1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Woolly Bugger - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Woolly BuggerWoolly Bugger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

63 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 7.71%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 01-03-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

187 ml bottle from the brewery, seeing how it is after 2 years' release, 29th month of life. Poured a brownish body without any head. Looks and taste like rich malt, slightly boozy aroma and there is alcohol warming in the taste, with a bit of booze in the aftertaste. Certainly hits its style, more British in experience, the hops have integrated giving it an understated citrus taste, overpowered by toffee and some butterscotch.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 01:02:10 | More by Sammy
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy copper color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry caramelized sugars with light grainy cereal notes. Taste is dominated by load of dry caramelized residual sugars notes with some grainy cereal notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting take on the English-style barleywine but sadly feels a bit short on the complexity front.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 04:10:26 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

11-30-2013 05:54:44 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle, with some particularly difficult to read script below the label title, which describes what the hell a 'Woolly Bugger' is, at least in fishing terms.

This beer pours a somewhat murky, dark red-brick amber hue, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and generally bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of bready, and kind of biscuity caramel malt, a hard water minerality, muddled black fruit, a touch of crystalline brown sugar, and earthy, leafy, and perfumed hops. The taste is more bready caramel malt, this time with a touch of savoury, leafy spice that points me towards gingerbread or zucchini loaf, peppy dark fruit - in the vein of musty figs and dried cherries - edgy grassy and earthy hops, with a growing alcohol insurgency.

The carbonation is pretty low-key, just a heady frothiness throughout, the body medium-full in weight, and mostly smooth, just a mild alcohol tightness slowly evolving as things get on. It finishes on the sweet side, but in a tempered manner, the lingering caramel/toffee malt notes still facing enough musty, earthy hops, weak black fruit, and bristling alcohol to keep things just this side of sane.

Truly bang-on for the style, no truck or apology given for being veritably British, rather than the admittedly more sexy Yankee version - so, whatevs. Speaking of all things anglophile, I likes me my ESBs, and this seems very much like the imperialized, boozed up, doubled, however you choose to term it, example of such an imaginary beast. Glad I finally got to try it, without having to sacrifice suitcase/bar stool space on my imminent BC beer pilgrimage.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 04:39:09 | More by biboergosum
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a clear camber-copperish color with cr8imson like hghlights, nice dirty white cap tops it off, good amoutn of bubbles and lacing. Pretty good looking beer for a style that is typically lower in carbonation and head yield

S: Toffee, caramel, some dark fruits, nice sweetness, light booze breezes the nose, sordove Earthy

T: Taste is very similar to the nose. Some fruits, caramel, toffee, Earthy notes upfront with some manageable heat. Underlying is a nice breadiness with some cocoa, hazlenut and residual sugary sweetness

M: Full bodied, a nice syrpuy like slickness to this beauty which rolls over the tongue, clinging to the palate releasing sugary sweetness, and bookoo flavor

O: Solid! I wuld love to find some more of these.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 14:15:01 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Woolly Bugger - named after an artificial fly fishing lure - isn't the most appealing sounding name for a beer. Indeed, the ale itself is not only racked with sediment but is both lusterless (no shine or highlights) as well as listless (no bubbles or head). This thing won't catch you anything.

I know from already having drunk half of it that Woolly Bugger is a rich, malty, and nuanced beer - but I still don't get any of that from the aroma, even having allowed it to warm to room temperature. There's either not much of a bouquet or else my nose is stuffed up (which it isn't, I feel fine). The only things I sense are small quantities of toffee and dried fruits.

Most people I know prefer American renditions of the Barleywine style. Though brewed in the English tradition, Woolly Bugger is still likely to please most modern, North American palates given how much resiny, herbal flavour (plus 75 IBUs) they've managed to steep from the (somewhat unsexy) hop bill of Nugget, Fuggles, and Goldings. This has enough leafiness and 'raw green pellet' taste to conjure to mind images of rabbit food.

