Just like you, but different
8 Wired / Moon Dog Byg is Beautiful- It is beer of the week on the BeerJerk beer club, which is a magnificent surprise as I’m Big on Barleywine. “This week we’ll be drinking the 250th Beer Of The Week” Get in!
The last time I had a New Zealand Barley Wine I ended up in an unseemly set-to of sorts with the head brewer, who, coincidently is not a million miles from Warkworth. So I’m keen and have the trepidation.
a generous amount of New Zealand hops
Presented as the smaller 330ml bottle of beer which is 11% ABV, which is some 320 calories a serve size, which would then be 2.9 standard drinks in New Zealand
A celebration of Barley and a nod to my Danish roots. (Byg means barley in Danish).
Brewed in collaboration with our dear friends and all-round crazy Aussies from Moondog.
A big, mash-tun-maxing Barley Wine, brewed with a generous amount of New Zealand hops and then aged on oak for 3 months. Søren Eriksen
BeerJerk notes: Byg Is Beautiful is an American barleywine meaning it is brewed with a lot of hops, making it quite different to English versions which are more fruitcake-y. The NZ hops add a bitterness which compliments the sweetness beautifully. The brewers decided to age it on oak for 3 months which gives it further vanilla oak complexity. This is a beer to savour, be sure to drink at room temperature to release all of the flavours and aroma
So, What could possibly go wrong?
Ok, so there’s this hoppy aroma op opening, it’s sitting over something underlying interesting, but I don’t know what.
Pour is a glorious orange orange with a decent and off white to that same orange head that sits spellbind atop the beer.
Beer is slightly cloudy.
This has been coming up to room temp, and so I’m ready to dive in. Aroma in the glass is that same quite hoppy thing, but there’s this heavier note underneath.
Taste is a large thing. There’s a full mouthfeel of a lot of things, that then glide separate ways, but I’m focussed on a dry woody note that stood out, over an above a stickier sweeter bit that was quite nice.
It’s the oaking of course, it’s quite strong and pervasive. This also has a magnificent lingering mouthfeel about it.
What it isn’t though is a Barley Wine like I thought it might be, and being fair an honest the notes did say that this was not a standard and “making it quite different to English versions which are more fruitcake” Which is, er, interesting.
Perhaps I’ve was wrong all along about Barley Wine, and c’mon regional variations, what’s that all about.
Despite this not being a fruitcake, it is nice and very accessible as a beer to drink, despite that oakiness and that hoppy note this isn’t edge, or harsh and seems rather laid back and mellow, which despite the larger end of the ABV scale could be problematical.
It is by no way a quaffer of a beer, and it’s not outstandingly good. It is very polished and well finished, one that you keep sipping at as that dance around the flavours is really a joy. I’m not convinced however that I’ll ever really like hoppy Barley Wine, it just doesn’t seem right that it could be a thing.
I’m doubting my review of the McLeods Barley Wine now, of course, but I will find out how wrong, or right I was in another post to come.
The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. A lovely looking beer that its well in the glass, nice aroma that seems hard to pick, with a full mouthfeel, long lingering taste and big hints of oak, hops and a decent large amount of softer elements in the body. I struggle with the idea that a hoppy Barley Wine is a thing though, but that could be just me.
The double dip review
Music for this: ”This Is Muse on the Spotify
A Barley Wine is a strong, top-fermenting ale, with an alcohol contents of at least 9% and up to 13% (or more) by volume. Hops may be hardly noticeable at all or very noticeable. Sip them out of the special glass, that will concentrate the aroma. They are excellent with cigars or with dessert.