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Cucapá Barleywine - Cucapá Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cucapá BarleywineCucapá Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 18
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cucapá Brewing Company visit their website
Mexico

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This one was retired, although the Cucapá guys decided to brew it as a Winter seasonal.

The bottle was changed, though

(Beer added by: rallison on 01-28-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by scottoale:
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. green champagne bottle with gold foil over bottle cap and neck. It pours a darkish amber-copper with good clarity and a finger thick, creamy beige foam. Good carbonation and decent head retention. The head fluffs back up with a few swirls of the tulip while enhancing the aroma.

Smells of sweet bisquity malt, vanilla, earth and oak. As it warms a bit, molasses comes through...sweet malty brew with some earthiness.

The flavor doesn't disappoint, starting off full of malty goodness. Not too sweet bisquit doughy malt with notes of molasses and vanilla that soon turn tobacco like with oak tannins and some earthy hops. From there to the finish the hops bitter things nicely, bringing a solid balance to the big brew. The alcohol is there but never makes a spectacle of itself. A very well composed barleywine here.

Fairly full body with active carbonation from start to finish, I didn't see this in the brew on tap which had very subtle carbonation. I definetely prefer this bottled version to the draft version which I have had several times in the past.

A very drinkable and solid barleywine that I will happily buy again in the future...and brewed in Mexico!

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 18:51:23 | More by scottoale
More User Reviews:
Photo of rderedin
rderedin

Maine

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

10-16-2013 00:03:51 | More by rderedin
Photo of jazztoloc
jazztoloc

Mexico

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

05-04-2013 02:10:03 | More by jazztoloc
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

09-18-2012 02:26:15 | More by t0rin0
Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
ObiWanKushnobi

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +2.3%

08-20-2012 02:46:27 | More by ObiWanKushnobi
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a small tan head. Sweet and fruity on the nose with plenty of caramel, sugar, and toffee. A light toastiness, some floral hops, and a hint of alcohol. The flavor has a mild bitterness, alcohol, and lots of malt notes. Some toasted bread, caramel, and toffee notes. A light fruitiness to the beer, which I find enjoyable. Not bad, but not my favorite either.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 18:13:39 | More by womencantsail
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a good barleywine, for the most part. I think it's positive attributes are mostly that it is a beer with "potential." With that in mind, it seems like it could use several more years of age to mellow and even it out. Too sweet and malty in a bright kind of way. Needs to be rounded out. For what it is now, it is still fairly good. But I do feel like some age, and maybe some recipe tweaking, could make an even nicer brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 16:47:19 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of davidtarantino
davidtarantino

Mexico

4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

04-29-2012 08:48:11 | More by davidtarantino
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a slightly cloudy medium to dark red amber. Active lively thin off-white head forms on pouring, but dissipates rapidly, leaving no trace nor lacing. Aroma has all the barley wine characteristics, sweet caramel malt, dark and dried fruit. Flavor follows, dominated by sweet malt, dark fruit and alcohol. Finishes with hints of vanilla, whiskey barrel and moderate hops. Medium bodied, but the lack of carbonation detracts from the overall mouth feel. A nice barley wine with no real stand out qualities. A bit more carbonation and less booziness would bring out the good flavor a bit more. Glad I tried this and hopefully a promising hint of good things to come from south of the border.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 03:33:10 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, alcohol, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is the same with a dry hop finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but it smells better than it tastes. It's interesting to see a barleywine coming out of Mexico for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 03:04:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of karait95
karait95

Mexico

4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: excellent looking, a very dark amber color more like reddish brown, good head formed by light brown mixed bubbles, dissipates not fast and leaves traces behind on the glass. Carbonation is medium and body looks also medium.

S: alcohol and some dark fruits are sensed at once but hops are not to hidden behind for a penetrating aroma.

T: flavor is very good, it is balanced between malts, fruits and hops but alcohol and hops are the main part, as expected for the style this one is complex for the palette.

M: this starts with some sweetness that changes very quickly into bittersweet and at last a long bitter ending.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 03:59:30 | More by karait95
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jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -23.3%

12-09-2011 04:32:18 | More by jophish17
Photo of spatendan
spatendan

California

5/5  rDev +27.9%

12-07-2011 23:32:19 | More by spatendan
Photo of seand
seand

California

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear red amber, with a fair amount of light tan head. Not much retains - just a couple spots of film on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass - but it's enough to leave small spots of lacing.

S: Rich, thick, nutty sweetness. Some leather, and a lightly burnt bitter note.

T: Very sweet and very boozy. Finishes with a heavy burnt bitter not that is also somewhat floral; relatively dry.

M: Full body, low to medium but prickly carbonation.

