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Thor's Hammer Barley Wine - Central City Brewing

Not Rated.
Thor's Hammer Barley WineThor's Hammer Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 32
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Central City Brewing visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: astout on 09-26-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 19
Reviews by liamt07:
Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottling courtesy of Jason, 650ml into a tulip.

Reddish brown, tan head with nice retention and lacing. Nose of candied dark fruits, caramel, toffee, alcohol and brown sugar. Taste has some hops, candied and caramel notes again, plums and some other similar fruit character. Medium full body, low carbonation. Alcohol is felt, but not too big on the palate. An excellent English BW.

More User Reviews:
Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml gold waxed bomber poured into tulip 21/6/14, big thanks towards Rutager for the personal whale

A dark reddish brown with a tight finger of tan foam that has decent retention and leaves a few random patches of lace

S herbal hops, heavy amounts of caramel and brown sugar, sugar coated raisins, figs, candy crusted nuts, a little booze, vanilla, more brown sugar, smells aged but I'm nearly certain this is a fresh release

T mimics the smell with just a hint of citrus peel and a little molasses, nutty with heaps of caramel, hops come out a little more, just a hint of pine resin, no complaints here

M thick and syrupy, a little heat, enough bubbles to give it some life, very sticky on the lips, just a hint of heat, herbal rind lingers for ever on the finish

O big and malty with hops making an appearance here and there, rich and sweet with well hidden booze, solid stuff

I've been hunting this one for a long, long time, I've seen the price tag on the shelf with no bottles behind it, trades have fallen through, missed out on a tasting where it was poured, I got my hands on the barrel aged version a ways back but still the original version had eluded me. I can't thank Rutager enough for the personal whale, I enjoyed the opportunity to finally drink it more then the beer itself, (and its damn good beer)

Photo of TangyNoGarlic
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice creamy rich dark beer....

Photo of Rutager
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011, first bottling of this fine brew which I've enjoyed on tap several times.

Appearance. Purs a rich and hazy burnt orange with a finger of thick, orange tinted head that leaves some great lacing.

Smell. Caramel, oranges, brown sugar and some piney, citrusy hops with a little booze and maybe just a little sweet spice.

Taste. Big sweet brown sugar and caramel, floral booze, a touch of molasses, and some pine and citrus in the bitter hoppy finish. Not too shabs.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied to say the least. Thick and a little sticky with some nice warming booze. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall. A nice tasting, hoppy barleywine that's really hitting the spot right now. I don't think I'll get to the BA version tonight (*hic*), but soon my pretty...

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a cloudy copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with medium retention with minimal lacing. Aroma consists of sweet caramelized malt with grainy cereal notes and some warming alcohol notes. Taste is dominated by sweet caramelized malt with some grainy cereal notes and a quite a bit of residual sugar. Body is quite full with good carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Quite enjoyable but I could have done without the light grainy cereal notes.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris for this bottle. 2011 Vintage.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Swampy ruby/brown colour with half a finger of khaki coloured head.

S - Sweet caramel, toffee, raisins and some fruity notes.

T - Sweet and dry with dark caramel, brown sugar, dried fruit, raisins and figs. A very unique and interesting barleywine profile.

M - Medium body. Silky. Light carbonation.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by bobsy, forgot we had this one! Odd because it is quite a remarkable beer.

Pours a nice rich caramel brown with hints of amber and ruby, good head. Nose is rich (RICH) toffee and brown sugar, hint of dark fruits. You can tell this is going to be sweet. Taste brings you in, the sweetness balanced by a light bittering pinch from the hops. Toffee abounds, toast, dark plums, caramel, a nip of cocoa, a hint of earthy woodiness but not the normal accompanying dryness, bit of booze in the finish. Silky thick mouthfeel. A very rich treat, if anything I wish for a bit more balance in the hops and dryness but that's more personal preference than anything wrong, certainly in the English vein of the style. This is a really nice, deep barleywine, well deserving of accolades. Thanks for the opportunity to try this Rob!

Photo of papat444
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

***2011 Vintage***

Thanks to 4ster for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle.

