08 Jun

Recidivist Beer Review


This highly unique barleywine was a special treat

Brewery: Amsterdam Brewing
Style: Barley Wine
ABV: 10       IBU: N/A

Having seen this barleywine listed for several weeks on the beer menu at the Brewhouse, my husband was quite disappointed to suddenly find that it had sold out in less than a week between his visits. Taking to Twitter to express his disappointment, he was informed that there were a few bottles left, and promised that they would let him know when it was back in stock.

Well, we got the good news last week: not only was it back (in limited supply) but Heather had put aside a special bottle just for us to take home. Thank you, Heather! This delicious, honeyed barleywine was a very special treat I am glad I got the chance to try.



4 and a halfcat

Rich up front with a vanilla and caramel bourbon finish.


Hazy caramel to deep amber in colour. Recidivist pours with a thin ring and some patches of small bubbles. Some carbonation is evident and it leaves a thin sticky layer of lacing behind on the glass.


With a rich, fruity aroma of apple, pear, and apricot, this barleywine is sweet with caramel, cane sugar, and honey notes. A definite sting of alcohol is also present along with some spicy, mulled cider. Butterscotch and faint bourbon round out the complex nose. Far more to the sweet side than I expected, it evokes an almost mead-like air.


Featuring a strong, sticky molasses start, Recidivist is full of tart, candied fruit with some boozy notes. Herbs and warming spices including cinnamon and nutmeg add a mulled cider quality with faint apricot undertones. Bourbon barrel flavours and a hint of toffee add some extra complexity to this surprisingly sweet but easy-drinking barelywine. In truth I was expecting something rather heavier and was very pleasantly surprised by the light, summeriness of it.


Sticky on the palate, it has a medium body and lingering toffee and whisky aftertaste. Normally I would expect a heavier body from this style but something about the honey sweetness of it made the relative lightness feel more in line with the character of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>