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Big Worst - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Big WorstBig Worst

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 16.84%
Wants: 20
Gots: 26 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  18.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
First Batch: 17.6% ABV January 2010
Second Batch: 18.5% ABV March 2011

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

(Beer added by: brownbeer on 03-16-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dope:
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%

I assume this is batch 1, 17.6% ABV. Dated 07/12/19, I assume "best by".

A: Pours a murky, rusty brown. No head other than a handful of bubbles as it is poured, which quickly disappear. No lacing of course.

S: Sickly sweet with a freight train of caramel. Some toffee with lots of dark fruit, raisin stands out the most by far. Hints of molasses. Very strong and sharp and extremely boozy.

T: Fruity up front with the raisin and perhaps fig and grape. Loads and loads of caramel, burnt sugars and toffee. Ends mainly with toffee lingering into a long lasting boozy aftertaste.

M: Thick doesn't cut it. Very heavy and with no carbonation; it's like drinking syrup. Tough to drink, can barely sip it.

O: What a strange brew. There's nothing "wrong" with it, it's basically a huge yet simple barleywine. Super boozy, alcohol is not hidden at all. No carbonation too - makes it very tough to drink though, a sipper for sure. Maybe cellar this one for a few decades and see how it comes out. I think it has potential.

10-13-2012 04:41:16 | More by Dope
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +23.8%

Appearance - This poured a very hazy sugary-looking brown with a modest almost brownish-white head that was quite impressive given the ABV.

Smell - This is exactly like the site said. The hops are huge, the resiny Cascade and Centennial offering tons of pine resin, but you almost don't notice them because of the massive candy sugar and huge malt base. The malts are rightly toasted and full of caramel which adds even more sugar to this nose. Not for the suffering diabetic that's for sure.

Taste - This is an amazing mix of stiff, resiny hops, rich lightly-toasted caramel-laden malts, and stiff but non-offending booze. The flavors are expertly blended which is what sets this apart. It is like nothing else I've ever tasted and I think it would be too easy to classify this one way or the other.

I want to elaborate on the mix of flavors here. This is like the well-composed entrée of a four-star chef. You have some incredibly dramatic flavors that, apart, would overpower almost anything, yet together they form a new creation. This is a mix of stiff hops, rich malts, and raucous sugars like none other before it.

Mouthfeel - This is not a full-bodied ABW but bigger than medium. The smoothness of this one though is amazing. The mix of flavors that I've already mentioned couple with the lack of carbonation and the incredible velvet feeling in the mouth is phenomenally pleasurable. I've had some great ABWs but this is by far the smoothest that I've tried, and considering the ABV it is mind-boggling.

Drinkability - This couldn't be more drinkable if it was 17% ABV water. I mean, it is so smooth yet super-intense that it defied the laws of normal beer drinking.

08-12-2010 03:39:11 | More by RoyalT
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%

This is a monster brew at 17.6% abv and it's in a green bottle. Lighter in color than expected, kind of an amber. The aroma is pretty good, loaded with cat piss hops and alcohol. The taste is catty as all get out too. The alcohol is hidden fairly well for the strength, but I still don't consider it to be all that drinkable, the whole cat urine thing. Two ounces is plenty of this brew for me.

03-16-2010 03:29:53 | More by brownbeer
Photo of megamass
megamass

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

05-20-2013 04:24:01 | More by megamass
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle. Sampled alongside the Bourbon edition.

This beer was dramatically different as it warmed. I am including the warmer review first, which is what I am rating. The other review will follow.

The beer pours a very clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the vanilla and almonds with some apricot and orange notes. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of orange and apricots. There are also some flora hops and some alcohol in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Now, for the review when the beer was cold.

The aroma is full of nail polish remover and some strong sake notes. The flavor is that of a sake, with some almond and strong alcohol notes. There is also a little bit of toffee mixed in.

The moral of this story is let this beer warm to near room temperature before you drink it.

09-25-2011 21:45:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

Bottle from a friend.

Pours an opaque, very dark copper color with a surprising one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with good amounts of citrus and lighter amounts of pine hops. As the beer warms the hops fade a bit and the malt aromas sweeten.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Deep caramel malt flavors that are certainly sweeter because of the high ABV kick things off. Light toffee and mild grapefruit and pine hop flavors come in midway through the sip and carry through to an ending that's equally bitter and sweet. There's a good deal of warming influence after the sip but the ABV is still very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was impressed with the surprisingly large hop influence on such a big beer as well as the tempered alcohol influence. It's tough to make a beer with this high of an ABV drinkable and Mikkel did a nice job - worth a shot.

