glass to this special feline, and remember him laying in the sun on the lawn or hanging out in the taproom. RIP little buddy." My first thought on this one is that it's a really dark pour, a little darker than I'd expect for a barleywine which trend more copper colored but this one is closer to a brown.  The head is vigorous and lasting, giving me ample time to snap a picture before pouring the rest of the can.  They definitely nailed the caramel and sweet malt notes, with definite hints of toffee and I do get some of the dark fruit.  The taste is really smooth for an 11%, 70 IBU beer, with those same rich toffee notes underlying an earthy hop bitterness. 

I don't think this is the best barleywine I've ever tried, but it's pretty damn good.  Last I saw, 4-packs were still available in the taproom, so go grab one before they're all gone.  I have a feeling this beer will only get better with age as well.  RIP Barley!