The reason our anniversary barleywine is called “Art in Execution” is because at Beltway we believe that crafting the perfect beer is an artform. Every choice we make in the production process, from hops to malt to fermentation, is as thoughtfully selected as each pigment is chosen by a painter creating his masterpiece. Our barleywine is a celebration of that dedication to detail, and this year, we wanted to share with you the extraordinary story of how the Art in Execution 2020 barleywines came to be.
The unique and lengthy journey of these two barleywines started about four years ago, when we sent Catoctin Creek Distillery two beers to be turned into whiskey. One was our hop-forward Octo IPA that contained eight different malts, and the other a complex and refreshing farmhouse ale. The beers were individually distilled, put into new oak barrels, and left to develop into whiskey.
After two years of aging in oak barrels, the whiskey was packaged and released by Catoctin Creek Distillery as Octomalt and Farmhouse whiskey. The barrels that held the whiskey were then sent to Beltway and filled with our beloved Art in Execution Barleywine.
Spending about nine months in the whiskey barrels, our Barleywine picked up some of the subtle complexities of the two whiskeys. The Octomalt whiskey barrel contributed luscious notes of nougat, caramelized sugar, floral spice, and buckwheat honey; while the Farmhouse whiskey barrel added smooth notes of toffee, dried fruits, butterscotch, port wine, and complex spice.
Four years in the making, we are thrilled with the results of these barrel aged versions of Art in Execution. Our only regret about the whole journey is that we didn’t make more. There are a very limited number of bottles available, so don’t miss out on these unique beers!