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Big Worse - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Big WorseBig Worse

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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 ToddT
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
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 russpowell
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish caramel with 1+ finger of tan head. Very good head retention & above average lacing, with loads of viscosity

S: Piney hops & caramel, some booze after it warms.

Leaf& grapefruitty hops & alcohol up front. More boozey warmth as this warms, some citrussy hops, plus piney hops & dryness. Finishes with a little fruttyness, more dryness, bunches of leafy hops & honey notes, plus caramel

MF: Slick with low carbonation, thin for the ABV, although the alcohol let's you know what's going on, very warming if you can deal with the heat!

Drinks just average, too damn hot alcohol-wise. sit on this at least 2 years or you just have a crude OTT American Barley wine

Photo of Beaver13
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
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 biga7346
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized Duvel tulip.

A: Poured flat, brownish, crimson, very flat and still, red ruby hues

N: Pie cherries, pie crust, crescent rolls, sugary fruits like kiwi, very ripe banana, some pineapple; juicy savory like aromas, some vinegar, metallic all covered in some serious booziness.

T/M: Very smooth, oily mouthfeel; brandy, cooking sherry, big caramel and toffee notes but not cloying. I don't think this has stood up very well to the test of time, it has aged in my cellar for probably two years. Some fig, caramelized sugar, irony, mineral water. The finish is an interesting mix of semi-sweet chocolate chips, powdered sugar, some smoke and charred oak.

D: Mikkeller beers can be hit or miss in my experience, this kinda falls in between, interesting take on an American barleywine.

Photo of Etan
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
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 lovelyallen
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
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 biegaman
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apparently I needn't worry about pouring any yeast slop into my glass - at some point over the last few years while laying perfectly still and undisturbed in my cold cellar the yeast somehow consummately fused itself into the beer. Or maybe I made that conjugation happen when struggling to extract the (abnormally long, synthetic and stubborn) cork. Whatever the case, this brownish liquid is sludgy, flat and butt ugly.

It took one whiff for me to realize what I had just gotten myself into. To those who like to have their palate smacked around by brute bitterness and senseless alcohol, this should be a real treat. For me, I'm slightly put-off. Stiff alcohol vapors blend none too favorably with the (now briny and musty) scent of piny, tropically fruity hops. The malts smell utterly debilitated and stink like rotted pear and fig compote. Looks like it's go big or go home!

...or maybe not. The beer isn't nearly as obnoxious as I first thought. Only narrowly chilled it confesses little of the stated 12% ABV listed on its label. The malts, while sapped and overworked due to the constraints of a heavy hop bill and double-digit alcohol, keep their dignity with a fig-y/prune-y/jam-y flavour and buttery, molasses-like sweetness. The hops too seem a little worse for wear, but haven't lost all their tropical, zesty qualities.

I couldn't remember exactly how long ago I bought this bottle but the date printed on the cork (that my hand all but rubbed off when wrestling to get it out) had mid-August 2011 as the best before date, which confirms that this has a few good years of age under its belt. Initial reviews were unfavorable so I opted to wait in hopes that it would improve. Which it has in some ways. Mind you, it has also degraded in other ways.

Oxidation and a soy sauce-like element at some point made their home in this green glass bottle. The hops, as mention earlier, have also seen better days. That said, aging this beer was as much a choice as it was a necessity - in hindsight I prefer the more aggressive, more severe Big Worse to this more passive, devitalized version. Then again, in hindsight, I probably wouldn't have forked out the $10+ dollars for a 375ml bottle of either!

Photo of WilsonLiu
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a small tan head.

Smell is grassy, herbal, fruity, and belgian-like. Not the belgian smell I like either.

Taste: It leads with typical barleywine flavors, crystal malts, dark fruits, and finishes with alcohol. Thin and grainy, I'm not very impressed.

Big Worse: Worse than most barleywines that cost a lot less. I don't think this is bad but it's not worth the $8.99 I paid for it.

Photo of Dope
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
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 AgentMunky
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Stamped 02/07/12. Bottled 7 February 2012? Best before that date?

A: No head whatsoever. A dull, rich brown. Mahogany, but translucent.

S: Smells like a barleywine. Sticky sweet malts, toffee, English hops, mild citrus, and moderate alcohol.

