Big Worse - Mikkeller ApS

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Big WorseBig Worse

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very good

405 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 405
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 22
Gots: 61 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 | Reviews: 245
Reviews by dgilks:
Photo of dgilks
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany colour with no head. A touch disappointing as beer with this level of alcohol can keep a head.

Dark crusty bread, toffee and caramel dominate the malt profile with an earthy hop character adding balance.

Smooth, dark caramel. Toffee. Nuts. Sugar. I find it off that this is called an American Barleywine as the malt profile is distinctly English and the hop character is muted enough for it to be an English BW.

Moderately-full body with low carbonation. Think, silky and smooth.

On the whole it isn’t a bad beer but it falls a little flat.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My second stab at a Mikkeller brew I really enjoyed the Stateside IPA,poured into a small tulip glass sort of a slight hazed deep russet color a well formed 2 finger clingy light beige colored head atop it had great lasting power.At first pop of the cork a powerful resiny hop aroma hit me and a smile crossed my face that mixed in with a brown sugar and cakey alcohol fruitiness I knew this was gonna be a doozy.Hmm after a few sips I notice that its not anywhere near as potent as I thought it would be or as bold flavor wise a little watery in the mouthfeel department definently not a big chewey barley wine.Flavors fall a bit flat compared to the aromas dark fruit sweetness mixed with brown sugar and alcohol the hops are much more subdued than what I had imagined and or hoped giving a hint of medicinal-like and white pepper flavors in the finish along with a lasting alcohol sweetness.Maybe as others have suggested cellaring might be the ticket here but it wont help out its lighter mouthfeel,it started out great and kinda peetered out in the finish.

Photo of ricke
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky brown with ruby hues. Basically no head, just a minimal layer of off-white foam that disappears immediately. Minimal lacings.

S: A rich smell with vinous fruity aromas (cherries, plums) up front. Plenty of malts and notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, rye bread and alcohol. Gentle floral notes.

T: A Powerful taste with lots pf vinous fruits and a massive flavor of sweet malts. Chocolate, fudge, plenty of caramel, dusty cellar and raisins. Some bready notes. Has a slight Madeira-like quality to it. The finish is somewhat bitter and has lots of warming alcohol in it. Some chestnuts, juicy malts and notes of spicy hops. The alcohol is really noticeable and leaves a rather boozy sensation in the mouth.

M: Rather full body, very smooth. Very, very low levels of carbonation. After a while, it gets slightly sticky.

D: A good and powerful beer. Very malt-forward with the hops playing a minor role. I enjoyed it but I think the alcohol was just a little too prominent in it. Definitely a sipper.

Photo of brownbeer
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 2/7/12. Opens with a gentle "pop" after working the synthetic cork off the top. Glows a bright red color with orange highlights and a thin head.

The aroma is rich and can be smelled from a distance. Candi sugar mingles with sprucy hops, molasses, mint, and alcohol fumes going in and out. Smells better than it tastes.

Low carbonation and high alcohol make for a fairly thick and syrupy beer. Sweet candi sugar, raisin, and a stale hop character. It's a little sweeter than I prefer but it does dry out just enough in the finish to be ok.

Photo of blitz134
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant, bright ruby red. Perfectly clear. Quarter inch of light tan head on top, quite dense, and really hangs on.

Aroma is kind of simple, light caramel basically with some hints of raisin and fig. Just a touch of floral hops peak through. Kind of unremarkable.

Taste has more going on. Nice malty undertones. Sweet with sugar and caramel. Dark, ripe fruits of raisins and plums. Alcohol is there but under control. Some citrus and floral hints from some hops show through. Pretty good.

Smooth full mouthfeel that coats well and the flavor lingers, a touch of bitterness in the end.

Pretty drinkable too. Not the most complex, but a solid beer, no doubt. Has some rough edges from the hops and alcohol, but it is an American style barleywine, so it is expected. The size of this beer is well hidden, no alcohol hotness at all.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served in a tulip glass. It was a ruby red color with a small tan head that quickly disappeared. The beer was actually pretty still. It had a dark fruit aroma, as well as a little caramel. Interesting aroma. The taste was fruity, prunes/raisins. A little warming spice from the alcohol. Maybe a touch too sharp for me, but still a nice beer.

Photo of Beaver13
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12.7 oz bottle, caged and corked. Pours a murky dark tea color with a thin off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film and small collar.

The aroma is sweet candy-like caramel, melon and spicy alcohol
The flavor is sweet sugary caramel and dark fruits/melon with a big burnt bitter alcoholic burn at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium and slightly watery with low carbonation.

