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Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley Wine - Central City Brewers + Distillers

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley WineBourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

18 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 18
Hads: 47
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 9
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 06-10-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 18 | Hads: 47
Reviews by Jeffo:
Photo of Jeffo
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager a while back. Huge thanks for this one set dude!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2012
Bottle 114 of 348
Drunk along side the base beer.

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. Exactly the same as the base beer.

SMELL: Caramel malts with lots of fruity aromas. Dried fruits, red fruits, berries, raspberries, toffee aromas and spicy alcohol on the nose. Very much the same as the base, but with some light oak and bourbon mingling with the aroma from the base beer. Great balance, complex and quite interesting. Really nice.

TASTE: All the base beer elements under a blanket of bourbon, oak and vanilla. This is a great example of a barrel aged barleywine. Some nice caramel and toffee sweetness, with dried fruits and spicy alcohol in there as well. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and coconut from the barrel aging dance with the sweet caramel and toffee, dried fruits and brown sugars from the base barleywine. Very well balanced with a wonderfully flavorful and lingering finish. Less hot and the barrel aging has made the sweetness more manageable somehow. Excellent stuff.

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. Very little heat lingers.

OVERALL: Here is an example of barrel aging really done well. The bourbon and oak flavors compliment the sweet base beer really nicely, taming the heat and managing the sweetness wonderfully. Very well balanced with a great feel for the style, this is one well worth seeking out. I hope to see this stuff again sometime, and if you get the chance, don't hesitate to give it a shot. Well worth the effort and very much recommended. Thanks again Rutager. Pure class here.

 1,961 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of mchegash
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Deep ruby-brown with about a finger of medium tan head which dissipates down to a thin layer within a minute or two.

S: Great boozy nose with hints of dried red fruits. Perhaps a hint of vanilla as well.

T: Opens with a great boozy vanilla and bourbon taste, with the dried fruit aspects coming out strong in the latter half of the sip. A rich and slightly nutty malt taste also comes through.

F: Medium-full bodied, light carbonation. Smooth.

O: This was a decent beer. Perhaps a little too boozy.

 505 characters

Photo of Coronaeus
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage (11.5% ABV) 650 ml bottle

A pleasant, albeit boozy bourbon barrel barley wine. Lots of dried fruits and prune and a little nuttiness in this. The barrel wood is present in the nose. Mild carbonation with the sweetness expected in the style. I would gladly drink this again.

 290 characters

Photo of BCborn
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of LDuke
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of samtrillo
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, day 22 of the Parallel 49/Central City Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown. Saving the better stuff for last, it would seem.

This beer pours a murky, dark dishwater brown colour, with one measly finger of weakly foamy, and generally bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of melting iceberg lace around the glass as things, slowly, slowly recede.

It smells of rather acerbic booze-tinged barrel notes - cheap American rye whiskey, grainy wooden staves, and a subdued caramel/vanilla sweetness - mixed 'n matched black orchard fruit, demarara sugar, sultana raisins, molasses, relatively weak bready caramel malt, a certain underdeveloped mustiness, and mild earthy, weedy, and leafy hops. The taste is again replete with more of a Jack Daniels corn whiskey astringency, one which I don't feel the need to pick apart here, over an otherwise enjoyable grainy, bready, and somewhat doughy caramel maltiness, with some soft plum and besotted raisin and cherry fruit, dark sugar syrup, understated musty yeast, and a game, but overmatched leafy, weedy hoppiness.

The bubbles are quite low and out of the picture for the most part, the body a dense medium weight, and more smooth than I might have initially imagined - only the booze seems poised to take away the nice things here. It finishes on the sweet side, natch, but very much in the form of a shot of bargain whiskey, where a lot of alcohol gagging comes along as part of the deal.

Hmmmmm...not all that much of a well-rendered BBA BW experience - mostly because I question the veracity of the 'Bourbon' part of the equation (look it up). Acrid, astringent, and not integrated to a point where I can sit back, sip away, and say 'right-o lads, now how about that economy of ours?'.

 1,748 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pagesofphotographs
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of souvenirs
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full disclosure: I haven't been a fan of barrel-aged beers so far, and I didn't choose this one to drink, but instead got it as part of the Parallel 49 / Central City advent calendar.

A: Chestnut brown, minimal head.
S: Boozy. Mostly I pick up the bourbon.
T: Sweet and heavily alcoholic.
F: A bit heavier. Carbonation on the lighter side.
O: Hardly my new favourite, but it's probably good for what it is.

 410 characters

Photo of Mightykingmalard
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: pours very dark brown, with almost no head. Pours almost like chocolate milk.

S: smells sweet and malty. Definite bourbon smell.

T: strong chocolate and bourbon. Drinks very different from most bba barleywines and I think it's that the carbonation is very low. Almost takes some of the bite out of it and makes it very smooth.

M: again with the lowered carbonation, but it is very smooth and the finish is slightly boozy and very rich. I feel this is a very easy aged barleywine to drink, probably dangerously so.

O: picked this up on a whim, had never seen it not heard of it but this is a pretty nice beer. Has a completely different feel from most barrel aged barleywines. Also almost no hops makes it smooth too. I feel this would get very caramelly with age.

 774 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #106.

Appearance. Pours a murky orangy-brown with almost a finger of thick, orange tinted head.

Smell. Sweet bourbon and brown sugar, piney hops, some oaky vanilla and a little citrus.

Taste. Sweet brown sugar, some piney hops, raisins and caramel. The finish has some bitter, woody pine resin and bourbon.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied, warm and a bit sticky. Medium-low fine carbonation.

Overall. A nice barleywine that could probably mellow with some time. I prefer the base beer, but bourbon barrel junkies would probably really enjoy this.

 551 characters

Photo of mtomlins
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Beervana for the bottle!
650ml bottle - 2013 Vintage 11.5%

Pours dark brown with a short one finger of fizzy, caramel head with short retention and no lacing. Big wack of boozy bourbon and vanilla followed by raisins, plumes, brown sugar, molasses. The taste is also booze soaked with a big bourbon and vanilla presence, lots of residual malt sweetness, brown sugar, raisins, prunes and finishes with a faint bitter, metalic aftertaste. A big thin on the feel with low (but not in a bad way) carbonation. A nice beer, but still a bit all over the place.

 568 characters

Photo of DamageCase76
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sia478
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Birmz
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Idrankthat
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BWood
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of goalie35
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Derek
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour a nice head, thin ring of retention shows some lace.

Vinous aroma with bourbon, figs and dates.

Taste is fairly boozy and a little brash. Demerara sugar, golden raisins, dates, figs, with a woodsy finish.

Body is extremely smooth and creamy, light residual sweetness with a drying finish.

 296 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Terrific barrel-aged barleywine, well balanced and showing good but not dominating barrel character. Rich caramel and brown sugar maltiness, lesser fruity notes, very mildly bitter on the back end but enough to clean things up a bit and keep the beer from cloying. Med-full bodied with medium carbonation, smooth and only slightly syrupy.

I'm a huge fan of this style and this one sticks out for being so harmonious and so down right tasty. I finished the bomber pretty easily but then again, I seem to be able to do that these days...

Major knock for being a real eyesore, super murky brown swamp water color....small cream colored head that despite sufficient carbonation doesn't hang around for more than a few seconds, and no lacing. Nonetheless I would absolutely buy this one again if I see it. Recommended for fans of the English BW style.

 849 characters

Photo of Ericbeech_87
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IMFletcher
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

There's good flavors in here, but they're masked by an overwhelming barrel presence.

84 characters

Photo of Howlader
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley Wine from Central City Brewers + Distillers
86 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.