06-01-2010 06:25:58 | More by glid02
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

375ml bottle, best before 07/12/19, but who the hell can wait that long? I'm already tired of looking at this in my beer storage area after a whole 6 months...

This beer pours an opaque, over-saturated iced-tea amber-brown hue, with a thin cap of fizzy off-white head, which, in the way of things fizzy, fizzes out quickly, leaving nothing much beyond a few lame specks of lace. It smells heavy, the weight pulling my nostrils down as if gravity had suddenly doubled - big brown sugar malt, orange liqueur, leafy, oily, somehow fresh hops, and softly astringent booze. The taste is unctuous toffee, butterscotch, and treacle, all dressed up in nice bouquets of pine and citrus, and doused in warming alcohol. The carbonation is quite languid, the body mind-numbing in its duality - sweet sugary, hedonistic smoothness vs. dry, ascetic alcohol. It finishes in the exact sense of the word - I feel 'end of lifed' by this behemoth - the stewed citrus hops coming out of temporary retirement to take on the pushy malt overlord, is well, a nice final touch.

Holy tap-dancing Jebus, I did not expect this - a relatively easy-drinkin', yet still in your face offering. While the ABV level surpasses any and all big-ass wines that I've come across, somehow the heat perception falls short of any of that. This ain't right - nothing this strong should taste so, so, so temperate, and complex.

03-11-2011 02:48:39 | More by biboergosum
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +14.4%

375ml bottle into tulip.

A: The body pours a rich copper hue, with no head formation at the start and the slight amount of carbonation bubbles form a thin ring around the top of the glass, that holds on very slightly. The levels of carbonation in the body are very minimal.

S: The aroma is surprisingly low in intensity and has a smooth caramel note. Hops have faded out and a rich malt element is present.

T/M: The first taste brings a warm and welcoming sweetness to the palate, a very rich malt character, with a nice alcohol presence, that doesn't tend to be hot or overpowering. The mouthfeel is smooth and silky. Finish is a very prolonged lingering effect and robust in malt character.

O: wow overall, a very mellow high ABV barley wine, on that pushes the limit of even a real wine. I found it to be very enjoyable and something that I would frequent, as it has great smooth flavors and a rich backbone.

06-04-2011 02:45:25 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of dbossman
dbossman

Nebraska

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

A: Gold and clear with just a touch of head; lacing is surprisingly good

S: So boozy; so much alcohol with a touch of butter; lots of grains but God, this beer is boozy

T: So much booze--even a bit of smokey scotch flavors; this is grainy and it burns--wow, does it burn; boozy, buttery, grainy, and awesome

F: Decently carbonated; fairly creamy

O: Holy crap, this is a big, boozy beer, and I love it; I'm not sure what style this actually is but I love this boozy, grainy glass of awesomeness

06-04-2012 22:48:35 | More by dbossman
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.08/5  rDev -17.6%

Overpriced 375ml bottle shared by someone at a tasting. Glad I got to tick this beer without shelling out mucho dinero for it. Not worth the price at all.

Hazy orangish-amber in color with a well-formed off-white/yellowish head. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and boozy. Lots of caramel and some dried fruit notes, along with slightly faded citrusy hops.

Sweet caramel malt is the dominant flavor note. There is also some toffee, citrus (orange/grapefruit/pineapple), brown sugar, and earth. A little unbalanced and boozy, but fairly tasty.

Fairly full-bodied and syrupy with an appropriate carbonation level. A little boozy, as you'd expect for a beer of this strength.

A decent beer, but just not very good for the barleywine style at all. I looked up "hit-or-miss" in the thesaurus yesterday and it said "Mikkeller." These guys can be really great or really average, depending on the beer. This is a prime example of why bigger isn't always better.

06-24-2010 17:40:01 | More by nickd717
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GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

10-26-2013 01:48:45 | More by GRG1313
Photo of jimmy82063
jimmy82063

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +11%

Wow where to begin. At least after this I won't have to watch anymore annoying soccer!

Poured into a brandy snifter (where it belongs)!

A - Pours a nice murky amber very little head.

S- Boy the malts and molasses really come through. This smells so sweet.

T - Malts and more malt, got molasses, honey, some cinnamon I think.

M - Hugely hot.

D - You can only have one of these in a week. The alcohol presence is huge.