Overall it's not bad. Certainly unlike any other beer I've tried from Mexico. I'm not a huge fan of the flavor mix - it's a little too burnt - but that may just be personal preference.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 02:59:48 | More by seand
Photo of Vanlingleipa
Vanlingleipa

California

4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This barleywine's taste is soft compared to most barleywines and that's a relief. Too often, my tastebuds feel battered by the intensity and denseness of several other barleywines that approach the strength and consistency of syrup concentrate.

The Cucapa BW is thin only by comparison to the black holes of the barleywine world, however, it doesn't lack flavor. There is a brightness to the roasted malt/molasses that is the dominant flavor here - bright and strong, but not to the point of overkill. A slight edge of bitter hops comes in towards the end and lingers, a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the malt and molasses.

Everything said and done and tasted, this is a quality brew - the first I've ever sampled from Mexico. Tip of the hat and I'm looking forward to trying their other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 21:39:18 | More by Vanlingleipa
Photo of Trilogy31
Trilogy31

California

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy chestnut with a creamy off white brownish seafoam head leaving no lacing. The nose brings rich nougat, prunes, bourbon booze, sweet caramel and a light port character. The nose is full blown sweet caramel and bourbon barrel, vanilla and finishes with pleasant hop bitterness which cuts the sweetness - though as it warms it really begins to show its booze and the balance is a bit lost. A nice beer and one i would never guess its "terrior".

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 06:35:01 | More by Trilogy31
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark pecan brown that becomes blurry blood orange when backlit with morning sunshine. The golden sandstone colored cascading crown has settled out to becomes a thick slab of sponge-like foam that is hanging around for an impressive length of time.

Caramel malt (dominant by far) and assorted fruits make up the nose. Along with dates and figs, there's a hint from citrus zest buried way down deep. This one could go either way on the palate.

For starters, Cucapa Barley Wine Ale is waaay too thin. The flavors seem fine in the first few sips, but with such a massive malt deficit, they don't have the opporunity to sink in and truly impress. Here's hoping that the passage of time and the loss of the slight starting chill will work some magic.

It might be the mouthfeel, but this CBC offering seems more like an English barleywine than an American one. Specifics include tons of steely caramel, (not that sweet) brown sugar, a surprising amount of anise/black licorice, ripe figs, a splash of tangy citrus juice and a half-splash of white rum. Sneakily complex beer here.

By the bottom of the first glass... if we think of this as an aged English barleywine... and round up... the mouthfeel ekes out an above-average score. The barely audible escape of CO2 on crown cracking was worrisome, but the carbonation is both fine and dandy.

Cucapa Barley Wine Ale is interesting beer that is growing on me with each successive sip. Is it the best that the country of Mexico has to offer? Bohemia is pretty solid, but with respect to big beer... yeah, it just might be.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 12:35:57 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, mostly opaque maroon, fading to notes of burnt orange at the edges. It’s crowned with a fizzy, dense head of khaki that disappears quickly, become a large, frothy ring. Not much in the way of lace.

In the nose I get sweet grape juice and deeper notes of dates, along with some orange peel, toasted pumpernickel and a hint of alcohol. Not terribly complex, but a decent barleywine aroma.

The bottle claims that “since its conception it has been rated as the best beer that Mexico has ever produced.” I’d assume this is akin to being the best football player to ever come out of Pahrump, but I’ll lend that it is rather enjoyable. I get a deep, figgy sweetness that blends with bitter orange peel, toasty bread, some molasses and even a port-like character. The finish is clean, with just a hint of lingering citric bitterness on the sides of the tongue. It’s not bad, but rather delicately flavored for a barleywine. I’m afraid the chicken dinner I’m eating alongside might overpower it.

Peppery medium-light carbonation amidst a pleasant medium body. The amazing thing here is the alcohol, or lack thereof — I can’t pick up a trace of it except the number it’s doing on my head.

Gracias, Cucapa! Whereas most Mexican beers taste like they were brewed with the water we’re told never to drink, you've managed to produce a very approachable barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 02:02:34 | More by Phelps
Photo of madpentzer
madpentzer

California

3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed off notes from a tasting at Beer U: Craft Beer Around the World at Stone Brewery.

Appearance - Poured a dark amber with a finger of head.

Smell - Could smell the alcohol up front followed by some citrusy hops and sweet malt. The sweet smell almost smelled sugary.

Taste - Lots of hops, malt and alcohol. A complete assault on the taste buds. I tend to like barley wine's that have been aged at least a year if not more, and I'm sure the taste would be better if this wasn't so fresh.

Mouthfeel - Thick and sticky, this one is definitely a sipper.

Overall - A very good barley wine, but would be much better with age on it IMO.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 21:59:35 | More by madpentzer
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a capped 750 ml. bottle into a wine glass. Shows a deep copper to light brown in color with highlights of crimson with a bit of an orange hue. Half inch cap of tan foam settles to a light cap, offering spotty lace.

Notes of caramel and brown sugar are nicely muddled with dried fruits and some peaty alcohol notes. Fairly well balanced and pleasant, albeit a touch light as for typical volatility. Hops aren't a major player for this offering.

