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Bernese Barleywine Ale - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Bernese Barleywine AleBernese Barleywine Ale

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

62 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Shankopotamus on 06-15-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 16 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep burnt orange with a clingy full one finger slight off white head that seeltes very slowly into a frothy mass,great deep color to the beer.Malty in the nose but not overly sweet,somewhat "cakey" and bready,not much hop presence.Whoo this packs a punch with alot of fusel alcohol flavors,after the alcohol settles some caramel cake notes come into play with a shot leafy hops in the finish not a big citric/resin finish though.This is a sipping barlewine,actually it's been awhile since I have had a barleywine so maybe Iam not used to the booze of the style,still I like it and like most of the Thirsty Dog portfolio.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 00:14:34 | More by oberon
Photo of StoutHunter


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Thirty Dog's Bernese Barleywine Ale last week for $3.59 at The Lager Mill. I've never seen this beer before, but since I like Barleywines I thought I would give it chance, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty nice and goes nicely with the name with a mountain and Bernese Mountain dog on it, I think it's fairly eye catching. It poured a muddy orange/dark amber color that took on more of a murky dark red color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy rings of lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking beer, the color was nice and the head and lacing were really nice especially for a Barleywine.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly lower amount of high sweetness followed by the hops being the first to show up and they impart a light earthy, floral, and spicy hop aromas with citrus rind hop aromas seeming to stick out the most, but not by much. Up next comes the malts which impart a nice sweet malt, caramel, light toffee and toasted malt like aromas with some dark fruit aromas showing up towards the end. This beer had a pretty good aroma, it was pretty hoppy but the malt profile was nice and it added a little bit of balance to the aroma.

T- The taste starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness followed by the hops still being the first to show up and they impart that same hop profile that I got in the aroma, but the this time the citrus rind hop aromas seem to stick a little more than the other aspects showing up in the background. Up next comes the malts which impart that same malt aspect that I got in the aroma, but this time the toasted malts seem to stick out the most and there's even a light roasted aspect. On the finish comes a light amount of alcohol followed by some dark fruit flavors and a medium amount of bitterness with a sweet malt, caramel, toasted and citrus rind like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting Barleywine and it seems to be a little more balanced then the aroma was and I like that.

M- Fairly smooth, not too boozy, a little rich, slightly sticky, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and a good example of an American Barleywine, both the hops and the malts stuck out nicely making for a decent amount of balance and neither one was to overpowering, but the hops were getting close. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, not too boozy, a little rich, slightly sticky, a little filling and taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one is the perfect amount for me, but if I was really in the mood for a Barleywine I could see myself drinking two of these and I think this would make for a nice beer for when it starts to cool off in the fall. What I liked the most about the beer was the balance, it was nice and it wasn't completely dominated by hops like some American Barleywines, I could tell this wasn't a DIPA. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I would change to make this beer better, it's fine just the way it is. I would buy this beer again, I would like to put some in the cellar to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Barleywines especially if they like them on the hoppy side. All in All I was pretty happy with this beer and it's pretty much just what I look for in a good American Barleywine. It's not my favorite Barleywine, but it's up there as one of my favorite Thirsty Dog beers. Good job guys, this was a very solid Barleywine, keep up the good work.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 03:39:46 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of HerdNo1

West Virginia

4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I won't review it it detail. I would simply note that too many American Barleywines end up being nothing but hop bombs. This is a beer that's backed by a huge malt backbone. The smell is nearly what you'd get from a Dopplebock. Indeed, I'm reminded of Sam Adams Double Bock on the nose Still, there are enough hops to balance it and the alcohol is warming rather than harsh. I tend to agree that this beer will get better with some aging. I bought a 4 pack. The first was good enough that I drank another. I'm going to age the other two for a couple of years to see what happens.

