Reason for its Name
Vidar was known as a warrior god and an excellent fighter. Only Thor had greater strength than Vidar. But unlike Thor, who seems to have been quite boastful, Vidar was known as the silent god. The true god of vengeance attacks slowly and quietly.
Like any good 10% beer, this brew will sneak up on you slowly, quietly, and if not respected, will leave you hurting the next day.
Schoolhouse’s Take on this Style
Like most American craft beer styles, this one is derived from English examples. But, we opted to use American ingredients featuring a much more forward hop profile.
In Schoolhouse’s version of this classic style, our brewer took a hybrid approach to ingredients. We used both melanoidin malt and crystal 60 grains to give that raisin sweetness of a traditional barleywine. Use of high alpha acid hops provided that piney resin taste everyone looks for in this style.
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American Barleywine Tasting Notes from BJCP 2015
Hop character moderate to assertive and often showcases citrusy, fruity, or resiny New World varieties (although other varieties, such as floral, earthy or spicy English varieties or a blend of varieties, may be used). Rich maltiness, with a character that may be sweet, caramelly, bready, or fairly neutral. Low to moderately-strong fruity esters and alcohol aromatics. However, the intensity of aromatics often subsides with age. Hops tend to be nearly equal to malt in the aroma, with alcohol and esters far behind.
Strong, rich malt flavor with a noticeable hop flavor and bitterness in the balance. Moderately-low to moderately-high malty sweetness on the palate, although the finish may be somewhat sweet to quite dry (depending on aging). Hop bitterness may range from moderately strong to aggressive. While strongly malty, the balance should always seem bitter. Moderate to high hop flavor (any variety, but often showing a range of New World hop characteristics). Low to moderate fruity esters. Noticeable alcohol presence, but well-integrated. Flavors will smooth out and decline over time, but any oxidized character should be muted (and generally be masked by the hop character). May have some bready or caramelly malt flavors, but these should not be high; roasted or burnt malt flavors are inappropriate.
Full-bodied and chewy, with a velvety, luscious texture (although the body may decline with long conditioning). Alcohol warmth should be noticeable but smooth. Should not be syrupy and under-attenuated. Carbonation may be low to moderate, depending on age and conditioning.