My father came home from the hospital today (yeah, finally), so I was not able to get to Listermann's. I hope to go sometime this week during my lunch break. I need to talk with Chuck anyway and he only works during the week.
Up today is Sprecher's Barley wine from 2007. I was given it by the local barley wine enthusiast as a measure of the style and a gauge for my own. I did try some of mine today to check how it is doing. It needs to age more. About a year more.
On the pour, the Sprecher is fruit on the nose. The malty sweetness is quite noticeable and there is very much the lack of hops. Alcohol is notable, but not overwhelming. On the tongue, the fruitiness and maltiness dance around one another. The sweetness is quite strong and there are hints of yeast esters that tell of its French origin. There is almost the hint of Abby Ale.
As the beer warms up, the sweetness tones down a bit and the alcohol warmth increases. No hop prescience, but less sweet. This is definitely a sipping barley wine. Quite nice.