English Barleywine

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English Barleywine is traditionally the strongest of all English ales. Often it is well aged (perhaps for years) and has low bitterness or hop aroma and low carbonation. Barleywines are often associated with the winter season or particular holidays.


The English Barleywine is simply the strongest possible of all ales. The history of barleywine has no precise starting point, as many traditional barley brews throughout history had high gravity to fight off possible infection.


Full to wine-like chewy body. High hop rate, but low aroma and bitterness due to age. Alcohol warmth present. Fruity and malty. Gold to dark amber color. Caramel aroma. Low to moderate carbonation. Strongest of all English ales. Highly alcoholic, malty and estery. Wine like in alcohol content and flavor. Well aged - often a year or more.


  • Color Range: 10.0-22.0 SRM
  • Original Gravity Range: 1.080-1.125 SG
  • Final Gravity Range: 1.018-1.035 SG
  • Bitterness Range: 35.0-70.0 IBU
  • Alcohol by Volume Range: 8.0-13.0 %
  • Carbonation Range: 1.6-2.5 vols
  • BJCP Style Number: 19 B


  • Lots of well modified pale malt with moderate caramel malt
  • Little or no darker malts
  • English hops such as Northdown, Target, EKG or Fuggles
  • High gravity English ale yeast
  • Moderate to hard water


  • Bass No 1 Barley Wine, Anchor Old Foghorn, Fuller's Golden Pride, Thomas Hardy's Ale, Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes Old Ale, Robinson's Old Tom, Young's Old Nick, Whitbread Gold Label, Heavyweight Old Salty

See Also