Beer Tastings: Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale — Kiitos Brewing

Beer Tastings - Utah Beer News

Welcome to Beer Tastings, a weekly series in which Utah Beer News highlights a particularly tasty local brew. This week, we go big — Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale (13% ABV) from Kiitos Brewing. What are you drinking? Let us know!

Beer Tastings: Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale

Tastings - Barrel-Aged Barleywine Ale - Kiitos BrewingA complex richness and a candied-fruit stickiness serve to fortify beer drinkers during the colder winter months.

As its name suggests, Kiitos Brewing’s Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale is aged in whiskey-soaked oak and is bursting with flavor.

My buddy Dave, who wrote about this one in our Utah Holiday Beers roundup, calls the 13% ABV delicacy “good fruitcake in a cup.” It’s packed with plenty of candied dark fruits. I also perceive some aromas of maple and molasses.

In terms of flavor, I pick up more of the dark fruit and a caramel-y sweetness. The booziness isn’t overpowering (I get more of the “hot” notes in the aroma than in the taste).

Take a big initial gulp and let it warm the inside of your mouth. But after that, definitely sip and savor.

The Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale is a perfect candidate to share over dessert. A can is also a sufficient amount — 16 ounces — to sip over the course of an entire evening (you’ll likely pick up different nuances as it warms).

Kiitos Brewing: A Gold Medal Winner

Kiitos BrewingKiitos Brewing, at just over a year old, is developing a strong reputation in and around Salt Lake. And now, others are starting to take notice as well.

Clay Turnbow, the head brewer, isn’t a stranger to the Utah beer scene. He cut his teeth at Epic Brewing and 2 Row Brewing before moving to Kiitos.

In September, the brewery earned Gold for its Coffee Cream Ale, a 4% brew that pours a pale yellow but that is teeming with coffee aromas and more subtle coffee flavors.

Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale — Kiitos Brewing
Tastings - Barrel-Aged Barleywine Ale - Kiitos Brewing

Product Name: Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale

Product Description: Released in September 2018 for Kiitos Brewing's one-year anniversary party, the Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale (13% ABV) is a real treat. It delivers aromas and flavors of candied dark fruit and some molasses/caramel sweetness. It's a mouth-coating and -warming beer that could help fortify you on cold winter nights.

  • Aroma
  • Appearance
  • Flavor
  • Mouthfeel

Overall Impression

A barleywine is a definite treat. It could easily replace dessert (or accompany dessert) after a special-occasion meal. The Barrel Aged Barley Wine Ale from Kiitos Brewing delivers decadent notes of candied fruit and rich caramel-y sweetness.

  • Aroma: Some whiskey booziness, candied dark fruits, molasses
  • Appearance: Dark caramel brown, minimal tan head
  • Flavor: Dark fruits, some cherry, caramel sweetness
  • Mouthfeel: Thick, mouth-coating

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Notes: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017. Utah Beer News is not compensated in any way for beers mentioned in the Tastings series.