1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Big Worse - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Big WorseBig Worse

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

403 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 403
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.65%
Wants: 21
Gots: 58 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 11-25-2007

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pils and caramunich), candy sugar, hops (nugget, cascade and centennial) and ale yeast.
View: Beers (272) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 403 | Reviews: 245
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted from a 12.7 ounce bottle on April 4, 2015.

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.75 - Poured a deep, dark ruby-orange color. Formed an easy 2 finger, medium tan colored head. Impressive head potential for the high ABV, low head retention. Whispy lacing.
S - 4.25 - Boozey, peach, mango, hops, peach syrup and honey.
T - 4.5 - Surprised how well balanced this is. Sweet arrival of pineapple, peach, mango and hops upfront, ends on a bitter-honey finish. The bitterness at the end is NOT a hoppy one, it is what I can only explain as bitter honey. The bitterness perfectly balances and rounds out the initial upfront sweetness.
F - 4.5 - Good medium/full mouthfeel.
O - 4.5 - A very good representation of the barleywine style. Well balanced flavor.

Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber with a big fluffy beige head, leaving lots of messy specks as it recedes slowly.
Big citrus hop character in the smell, "green" also, with sweet peach jam, nice tropical fruit, some honey-ish floral notes, but also toast and strong alcohol.
A really interesting mix of hops and alcohol in the start, pretty hard to name it, not simply herbal liqueur. Spicy, grassy, piney, surprisingly early. Still, there's a lot of fruit too, with peach, blood orange, pink grapefruit, mango, overripe pineapple. Lots of citrus peel and pith. Sticky caramel for a while, bit of biscuit, but the finish is dried up by bitter (and slightly "English") hop.
Aftertaste is hoppy, fruity (still quite diverse, with lingering citrus, tropical fruit and peach) and mildly malty sweetness. Medium, sticky body, light fizz. Alcohol is hidden entirely.
Great balance between tasty hops and solid malts, both really rich and strong, without one overpowering the other.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a handsome golden color with a slight white head.

Smell - Sweetness is noted in the aroma. It borders on being syrupy.

Taste - My initial impression is a syrupy sweetness. Other impressions include nuts, grass, tropical fruit, and a nice little burn in the finish.

Feel - The mouthfeel is emblematic of a barleywine.

Overall - Despite a lot of negativity, I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of i4ourgot
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

To start off this was a beer that was aged in a plastic keg for a year. I had to ask the bartender if it was the barrel aged or the normal big worse. Very boozy not smooth at all lots of hot alcohol in it. I would like to try this beer out of the bottle maybe sitting in plastic for a year was not a good idea. The boozy whiskey like flavor kinda drowned out everything in this beer. The head was non existent and the only aroma I could get was alcohol notes. This beer definitely needs a second try for me.

Photo of Westyn
2.74/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Probably the worst thing I've had mikkeller. The name is about right on this one.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.75/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Full of sticky malt flavor with an almost syrupy consistency. Had on tap. Alcohol comes through very balanced with the bitterness.

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
1/5  rDev -73.5%

I certainly hope this was just a bad bottle because, if it wasn't, my-oh-my is this a terrible beer. The beer itself wasn't all too well-carbonated. The cork didn't come out with much of a pop either. I hope it's just a bad bottle for Mikkeller's sake.

Photo of Nostrajonus
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy amber pour, head is non existent.

S- Watery malt, sweet, very boozy!

T- This is sweet on the way in, and hot on the way down. Molasses overshadows caramel malts with a warm boozey finish.

M-Thick and sticky, no carbonation whatsoever.

O-By far the highest abv I've seen in a barleywine; this brew is a one hitter quitter! I love everything Mikkeller does...brilliance in brewing!

