Hieronymus Bosch painted the three panel triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, in 1510. Interpretations varied at the time. To high middle ages sensibility, this insane fever dream was a commentary on the fall of man due to lust and depravity. To the renaissance appreciator, this was a sign of altered perspective and things to come. How much you enjoy these carnal depictions depends on which era you’re in.
Continuance 2 is a composition fallacy in itself. Being single barrel MJK, you would think this is salacious and spicy. Pure deviant malts, the fall of mash. However, they added cinnamon and vanilla to it. If MJK was already so good, what was the deal with these expensive single barrels that warranted the divine corruption?
If you’re in Bosch’s left panel, your Eden would have been a lower abv, simpler, non adjuncted beer. The cinnamon and vanilla contributes a Drumstick ice cream cone with that ribbon of soft caramel in the center, the holy barrel is compromised. From a theological perspective, this is pure sin. It is complexity at the expensive of purity.
If you’re in Bosch’s right panel, the fall of barleywine is in itself progress. Casting off the pralines and cream shackles for a dulce de leche experience furthers the human experience. The cask purity is denatured. Knowledge of food parallels is corruption that beer welcomes. It is all a matter of perspective.
I am more of a center panel ticker. You can find me bathing in the VSOJ fountain, touching Gratitude crows, embracing the moderate hedonism of the current age. The vanilla is distracting, but it also modifies giving the barleywine a tootsie roll and waffle cone aspect. The carb is de minimis and sits murky and deep mahogany with sticky frogs on its bank. It veers so heavily into the stout realm that it feels like it is outright losing the virtues of MJK itself, a Miltonian fall from grace into the fleeting hellscape of pastry stout lovers.
We don’t have objective prescriptivity for how barleywines SHOULD taste. This is very good, nonstandard, linestepping, and heretical. Life is too short to conform to seltzer norms, sipping mediocre macro lagers at cookouts.