Apr 16, 2015

Perennial Ales Vermilion Barleywine

It looks like I was on a bit of a Perennial Ales micro-run with this and the last post. And while the Fete de Noel was tasty, this 10.5% ABV barleywine is heads and shoulders above it. Vermilion is a rich beer that has a dynamic flavor profile and “cellarability” that I look for in the style.

Dark fruits, caramel, a touch of hoppy goodness — Vermilion has it all without leaning to heavily on any one element. I’m a huge fan of their Sump, and it still holds out an edge over this brew, but depending on how Vermilion cellars, it could be my favorite from the company. Only time will tell.


A small, light brown cap of foam settles to a thin ring around the surface of the mahogany colored brew.

Perennial Ales Vermilion Barleywine photo


Dark fruits (raisin, fig), peppery alcohol, burnt caramel and a twinge of distant spices only hint at what is to come once the beer hits your lips.


And Vermilion is rich and tasty. Those dark fruits, caramel, a touch of coffee, hint of licorice, molasses and a little booze combine for a layered experience. The beer has a moderate-to-high level of sweetness which is acceptable for the style and leads the way for a light hop bitterness before ultimately fading to a warming, lasting finish.


I thoroughly enjoyed this bottle of Vermilion (bottled 12/2014), and will certainly pick up a couple of bottles for the long haul. I have a feeling that if conditions are right, this one will turn into a hell of a beer. For now, it’s still pretty damn impressive.

Rating: 4/5

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