1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Big Worst - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Big WorstBig Worst

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 54
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)
View: Beers (253) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of calcnerd
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of daledeee
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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

Photo of BostonHops
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

having paid princely sums for mikkeller's offerings in the past and come away underwhelmed, here's hoping that'll change.

12.7oz corked and caged bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky, dark amber tone with no trace of head whatsoever. this is a huge beer, so i don't hold that against it completely, but i'm nervous; not a fan of undercarbonated beers.

the aroma isn't among the more potent barleywines i've whiffed but i get notes of sweet maltiness/candied sugar, a touch of hops, and plenty of booze. taste is ok, mostly following the nose. candied fruit/sugar, caramel, a bit a spice, and an earthiness. not bad. there is nice degree of complexity which i feel is overshadowed by the heat.

pretty full-bodied with very low carbonation. all in all there are some enjoyable elements to this beer but in the end i'm not blown away. again, the steep price tag fails to deliver a beer worthy of it.

originally reviewed: 01-04-2011

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml into tulip at about 50 degrees.

Pours w/short white head over a very clear peach-to-golden body, with a fair amount of carbonation struggling to make it up.

Aromas are laced with alchohol, sweet candy sugar, ripe banana, yeast, and bubble gum.

Flavor shifts gears slightly, in that the alcohol is masked by the thick sweetness of ripe banana, navel orange-like citrus, caramel, and a kiss of grapefruit rhind.

Mouthfeel is obviously thick and cordial-like, causing it to be nothing but a sipper.

I enjoy sweet beers, so had no problem with this one overall ... except that it's "out there" relative to most Barleywines.

p.s. Do not shotgun this beer.

Photo of DangerDawg
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of danieelol
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of ajs4bd
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

Photo of John11486
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of rvdoorn
4/5  rDev +7%

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.

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.

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.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage

A-Pours out a thick and lightly hazy but vibrant orangish,yellow with a rapidly dying,1 inch crown of stark white that left spotty lacing and alcohol "legs" on the glass.

S-Apricot brandy,peach preserves,caramelized grains,golden raisin and orange zest with a little blonde tobacco as well.Boozey but not obnoxiously so.

T-Sweet grains,booze,candied orange and cherry,more blonde tobacco and peach or nectarine like a moscato but seriously fortified.

M-A little hot but still tasty.Medium/full bodied with a concentrated sweetness and fruity alcohol notes.Lasting burn and subtle bitterness on the finish.

O-This is a decent extreme beer but I would choose a Samaels or a Beast before I drank this again.Happy to have tried it but the price does not match the quality.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

have paid princely sums for mikkeller's offerings in the past and have come away underwhelmed. here's hoping that'll change.

12.7oz corked and caged bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky, dark amber tone with no trace of head whatsoever. this is a huge beer, so i don't hold that against it completely, but i'm nervous; not a fan of undercarbonated beers.

the aroma isn't among the more potent barleywines i've whiffed but i get notes of sweet maltiness/candied sugar, a touch of hops, and plenty of booze.

taste is ok, mostly following the nose. caramel, a bit a spice, and an earthiness. not bad. there is nice degree of complexity which i feel is overshadowed by the booziness.

pretty full-bodied with very low carbonation. somewhat drinkable, though really, who would shell out for more than one. again, the steep price tag fails to deliver a beer worthy of it.

Photo of HopsMatt
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of photomike
2/5  rDev -46.5%

Photo of ddedhed
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of ronricorossi
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of TexAggie011
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Big Worst from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.