Beer Reviews

Barrel Aged Gramps

Barrel Aged Gramps (11.9% | 63 IBU) is an American Barleywine loaded with notes of toffee and caramel, plus hints of vanilla.

Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.

Malts: Maris Otter, Pale Ale, Flaked Barley, Crystal 75, Dark Munich

Hops: Chinook, Cascade

Gramps is an American Barleywine, could you give us an overview of this style?
The English style is a high gravity, malty beer with a moderate amount of hops. The American version is typically drier, hoppier and less malty than its English counterpart. The American version also typically uses American hops.

What was the barrel aging process for this beer?
12 months of age in a mixture of bourbon barrels from two different suppliers.

Why bourbon barrels?
Bourbon imparts a lot of positive flavors that complement the beer nicely (vanilla, wood, toffee).

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?
Strong, complex, moderately hoppy, with a complementary level of wood/spirit character.

What gets you excited about this beer?
Perfection cannot be rushed, this beer was made with a lot of patience and love.

What are some other Barleywines — barrel aged or not — that you enjoy?
Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada, Stone Old Guardian is another good one.

Amber in color with moderately light haze. Medium low carbonation. Thin off white head with average retention.

Some moderately high barrel aromas (toffee, vanilla and raw wood). Medium low hop aroma, some orange marmalade character from aged hops. Medium fruity esters…medium caramel and bready malt aroma.

Medium bitterness that dissipates to moderate amounts of vanilla, caramel, and a hint of raw wood character. Medium hop flavor (orange and citrus). Medium low complimentary malt flavor (caramel, toffee and slightly bready).

Medium body, low astringency, medium low carbonation, some alcohol warmth.

A strong, well-balanced barrel aged barleywine that shines with malt/hop complexity and complimentary barrel notes.

What foods would pair well with Barrel Aged Gramps?
Creme Brulee or strongly flavored cheese like Stilton or Gorgonzola.

Ideal glassware for this beer?
10oz snifter glass.