So I tried my first barleywine last night, and went with one that was recommended several places: Blithering Idiot. Although not obvious at first, after a few minutes this beer started smelling more and more like Twizzlers. To the point where I'm pretty sure whatever they make Twizzlers out of is present in this beer in a significant amount.

So my question is sort of 3-fold: what exactly is causing this aroma, is it an intentional quality (if anyone happens to know), and will it start to go away if I lay it down for a while?

  • Can you add more details? What fermentation temperature? What yeast? How old is the barley wine? How did you store it?
    – Robert
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 23:40
  • I'm sorry if I was unclear. Blithering Idiot is a brand of barleywine. I (obviously) don't have insider information on that sort of thing. I was wondering if anyone had brewed anything with that sort of flavor/aroma and what they had done to make it that way.
    – bendl
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 23:56
  • Twizzlers come in various flavours. Did "Blithering Idiot" exhibit all those flavours or (for example) just liquorice or strawberry? Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:11
  • Just the most popular one. I think that one is cherry, but it's never tasted like anything in particular to me, just Twizzlers.
    – bendl
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:49
  • So, to clarify, you did not brew a blithering idiot clone, you just drank one that you bought?
    – Robert
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


It can be hard to help with perceived flavors here due to obvious limitations.

If you can use this tool to best describe it, then we can help with solutions.


Usually barley wines are boiled a very long time to achieve the OG. This will also give the beer the effects of carmeling the wort in the boil producing a wide array of maliard notes. Also being a hoppy beer the style is open to all of those possible flavors and aromas.

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