Overall, this is a really tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 02:18:58 | More by HerdNo1
Photo of WesMantooth


3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

@WVbeergeek below me hit the nail on the head. This beer is pretty harsh. I think only a hop head would disagree. I put mine in the basement and am going to try and ignore them for a couple years. Hopefully, if I am still alive, it should mellow out and be really good. I don't think Thirsty Dog can make a bad beer. This one is the closest, but it still isnt terrible. I just think it is too bitter for the style. Would really like to see them do a barrel version of this considering how fantastic Wulver and Siberian turned out. As for Bernese, I would try to find an dusty 4 pack somewhere.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 19:09:10 | More by WesMantooth
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.24/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nice to see some Ohio homebrewer's recipe make it into production on this scale...pours a ruby slightly muddy unfiltered hue with a big soft cream head, dwindles slow fine even speckled lacing left behind. Aromatics has bright hops...citric/piney elements thus far, a bit of booze tickling my nose hairs...luscious malt backbone comes through has caramelized bready malts as perceived sweetness. Flavor hits hard with the alcohol, ethanol train all aboard...big medicinal notes with the loads of malts, a hint of dark ripened fruits raisins plums and a little off band aid element just barely peaks through here. Hops coming home at 75 IBUS, the pine and big dank citric notes slap you around a bit before getting overshadowed with the alcohol content. Mouthfeel is harsh, hopefully this beer mellows with age, I was excited to see another Thirsty Dog brew that was new to me after the last few releases I've been really impressed by Mayan Dog/Citra Dog/Chocolate beer...hard to pass each sip across the palate. Medium to full bodied carbonation doesn't hide anything here or soften the blow of each sip, an assault on the palate that I guarantee will mellow with a bit of age...these bottles are about to get lost in the cellar. Decent priced four pack on the upside, I'm gonna let this warm up some more and update this review if there are any changes.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 03:34:29 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a tulip.

pours a murky reddish brown with a slight head. aroma is raisins..dates. taste is quite bitter with a good amount of heat. quite malty. possibly better fresh. full bodied, mild to low carbonation.

overall a solid barley wine. recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 23:14:33 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of FirstBrewsoon


4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A gentle pour into a tulip yields one finger of pale foam which recedes at a moderate pace, leaving sparse lacing on the glass.

A - Very cloudy orange colour with some particulate yeast in suspension.

S - Roasted malts, some hops and dark fruit. Overall, not a powerful aroma.

T - Luxurious, bold flavour with caramel, fruit and an undercurrent of hoppy bitterness. Beautifully balanced, and lingers nicely on the finish.

M - Equally rich, compliments the taste very well. Light carbonation and has the effect of coating the tongue. Excellent.

O - Highly enjoyable, and age would only serve to mellow and refine the flavour. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 02:13:26 | More by FirstBrewsoon
Photo of ksimons

New York

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a orange-amber with a fingers worth of white head that sticks to the glass

S-rich malts, sticky caramel, raisins, and light bitterness

T-taste is a bit more bitter than the smell. There is still a large malt body with caramel, toffee, raisins, and then finishes with bitter hops. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-medium body, good carbonation

Overall not a super sweet or super hoppy barleywine, pretty good

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 23:09:01 | More by ksimons
Photo of AwYeh


4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Foggy golden-brown color, dusting of off-white head and spotty lacing. Really froths up though if disturbed.

S: Sweet- dark fruits, caramel, citrus, pine, and just a little grassy.

T: Follows smell nicely; really delicious barleywine flavor, adding in some toffee and enhancing the hop flavors from the nose. Very nice balance of sweet and bitter, I'm having a hard time holding off on sipping this one. A touch of alcohol comes through, adding spiciness.

M: Medium-thick bodied, very creamy owing to moderate carbonation.

O: Really nice offering from Thirsty Dog; I'm glad a barleywine that can be bought in quantity is in the NE Ohio scene (yeah, it is pricy, but it's no $20 bomber), and I'm hoping that it stays around for future years. I only got a single of this but I'll definitely pick up more.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 07:59:21 | More by AwYeh
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky red hue, small off-white head.

