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Samuel Smith Strong Golden Barley Wine - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith Strong Golden Barley WineSamuel Smith Strong Golden Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

35 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 16.62%
Wants: 22
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: saltydog on 07-09-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-27-2012 02:10:25 | More by t0rin0
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Thanks to bitterbill for this!

Best before end of July '09. 180 ml bottle, poured into a snifter.

The smell is grainy with a hint of caramel, fruity esters and some peppery alcohol.

The taste is of a cereal-like graininess with alcohol. A bit fruity with an herbal tinge. Honey and almond show as it progresses. Woody dryness in the finish.

It's a tad thin, falling short of full-bodied with a touch of fizz.

"Easy" enough for a 10%+ brew that shows the alcohol, though this small bottle is "enough".

03-02-2009 03:01:18 | More by jwc215
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%

Popped open a small, 2-year-old bottle I picked up in London. The clear gold beer had a short white head and light lacing. It held a big, soft honey and lavender taste with touches of bread and candy syrup. This maybe my favorite golden barleywine. The hops are nowhere to been seen or tasted, but the malts are luscious.

10-20-2011 00:44:42 | More by tempest
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.3/5  rDev -12.9%

180ml brown bottle, BB July 2007, served cool in a small wine goblet.

A: reddish amber hue like rose wine; no beer head, and very low fizziness. Pretty normal for a bottled English barley wine.
S: sour-sweet prunes, salt-preserved tangerine peels, and syrupy malts... pretty flat in aroma with a touch of alc. lurking in the background.
T: surprisingly effervescent on the texture... prune-wine, creamy amber malts, orange pickles, with a faint trace of moulded cheese. Slowly the Madeira-like woodiness and hop dryness comes forth, towards a semi-dry bitter aftertaste.
M&D: the mild fizziness keeps the texture lively enough for such a heavy drink, while the alc. is well hidden. A smooth barley wine it is, albeit with nothing special to write home about.

03-13-2007 01:15:20 | More by wl0307
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +14.2%

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

180ml Bottle
Best By: Jul 09

Poured into a tulip a very nice golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some minimal sticky lacing. The nose is malty, fruity, with some caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slightly fruity. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, thanks Bill.

02-24-2009 02:22:50 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%

Tiny bottle, thanks to Rob for sharing at his tasting.

Pours a clear orange, some amber, medium sized white head forms, settles down to a thin ring and layer, some lace spots on the glass, looks alright.

Smell is nice, lots of caramel, big fruitiness, apricots, a bit of funky Stingo character but lighter, honey and treacle, musty, peaches, pretty neat, alcohol is well hidden.

Taste is similar, big caramel and fruit note, apricot, touch of alcohol, wood, honey, peaches and apricot, very malty, a bit of mustiness, pretty nice stuff, very different.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light to medium carbonation, pretty drinkable for the ABV. Much better than Stingo. I kinda like this if a little weird. Thanks Rob!

12-03-2009 19:56:27 | More by Viggo
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%

Best by July 2009.

This pours from 180ml bottle a hazy amber red with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is all malty and fruity. It has a sweet nose to it I'm liking it.

The taste, yep, that's an English BWSA alright. Loads of caramel malt with some nice notes of bread bringing the sweets..hmm..I think I taste some honey as well, dark fruity goodness(prunes, raisins) some light fig, and there's even a bit of hop bitterness mostly near the finish. Very tasty.
I'm feeling some warmth after the swallow but it doesn't show up in the taste at all.

The mouthfeel is on the high side of light and it's lightly carbonated. Head retention is excelent and there's a ton of sticky lacing.

Drinkability? The 10.2%abv is definitely there but this one is packaged perfect for a single serving. 180ml...cute little bottle.

Bottom line: This is a very nice example of the style and I'm pleased as punch that I got to try it.

12-12-2008 23:43:22 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of stcules
stcules

Italy

1.83/5  rDev -51.7%

The color is probably a deep blonde, or maybe a light chestnut. Not so beautiful head, full of big bubble. No perlage.
Smell: well, pungent, but not in a good mode. Absolutely not inviting.
The taste: after a lightly alcoholic start, it vanishes quickly. Light warm, malty, and alocholic. But it fades away soon.
Some sweetish.
Just some wood hints in the aftertaste. But nothing to talk about. Not satisfatying.
It's a pity, because I had some expectation in a BW from Samuel Smith.