Photo of clayrock81
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brownish body with moderate head and lace and textbook aroma of citric, earthy hops and a hearty malt aroma of both bready, roasted malts and sweet malt. A good barleywine and mostly holds up, but it seems at some points the alcohol make it a tad bitter or burning on the backend. Overall, the hops give it citric zip and spice and the sweet malts make themselves known, and it has a little stickiness and tart/dark fruit edge. It is a good beer, designed to be a sipper, that just a has a couple of small chinks in the armor or else it'd be one of the betters ones out there.

Photo of BMMillsy
2.49/5  rDev -34%
look: 1.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Bottle courtesy of beastmaster. Pours cloudy opaque brown with no head. Aroma of biscuits, toffee, malt, brown sugar, molasses, hints of vanilla and bourbon even though not bourbon barrel aged. Taste is watery big bready malt and booze. Turpentiney, and thinner than expected. Lots of chewey sediment. No carbonation. Vodka burn. Was not ready for this after Chocolate Rain and some other beers tonight.

Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a wine glass.

A: burnt sienna, hazy, a little light gets through.

S: fruity, figs or dates. spices.

T: hot booze in my stomach. caramel. sticky sweet.

M: thinner than expected, well carbonated.

O: disappointing coming from mikkeller. the flavors weren't particularly complex. the mouth feel was a little thin. barleywine is one of my favorite styles and mikkeller is one of my favorite brewers, but this one missed its mark.

Photo of superspak
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into snifter, best before 3/18/2014. Pours very hazy and cloudy dark brown color with no head or carbonation; plastic corks never work. Aromas of big raisin, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, chocolate, roasted malt, floral, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity and malty notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, floral, and toasted earthiness; some slight oxidation but barely noticeable. No bitterness; with lingering notes of raisin, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, brown bread, chocolate, light roast, and toasted earthiness. Nice flavor balance and complexity of malt flavors with moderate fruity notes; with no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Zero carbonation and medium-full bodied; with slick and fairly syrupy mouthfeel that is ok, but very slow to sip on. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this this a solid barleywine. Some nice complexity and balance of malt flavors; probably would have scored quite a bit higher if it actually had carbonation, but thankfully not much oxidation was present. An enjoyable sipper.

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
2.24/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: Pours flat, with a dark caramel with a red hue. Literally no carbonation.

S: Oxidation reigns supreme, with strong fuselage notes. Getting some bad church wine, grapes on this.

T: Strong red grapes, tastes more like a wine than a beer. Grainy texture to it. Bleh, oh man this is bad.

M: Medium mouthfeel, alcohol is prevalent. Strong sweet finish that coats the mouth.

O: Total bummer. I found this "gem" in the back of a cooler at Ledgers with the price tag showing that they recieved it in Feb of 2009. I knew this was an old beer when I got into it, but figured if it's sitting back in the fridge it would be worth a shot. Man was I wrong. Got about 2 sips in before I drain poured it. All well, live and learn. Worth the risk.

Photo of ToddT
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L- Hazy medium brown with lots of sediment floating in it and no head at all. There is no lace left on the glass as I drink this one.

S- Dark candied fruit, cherries, raisin, fig, molasses, and a slightly sour background note.

T- Candied fruit and a giant wash of astringent alcohol, wow that was not pleasant at all. Not sure I'm going to like this one. It does improve as it warms but that first sip was a bit brutal. Not near as alcoholic or astringent now that I'm halfway through.

M- Medium in body and no applicable carbonation. The finish is a mix of alcohol heat and sour fruit.

O- It gets better as I finish it, not sure if the taste is improving or the 12.0% ABV has kicked in.

Photo of CruisaC
3.09/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up on sale for ~$4 a bottle. Figured I'd give it a try.

Pours dead, no head, no carbonation. Uh-oh. Still as night in the glass. Dark brown

Smells like raisins, chalky vitamins, malt extract.

Taste very clean initially but soon a raisin meets astringent tastes follows. Not great. Not much good going on here.

