Wheat Wine vs. Barley Wine...FIGHT!

First of all, I better explain the image. If you never played Street Fighter (and I'm talking about a really old one, like for Super Nintendo) then you won't get it, and just skip to the next paragraph. At the start of a match, it would say the names of the guys and then fight. Like in this example "Ryu vs. Ken...FIGHT!" So that was the inspiration for the name of this post. Add on to that, we used to make up stupid names for the guys. Since you could have a guy fight himself, they were just in different colors, we decided it made no sense for them both to have the same name. Hey, we were in like eigth grade. Especially remembered for me is "Balrog vs. Sog...FIGHT!" (BTW Balrog was the real guy. Sog was the joke name.)

I have been sampling and reviewing a lot of Barley Wines lately. To me they are great winter ales, so I went ahead and skipped the rest of the winters in favor of seeking out barley wines. I even wrote a style profile article on the old BW. Along the way, I came across a Wheat Wine from Smuttynose. Good stuff.

It just made me think about the differences between the two. They aren't as pronounced as you might expect. The Barley Wine is generally darker and a bit more nutty and pruney, but the Wheat Wine is surprisingly dark and also quite robust in flavor. Both are somewhat dominated by alcohol flavor (who can help themselves at over 10%?), and both are awesome. If you can, get any barley wine or wheat wine you can find. If you find a Wheat Wine that's not the Smuttynose, then let me know - I want to try it!

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