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Big Worse - Mikkeller ApS

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Big WorseBig Worse

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very good

399 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 399
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.65%
Wants: 20
Gots: 58 | 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: 399 | Reviews: 244
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 yemenmocha
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber-brown with almost no head.

Nose has aroma reminding me of holiday nuts, brown spices, and overall clear suggestions that this will be sweet tasting.

Starts of malty to caramel sweet, rounded with raisins and background citrus, finishing softly warm with the alcohol largely subdued. A medicinal, menthol like quality is present also.

One of the more easy drinking, accessible examples of a barleywine that I've sampled recently.

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

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions for about nine dollars, has been in my cellar for about six months, best before date of 2011, poured into my small Stone sampling glass tonight

A-Murky medium brown with some red tint, small 1/4 inch head with thick beige bubbles, did not last long at all, minimal retention, no lacing
S-Big toffee, large malt presence, some caramel, cooked vegetables, milk chocolate, faint hoppiness, sugar, roasted nuts, grassy accents, and dark fruits
T-Starts off with a sweet malt flavor, fades into the same vegetal presence I smelled but they are mixed with fruits this time, finish is pretty sweet and full of booze, gets fruitier as time goes on with some plums and figs, toffee and caramel make themselves more known as it warms as well, by the end there is a mix of fruit and malt that gives the tongue a big sting with alcohol, could have used hops for balance but that is not what this barleywine was going for
M-Hot, stinging, sweet, and fruity mouthfeel, medium bodied that is on the thicker side, very low level of carbonation, taste lingers
D-Could not finish the bottle on my own, twelve percent is not hidden and is strong, stuff packs a punch, wish it was smoother, more age might help that, eight ounces was an appropriate serving for this one

A barleywine from Denmark, that was enough to make me curious about this one, I have enjoyed most Mikkeller brews I have had in the past and this was no exception, glad I got to try it and the Shelton Brothers were able to import this into the states, would not spend the money again but still worth checking out

Photo of srandycarter
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy medium to dark brown. Not much head at all. Thin, leggish lacing.

S - Cooked fruit, booze, dark sugary stuff.

T - Taste matches smell, but even more pronounced in the mouth.

M - Medium body, sufficient carb, good coating, nice balance.

D - I like this one. Would have more than one if not careful.

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

375ml bottle, corked and caged. Bottle conditioned. Served in a snifter. Poured a hazy copper with a thin off white head. Plenty of piney hops in the aroma along with some alcohol and burnt sugar. Slight oxidation, but in a good way. This is a big beer, lots of malt. Not as bitter as the aroma would suggest. Fruit flavors. I also got a slightly smokey note in the finish. Warming. A nicely balanced barleywine.

Photo of cvfish
2.58/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a glass from a bottle

A - Settled to a reddish brown color with a white solid head that dissappears quickly

S - Strong scent of alcohol with some fruity overtones

T - Strong bitter tastes, not much else

M - Dry, full bodied mouth that didn't agree with me

D - Wasn't impressed with this barley wine, there were others that I liked better

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm a little hesitant on drinking this. When I popped the cork, well, there was no pop.

A: Poured a deep mahogany color with an off white head about half an inch thick, reduced to a film with little to no lacing. Slightly cloudy, and a few chunks of sediment at the bottom.

S: Raisins, alcohol, some spicy yeasty notes, a whole lot of sweetness, and lots of booze. Some definite whiskey notes, and even a faint reminder of Southern Comfort Liqueor. Very little in the way of hops.

T: Wow, heavy on the malt side of the spectrum. Caramel and figs and other dark fruits really come to the palate on this. Raisins are really coming to mind. Cinnamon flavors linger in there as well. There are some definite spicy flavors from the yeast, and from the alcohol as well. There is definitely a boozey flavor in here. It is not detracting from the beer though. Very little in the way of hops, a slight bitter twinge at the end but overall I think this comes from the dark roasted malts.

M: Warm and dry, this one burns and warms ya up. Perfect for a cold day like today. Pretty smooth in the mouth, it really burns the gullet though. A funky powdery dryness in the mouth, almost like eating powdered cinnamon.

D: I can't really say I'd drink this stuff all night. Half way through this I'm starting to feel a little alcohol coming on. This is a great tasting complex beer that really fits the style well. Maybe on a cold winter night this would go down a little better, but this is really something. Very, very interesting.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A little something to help get over my Cubs going down 0-2 in the NLDS. Into a KBS snifter.

A - Dark amber body with one finger of rock head.

