Shepherd Neame & Sigtuna 2014 Collector’s Edition Barley Wine
After the excesses of the Christmas period I always reckon January drinking should be about quality rather than quantity with a small sip of something strong and flavourful being infinitely preferable to several glasses of something weak and bland.
Even though it’s generally considered a session drink I think that applies to beer too, hence my choice of this barley wine which I found when I was going through my beer stores and which I’m not even sure is still available.
For those who are not familiar with the style it’s a strong beer of at least 10%, designed for keeping - similar in style to a fortified wine like a madeira or tawny port
This limited edition bottle which was brewed in collaboration with Sigtuna brygghus in Sweden and aged in bourbon barrels is just luscious, deep amber-coloured, rich malty and slightly sweet - I’m sure I can detect some honey in there. It would be - as any barley wine would - a terrific match with cheese especially a strong cheddar or blue like Stilton or with a piece of old fashioned fruit cake like a Dundee - or as a nightcap though it's so intense I wouldn’t want much more than a third of the 33cl bottle. The 'drink by' date is not until February 2016.
Limited edition bottlings seem to be getting more popular - as they are with whisky ‘expressions’ - so you generally need to get in quick when they’re released. Apologies if you can’t get hold this one but it was so delicious I couldn’t resist flagging it up. Other barley wines would hit that late night spot too.
If you found this post useful and were happy to get the advice for free perhaps you'd think about donating towards the running costs of the site? You can find out how to do it here or to subscribe to our regular newsletter click here.