Of course, it also has - in even greater abundance - the maltiness to instill thoughts of nut brittle, rum cake, fruit cake, sticky toffee pudding, and all manner of English confections. All that caramelly grain combines with the esters and 10.5% alcohol to include a cinnamon-driven stewed apple/mulled cider and orange liqueur taste in the backdrop, something easily overlooked by all the sweet treats upfront. There's only moderate depth but absolute quaffability.

Just as Pumpkineater is a great fall-time treat and King Heffy is an ultimate summer quencher, Woolly Bugger is rich, malty, and satiating enough to remedy all the cold and darkness of a harsh winter (still its spiced rum cake notes and toffee-laced maltiness make it sumptuous enough to want to just chug back). While a candidate for no more than short-term cellaring, this is nonetheless something you want on-hand in case the snow starts falling or the power goes out.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 23:33:36 | More by biegaman
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub. Awesome.

Deep amber with a very light tan head, ring of retention, great lace.

Caramelized raisins, figs, field berries and some alcohol in the nose.

Raisins, figs, blackberry, toffee & caramel with a solid bitterness and a hint of orange rind.

Slight residual sweetness with a slightly drying alcohol finish. A divine sipper.

Very well-crafted. Plenty of depth and not the least bit over-bearing. It doesn't seem boozy at all.

Probably the best English barley wine I've had. Very impressed.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2012 01:40:11 | More by Derek
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into tulip 22/4/12

A clear dark amber leaning towards a maroon glow, nice dense beige head's only a pinky's width but it stick around for a while leaving a few partial rings of lace

S nutty caramel is quite strong, a little candied cherry, molasses, herbal hops, and I don't know where the 11% is hiding

T tastes similar to the smell with some sweet bread and a slight earthy taste and hazelnut on the finish, still no booze at all, some hops but a malt bomb without doubt and that's working well for it

M thick syrupy goodness, sticky on the lips with mellow carbonation that gives it some life, zero heat is impressive for a fresh 11% BW

O another example of .25 being used if available, pretty solid stuff for a BW this young with a great feel, no booze detected and solid in all areas

thanks EskimoDave and chickenm as they both ended up sending me a bottle, a nice English BW and I'm stoked I have another bottle to age

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 23:45:50 | More by wordemupg
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.5%

12-15-2013 06:29:07 | More by liamt07
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a slightly hazy medium caramel amber. Classic barleywine aroma of caramel malt, dark and dried fruit, slightly nutty and a hint of toasted malt. Flavor is a nice dry caramel, dried dark fruit, molasses, caramel and bready malt, light vanilla. Finishes with dry biscuit malt and grassy hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A very nice classic English barleywine. I hope to get another one to cellar.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 05:10:23 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this one. December 2011 release. Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Medium murky brown with a big amber glow around the edges. Half a finger of light brown head that receded to a think layer.

S - Big sweet caramel aroma up front, some toffee, raisins and hints of dark fruit.

T - Big sweetness up front with massive toffee, caramel and burnt sugar flavours. A good hop bitterness throughout. Some light floral and raisin flavours are present in the background. ABV is dangerously well hidden.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 02:14:47 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $5.55 - 2013 edition

Appearance - Brown colour with a decent size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for close to 3-4 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with quite a bit of hops. There is also some dark fruits, chocolate, and some roasted/burnt notes.

Overall - I don't drink my barleywines fresh very often so this one has a lot more bitterness than I was expecting. Still very tasty and satisfying. Maybe just a touch too sweet - if I could change 1 thing. Seems like a great beer to tuck away in the cellar. I will pick up a few more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 01:33:22 | More by spinrsx
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a want of mine for a long time. 2013 Release.

A - Deep mahogany colour, deep reddy brown. Good carbonation coming up. One finger of thick beige head. Good lace rings and a half finger of retention.

S - Toffee, caramel, dark fruit, a little bit of sugar.

T - Caramel, dark fruit, sugar, sharp hop bite, some alcohol. Warms up with more dark fruit and caramel.

M - Good carbonation, full body, sharp finish.