S - A bit yeasty, a lot of black current, and a boatload of alcohol in the nose.

T - Fruit sweetness and tartness (blackberry, pear) are very predominate in the entry, with some drier malt to balence it out. Hops are present, but the alcohol seems to trash my mouth so much that it dominates any hops. I was left with a citrus aftertaste that did not go away, and did not compliment the beer at all.

M - Silky body, that becomes prickly with the alcohol.

D - I love Barleywines, the bigger the better... That being said, this lacked many qualities I like in the style. The malt was to dominated by fruits, and everything was blown away by the alcohol, which to me felt much higher than 12%. Can't say this is an brew I would reach for again.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear ruby in color with just a modest head that disipates before the first drink. Smell is plenty of hops, both citrusy and bittering. Taste is the same. Lots of hops and a little malt to try and help the cause. A decent brew, but not a stand out.

Photo of TasteTester
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for a while, figured now was as good a time as any.

A-Solid Amber. Very little translucence except around the edges. Pours with a little head, nothing that lasts. No lacing at all.

S-Sour mash right off the bat. Perhaps its raisins and some other fruits. Smells almost as if it would be more like a sour.

T-Bitter, slightly sour. The fruit tones are rather pungent. Not really sure what else to say. Its well balanced.

M-Nothing stands out or sticks to my tongue/mouth.

D-Maybe should have cellared longer or tried it sooner, no way to know now.

Photo of ryandurka
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this beer rocks. its 12 percent, so its strong, ie barley beer. unlike most beers this strong, this beer is not rough and has a smooth taste. no afterburn. if you can find this beer its worth the expensive price. you wont be disappointed. stranglely the taste is almost soft and thats wild for a 12 percent-er.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz. green bottle,

A: Pours a murky red mahogany mix, with a small off-white head, which peters out relatively quickly.

S: Strong smell of aged fermented malt, soy sauce, and lactic acid. Ethanol volatiles can be felt in the nose as well.

T: Tasty brown malt, molasses and raisin form the main flavour, with a dry finish with a mix of malt and spicy hops. Definite alcohol burn, but light.

M: Very low carbonation, I know it's a barleywine, but I still would have liked some more carbonation. Warming, alcoholic finish.

D: This is a good barleywine. It doesn't have a great complexity, but the flavours are good, making it a nice brew to sip. Not really hoppy at all, I'd say it's much more of an English barleywine than an American style.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was sort of surprised when I popped the top off of this beer. There was no pop. Sort of flat sounding. Hope the beer is still good.

A- Nice dark golden coper colored liquid. Despite no popping when the cork came out, there was a busy head when I poured the beer into the glass. The head is a mix of tightly packed large and small bubbles.

S- The smell is very tasty. A great mix of sweet citrus hops and a sweet honey mead. I'm smelling caramelized dark fruits and vanilla. I also get a hint of apricot, peach, and a touch of pear.

T- This beer tastes hearty, and is very complex. The great caramelized fruits are a winner here. The hops is there, but as a silent partner. The high ABV is quite spicy on the tongue, in combination with a acidic punch. After taste leaves a great honey mead taste.

M- Feels good in the mouth. The ABV and acid like taste does a number on your tongue. Definitely not something you want to start a reviewing session on as it is a pallet killer.

D- Easy to drink, but goes best as a sipping beer.

Photo of changeup45
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cool looking 12.7 ounce corked bottle. Pours a brown/amber color with a very nice initial tan head that settles to a foamy ring. Aroma is caramel, molasses, dark fruits and alcohol. The flavor is sweet raisins and figs, some caramel and molasses with quite a bit of hop bitterness, especially towards the finish. The beer is a little hot, I'm not going to say the alcohol is hidden, but at 12% that's kind of expected and I like the fact that there is never a dull moment here. Definitely a sipper but I like it.

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

Pours a deep amber brown with a very small off white head. Aroma is very sweet with cherries, dates, toffee, nuts and alcohol. Flavor is somewhat fruity although the malt does shine through a bit more. Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Finishes long and sweet with a substantial alcohol burn.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to Tayner for the chance to try this beer. I've seen it a couple of times but usually after I had spent my beer run budget.

A - nice clear dark amber color with a nice off white head
S - sweet, dark ripe fruits, caramel and raisins.
T - Taste follows the aroma with an almost light belgian yeast quality and a very strong alcohol note.
M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, very hot.
D - a sipper but that should be a given at this strength. I'd love to try one of these with 5 plus years on it.