Appearance: A nice copper body with a decent head that leaves some lacing behind.

Smell: Rich, sweet candy; strong leather; mild whiskey twang; powerful dried fruits, foremost apricots.

Taste: Like alcoholic candy; sweet tempered by fusel alcohol; caramel; lots of pungent dried fruit; real full.

Mouthfeel: Gentle giant with a bite at the end; caresses the palate; bit sticky; warming but never too hot.

Overall: This is a great barleywine. Very happy to have had a chance to try this.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

**** Vintage 2011 **** bottle conditioned

A: Poured with only a minimal 1 finger of creamy beige head, it's a hazy tawny brew that glows a ruby red when held up to the light.

S: Bloom of alcohol with rum raisins and dark fruits, toffee, and dark malts, like a fruit cake spiked with brandy. Notes of spices, cinnamon & clove.

T: Dark toffee and sweet toasted malts, with lots of dark raisins and fruit married with a brandy alcohol presence.

M: Thick viscosity with a syrupy-creamy mouth feel and just a bare minimum of carbonation up front.

O: Thor's hammer is aptly named, it's a brew fit for a god, strong alcohol profile, bold taste and a thick creamy feel, there is nothing weak or mild about Thor's Hammer. It's a terrific sipper and would compliment a cheese platter. Get out your drinking horn call all your super-hero-friends and enjoy.

Photo of Docrock
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Central City Brewpub, 10 oz serving in a snifter:

A : deep mahogany colored with minimal head that dissipated rapidly. Nice lacing as well.

S : beautiful caramel malt, hint of plums and a deep nuttiness. Only a hint of the alcohol content is evident.

T : wonderful, nice and thick, everything that was on the nose is present, plums, some light candy character and a deep earthy nuttiness like an English walnut, not a flavor I usually get in Eng Barleywines.

M : thick and just slightly chewy. Minimal carbonation which was the only low point of the beer but not overly detracting considering the abv. Very smooth.

O : an outstanding example of a non BA English Barleywine. Can't wait to try the BA version! Well done Central City.

Photo of Derek
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy, deep amber, thin ring of retention, leaves a little leg.

S: Plenty of alcohol in the aroma, dark fruit, toffee, candied pineapple, vanilla and a hint of spice.

T: Alcohol is up front, golden raisins, dates, toffee, light caramel, marmalade, good bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, fairly full body has a drying alcohol finish.

D: A bit of a brute. I'd love to see this in a bottle, as it would surely benefit with age.

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, big thanks to bobsy for sharing this rarity!

Pours a muddy orange brown, relatively opaque and cloudy, thin tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick to the glass.

Smell is intense, hugely caramelized and malty, toffee, raisins, rum, some wood, lots of dark fruit, alcohol, a bit of vanilla and bourbon, biscuit, more caramel, dates, a bit of weird fruitiness but I'm digging it.

Taste is similar, tons of caramel and toffee, Werthers candies, bsicuit, raisin and date, some alcohol, a bit of wood, more rum/bourbon booziness, vanilla, more toffee, very rich and decadent flavour.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, pretty chewy, with low carbonation. Wow, this is a big barleywine. Maybe more in the Hardys Old ale vein, but pretty fantastic stuff, thanks Rob!

Photo of astout
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this today at Central City brew pub along with a tasting flight of some of their other stuff. I had absolutely no idea they even made a barley wine and it was not advertised, I asked the server and she said they still had a little bit left from their last and only brewing in february. She was not sure but thought that Gary would be brewing some up again this winter. Please note that this was on tap and months old when considering my review.

Pours a dark rich brown colour with a slight, very slight hazyness and zero carbonation or head.

Smell's of a combination of brown butter and toffee, very sweet and warming aroma with a slight alcohol small in the background.

On the palate it starts of with the sweet toffee and butter notes that dominate the nose but has a sneaky amount of bitter hop presence that comes in mid palate and lingers on the finish. Not an overly citric or piney hop flavour just a faint amount of spice and good bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the beer otherwise.

Has a rich buttery mouthfeel with no carbonation and good weight. Carries the acohol fairly well but you are still aware it is there especially in the finish.

