The second beer from Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across the World we’ll look at is the Dry-Hopped Barleywine-Style Ale. This beer is a collaborative effort between Sierra Nevada and Avery Brewing out in Colorado. The ale is packaged in a 12 ounce bottle and comes in at a 9.4% ABV and 90 IBU. Full disclosure: I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t love stouts, but I really don’t love barleywines so I was not looking forward to this one. Let’s see if Beer Camp Dry-Hopped Barleywine-Style Ale changes my opinion….
Pours a nice amber, maybe dark copper, color with a tiny bit of haze. About 1 finger of really light beige head that doesn’t dissipate quickly. Very good lacing on the glass.
The same thing that always happens to me with barleywines happens here, the smell makes me think I’m going to like it. Smells a little floral and hoppy with definite notes of caramel or toffee maybe. There’s a booziness in the aroma as well. Kind of an autumn smelling beer.
And here we go. First sip and my face tightens and my mouth wants to expel the beer out The Exorcist style. I don’t know what it is about barleywines….or barleywine-style ales in this case. Not as sweet as I typically think of with this style and a definite bitterness. There still the caramel, toffee, brown sugary flavor but like somebody burnt it. I’ve had higher ABV beers but I can still sense the booze in this one.
This definitely qualifies as a “big beer.” There’s a lot going on in this one and I must not be equipped to appreciate all of it because I am still not a fan. Sierra Nevada and Avery say this isn’t so much a collaboration since they each brewed a barleywine (Bigfoot for Sierra Nevada and Hog Heaven for Avery) and combined them together and I will say, as sort of a backhanded compliment, I like this better than those two beers. I’m positive people that are into barleywines will really like Beer Camp Dry-Hopped Barleywine-Style Ale but I am definitely not one of those people.
2 out of 5