11-20-2006 21:58:19 | More by stcules
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.08/5  rDev -18.7%

A friend brought this small bottle back from Europe which I thought was very cool as I have been a Samuel Smith fan since before becoming a beer advocate. I do have to note that the bottle lists "seaweed finings" as an ingredient. WTF? Anyway, the appearance was the best part of this beer. It was a clear golden-ruby color with about twelve bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. It looked great. Unfortunately it smelled like hot alcohol. The taste was mostly alcohol along with a "Sam Smith" taste that I find in all their beers. This beer actually got worse as it warmed. I expected more out of Samuel Smith but I was still happy to have had this beer.

06-12-2007 16:19:01 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.53/5  rDev -6.9%

Tiny 180ml nip bottle bought from Tuckers Maltings... Best before date of July 07...

Poured a deep coppery amber colour. White head poured small, loose and frothy then faded quickly to wispy covering with slightly thicker edging... no carbonation at all... very light random lacing...

Aroma - Rich dark dried fruits (raisins, figs, dates, prunes), loads of sweet treacle and molasses, toasted bread, toffee, very noticeable alcohol - rum notes, overripe fruits (banana and apple), toasted nuts, slight trace of cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness, fruit loaf / Christmas cake...

Taste - A slight let down after the excellent aroma... lots of (harsh ?) warming alcohol to the fore followed by toasted bready malts, spicy dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, apples), peppery hops, some sulphur traces, nutty, oaky and vanilla traces, some anise...

Feel - Pretty smooth with a hint of sharpness coming through... medium / full bodied... a bit too alcoholic to be very drinkable - definitely a night cap brew...

Overall - A pretty decent Barleywine if slightly unbalanced - if only the taste had lived up to the aroma.... defintely worth a try though...

08-26-2008 14:25:54 | More by mdagnew
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%

1996 Vintage
Best before date of December 1997.

"Nip" sized bottle poured barely carbonated with large white bubbles when forced.
Body is tarnished brass and hazy.
Sweet and chewy in the nose, toffee laiden malt and fruits.
English hops meld with mild oxidation and yeastiness.
Finishes with a chaulky tartness and honey steeped juniper with apple peel.
Juicy and sweet on the pallet with coppery undertones.
A syrupy body reveals a tangerine malt character with a pleasing drying bitterness.
Finishes with spiced honey, tart grapes, and a whisper of warming cinnamon spiked alcohol.
The oxidation is a detraction after 9 years, and I don't think it was bottle conditioned.
Young, this beer was balanced and tasty, but never huge.
All things condsidered, it held up well.

05-19-2005 23:54:48 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

Cute 180ml bottle. 2010
Found in the small beer/wine section of the small convenience store next to our hotel in County Hall, Westminster.
Served in a globe-shaped glass.
It pours an oily golden color with a thin white head along with small specks of lacing.
A fumy Triple Sec-like aroma blasts out of the glass at first pour. Sweet doughy malt smells follow close behind. Wonderful fruit and citrus notes play nicely off the maltiness. A light smell of peppery spice floats in late.
The flavors mirror the aromas very closely. Add a taste of toffee and a somewhat harsh vodka-like warming alcohol taste in the breath.
The mouthfeel is a little syrupy, but that was to be expected.
I wanted to find another bottle the next night, but I guess I got the last one. I do count my blessings though for having stumbled upon a rare find.

01-21-2012 22:15:16 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -13.5%

Teensy tiny 180ml bottle, 2008 vintage, brought by bobsy to his own barleywine tasting - thanks Rob and sorry to hog it!

Pours a crystal clear light golden honey color with almost glints of pink. Not much head.

Reminds me quite a bit of the Stingo which I had earlier, same kinda weird apple and grain combo. Hints of honey, yeasty bun dough, lemon pudding, light grassy hopping, tartness in the finish along with the faintest alcohol bite. Pretty damn smooth drinking though for over 10%, the flavors just don't seem to jive together and it reminds me of no other barleywine I've had - just odd. Not bad, just not great. Sammy Smith's standard brews seem better put together than their smaller line-up.

