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Big Worst - Mikkeller ApS

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Big WorstBig Worst

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BA SCORE
85
very good

54 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 54
Hads: 110
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 20
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  18.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brownbeer on 03-16-2010

First Batch: 17.6% ABV January 2010
Second Batch: 18.5% ABV March 2011

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 110
Photo of AmericanGothic
4.8/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a goblet at Red's.

A; Clear, golden orange, one finger of off-white head. Lightest barleywine I've even seen. Beautiful.

S: Fruity esters and a little citrus, sort of a Belgian profile overall. Quite nice.

T: Holy cow. Lots of fruit, banana and port, like a strong tripel, with a little pepper. I could drink this forerer.

M: Light and extremely smooth. Suave.

O: Fantastic. This is Christmas in a glass, and it's only June. Oh golly, go get some. There was a two glass limit at Red's, and I was tempted to introduce myself to strangers just to get them to buy me a third because I couldn't think of stopping at two. Yum. (638 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.7/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy brownish-amber color with minimal off white head, which quickly dissipates into a wispy lacing.

S: A definite sweet citrus smell, a malty background with spicy hops coming though.

T: A strong syrupy sweet taste, with heavy alcohol overtones. Hints of caramel and citrus, with a dry musty aftertaste.

M: Medium to heavy-medium mouthful with lot of alcohol on the palate. This one warms you up and keeps you toasty!

D: This is definitely a sipper at 17.60 % abv, but amazing is not too heavy on the palate. It is surprising easy to drink and a well-balanced beer. This beer would have been better if aged for a couple of years. Overall this is an excellent barleywine. (678 characters)

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.67/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second batch, 18.5%

A - Clear light orange, no head, no lacing.

S - Piney, resin, ginger, lemon zest, grains, yeast.

T - Candi sugar, white grapes, orange zest, piney hops, resin, light tropical fruits, nectarine, light grains, alcohol is suprisingly hidden very well.

M - Full bodied, thick, crisp low moderate carbonation, warming alcohol, dry finish.

O - Outrageous! Mikkeller done did it again! Thoroughly enjoyed this experience! (439 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
4.67/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Still a monster of a barleywine in this second batch, which pushes the big impression of the first with an even longer character.

Presentation: 375 ml green, capped bottle. Light yellow illustration with a two mugshots of the brewers wearing shades. Back highlights the the brewing at de Proef. Notes style and 18,5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Clear deep gold to pale amber pour with a short head that displays moderate retention and a faint surface memory with some lacing.

S - Resinous nose, with caramel and a note of soft booze, spicy hint.

T - Sweet and resinous. Sugar coated hop presence diving in a well integrated boozy touch. Turpentine fruity notes are now fully mashed with the crushed caramel and push the brew up beautifully.

M - Medium/full body with soft carbonation, sticky and long lingering finish.

O - Long and dangerous sipper, an spectacular offering.

Notes: This second batch brings it up a couple of notches and fully gives it its own identity. Alcohol increase aside, and maybe in part due to the freshness, it has an enticing character full of nuances, and fully rounded that is something else. I liked the first batch, review marks below, but I would have never expected this second one would even improve it this way. Loving this dangerous one, a brew that is not shy at all and that has grabbed me.

03/06/2011
A 4, S 4, T 4.5, M 4, O 4 (1,386 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
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. (1,681 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine brew provided by Blazer06, over on ratebeer, thanks again Zack. Pours clear copper with off white head. The aroma is sweet with apples, plums, figs, a sliver of caramel, sweet malts and some mild heat at the end of the draw. The taste is just as sweet and smooth as the nose suggested with slick caramel moving into rich fruitiness from plums, perfectly ripe red apples, figs, apricots and sugar coated pear wedges. It stays smooth, sweet, fruity and yummy defying the massive ABV. Wow! (499 characters)

Photo of Ratman197
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle from Wine and Cheese Place poured a clear peach with a lingering ring of ivory foam. Aromas of alcohol, carmel, fruittiness and pepper. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth with a warming finish. Flavors of carmel, peach, white pepper and orange with a smooth warming lingering fruity finish. (308 characters)

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of jimmy82063
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
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 (591 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml capped w/ white foil. No date information. 18.5% ABV. From everything I've read, this must be the second batch.