It's not as mellow aas I'd like it to be but it hints at the ability to get there.

Photo of John_M
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very interesting beer from Mikkeller. Their take on a Belgian style barleywine DIPA perhaps?

The beer pours an orange tan color, with good head retention and lacing. This beer looks rich, viscuous and inviting. While this beer is pretty delicious, the nose on this bad boy had me going "wow." All kinds of stuff going on, but I got orange citrus, butter, honey, vanilla, cherry, butterscoth and toffee. Not all at once of course, but the aroma evolved as the beer sat in the glass, and each sip seemed to bring some other new flavor. The flavor on the palate generally replicates the nose, but there is huge blast of hoppy citrus on the finish. It really gives the beer a dry, hoppy finish, which is pretty surprising after the initial sweet flavor of honey, toffee, cherry and orange. While I felt as if the flavor profile really never came together with this beer, it was still one of the more interesting and intriguing beers I've ever tasted. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability no better then fair. The abv. is fairly well disguised (though you can tell it's up there), but the dry hoppy finish hurts this beers drinkability just a tad IMHO.

Nevertheless, this was a fun beer to try. One thing I'll say about Mikkeller, you can count on them to always makes something interesting and fun to drink.

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 brewdlyhooked13
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - a murky iced-tea color with a creamy, thinnish head of a scant finger. It's lightly tanned and is putting big sticky bubbles on the side of the glass.

Aroma - syrupy sweet aroma, like fruitcake drenched in blackberry brandy. Dark and fruity, and quite heady.

Taste - sweet, fruity, and hot. A little funkiness and solvent flavor mid-palate. Raisins, figs, molasses, all the essentials. Chocolate notes emerge with warming. Licorice on the swallow and plenty of abv warmth through to the finish.

Mouthfeel - not real big for a barleywine. Ample carbonation is good, and it has a smooth feel.

Drinkability - a delicious nightcap and kudos to anyone with enough foresight to have picked up some of these to cellar, they should be delicious in years to come.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in trade from RobotGod.
Poured a deep, deep brown with a small head that fades. Nose was dried fruits and lots of it. The alcohol was very subtle for 12%. Taste was like a deep, well balanced and very mature English Bwine. Lots of dried fruits, English malts, maybe some toffee and even liquorice in there. Mouthfeel was very good. That sweet dried fruit taste was nice. Since the ABV was not so brutal it kept drinkability high as well. Darn tasty!

Photo of Onslow
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow, what a truly beautiful full delicious brew, why oh why! ..so good i want to cry.. "I wish it were winter so I could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it! " ...abv works perfectly ...amazing stuff ..."good blow this is" ..only my second ever perfect 5!

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

Silver Foil

Poured into a tulip a amberish color, some carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, minimal sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, some figs/raisins/prunes, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, some dark fruits, and some nice caramel notes. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden fairly well. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty BWSA, recommended.

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle, corked and caged, the beer is a very hazy amber with a slight head that quickly settles to a thin film over the top. On the nose at first is a huge malt prescence with hints of caramel and candied fruit. A slight, citrusy hop aroma lingers in the backround. The taste is almost reversed from the aromas. It starts with a slightly dry hop prescence, and is then followed with loads of maltiness. Flavors of caramel, fruit, and prune dominate the palate, and goes back to a pleasant dry finish. It's almost as if this is a cross between American and English barleywines. Very full bodied and thick, it's definitely a sipper. I'm enjoying it even though it's 80 degrees here. Big Worse is very drinkable and a unique experience.

Photo of Crosling
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange, autumn color with a small, wispy head that disappears fairly quick. Nicely balanced nose, with hints of grapefruit-like hops, fruitcake, dough and honey covered fruits. Very characterful in flavor, with a nice honey-like sweetness, some fruits and caramel and toffee flavors. Body could have more texture and body. Still young, but its made some strides in the last six months. It seems to get more flavorful each time I have it. I really think it'll be great in a couple years.

Photo of peabody
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a very cloudy brown that light is not penetrating. Two fingers of suds with lacing around the rim of the snifter.
Smell is very strong. Sour apple and orange peel with a caramel raisin sweet aroma.
Taste is very sweet and a little alcoholy. A black bitterness that drys out the mouth finishes this off right before the alcohol burn hits the chest.
This is quite a strong drink but a little weak in the mouthfeel department. It seems that the flavor leaves way to quickly even though that fact makes you want to take another drink. Beware of the 12% though.

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Big Worse from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 399 ratings.