11-30-2009 17:46:20 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +16.1%

A clean dark copper beer. Has a small off white head. Solid Toffee character dominates the aroma up front with a light hint of dried fruitand the alcohol settleing in on the backside. WOW. That toffee character again dominates the taste with that lovely balance of dried fruit and a nice warm alcohol note.

I purchased 6 of these on a trip to England a year and a half ago. I have give all the others away as gifts. I wish I had bought a case.
I poured this in my Rapscallion glass to get the full aroma.

01-31-2006 00:48:49 | More by ybnorml
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.13/5  rDev +9%

Poured into a snifter, this unusually light barleywine shines a pleasant bronze topaz with a full, solid, and short-lived head. The boozy aroma is redolent of fruit and honey, with notes of plum wine, apricots, limoncello, lowland whisky, solvents, rum, and vanilla. Sweet yet balanced to the taste; full of butterscotch, maple, and toffee, with a surprisingly sharp hop bite adding lovely notes of pine and woody resin. The sharpness is heightened by a slap of alcohol that carries a light, warming burn; it borders on aggressive, but there is enough character in this beer that it doesn't come through as overwhelming. The mouthfeel is lush yet sparkly, fitting the sweet yet spicy flavor very well. Excellent stuff that slides down surprisingly easily even though the 10.2% alcohol is quite noticeable. A nice nightcap beer.

06-22-2009 09:00:19 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4/5  rDev +5.5%

180ml nip bottle served in a Dobbelen tulip, opened with my newly acquired Beeradvocate opener

Pours with a rich copper body. A few reddy rusty hints, very small but tight head forms with fair retention. Some little yeasty patches forming, tiny bubbles of lacing up and down the glass only very few though

Smell, strong whiff of whiskyesque vapours, thick and syrupy esters of raisins and prunes, steamed golden syrup pudding. A touch of banana and apricot, heady alcohol aroma really kicks the aromatic spicy fruit into touch. Bourbon and molasses come into play with a thick sticky malt extract character floating around in the background, like diet JW Lees in some respects as far as the nose goes. Some spicy alcoholic nutmeg and cinnamon on the finish

Taste, almost tobacco tar like bitterness, very boozy and fairly thin mouthfeel for a beer of this size. The dried and fresh fruit comes through supported by the alcohol, spicy almost orange and grapefruit like zestiness. Bready, sticky, golden syrup malt character, lots of slightly harsh acetonic alcoholic flavours, slight weak hop bitterness on the finish and left on the palette along with a slightly greasy residue

Seems to be a bit of a hit or miss ale on here. I really wasn't sure quite what to expect but I was pleasantly suprised. The aromas are quite pungent and gratifying whilst the flavour is maybe a little lacking for a beer of this size. The overly evident alcohol is definitely a problem in many regards although its not enough to detract you from at least trying this beer once. I found it for £1.09 for a 180ml nip and at that price its definitely worth the money. A rare and slightly bizarre offering from Samuel Smith, that said worth a try.

05-27-2007 01:14:12 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Traquairlover
Traquairlover

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%

Thanks to Bitterbill for this one.

180ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very slightly translucent honey gold with a frothy but small bone white head that recedes slowly and settles into a thin layer of foam on surface.

S = Cinnamon bun dough, honey, some floral and nutty scents.

T = Tastes of honey, cinnamon bread, light caramel toffee, almost like a spiced mead but with sharper bitterness. Very interesting flavors and a long sweet finish.

M = Medium body, stinging carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = This is a sipper, but it is very good and I would gladly have another.

05-01-2009 20:14:37 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

Purchased off Toronado's bottle list. 180ml bottle with a July '09 "expiration date." Poured into a tasting glass.

A-Pours an appetizing cider-esque amber color with a thin ring of tiny white bubbles.

S-Musty, with aromas of apple and baking spices.

T/M-A pretty straightforward English Barleywine. You'd never know it was 10.2%ABV. Malty and sweet with a pleasant musty sweetness. The finish is buttery and a bit slick, with minimal carbonation.

D-Happy to finally try this one. It's solid, but nothing amazing. Will try it again in a year.

