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Big Worse - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Big WorseBig Worse

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

387 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.92%
Wants: 19
Gots: 54 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pils and caramunich), candy sugar, hops (nugget, cascade and centennial) and ale yeast.

(Beer added by: Viggo on 11-25-2007)
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Ratings: 387 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle opened by bmanning. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours an ugly brown color with loads of sediment toward the bottom of the bottle. No head or lacing. The nose carried caramel, toffee, cherry, and dark fruits. There was a bit of light booze in the background as well. The flavor focused on malt sweetness with some mild fruit. Caramel held throughout, as well as a bit of alcohol. Medium body and slightly boozy. Not bad at all.

Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a thin off-white head.
S: There are aromas of candi sugar and alcohol in the nose.
T: The taste is relatively sweet and has flavors of candi sugars and spices. There is a light amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a bit syrupy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has some warming from the alcohol.
D: There's no way that I could drink more than one fo these in a sitting because of its strong alcohol content.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of brentk56
2.53/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color without a head; no carbonation means no lacing

Smell: Prunes, leather, some earthy funk

Taste: Brown bread devolving into a pruney funk; a bit of tartness builds, after the swallow and leaves a tannic leathery character in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, rather flabby, with no carbonation

Overall: Not sure of the age of this bottle as I got it as an extra in a recent trade (cannot remember who sent it) but am rather disappointed in this beer, regardless of bottling date as a Barleywine should hold up better than this one has

Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
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 Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Fonefan: Poured a deep lightly hazy copper color ale with a nice foamy head with medium retention and no lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops is dominating with some light pear and some alcohol. Taste is a mix between some grapefruit hops, light caramel malt with phenols of alcohol. Medium body with average carbonation and some apparent alcohol which I didn't appreciate. Interesting take on the American barleywine style with a nice hops combination but I could do without all that alcohol.

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

Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war."

--Ernest Hemingway

Seriously murky caramel brown with flashes of coral red and juicy orange when backlit with sunshine. The lid is small in size and golden ecru in color. It looks better once it settles, and is gracing the glass with a short, ragged collar of lace.

Not that it matters much, but the nose is more English than American. Then again, the beer is from a Danish brewery and is brewed in Belgium, so where does that leave us? Each sniff delivers an acceptably powerful blast of medium-dark fruit swimming in dark caramel sauce and citrus zest. Here's hoping the alcohol is as well-hidden on the palate.

This is an English barleywine all the way, no matter what hops were used. I had second thoughts about pulling the cork once the foil was removed and the date (14/08/11) came into view. I probably should have aged this bad boy another year at least. Even though it's a teensy bit rough right now, it isn't hot. It's still good beer that will probably be even better this time next year.

The malt profile is more brown than golden or amber, thanks to what must be a significant amount of CaraMunich. It gives the beer a heavily toasted and earthy character that is reminiscent of a good, rich doppelbock. Ripe figs are present as well. The American hops are still kickin with authority, adding flavors of candied orange and lemon peel, along with loads of finishing bitterness.

Actually, two years of rest would probably have been perfect. It tastes like there's some hidden complexity that is being frustrated by too much of an alcohol presence. $9.99 is a bit much for 375 ml of beer, but I just might pick up another bottle to see what aging can accomplish. Drinkability (at the moment) suffers a little.

Mikkeller's stated aim was to brew a 'simple yet heavy' beer. Even though they failed to achieve the latter, the mouthfeel is right about where most English barleywines live. At least those that aren't ultra sappy and sticky. It's still a fraction too light, with just the right amount of subtle carbonation.

Big Worse is big in some respects and not so big in others. It isn't the best barleywine that I've ever had, but it's far from the worst. Bottom line: this is an enjoyable Danish-Belgian sipper that is probably optimal at whatever date is printed on the cork.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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

thick brown, though you can see some light through it, no head and a nice lace top it off. Smell is hopped for sure, but with a subtle sugary undertone, and a hint of alcohol too. Taste is not very strong at all. There is the natural piney hoppness you would expect from a barley wine, but not too strong, there is also a sugary, nuttiness about it as well. The alcohol is there, and that keeps this a sipper. It is actually nicely carbonated, and not harsh going down, has the warm feeling on the way. Overall this was a good brew,

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

A: The pour is a nearly flat amber color with a slight bit of cloudiness and a mild off-white head.

S: Tons of caramel and brown sugar along with a bit of vanilla on the nose. A nice butterscotch aroma as well as a bit of green apples.

T: Wonderfully sweet and caramelly without being cloying. A nice bit of brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee. Really well done for a barleywine and almost no booze.

M: The body is a bit chewy and thick without being syrupy. Low carbonation works well for the style.

D: This has nearly restored my faith in Mikkeller. Big Worse has become a really nice barleywine since the initial release and I wouldn't mind having another.

Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a brown colored liquid with a very small amount of head. The head that was there vanished really fast. The smell of the beer has some nice sweet dark fruit aromas, some are a little more pungent but it's a unique aroma. The taste of the beer has a good amount of hops that tingle the tongue while the sweetness of the beer unfolds. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad here but I feel it could have been better. Overall this beer wasn't too bad, I'd like to get a fresher bottle sometime.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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 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 TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

Did I miss "Big Bad", or do comparatives not translate very well into Danish? Whatever the reason, this barleywine pours a hazy dark amber brown with a halo nof large bubbles for a head. The nose is plum, fig, raisin, molasses, and a small bit of hoppy citrus. The taste holds a strong note of bitter citrus peel, raisins, and the flesh of a mandarin orange (you always get that one fleshy wedge in every can...). The body is a hefty medium, with low carbonation and a lingering, dry bitterness accompanying a slight oral coating. Honestly, not that bad a brew, but not up to my expectations of that crazy Danish gypsy. Hm.

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...

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Big Worse from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.