Fairly drinkable barley wine but it really made me wonder two things; 1. what would this have been like 6 months ago? and 2. What sorts of fantastic things could happen if only these guys had a bottling line (ditto for their IIPA and Raspberry Wheat)

Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a dull mahogany hue with a hazy clarity and a sudsy head that immediately disperses into a tight ring around the shoulders. Nose expresses ethanol, wood and prunes with vinous notes on the end. Taste isn't too bad - a bit dull, but less caustic than suggested by the nose with the addition of burnt sugar notes which follow the vinous/acidic figgy/pruney character. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style. Light-medium in body with a slight acidity and an almost still carbonation. Finishes with just a kiss of residual heat. Overall, I have to say that I did enjoy this beer. It doesn't have the punch in the face flavor that a JW Lees puts out, but it's drinkable without being cloying while still getting it's point across. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden as well. Not a beer I would recommend cellaring - I could see this one oxidizing fairly quickly.

Photo of Jeffo
3.39/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Rutager last summer. Cheers dude!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Had this one and the bourbon barrel version together.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser, fizzy, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a ring only. Mahogany red in color, clear, with no carbonation evident. A light ring remains but no real lacing.

SMELL: Caramel malts with lots of fruity aromas. Dried fruits, red fruits, berries, raspberries, toffee aromas and spicy alcohol on the nose. Complex and interesting.

TASTE: Boozy for sure. Caramel and toffee sweetness up front, with lots of dried and red fruits and spicy alcohol as well. Big and boozy finish of raspberries, more dried fruits, toffee sweetness, brown sugar and lots of spicy alcohol. Minimal bitterness and very sweet and boozy.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down okay with a scratch at the swallow and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Boozy and overly sweet. That said, there are lots of interesting and complex sweet flavors for sure, but some more bitterness as balance would make this more enjoyable to drink. In other words, the malt bill works well, but the hops could be re-worked a little. Still, a good beer that I was glad to try, though I would definitely take the barrel aged version of this nine times out of ten.

Photo of spree92
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10oz. goblet at room temp. A cloudy, deep red that had a small head. Heavy alcohol aroma with belgian yeast, dried fruit and caramel. The warmth of the alcohol was very strong in the taste. There was also the dryness of the chewy yeast.
A very heavy beer, the high% was a bit to prolific for my taste, but perfect for a nice barleywine.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: Slight head over deep amber liquid.

S: Sweet malt dominates the smell profile.

T: Sweet malt with a nice addition of a bitter hoppy presence.

M: Medium viscosity and low carbonation.

O: Very tasty and drinkable. Sweeter than most barleywines I have had, but that is fine by me.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage. A muddy dark brown color with five towering fingers of frothy beige foam, recalls tan dish suds or sponge toffee with bigger bubbles. Leaves a slick buttery lacing on the glass.

Assertive aroma that hits sweet, nutty, vinous, and boozy domains ... Whiskey barrel, plum/prune, raisin, burnt sugar, brown apples, hard biscuits, dry nuts. The alcohol is not concealed here. Flavor is a curious combination of nutty, woody, and tart/astringent vinous notes. Huge walnut flavor as advertised along with concentrated prunes, figs, apples, and pears. A little molasses and vanilla. Quite dry and tannic yet thick and reasonably chewy. Robust booze on the palate. Low key carbonation. Finishes semi-dry, with lingering burnt sugar and dark sour fruit notes.

I don't know ... Has ample depth of character yet not my favorite barleywine. Dare I say that this is overly nutty and sour, which produces a bit of a clash. YMMV.

Photo of bobsy
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canadian Brewing Awards beer of the year.

Pours a deep oak with a small hazy off white head that left some decent lace spots. Big sweet malt nose that screams toffee. Lots of brown sugar, some diacetyl and warmin alcohol. Just the part...

Good toffee taste, with a nice sweetness that combines well with the warming alcohol, but is also cut by the presence of some leafy hops. Really, really nice balance and a satisfying flavour. Chewy, smooth body is just right.

Hard to say whether this is the best beer in Canada, but its certainly a contender.

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Thor's Hammer Barley Wine from Central City Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.