Volume 2 is distinct in a few ways. Compared to the other batches’ malt bills, this one has less intermediate kilned malts– no Munich or Aromatic here, nor are there any ‘pale ale’ type base malts that provide a little more maltiness and body. That’s partially a function of Fawcett’s portfolio compared to some of the other maltsters whom we selected for this project.
Volume 2 is also the darkest in the series with a good grip of Pale Chocolate malt added for color and flavor. Fawcett Pale Chocolate has long been a staple in our dark beers at Breakside, and it seemed like a fun malt to include at a low level in this iteration of LIFE. Using chocolate malt might push it out of the true barleywine realm for some purists, but the roasty notes are pretty subdued and come across more like a light baking chocolate. We think it helps amplify some of the nutty and dried fruit notes as well.
Fawcett’s Spring Pale malt is also quite distinct. It’s malted from Optic barley, which is fairly widespread in the UK but not in North America. It’s very aromatic with a lot of typical English grassy and woodsy notes. While we wanted to let that express well, it can be an overpowering malt artifact, so part of the trick with this Volume of Life was subduing that aroma a touch in the finished beer.