Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, Westfield’s brewery, distillery and winery hybrid, has come a long way with their barrel aged beers. To date, their BA offerings have been hit or miss. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve drank them all and reviewed most.
While their (Drink That) Funky Cherry (Whit Boy), an American Wheat Ale fermented with New York cherries and aged 10 months in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces, and Rhiskey Business, rye pale ale aged 7 months in Rye Whiskey barrels, were delicious, other offerings such as Stout Lucia, a stout aged in dark St. Lucian rum barrels, was a swing and miss upon initial release.
So, that brings us to Five & 20’s latest barrel aged brew, Barrelwine. This is a blend of Five & 20’s Barleywine that had been aged in Port and Sherry barrels. It’s brewed with Chinook, Cascades and whole cone Cluster hops.
Barrelywine opens with aromas of sweet booze with an underlying chocolate-meets-dark-fruit note, before flavors of vanilla, licorice and more booze hit the palate. The beer features a nice, creamy mouthfeel that only gets creamier as it warms. Barrelywine is a complex, interesting beer that certainly does not drink to its 10.6% ABV. This is perhaps Five & 20’s best barrel aged they have released to date.
Be on the lookout in the near future for Commiseration Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (I’ll hopefully have a review of that upon release). In the meantime, visit https://www.fiveand20.com for more information and purchase a bottle of Barrelywine wherever great beer is sold.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.