A few days ago I popped open a bottle of Barihuait Barley Wine that I had brought back from Lima five months ago and carefully stowed in my fridge.
The beer held up pretty well. It presented with a low hop aroma and was initially quite effervescent, with a head that dissipated quickly. There was some lacing but it fell almost immediately.
The brew was malty and a little sweet, with sharp bitterness and pronounced hop flavor evident with first draught. There were also some pleasant fruit and caramel notes in there. It had pleasantly bitter finish that hung around for a bit on the palate.
The beer improved as it warmed (I’d had it stored at 47°F) and some of the effervescence dissipated. The flavor seemed fuller, and rounder at the warmer temperatures.
Being a barley wine Barihuait comes in high in both abv and ibu – 9.5% and 60, respectively. It is brewed by Cerveceria Nuevo Mundo, in Lima’s Surquillo district. It was one of the first Peruvian craft beers I encountered a few years ago and remains one of my favorites.
The name, incidentally, came about by happenstance, as once explained to me by Alain, one of the French partners who started the brewery (he’s since moved on to focus on his other business, high-end chocolates). When explaining the style to Peruvian friends, he said, one of them exclaimed that “barley wine” sounded like “Bari Huait” –Barry White, said phonetically in Spanish– and the name stuck!