Barley wines were produced by most breweries historically, with Ind Coupe’s – Barley Wine and Whitbread’s darker coloured ale – Final Selection. Gold Label is a lighter coloured barley wine originally launched by Whitbread in the mid 1960s, possibly aimed at the female market. It remains as one of the few barley wines still available; although it has less orangey citrus bitterness in the present day version. It is now produced by the InBev combine, Whitbread having long since exited the brewing business.
Gold label is a dark golden orange coloured ale, with an orange/ yellow head and a malty aroma. It has a malt taste with little of the orange pith bitterness of the original version and lacks the more complex tastes of ales such as the Belgian Trappist beers, or British craft ales of similar strength.
Half Moon Bay Brewery- Mavericks’ Beers and Ales – Pumpkin Harvest Ale 5.5%
This is an amber ale, with a cream head, with a malty aroma of spice ginger, pepper and cinnamon notes. It is a slightly sweet, strong barley wine type, warming tangy taste with a hop bitter follow-on and pumpkin notes. This would be a great autumn- winter warming ale. 5*
This ale is made with local Sugar Pie pumpkins, roasted with a secret blend of spices, then added to the brew kettle. The brewers taste notes say it has pumpkin pie spice flavour with biscuity malt notes.
The American Mavericks craft brewery, founded in 2000, is based in the surfing location of Half Moon Bay on the coast south of San Fransisco, famous for its Mavericks surfing location. It’s sister Half Moon Brewery is based in their brewery tap and restaurant.
I would be wary of going out on a surf board after a pint of this very pleasant ale, especially if the waves top out at 24 metres (80 feet) high.
This is a very dark red-brown ale with a sweet warming barley wine aroma. It has a rich woody taste reminiscent of old polished dark wood furniture. The sweet start is replaced with the rich bitterness of hops and toasted malts.
This is one of the famous Belgian Trappist Beers and comes from the Westmalle Abbey and is normally served in a chalice glass.
L’abbaye Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœure de Westmalle is a Benedictine monastery dedicated to contemplation and silence. The monks have been brewing since 1856 and the present Dubbel comes from a recipe modification in 1926. The monastery also include a farm and cheese dairy as well as the brewery considered necessary for self sufficiency.
A dark amber ale with a creamy coloured head. Rich sharp hop and sweet malt aromas.
This ale has a good barley wine taste, smooth sweet and malty but with a hop sharpness. A good winter ale with bags of flavour.
I purchased this ale specially labelled as English Heritage Wassail According to the Brewery notes it is classed by CAMERA as a barley wine but by the brewery as a good Winter Warmer. It is Brewed by Ballards Brewery Nyewood in the very west of West Sussex originally as a seasonable ale but due to popularity is now brewed year round. Clearly Ballards are reviving good Sussex Ales, such as those historically brewed by the now defunct King and Barnes Brewery.
This ale is well worth hunting out in the West Suusex area and comes with a Ballards black and gold label