I thought my cellaring project was going to be pretty simple a couple of Bigfoot's a year and I would be good. Going to get a couple of bottle of this and let them sit

06-13-2010 00:50:41 | More by jimmy82063
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ddedhed

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

09-16-2013 01:19:21 | More by ddedhed
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AxesandAnchors

Oregon

2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

01-14-2013 08:06:41 | More by AxesandAnchors
Photo of minterro
minterro

Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -4.3%

From notes at Crunchy’s in East Lansing.

A & S: White grapes and alcohol sweetness in the scent. Mainly dominated by booziness. Clear yellow-orange. Clear head was there in wisps when received but went away relatively quick to nothing but specks and a ring, no lacing except when swilled which resulted in wine like legs.

T & M: Not much hops as advertised in the description. fruity pretty high carbonation, crisp. Very sweet alcohol aftertaste. Fairly Thin bodied. When warmed a little sweeter and easier to drink. Alcohol isn’t well hidden in either the taste or the nose.

O: Trying to be unbiased because Barley wines are not normally my forte, but I don’t really like this beer all that much. Not upset that I tried it cause it was the highest ABV beer I’ve ever rated, but I wouldn’t get it again.

11-28-2011 04:40:33 | More by minterro
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. Comes in a 375 ml green bottle, caged and corked with white foil around the neck.

Dark cloudy amber in appearance, short creamy beige head that settles quickly to a dime thin cap.

Sweet citrus notes of orange and grapefruit, cherry, sweet yet dry malt. Some alcohol and warmth.

Alcohol warmth predominates everything else, sweet malt with light orange notes, spicy citrus hops on finish to balance out the sweetness, while intense alcohol warmth bookends the finish and aftertaste as well. Dry, musty aftertaste.

Medium-full mouthfeel, slick texture, low carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth on the palate and down the throat.

Quite drinkable for a barley wine of such a high alcohol content, however it lacks in the flavour department and of character with the toss up being the approachable high alcohol content. Worth trying for the sake of it, or to warm your bones on a chilly winter night, otherwise there are far more flavourful barleywines out there to seek out.

06-01-2010 03:40:34 | More by IronDjinn
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TheBaumer

California

4/5  rDev +7%

11-11-2013 17:37:06 | More by TheBaumer
Photo of lowendfrequency
lowendfrequency

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%

12.7 fl oz poured into an extra fat snifter.

Pours shockingly light colored, crystal clear amber with a copper hue. Definitely one of the lightest hued beers of this potency I've ever sampled. Not much of a head to write about but enough to form trace bubbles on the rim of the glass.

Long before I bring the glass to my nose I can detect a heavy banana aroma permeating the room. Upon closer scrutiny, this beer puts off a ton of acetone which, at 18.5%, is to be expected. Behind the big nose are more subtle notes of thick honey, burnt sugars and tree sap.

The flavor is floral and resinous like a high quality honey. I get a strong dose of white grapes, pineapple and something akin to a nice gold rum. Mouthfeel is like a thick syrup initially but the high alcohol helps dry things up to keep this from being too cloying. There is a distinct booze character holding up the finish to remind you of the potent brew in your glass. VERY mead-like.

This was a good beer. That being said, it's not ready to drink. For what I paid, I don't feel the experience it provided was worth the cost. However, this beer has major cellar potential. I'm tempted to go out and by a few bottles to lay down for a year or more. Another eye opener from Mikkeller.

03-22-2011 06:49:42 | More by lowendfrequency
Photo of beerpirates
beerpirates

Belgium

4.03/5  rDev +7.8%

A : Cloudy orange with no head leaving à little bit of lacing

S: Citric notes, Caramel, Hint of alcohol and pine.

T : Caramel, Alcohol, Berries, Citric notes and some syrupy notes,sweet hops and malts

M : Low carbonation with massive sweetness that is held somewhat back by the massive amount of hops used, very thick nearly syropy ,

D : Way more balanced that i expected it to be. Heavy on alcohol , i can feel the alcohol doing his job after à few sips -:)

Even though it is quite sweet there has been an effort in trying to hold the sweetness in check by using alot of hops. This was a perfect nightcap.

01-21-2011 20:23:45 | More by beerpirates
Photo of calcnerd
calcnerd

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7%

02-02-2013 01:27:19 | More by calcnerd
Photo of Ghenna
Ghenna

California

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from a bottle into a NB chalice. Wet straw clolor, white head, low retention.