Pours a surprisingly bright and clear golden orange. A small amount of floating sediment and a ring of off-white foam.

Smells quite fruity. I get apples, pears, bananas... Belgian sugar. Some spirit notes as well, particularly vodka and gin. I guess that is the booze sneaking through, but it blends well with the overall aroma.

Taste is intense and smacks you right in the palate. Those sweet fruits are right up front, particularly banana. Very sugary sweet maple syrup middle. The finish is a biting sting on the tongue. Alcohol doesn't seem to interfere with the flavor, but you heat up quick from this one.

As you might expect, this beer feels quite syrupy in the mouth. The sweetness lingers for a long time and encourages slow sipping. That's a pretty good idea given the incredibly high ABV.

A really nice and powerful beer. Just be sure to have a big glass of water next to it. (1,009 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 13oz bottle into Delirium Tremens snifter.

A. Pours maybe a centimeter of head. Lacing left on the side of the glass after swirling like wine or liquor. No head so no retention. Color is a really cloudy brown with a tint of orange.

S. Smells like a big bad ass barleywine. Alcohol, caramel malt, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, figs, toffee. Really nice sweet smelling boozey barleywine. Has a nice dark fruit smell, that not all barleywines have.

T. Tastes like a big bad ass barleywine. There is no ignoring the booze in this monster. After alcohol, I get caramel, brown sugar, raisins, molasses, alcohol, some dark fruit, almost a bit of sour cherry, and then a little bit of alcohol.

M. Mouthfeel is actually pretty thin for a beer this big, I would describe it as medium bodied. Lingering tongue, lip coating sweetness. As expected very low carbonation.

O. Overall, this is a big ol beer. Lots of flavors going on if you can get past all the booze. Wish I had a second one that I could age for, well I guess I could age it for as long as I wanted. Would like to see what some considerable time would do to this massive beer though. Easier drinking than some similar ABV beers I have had. (1,211 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7oz into Portsmouth tulip. This is NOT the big bad or the big worse, but an all new one. Hell yes!

A- Caramel brown, lighter than the big worse. Amazing creamy bead, 2 fingers! Fir a 17% beer, I'm floored. The best head on a +15% beer I've ever seen. Outstanding. Lacing is thick as all hell.

S- Hoppy. Wow. Smells like pine sap. Pretty sweet malt base but the hops are the focus on this one. Suprised me.

T- Amazing. Hoppy bitterness- pine sap and I'm guessing some real resiny hops were used in this one (simcoe?). Malt sweetness is really strong but the decent carbonation and intense hop blast really do wonders at 'smoothing' it out.

Well, I put 'smooth' in quotations because there's no denying this is a powerful beer... but I am really really digging it. Well, as the sips go on the malt becomes heavier and heavier... a bit much on some sips. You have to take your time with this one, no choice.

M- More carbonation than you would think, although still low. Could have used a bit more.

D- No way. One'll do ya and then some. Really good for the ABV, but don't make any plans.

Phenomenal beer. I am (again) impressed with the quality coming from Mikkeller... prob. my favorite brewery. No, definitely my favorite brewery. (1,245 characters)

Photo of BlackWednesday
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

hazed foxy red beer with medium, sligthly yellowish head as whipped eggwhite. Fruity aromas jumping out of the glass, especially passion fruit, also mango, orange, grapefruit, white grapes. And USA hops, getting drier, hopbales like. Very fruity bittersweet flavour; bitter oranges, kumquats, grapefruit, pineapple- and strawberryesters. Caramel, toffee, maple syrup and fusels. Oh, and some hops... Alcoholwarming, very slick-oily. Fiery, yet drinkable. Warming up, benzeneFruitester bomb, superbly hopped, yet adequate malts. Mikkeller seems to get better every month... though this one reminds me of Mikkels’ first homebrew Barley Wine I ever tasted. (655 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this at Crown Liquors, downtown Indianapolis. I'm always interested in trying stuff from Mikkeller, we don't get enough in Columbus.

A- Very small head, understandably. I was surprised by the murkiness of this beer. Its a burnt orange beer with lots of floaties.

S- The smell is nearly all alcohol, that and sweet, vinous, wine-like stuff. Its very sweet and stinging.