Overall, a big bitter barley wine. It's not very balanced at all and too alcoholic for me.

Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz green bottle pours into a snifter a hazy copper body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap. Some sparse spotty lace is left behind.

Aroma boasts bold notes of chewy caramel and fresh citrusy grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with subdued carbonation and some spicy alcohol burn.

Taste has a dominant citrus rind bitterness. Some spicy alcohol burn suggests this one might need some maturation. Underlying malt backbone is sturdy and offers up some caramel sweetness. A mildly sweet citrusy orange presence appears midway through but quickly yields to the dominant hop bitterness.

Definitely an American style barleywine with assertive hop bitterness. A bit hot at this stage with an alcohol burn that is a bit distracting.

Photo of Mora2000
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky brown with no head. Not a very attractive beer. The aroma is strong caramel malt with some dark fruit and alcohol. This smells very boozy. Flavor is lots of alcohol and dark fruit. Some raisins and still very boozy. Get some caramel malt. Medium mouthfeel, but too much alcohol to be very drinkable.

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

Pours murky brown with a short off-white head. Alcoholic candy in the nose. Some wood, pine needles, and lots of brown sugar. Taste is liquor-esque. Sweet and tangy up front with resin and grapefruit/orange-slice candy flavors. Oaky-brandy notes follow with a bit of carmelized apples and figs. The alcohol burn takes hold, giving it a cognac finish. Awesome beer.

Photo of kingcrowing
2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375ml corked & caged bottle poured into an Allagsh tulip.

Pours a dark muddy brown with no head at all - I'm really hoping this isn't flat. Nose is Very booze and sweet/malty. Slight raisin and toffee.

Has a very light carbonation, slightly watery on the finish but still a decent body. It's quite sharp and boozy with a noticeable warming sensation. Taste is a bit unpleasant, more like a wine or something than most barleywines. It's ok but I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of Tabni
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a Chimay Goblet at Abraxas in South Beach.

A- Dark Orange color
S- Nice malt smell. Inviting.
T- Bitter. Definitely an American Barleywine. Hoppy and caramel notes all over. Bready beer.
M+D- Sipping beer. Perfect for a cold night. Worth a try!

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.83/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appears a deep murky blood orange red brown in color with a large beige head dwindles down to fine even lacing. Aroma is tart with ripened fruit soaked in raw fusel alcohol. Abundant hop notes intertwined in the luscious malt character brings the aromatics around full character. Flavor is unsynchronized with raw hop bitterness, astringent alcohol, and overly sweet candy sugar additions might as well package this one in forties and sell in the 7/11 down the street. This is extreme beer at it's worse, might as well call this one the skullsplitter. After a half glass my eyes are blurring and my temples are buzzing, I feel like I just got done reinsulating my attic as my skin becomes warm and flush and my nose burns from the alcohol fumes. As you can see I'm not going to add to the hype of this brewery, I will give their other brews a shot. Mouthfeel is astringent in every aspect coats the palate with earthy hop oils, hot alcohol, and overtly sweet sugars in the malt profile causing me to want to go scrape my tongue. Literally causes my gag reflex to work, so let's motion to kick this one out of the UN of beers. Drinkability is shite the worst beer I've had in a long time, by the way nice synthetic cork maybe those brewers can use this one as a substitute butt plug, because this beer tastes like ass.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Green's on Buford in Atlanta. Been looking at this one for a while and finally pulled the trigger.

Pours a hazy chestnut brown color with a very thin off-white head. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving no lacing but decent legs.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with good amounts of brown sugar and buttered rum aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with hints of milk chocolate and larger amounts of brown sugar. Slightly buttery flavors come into things midway through the sip and carry through to a decidedly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with very light but sufficient carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was about what I expected it to be, just with less hops. Definitely an English barleywine and a good still version. Worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
After fighting and fighting with the synthetic cork once it was removed there wasn't even the slightest pop sound.
A- This beer has a deep brown body with a light glow of brown at the base of the glass. There is a sea of microbubbles that glide to the surface supporting a big bubble tan head that has a yellow hue to it and stays sticky before fading to a thick ring.

S- This beer has an earthy resin hop note without the pine qualities followed by a light wet wood and dry caramel note. The finish had a soft citrus quality that reminded me more of yeasty cherry notes than citrus fruit notes.

T-This beer has a soft caramel note with a slight coffee malt bitterness behind it and this develops into a raw sugar taste. There is a light tart citrus finish like dried tangerine rinds but it is pretty light.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat even when the beer has warmed a bit.

D- This beer has some nice sweetness but nothing to balance or support it. The orange quality at the finish is mysterious but not bold enough to and much interest.