Very sweet aroma. Some dark fruits, licorice. Alcohol.

Deep sweet malt. Caramel, toffee. Alcohol better hidden in taste than nose. Subtle hop bite. Sense of warmth.

Rich full mouthfeel.

Good barleywine, good nitecapper coming in from a snowstorm.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 05:23:18 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of BB1313


3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a murky glowing copper; solid off-white head that fades slowly and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas sweet caramel malts and a decent amount of citrus. It has hints of orange zest. There's also some grapefruit in the mix. Lots of dough. Some hints of toffee in the nose as well. The flavors are very fruity. Lots of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime. Subtle hints of coconut. Lots of malts. Lots of caramel and toffee. Lots of pine resin. There's a very solid bitterness to this one. Some soap. Some bread. It's not hot or boozy with only some very subtle alcohol flavors. Nothing to be concerned about. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's full-bodied and very creamy; active carbonation making it very smooth. This makes a nice sipper, although it's relatively easy drinking for a big beer.

This is a very nice barleywine. Well crafted and it's a good example of the American interpretations of the style. I can see this beer aging very well. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 22:54:57 | More by BB1313
Photo of superspak


4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, summer 2013 bottling. Pours very hazy reddish orange color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of raisin, orange zest, orange rind, caramel, toast, toffee, floral, pine, grass, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, grapefruit, caramel, toast, toffee, floral, pine, biscuit, and toasted/floral earthiness. Moderate amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, citrus zest, citrus rind, caramel, toast, toffee, floral, and moderate pine on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity of hop and malt flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent barleywine style! All around great balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 05:09:28 | More by superspak
Photo of DrDemento456


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Not expecting much head just a 1/4 inch that settles to a mild lace ring. The color is a bright amber copper color.
S - Rather sweet, hoppy, but no noticeable ABV this is one of the good ones.
T - Well its smooth I give it that. Sweet toffee malts, some brown sugar and citrus hops galore make for a balanced brew,
M - Quite easy to finish high octane but easy to drink. Medium bodied and slick.

Overall for the price its not really that reasonable ($4.50 for the single or 15 for the four pack) but for a smooth barley wine if that's your favorite style its worth the purchase.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 04:59:59 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color and a thick, murky texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Below average lacing.

S: A very good aroma of hops, caramel, and some malt.

T: Tasted of caramel, hops, a little toffee, malt, and a slight earthy quality as well. A very focused and powerful flavor, much more than you usually find with an American Barleywine. Very tasty.

M: A pretty good amount of carbonation with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An excellent example of the style. Well made and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 23:32:27 | More by avalon07
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a soft, thin layer of off white head that fades to a thin lacing

S - bread, toffee, caramel, some dark fruit

T - bread, toffee, caramel, alcohol, large pinyness, bitter finish, earthy, dark fruit

M - full bodied, some alcohol warmth, well carbonated

This is a nice barlweywine. The malts are superb. The deep toffee, caramel, bready notes are great. Hints of dark fruit round out the finish. If I had a complaint I would say that it's a bit too bitter. With some age I'm sure this would really smooth out. The hops though a bit bitter for balance, they aren't unappreciated. The alcohol is also well masked. I will definitely have this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 20:12:44 | More by tdm168
Photo of Shankopotamus


4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Murky amber color with hints of ruby. Thick white head with lacing as it goes down.

S- Bouquet of citrus fruits, pine, and carmel covered raisins. Simply magnificent. Exactly what an American Barleywine should smell like.

T- Mirrors what the nose originally picked up. Citrusy with a solid malt dried fruit and carmel backbone. Super fresh hops, would love to see what it's like when they lay down a bit. Almost no alcohol character which is quite amazing being at 10.5% abv.

M- Rich velvety mouth feel without being overly thick. Semi-dry finish.

O- An almost flawless example of the style other than appearance. Fresh hops and carmel, everything an American Barleywine should be. Don't pass this one up!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 01:17:13 | More by Shankopotamus
Bernese Barleywine Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.