T- This is quite delightful, it handles the alcohol quite well. Its a very very sweet beer though. Caramel and sweet candied citrus is layered under berries and fruits. The finish is alcoholic and malty. I'd make the argument that this is more of an English style, but I'm not here to split hairs.

M- Full, nearly syrupy and laden with heat and booze. It leaves the mouth and soft palate warmed by booze.

D- I've enjoyed sipping on this for well over an hour now. (850 characters)

Photo of beerpirates
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (616 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with light to medium carbonation and has a decent amount of retention for the extreme abv. Its a very Hazy Cherry wood color and is topped off with a bone white head. Sticky lacing.

S: Wow this stuff smells nuts! Its like green jolly ranchers... or apple pucker like almost. Super intense granny smith apple simple syrup.

T: The palate is abruptly met with a bitter woody presence. The taste is so overwhelming it almost accounts for the overly intensified bouquet. That is to say the fruit does not follow through on the palate as it suggests in the nostril. There is a considerably long finish to this beer with hints of lots of fruity esters. beer is Very cognac like in nature. Boozy Yet Im finding Big Worst considerably dry feeling for how sweet this beer surely is. A call to calvados perhaps.

M: oily on the mouth... very hot on the back of the throat.

D: low given the extreme nature of this beer (918 characters)

Photo of MiloHoP
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice orange/red color with little lacing on glass.

S: Big Pine Citrus smells with hint of alcohol nice malty backbone

T: You can not taste the alcohol as much as I was expecting. Very sweet Hop, fruits, and caramel finish.

M: Sticky sweet feel in mouth, a little bitter at front but sweetens once it hits back of throat. Nice warming feeling.

D: Overall a solid Barley wine, a little on the sweet side tho. Don't come in expecting a Hop Bomb on this one. Price tag makes it questionable on a return taste but worth a venture. (533 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.97/5  rDev +5%
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. (636 characters)

Photo of baggio
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle@home

A: Orange with a small, beige, head.

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

T: Caramel, Alcohol, Berries, Citric notes and some syrupy notes.

M: Low carbonation with massive sweetness that is held somewhat back by the massive amount of hops used. Way more balanced that i expected it to be.

I was very impressed by this brew. 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. (508 characters)

Photo of daledeee
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. of 18.5%. One should be enough. I have had this at 45F for about 6 months.

This pours a minimal head with a bright gold clear body. Not any lacing either.

Nose is alcohol and fruit: a mixture of pear, apple and apricot.

Taste is apricot and brandy. It might be coming across as brandy as this is seriously strong beer. It really warms your throat. It is somewhat numbing as you drink it. Pretty sweet and heavy but not a lot of carbonation. As it warms I notice more complexity such as malts with orange and caramel and it was more drinkable. This was worth a try, but even I have my limits; pretty boozy. (619 characters)

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

Thanks to the random sharer of this brew. How kind of you, unknown Mademoiselle...

A - It pours a $31-looking caramel-brown hue, with about $8 worth of head, and $3 of lace.

S - Lots of syrupy booze, barrel and rich caramel-toffee aromas. Some spicy citrus notes are present, too. Also candied apples.

T - Lots of barrel, big booze, apple-caramel, almost a hint of mulled spices, and still some spicy hops in the mix. This reminds me of Avery's The Beast Grand Cru, but not quite as good (IMO).

M - Big and sticky. About what I expected.

D - This brew has a price tag that would scare me off, especially since I really felt it to be similar to the merely expensive-and-not-ridiculously-expensive Beast Grand Cru. (717 characters)

Photo of Ghenna
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (897 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big thank you to Gothgargoyle for this! Holdbar til 22/03/20

Appearance. Pours a murky orange-brown with a thin khaki head that fades to a lasting collar.

Smell. Nice caramel and oak barrel with a little old barrel funk. There's a little citrus and orchard frutiness going on as well. Nice.

Taste. Wow. Citrus rinds and caramel, coconut and toasted oak, some sharp alcohol, oily bitter hops that last on the tongue. Interesting with big flavours going on.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full bodied, low carbonation.

Overall. Sweet, boozy, hoppy, tons of barrel. It's an assault on the palate but nothing really outputting about it. Always fun to try something different. (665 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,100 characters)

Photo of dbossman
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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 (497 characters)

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Big Worst from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.