T/M/O: Meh. It's pretty decent. Thick-sweet, and very flat, with no carbonation whatsoever. Rich grape juice and trace caramel. Not very satisfying. A pretty damn boring barleywine, all told. Not one of Mikkeller's greater beers. Sweet and flat, with very little depth of flavour or mouthfeel.

Photo of Schreibeers
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, with some dark red tint. No head

S: Booze is the most prevalent at the nose, with some sweet maltiness. Smells smooth and nice. Smells nicer after a couple of sips.

T: Nice, I really like this beer. At first you get a little booziness, but it is not your typical "hot". The booziness is accompanied by a nice sweet roasted maltiness almost a toffee like flavor. There is some distant bitterness, but the alcohol and sweet sugars seem to keep this beer in balance. There is not much of a finish in this beer. I like a barley wine to have some staying power, but this seems a little thin.

M: Sooth, medium body. As you drink the beer really sticks to your mouth but seems to disapear quite quickly.

D: Overall, I do like this beer, but seems a little thin for a barley wine. The toffee sweetness makes this beer drinkable for the style.

Photo of tpd975
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this on awhile back and was hankering for a Barleywine. Here goes nothing.

A: Rip the foil, undo the cage, and pop the faux cork from the bottle without a sound. Pours pretty vicious with tons of bubbles and an average head. Spotty lacing as the contents disappear.

S: Tons of big bold sweet malts. Brown sugar, and some pine.

T: Big warming brew. Tons of sweetness right up front. Big bold pine flavors with hints of brown sugar, figs, and a bit of booze.

M: Medium bodied, yet clingy to the mouth and tongue.

D: Not real high on the drinkability scale, but what barleywine is.

Overall: I have not been overly impressed with the Mikeller brews. Don't get me wrong they are not bad, but for the price you just don't get the bang for your buck. Still waiting to try Beer Geek though as it's my favorite sytle and many rave about it. I can't wait to be the judge.

Photo of ChadQuest
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I finally bought a bottle of this, and am drinking the whole thing alone while playing video games online with Drewba. Best way to hangout with other BAs and not share your beer. All 12oz for me.

The pour is flat, totally still, which makes it look murky and not like beer. Color is dark amber.
The nose has alcohol and fig notes. Dark date like fruits is the picture.
I can not really talk about the flavors with out noting the mouthfeel and how still it is, as that really makes the flavors pop less and more rounded. once again alcohol soaked dates and figs, this drinks just "like a fine red wine" (gasp). I do not find much hops at all, and wondering how this comes off as "american" in style.
Mouth feel is coating and drawn out on the finish, a long evening sipper.

I sipped this for about 3 hours, yes, 12oz for 3 hours. i enjoyed drinking it at that pace, it was enjoyable and i would savor an evening with it again, but it is a bit expensive for what it really is.

Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
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 Birmz
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of brewcrew76
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cork reads 14/8/11

A - Pours a rhubarb, crimson red with a slim tan head.

S - Sweet caramel malt with a touch of alcohol.

T - Boozy and sweet with caramel, brown sugar and some citrus from the hops.

M - Medium mouthfeel, maybe a bit thin for a barleywine, with a warming alcohol.

D - The sweet caramel & citrus flavors give it a candy like taste that is not very appealing.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this in a trade with rustydiamond. Thanks Rusty!

It pours from foiled, caged and corked 12.7oz bottle(cork say 14/08/11) a clear deep amber with a 1 finger head of foam. Lots of lacing here and the head retention is better than average for the style.

The smell is malty foremost followed by some fruit and some slight bitterness.

The taste is huge. Lots of caramel malt starts things off but from there, I get an infusion of hops, mostly citrus, and a big kick of alcohol. Wheww...this is a mighty powerful brew and all of the 12%abv seems to be right there, in your face...err...mouth. Lots of warming to be had here so I'm only going to take *very* small sips.

A few sips later and the malt seems to have taken a sweeter route and taking on a more English style BW personna and that's a good thing in my book but the alcohol is kind of ruinning it for me. And just when I say that, the bitterness from the hops kicks it up a notch again...weird how the flavours seem to change for me from sip to sip.

