The English Barleywine is generally the strongest ABV beer produced by English breweries. Similar in alcohol strength to the American Barleywine, the English version generally exhibits more restraint and balance in the hops.
Varying in color from a light copper to a dark brown, these are one of the most common (and best candidate) beers to store for years. Young examples often have a hoppier, more bitter taste while aging can cause the malt and alcohol flavors to mingle and the hops to mellow. Some breweries also age the beer in oak barrels before bottling, giving additional flavors. All have strong malt flavors that can be bready and toasty, with dark fruit, caramel, and toffee also present. Fruity esthers from fermentation are also common. Medium to full body, and higher ABV adds warmth without harshness.
Best served warm, 58-61 degrees, and in a beer snifter, stemmed tulip glass, or large wine glass.