Barley wine or Barleywine is a beer style of strong ale originating in England. The first beer to be marketed as Barley Wine was Bass No. 1 Ale, around 1900. The term "barley wine" had been used before in other contexts, for example in translations of Xenophon'sAnabasis (although it may have referred to regular grape wine with cooked barley in it).
A barley wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 8 to 12% by volume and is brewed from specific gravities as high as 1.120. It is called a barley wine because it can be as strong as wine; but since it is made from grain rather than fruit, it is, in fact, a beer.
Most barley wines range in colour from amber to deep reddish-browns, though until the introduction of Whitbread Gold Label in the 1950s, British barley wines were always dark in colour. All are rich and full-flavored.
Writer Michael Jackson referred to a barley wine by Smithwick's thus: "This is very distinctive, with an earthy hoppiness, a wineyness, lots of fruit and toffee flavours." He also noted that its original gravity is 1.062.
According to Martyn Cornell, "no historically meaningful difference exists between barley wines and old ales."