Photo of maximumu13
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown almost caramel with almost no carbonation but a ton of sediment

S: Rich sweet smell very malty

T: At first the taste is very bland and then all of a sudden an explosion of flavor. All of the sweetness i expected from the malt a fruity roundness and a little bit of bitterness in the finish.

O :Nothing I wouldnt expect from Mikkeller a delicious multifaceted beer but i dont think i could drink more then one

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 IntriqKen
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a green bottle...hmmm...pours a cloudy amber tea color with a very smallish off white head that melts quickly to a faint ring and mist on the top of the beer.

Aroma is sweet, sweet, amber malts and dark raisins.

Taste is sweet candied malt, dark fruits, extra dark sugars, and then lots of hot alcohol. Lots.

I don't notice the hops in this one although they may be hidden in the hot alcohol finish.

A nice beer to get drunk on...or go to sleep with. Right now (relatively new) it's a bit hot and a lot sweet.

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 BBeerL
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Barleywine is a very well balanced beer. Most barleywines I tend to drink can be a lot of tangy sweetness and not much else. The are big rich roasted barley flavors up front. Followed by the traditional sweetness, and finish with a sour touch on the end. The big roasted flavors help to balance the big barley wine finish. A great beer, I will be buying it while I still see it around

Photo of Metalmonk
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Despite knowing this would age very well, I didn't have it in the cellar more than 2 days before I just had to pop the cork. Too tempting: a Danish barleywine brewed at the overworked De Proef brewery in Belgium. Received in a very generous trade from msubulldog25.

The rubber "newcork" was harder then hell to get off, producing a barely audible pop. But the beer looks healthy, with a half-inch head of sea foam topping a glowing rust-burgundy color. A layer remains on top throughout, while the rest transforms to tiny lace formations on the glass.

Aroma is almost perfect. Plum, wood, sherry, molasses, and vanilla extract roll through the nostrils in a wondrous way. A slight spikiness from the alcohol emerges, but this is otherwise a beautiful thing for the nose to behold.

Bringing it to the lips and over the tongue, the first impression is of the mouthfeel. Incredibly soft without seeming flat or dead, this velvety creation could taste like New Jersey swampwater and still be drinkable thanks to its attractive texture. Flavors do not surprise, considering they pretty much mirror the aroma. Also throws in real vanilla ice-cream, warming from the alcohol, and a round citrus sweetness on top of the already perceived aromas/flavors. Finish is mildly problematic, just a little green, capping each sip with a woody sourness. Quick-drying.

The too-tart, too-dominant finish alerts that this should be cellared and allowed to chill out a bit. Cork gives a best-by/expiration of 2011, so this is probably still quite young. Still, a treat at any point in its life, I was glad to have tried it and lucky that Brian could spare a bottle. Cheers pal!

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is 7 months old. Pours a deep brown/ruby with a nice off white head that fades quickly. Nose is solid malts and hops. That spicy barleywine nose. Taste follows, very malty with a large hop presence as well. Some nice fruity flavors in here and good spiciness. Alcohol is very present. Mouthfeel is good, viscous and amply carbonated, which always blows my mind after I pop open these mikkeller neo-corks. There is never a solid POP out of them, its always like an underwater pigeon fart. Anyway, drinkability is hampered a bit here as the alcohol is still quite hot in this one. With some age I can see this being an outstanding american style barleywine. I really have enjoyed mikkeller beers, and am glad to see them continuing in the right direction. Good beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition. No head. Some brown colour. Smell like a strong ale. Buttery mouthfeel,caramel and a little spicey, with some tartness. Probably aged OK. Drinkable for style. Boozy.Something to numb you before going out in a snowstorm.
Thanks Jason as forgot to post review last time.

4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz into snifter. From notes. No bottle date, but this bottle looks a little old and roughed up.
A: A murky brown body, with no carbonation and no head at all. The tannings in the glass, seems to leave a oil appearance on the glass. Looks like a flat beer.
S: The aroma is very mellow and full of caramel notes. Findings of a English Barleywine, but this could be a sign of this American take with all the hops mellowed out.
T/M: This barley has not held up for the course of its time, all respects to the flavors of the beer, there great stylistically, but the lack of carbonation is a little deduction of points. Crazy smooth and still really flavorful. Creamy port mouthfeel, with a nice lingering taste. Body is on the medium side, with a figgy finish.
D: For 12%abv, this is a very approachable beer. I find it to have a smooth character and ended up drinking it quite quickly. Great experience, not detoured by Mikkeller at all, I would just question the conditions this bottle had been in from its birth to when I picked it off the shelf.

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.

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Big Worse from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.