Pretty thin, not helped by the fact at there's no carbonation. That may be ok for the occasional HOTD release (bourbon Fred), but this falls into Lost Abbey territory and not in a good way

I won't be finishing this. Pretty disappointing. I've got another bottle but I'm not too excited to give it another shot.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big Worse might just be big better from its juicy malt dominance and hoppy aspirations that capture the sweet grain character that's so prized in English Barleywines but with the lupulin rebuttal from citrusy American hops.

Starting with a brilliant and glowing ruby color, the snifter simply glows like a night light. Mildly hazed, the color is of deep amber honey in mesmerizing fashion. Capped with a dainty off-white head, its creme skirts the glass evenly until later in the session when it reduces to a collar along the glass.

Bursting with malt sweetness, the nose is chocked full of maple, buckwheat, molasses, toffee, and nuttiness. Its hearty sweetness nearly whets the mouth from its aromatics alone. A firm hop undertow peaks through with dried citrus peels and pine needles for a strong hop scaffolding although the scent is certainly malt-centric.

Likewise, the sweetness from malt is strong, seductive, and runs the gamut from maple syrup and brittle to bread crust and sorghum. Strong buckwheat honey toffee, pistachios, and fresh sweet tobacco keep the waves of sultry sweetness coming. A late rise of hops reveal a supportive balance with grapefruit and orange peel, pine and fresh grass, and with a deeply resinous bitterness that assists the sweetness with a malty-dry finish and alcohol flavors of spiced rum

Incredibly bold and even chewy at first, the beer seeps into the soft tissues of the mouth with its sultry sweetness in true dessert-like fashion- easily replacing port wines as after dinner digestives. Rich with residual sweetness, the late rise of alcohol spice and drying hops signal closure and extends well into aftertaste.

Reading the date-stamped reviews of others, its apparent that Mikkeller has gotten better at making this beer. It's an incredible American-style Barleywine that captures the preferred malt character of hearty English examples. Its a bright and highly rewarding ale for nightcapping any evening.

Photo of timc100
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great example of a beer where the hops well - not perfectly, but did not leave a stale off-tasting beverage.

A: Pours a classic barleywine murky brown. Sits a slightly hazy dark amber with a clingy beige head.

S: Huge caramel and caramelized dark fruits. Toffee, butterscotch, and slightly muddled aged hops. Intense and very sweet and resinous

T: Big and sweet. Follows the nose closely, but a bit messy. Really tasty

P: Incredibly chewy, lingers for a while, leaves a resinous gloss in the mouth.

O: Really nice barleywine, would love to try fresh.

Photo of wordemupg
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into tulip 11/16/12 from notes

A clear reddish amber with a thick stream of bubbles feeding a surprisingly large three finger tan head that slowly falls to a thin film leaving a few random patches

S lots of brown sugar and caramel, rum soaked raisins and dark bread, some candied citrus but I can't pinpoint it, no booze is rather impressive considering it's 12%

T a little sweet even compared to the nose with a strange yeast profile and more candied fruit, has a little sour apple and although its decent I preferred the nose

M syrupy and sticky with good carbonation, some faint heat but I'd never guess it's as strong as it is, candied fruit on the finish with a little spicy bread

O a good strong BW with well concealed booze, not something for everyday drinking but a decent cold evening sipper

I had this sitting around for a while and finally got around to drinking it, I almost wish I had someone to share it with but what can you do

Photo of Dope
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A ruddy, brownish-red pour. Like the color of rust. Big tan head that fades slowly, leaving just the lightest bits of lacing here and there. Extreme amount of sediment. To the point that I actually poured this through a strainer and a coffee filter (maybe the second time I've ever done this). It was horrible, one of the worst I've seen.

S: Big caramel malt with pungent raisin and apples. Hints of molasses and brown sugar. Boozy.

T: Raisiny throughout. Lots of bread, just a little toasty. Toffee, brown sugar and some resinous bitterness in the finish. A bit dry in the finish, oddly enough.

M: Heavy and thick for sure.