It's going to be tough for me to rate this beer but one thing I know for sure, in its curent state, it's certainly not all that drinkable for me but I *am* glad I got to try it.

Photo of allengarvin
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The cork popped out with almost no carbonation pop, and a vigorous pour got no foam at all--is this supposed to be flat? The color is very murky brown, with a slick oily surface. The nose is big and very malty: powdery cocoa, lots of caramel, and an underlying fruitiness. At taste, this is indeed hardly carbonated at all. Dense caramel malt dominates, with a lot of dry bitterness but not much hop flavor. Alcohol is quite apparent, sharp and peppery. Neither pleasant nor interesting; this is a rough barleywine without any subtlety.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bigger worse than what? Pours a ruby red color with decent clarity. A good pour leaves a rocky head with some bigger bubbles. Ok retention and lacing.

The nose is either young or brewed with stressed yeast. Lots of fusels and solvent alcohol characteristics. Some limited amounts of complex malt aromas. A underlining sugary sweetness. Some lighter grassy and spicy hop aromas. Hard to get past the alcohol nose.

The taste is tamed down a bit. Still has a big alcohol kick, which to certain point is ok for style, but still. The malt characteristic really comes out with some complexity. Nice caramel backing with hints of brown sugar and pecan pie (yea kind of odd). Lighter notes of dates and prunes. Some hints of floral and citrus notes. There is a odd yeasty note that I associate with stressed yeast but not as bad versus the aroma.

The body is big with a under carbonation feel. Overall, needs age...no kidding at 12%. Maybe the fusels will go away with time. But still has potential for now.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of some dude on RB, thanks. Pours clear copper with tan head. The aroma is grainy, alcohol, pale fruity esters and a bit uninspired. It isn't rich and inviting as a lot of barleywines tend to be. The flavor is herbal, hoppy, alcohol and some mild sweet malts. The hops are pine and grass. There's pale malts followed by a decent dose of an alcohol tingle near the finish. I will re-rate this beer with several years of age.

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

Pours a cloudy amber color with minimal head. Lack of clarity reminds me of some of my own brewings.

Smell seems woody. Hard to really nail this one down, there's something there I can't identify.

The alcohol is fairly evident, a bit hot even; taste seems to be somewhat sweet.

Worth it for the experience, probably wouldn't purchase this again though. Can't remember what I paid for this bottle, seems like it was on the high-end. As far as barley wines go, probably not my favorite. I'd rather pickup a 6 of Bigfoot instead.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure on the vintage, but inflatablechair picked this up for me in Portland a year or two ago... I'm broke and really only want one beer, so let's make it a big one.

Poured into MNFG... caramel brown... hazy... almost no head... very little lacing.

Thick caramel in the nose... boozy... tawny port.

Caramel drenched raisins... too sweet... a bit cloying... seems a bit oxidized... bunch of EtOH burn on the finish.

Thick body... carbonation is almost non existent..

Ehh.... I've had this a couple times in the past and have never been overly impressed and I doubt age is going to help it.

3/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

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 cosmicevan
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-worked the tight cork for a while until it finally freed from the bottle...no pop, but the beer poured with a decent amount of bubbling. Poured a maple like brown into my oversized snifter but settled as a deep reddish brown in the glass. Head was gone quick and not much lacing, but a quick swirl of the glass brings the carbonation to life.

S-could smell her as soon as the bottle opened, sweet nutmeg fil the air. A closer snif from my glass revealed a deep nutmeg maple syrup richness. Smell is full but not cloying and has a bit of caramel in there. On the sweeter side, but pretty balanced for the style.

T-classic barleywine flavors with a bit of a heavy alcohol taste. A tad bitter, and none of the hop presence that I had expected. Alc is a bit too upfront for me. Nutmeg maple syrup much like the nose but with a touch of bitterness and alc taste with a taste of plum and raisin as well.

M/D-seems to have a heavy alcohol bite. Classic barleywine thickness but not all that lively in my mouth. A touch bitter and no tingle. Mikkeller beers tend to be very hit or miss for me. This one kind of falls in the middle. All in all an interesting take on the style...bit heavy on the alc flavor but it doesn't ruin the beer. Worth a try for the fans of Mikkeller and the fans of the style.

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