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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

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 16.58%
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: 106 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jale:
Photo of jale
2.1/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had on ta at Crunchys

A: Pours gold with only a bubble or two of white head.

S: Like I just walked into a nail salon. Big acetone and solvent in the nose followed by some malt and alcohol.

T: Like drinking sweet malty nail polish remover. I get little hop flavor in this unlike advertised. Alcohol heat is there.

M: sticky and cloying with low carbonation.

O: This is a horrible tasting beer.

jale, Dec 20, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.63/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

RoyalT, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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.

brownbeer, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

megamass, May 20, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Mora2000, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

glid02, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

biboergosum, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Sammy, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

GDBEERMAN, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of dbossman
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

dbossman, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of nickd717
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

nickd717, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

GRG1313, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of jimmy82063
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

jimmy82063, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of ddedhed
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

ddedhed, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of AxesandAnchors
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

AxesandAnchors, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of minterro
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

minterro, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

IronDjinn, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of TheBaumer
4/5  rDev +7%

TheBaumer, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of lowendfrequency
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

lowendfrequency, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of beerpirates
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

beerpirates, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of calcnerd
4/5  rDev +7%

calcnerd, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Ghenna
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Ghenna, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

DaveHS, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of DangerDawg
3/5  rDev -19.8%

DangerDawg, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
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Big Worst from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.