Smells sweet, fruity, and boozy.

My first notion when I drink this is that it is a port- a lighter colored citrus port. It actually reminds me a lot of a late harvest reisling.

It's hard to think of something to say about this one. Despite being nearly 19% it is (relatively) drinkable. It tastes nice and has a less thick mouthfeel than a North Coast Old Stock. Its flavor profile though kind of puts it outside of the realm of beer- it is just too heavy and lacks the nuance that I get with beer. The flavors that it has, are just too strong and cover up the other parts that I expect to find in a beer.

I'm glad that I snagged this when I saw it- it is hard to make a beer at this ABV, I might even snag another to age for 10 years, but there are quite a few beers that I would get before this one again.

10-03-2011 01:48:53 | More by Ghenna
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%

18.5%ABV.

A-Pours a clear amber with a thing ring of soft white bubbles. No lacing.

S-Clove, banana, Bubble Yum. I don't peg this as an 18.5%ABV from the nose.

T/M-Bubble gum sweetness, banana, Belgian candi sugar. Medium bodied, with a soft mouthfeel and a warming finish. Really, I am having a hard time believing the ABV on this one. The sweetness verges on cloying, but never quite gets there. More akin to an imperial pilsner or Eastern European export lager like Baltika 9 than a barleywine.

O-I'm confused. Not sure what to make of it. I guess I like it, but it doesn't strike me as being representative of its stated style.

04-09-2011 23:34:07 | More by DaveHS
Photo of DangerDawg
DangerDawg

Ohio

3/5  rDev -19.8%

02-26-2012 02:28:45 | More by DangerDawg
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

01-12-2012 04:46:17 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
SubpoenaDeuces

California

3.1/5  rDev -17.1%

Big worst Mikkeller, Barleywine 18.5%

A: Murky melted raisin brown with some light chocolate hues, strange dark orange at the edges, minimal carbonation and lacing. Like a cup of majestic lakewater.

S: Tons of dark figs, raisins, dates, some plums and a HUGE alcoholic waft that clear cuts your olfactory like strip miners. The heat is present and accounted for in an overriding way.

T: The taste delivers its dark fruits with a similar character to a quad but with less maltiness. It has huge dark fruits and a slight caramel character to it but I would say the most overdone aspect is the heat fro the alcohol which storms across your palate like a bull in a China shop. One gulp I swallowed too aggresively and got warm spit in my lower jaw like when you are about to gag. I can handle Chocolate Rain and The Beast and other big hitters, the problem with this beer is its onesided rampage on your palate. It is too thin for the caged alcohol Raptor that it seeks to tag along to the event.

M: The mouthfeel is relatively thin and has moderate coating, this is a bad thing because it is like putting a jockey in the place of a lion trainer. As a result the only thing that I can really focus on is getting the huge alcohol down. I would say this is less a problem with me being a pampered prep school beer boy and more a problem of balance on the part of Mikkeller.

D: I guess this depends on how masochistic you are and how badly you want to endure multiple floggings just to enjoy some dark fruit splendor. Take a bottle Three Philosophers, then pour three shots of whiskey into it, you have yourself a bottle of Big Worst. I can see some highbrown frat kids at Princeton drinking this in excess for both domestic accolades and highbrow marks. Its complete disregard for my gag zones puts even one 12oz bottle on the no-fly list.

Narrative: These first dates never go well, oh sure, everyone keeps looking, but what am I supposed to do? LEAVE HIM IN HIS KENNEL ALL EVENING? Sure, go ahead and judge, I know this is Olive Garden, I know he is a Rottweiler, but I AM SORRY IS IT YOUR BUSINESS HOW I SPEND MY MONEY? This tour of Italy is delicious but I can't help but wonder if they are going to make me pay for the tablecloth that he is destroying. Michael is totally unable to control the fear on his face, how uncompromising of him. Here we are at a lovely Italian dinner and all he can complain about is how much it will cost to replace his tattered Banana Republic slacks. I WONT GET RID OF A MEMBER OF MY FAMILY MICHAEL, how dare you ask me to do something like that. Sure, I could have chained him outside, taken him to obedience classes, or maybe kept him under a bit more discipline but I feel like, if someone can't love Hephaestus, they can't love me. What is a pair of khakis and a destroyed table cloth compared to an everlasting love and a 250 lbs. watchdog? CHECK PLEASE.

05-30-2011 19:42:17 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
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Big Worst from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.