The taste is a surprise given the aroma, with caramel and some candied orange covered with a bit of dilute chocolate licqueur. Offers a moderate feel which becomes notably fuller with some warming. Bit of hop/chocolate spice on the finish lingers moderately.

Smooth and citrus sweet with orange/tangerine yet not thick or cloying at all. ABV noted in the aroma but otherwise well cloaked making this a rather quaffable brew of sipping strength. More English in style as a Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 03:28:57 | More by HalfFull
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a deep, dark amber-brown with a thick, foamy light brown/tan head that disappears very quickly. The beer has heavy malt and barley smells, as well as sugar/molasses and alcohol highlights, balanced with some very faint spices. The beer tastes very rich and dark, with forward flavors of sweet wine, dark malt, molasses, and roasted barley. The beer is very full and round in mouth, with a hint of sour undertones. It finishes fairly smoothly, with a sweet and sour aftertaste. The roasted notes also tag through into the aftertaste. Pretty drinkable, despite the robust feel and body of the beer and flavors. Helps to go along with some food that can balance the flavors, like extremely spicy fare.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 03:10:51 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours the color of burnt orange peels, with ruby highlights and an inch or so of creamy, khaki colored head. Leaves almost no lacing, just a few traces of streaky foam cling to the glass.

S- Aromas of burnt caramel, roasted peanuts, figs, butterscotch and biscuity malt.

T/M-The first sip is doughy and sweet, with a touch of booziness. This soon yields to mouth coating earthiness, reminiscent of old leather, stale tobacco, and musty old wood. An undercurrent of hoppy bitterness runs from beginning to end, keeping the butterscotch sweetness from overwhelming the more subtle flavors. The finish is piney and bitter. My one problem with this beer is that the finish is unrefined. It's on the boozy side, and this serves to amplify the bitterness, making what should be a lush, lingering finish dry and somewhat abrupt.

D- I think a year or two in the bottle would smooth things out. This is a minor complaint, considering how many other elements are successful.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 19:25:47 | More by DaveHS
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra in a trade. Thanks Matt. 750ml bottle...

A: it looks like super dark murky iced tea that's hard to see through. Small tan head that quickly fades to a lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: Kind of a little watery caramel toffee upfront blended with some malty banana in the middle. Some faint raisin on the backend. Decent.

T: Heavy caramel sugar malts upfront. Blended with some nice boozy raisin. Hints of almost a bready cracker taste on the backemd. This is surprisingly good. Very good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation feel. Very good.

D: This is surprisingly easy to drink with the abv.

All in all, this is a good brew. Solid barleywine for sure. I would definitely try this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 22:35:18 | More by steve8robin
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 750ml Bottle; Sampled October 2010
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a two-finger thick, richly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber / red color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry-red hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of caramel coated hazel nuts and concentrated dried fruit laden holiday sweet breads. Some light herbal notes in the finish hint at once more present hop aromas and there is a light, almost caramelized / candied citrus character barely noticeable in the finish (this was clearly never an overly aggressively hopped Barley Wine though). At off angles this beer does pick up a solid menthol and herbaceous hop character, though this can be somewhat fleeting. Notes of something like allspice, intermingle with a really rich, toasted maltiness that has aged into a really nice nutty quality. The aroma is actually somewhat muted for what I would expect from a Barley Wine, but it is really nice and complex.

Thick and rich feeling as it hits my tongue, it has a light'ish sweetness that is mostly caramelized up front, but it finishes with a really unexpected, phenolic smokiness. I don't think the smokiness was intended here, but it is just harsh enough that it could be from Peat-smoked malt, but my guess is that something else has taken hold here. The smokiness leans a bit towards plastic at times, though it is not so strong that it dominates everything in this beer. This has a nice, light herbal character here; somewhat grassy, not really quite menthol like, with the aged malt it really sort of reminds me of tobacco and perhaps some leather notes. There is a fairly solid bitterness here, but this is clearly a malt accented beer as this is what dominates the finish and palate; the beer clings to the palate long after each sip with a rich caramelized heft and this is clearly a sipping, contemplative brew.

A bit weird in the end; the smoky plastic character is definitely a bit out of place and it might explain why the aroma was a bit more muted than I expected. Still this is actually fairly enjoyable & even the smokiness adds something at times.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 03:13:24 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
BigMcLargeHuge

Arizona

4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of ratebeer's jarspag. Thanks Jared. Pours amber with ruby edges and tan head. The aroma is sweet English style barleywine with caramel covered red apples, prunes and dates as well as some yummy molasses. The taste is smooth and sweet with malts, caramel and some muted yet bitter pine hops. It seems to smell like an English style but tastes like the hoppy American style barleywine. Very nice stuff either way in my book.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 03:57:33 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
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Cucapá Barleywine from Cucapá Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.