Drinking a good barley wine makes me feel like an international super spy.
A really good barley wine is a big, rich and boozy beer, yet retains a certain elegance. I imagine it being served to me in a crystal goblet on a silver tray along with a secret message, and I sip it slowly while scanning the casino crowd for the one-eyed man who means me harm. I saunter around in my tux, barley wine in hand, while women who look like slightly sinister super models give me significant glances. I raise an eyebrow and smile in a sorry-ladies-I’m-in-a-committed-relationship way, and take another sip of wonderful beer.
OK, so none of that ever really happens, except for the barley wine part, but a big imagination gets me through the day, people.
My most recent barley wine adventure was a 2016 Old Guardian from Stone Brewing Company. Just as the film world occasionally reboots the James Bond movie franchise, Stone sometimes offers a new twist on one of its core beers. This year, they’ve taken an old favorite barley wine and renewed it with a dose of aromatic hops.