O: A simple and strong barleywine. Honestly I liked Big Worst better, it was better balanced and tastier in general, despite being flat. This one is pretty "meh".

Photo of lovelyallen
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 1 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer...

Served in a snifter from a 12oz bottle.

A: Pours a murky swamp brown. 0 head, 0 lacing. Its a pretty ugly beer.

S: Threw me for a loop. This thing smells phenomenal. Up front is figs, dates, rich wood, and a nice sugary smell that really makes me want to dive into it.

T: Okay, bizarre. Its got some of the dark fruit notes that can be found in the nose, but they never really punch you in the face. The flavors are there, I just wish they were more prominent.

M: Extremely thin w/zero carbonation. I think I may have gotten an under carbonated bottle. Quite a let down in this department.

Overall: I wish this tasted like it smelled. End of story.

Photo of Etan
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle, synthetic cork, into a tulip. Not sure when this is from.

A: Very ugly beer. Murky cola brown, no head.

S: Plenty of dark fruits, raisiny oxidation, sugary caramel.

T: Dark fruits, light roasted grain, prune, spice a bit of smokiness to it, caramel. A bit oxidized.

M: Flat, syrupy.

O: Not quite as bad as I expected from the pour, but not very good.

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle.

This beer pours a murky, dark golden amber hue, with one finger of foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves some mesa profile lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells caramel, toffee, bread pudding, drunken raisins, citrus cream, some floral, piney hops, and a soft, sweet booze warming. The taste is more sweet, sugary caramel malt, further toffee/treacle/nougat candy bar, overripe banana and generic black fruit, bitter grapefruit and orange rind, though rather muddled, a slight old cellar mustiness, and a swirling, tingling warmth.

The carbonation is up for the task, and no slouch in its supportive duty, a tad spritzy, even. The body is a hefty medium-full weight, and actually quite smooth. It finishes sweet, duh, though the big caramel and friends malt does seem to ease off somewhat, letting the fruitinesss - both inherent and hop-borne - step up. The big ABV just maintains its sly standoffishness.

Wow, a pretty easy-drinking Yankee barleywine, if there ever was. Big, brash, but somehow subtle at the same rate, with a deftly integrated upsized alcohol quotient. Totally worth giving a go, especially given our early winter. November 1, really?

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a true oddity, and perhaps the first mikkeller beer that didnt blow me away. it pours a cloudy light amber to red color with a ton of big yeast particles floating around and finally settling to the bottom. there is almost no head. the nose is alcohol and caramel english malt. flavor is the same, but spiced up a bit from the yeast. it feels like the right mix of flavors for fall, but the alcohol is strong and caustic, and it hurts the overall product. the mouthfeel would be great without the alcohol burn. its got a nice full body but is well carbonated and therefore seems to dance in the mouth, even with all that sediment. the booze just kills it though, warm on the way down too. overall a very unique take on a barleywine, but not somehting i will spend 15 dollars on again. although, my local shop has the red wine version too, which might be nice to try. we'll see...

Photo of allouez86
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark amber pour with a small off-white head. A small amount of lacing remains on the snifter.

Smell: Hops are still present, small hint of caramel and brown sugar. The smell of alcohol is also quite present. Smells like an American Barleywine should.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. The hops aren't quite as present as I would've expected based on the smell but they are still there. The sugar and caramel are still there, along with the alcohol. There's a slight hint of soapiness in the taste and this is something that I have come across before in this style. It's not unpleasant but something I've noticed before, could just me my palate.

Mouthfeel: It's a medium bodied barleywine, slightly sticky and properly carbonated.

Overall: I thought this was better than previous reviews would have me believe. Perhaps since it's a Mikkeller brew hopes were higher by for some people. Is it my favorite American barleywine ever? No. Is it something I would drink again? Yes. The price may be slightly high for the size of the bottle but I would recommend giving this beer a shot.

to view more.
Big Worse from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 403 ratings.