11-14-2010 03:58:03 | More by DaveHS
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

Poured into a 30cl pilsner flute

A- Dark copper, altbier like body, with an explosive cream head due to the shape of the glass, retains head well for the abv

S- Cinnamon, vanilla, christmas cake, fresh bready malts, toffee, caramel, prunes

T- Prunes and christmas cake, raisins up front, with a nice warming alcohol but slightly quick finish, not a lot of aftertaste here.

M- Moderate carbonation, full body

D- Obviously a sipper nightcap beer. Enjoyable but expecting more in the taste after the glorious smells.

03-01-2008 22:13:50 | More by seanyfo
Photo of rvdoorn
rvdoorn

Netherlands

4.68/5  rDev +23.5%

Finally, I managed to get my hands on a bottle of this difficult to find beer again. I don't know why, but the last months it was impossible to find in the Netherlands... Anyhow, to celebrate, I decided to open it. I poured the beer into a sniffer. The beer pours a bright deep copper-amber color with a small white head that disappears fast.

Smell: Wow, what a great smell, dried fruits (plum raisin fig), caramel, cookies (yeast) and warming alcohol.One of the best smelling beers I ever had. I could spend the whole evening smelling it....

Taste: very similar to the smell, sweet fruits again (plums, hints of bananas), caramel, warming alcohol (becomes a bit too strong for my taste when the beer warms up too much) and an aftertaste of nice medium-bitter malts. The bitterness and sweetness of this beer are perfectly balanced, impressive.

Mouthfeel: The beer is relatively thick, with medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth.

Overall: A great beer. In knew in advance that this is one of the most traditional barley wines out there, and one can taste the long lasting history. Everything is perfectly balanced, probably optimized over time! As mentioned by another reviewer, this is no complicated mud as most other barley wines out there. This one is simple but very good. Without any doubt my favorite barley wine until now. Highly recommendable

08-26-2009 17:02:43 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of bleedsblu
bleedsblu

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%

06-04-2014 21:49:58 | More by bleedsblu
Photo of PartyBear
PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a room temperature 180ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Light reddish colour, like a whiskey. Small white head, with a lot of carbonation.

Aroma: Heavy on the alcohol, with warming malts, and hints of maple syrup. Quite fruity, possible banana, and figs.

Taste: Initially sweet in flavours, brown sugar, caramel, candy floss, molasses. This is followed by slightly grainy biscuity middle, which leads into a finish that is dominated by warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, oily, and warming.

Drinkability: A great barleywine, definitely up there with the like of Thomas Hardy ale, and J.E. Lees Harvest Ale. Perfectly balanced warming barleywine.

09-18-2009 21:25:47 | More by PartyBear
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
BigMcLargeHuge

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

Courtesy of RB's very own madmitch76. The 6oz bottle pours crystal clear copper with gold edges and thin off white head. The aroma is full bringing up a rich combination of sweet caramel candy and dark fruity esters like dates, prunes, boysenberries and figs. Each draw ends with a touch of alcohol heat. Smells yum! The taste is very similar with a medium body ushering in rich caramel goodness mixing with dark fruity esters. It dries out a bit to midway with a touch of roasted malts and fading caramel and sweet dark fruity esters. It ends with lingering sweet caramel, prunes, dates and ripe cherries. Nice stuff.

10-07-2009 15:43:05 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance is very sexy indeed with cloudy golden amber leaning on chestnut

Smell is of sweet caramel and honey with some floral hops. There s also herbs and spices with some grapes and apples in the background.

The taste is of much the same but somewhat tainted by a persistent sourness in the background.

The mouthfeel is creamy yet refreshing and I could drink this all day if it weren t for the lambic style sourness

10-11-2009 16:19:33 | More by DerBayer
Photo of swizzlenuts
swizzlenuts

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

The beer pours a dark red with a good sized head. The head goes away pretty quickly and leaves a nice ring; there is also a nice bit of carbonation.

It has a bit of the fruitiness that usual barley wines have, but it smells kind of diluted. The beer has the usual plums flavours and the sweetness that most barley wines have but, the alcohol is very present at the end with a slight bit of bitterness. The flavour is actually kind of weak, compared to most barley wines. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick, but not as much as most barley wines, seems a bit watery than most.

It's drinkable, but I don't think it'd be worth having another.

05-19-2008 17:51:16 | More by swizzlenuts
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Samuel Smith Strong Golden Barley Wine from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
85 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.