O/D - This seems more like an American interpretation of the style. The hop/alcohol bite is a bit much for the style. Less dark fruit/caramel character is detected than would be expected. The harshness does mellow out after a while. It's a quality barleywine. With some age it will improve hopefully. Enjoyed it and drank it faster than something 10% should be.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 23:38:00 | More by tbeckett
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version. Very fresh tasting BW with quite a few hops making their place in the mix. Very drinkable for such a young BW which makes me wonder how it will age in the cellar. The smoothness of the finish and the melding of the flavours can be seen as a plus at this stage in the development of the beer ( unlike some hot messes of other BWs when they are young). Nice to see it in a small 12oz bottle instead of the big 1 litre swingtops..

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 19:52:44 | More by canucklehead
Photo of strongaf
strongaf

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

12-04-2013 01:34:52 | More by strongaf
Photo of tom10101
tom10101

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

07-28-2013 14:41:09 | More by tom10101
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

12-24-2013 22:53:42 | More by andrenaline
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for this beer!

Vintage December 2012.

poured into Tulip glass.

Appearance: murky brown almost black bodied beer with red around the edges when held up to light. Two fingers of light brown head resulting from an aggressive pour. Drops to thick, but uneven cap.

Smell: Dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Oatmeal note along with the malts as well. I could smell this all day!

Taste: The beer starts off like a scotch ale. Dark fruits and just a hint of smoke. Caramel and toffee notes that are not overly sweet. Its bready. Hint of molasses and leather. A nice dose of earthy hops that add a moderately bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Little bit of warming and "fruity" booze. Really nice drinking English Barleywine.

Overall: This beer has alot of elements of several big beer styles including, but not limited to Scotch Ale, Barleywine, and an Old Ale. Nice drinking EBW; I think the nose is my favorite part of the beer. The hops on the back end was a nice little surprise...the nose is al malt and I didnt think that any hop flavors would be found in the taste of the beer. This also has some serious cellar potential, I think it would hold up well with age. If I had another bottle I would probably stash it away for a while to let those hops fade away.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 07:10:59 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Molson2000
Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

05-12-2014 00:44:44 | More by Molson2000
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle.

Appearance. Pours a fairly clear, deep red-brown with half a finger of pale orangey-tan head.

Smell. Sweet caramel and butterscotch, a little bit of light fruits and berries and a drop of molasses.

Taste. Lots of toasted caramel malts, some dark berries, just a little herby hop bitterness and a hint of coffee. High alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation.

Overall. A very nice and mellow english barleywine. Great balance of subtle flavours. Will look forward to trying a vertical in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 17:16:05 | More by Rutager
Photo of schopenhauerale
schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.5%

01-04-2013 05:47:36 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage.

Beer is dark maroon in colour, with a large beige head. Good retention and lacing.

Nose is malty, with sweet bready scents. Caramel and some toffee. Also some grassy hop scents, but the malt is much stronger.

Taste is good. Again, a focus on malts. Caramel, toffee. Chewy and bready. Fairly sweet, but there is a toasted flavour that balances it, coupled with a grassy hop bitterness.

Full bodied, moderately carbonated. A bit astringent.

Overall, pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 02:43:36 | More by jrenihan
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep ruby red-brown colour, one finger of tan head, some lace. Smell is of rich caramel, toffee, lots of malty bread like notes, raisin, fruity with lots of red apple, fairly big flowery hops, finishes with berry. Taste is rich and malty, lots of toffee and caramel flavour, fruity, getting the apple from the nose, moderate bitterness, lightly sweet and only a trace of any alcohol, fruity hop aftertaste, understated citrus. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body. No complaints here, a satisfying barleywine that I will grab a couple more of to enjoy down the road.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 22:31:45 | More by peensteen
Photo of cfalovo97
cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -25.4%

12-25-2013 16:47:02 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of schnarr84
schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.5%

04-05-2014 17:31:15 | More by schnarr84
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Woolly Bugger from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.