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A sweet, hoppy, strong beer brewed for real beer lovers. Barley "wine" simply refers to the high alcohol content, although Philistines often assume barley wine is wine and not beer. Apparently, these people think barley is a kind of grape. Often prefixed with the word "old".
Two guys share a special barley wine moment together:

Guy 1: How's your Old Numbskull?

Guy 2: You have to be more specific.
by barley wine fiend February 21, 2009
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The greatest style of beer ever to grace the earth. Typically clocking in upwards of 8% ABV, this wine-strength beer is the motherlode of malty goodness, and is the preferred style of the highest echelon of cicerone s. There are two sub-styles, American and English, the former of which has more hop flavor and bitterness. As heavy hopping is appropriate in an IPA but destroys the pure heavenly flavor of this glorious beer style, a preference for American barleywine has been linked in scientific studies with brain damages, taste bud disorders, and early onset dementia. "Barleywine" is also generally considered to be a synonym of "life", thus giving rise to the common expression "Barleywine is life", or BiL for short.
Albert Einstein: "I just discovered the special theory of relativity, which Is the biggest breakthrough in theoretical physics in centuries. Also, I prefer American barleywine to English and hazy IPAs to barleywine in general."
Master cicerone: "Yeah, sorry to break it to you brah, but I think you may be mentally retarded."
by Nicholas D August 11, 2018
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