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Big Worse (Bourbon Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Big Worse (Bourbon Edition)Big Worse (Bourbon Edition)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

61 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 16.84%
Wants: 11
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: vfgccp on 02-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Aged for 8 months in Bourbon barrels.
View: Beers (265) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 28
Photo of BierJager89
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Murky orange/brown with a brown head that quickly fades to a ring.

S: Not a ton of bourbon in the nose, but it's there with some dark fruit, citrus, vanilla and alcohol.

T: Taste is fruity with notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, bourbon, and some alcohol, but more burn than flavor.

M: Astringent, but otherwise smooth and full bodied.

O: Really good, worth a try, at least once.

Photo of Odysseyalien
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle purchased at Ales Unlimited in San Francisco.

I had wanted to try a Mikkeller brew, particularly this barleywine, and I can gladly say that I've finally done so.

Labled as an American barleywine, I guess it is though the bottle I had was not overly hoppy as most American barleywines are. There is a hop profile though but it's not overwhelming. Slightly sweet but not as sweet as some barleywine's I've had. Flavors more pronouned as it warms to room temperature -- raisins on the tongue along with maybe some brown sugar. Not my favorite barleywine but not bad. If I had room in my suitcase to drag more of these back to New Jersey, I would do so. This might improve nicely with a year or two in the cellar.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a dark copper with a 1 finger light tan head. Big waves and leopard spotting of lacing all over the glass.

S- sweet caramel, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, butter, tobacco.

T- toasted malts, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon, tobacco and leather.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Some syrup and has a slightly dry finish.

O- nice ba Barleywine. Fairly complex with nice bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, etc flavors.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A reddish amber pour with a small khaki head. Only minimal bourbon aroma, but some wood and vanilla notes are present. Sweet brown sugar and toffee, a little bit of fruit/citrus, and some alcohol. The flavor is a touch hot with bourbon and alcohol notes. A bit of oak and vanilla along with brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. A light citrus quality, mostly grapefruit peel.

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Uncorked, unlike its non-aged brother.

A: Decent head, murky-opaque dark red-brown.

S: Interesting. Some spice, some depth. Sweet, molasses malt.

T/M: Far better than the normal Big Worse (which was, admittedly, out of date). Loads of grapes, pleasant malt, and thick-sharp bourbon. Less sweet than Big Worse, but only relatively so. Still a damn sweet ale. Soft vanilla and the molasses character noted previously, but just enough carbonation to keep the stickiness at bay.

O: A great barleywine, the bourbon influence in which only shows up on the distant aftertaste and the decreased cloyingness of the base beer. Drinkable, pleasant, and recommended. Thanks Mikkel, for improving your disappointing initial effort.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark garnet, one finger off white creamy head, great lacing.

S - Apples, raisons, toffee, wood, candi sugar, light alcohol fumes.

T - Raisons, caramel, toffee, cocoa, oak, maple syrup, light bourbon, nutty maltiness.

M - Full bodied, moderate-low carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O - Another amazing offering from my favorite brewer, Mikkel!

4601011, $14.49, @ Honeygo Wine & Spirits

Photo of Tim460
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark copper with off white three finger head.
Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, candied sugar.

Beer tastes of candied sugar, oak and malts up front. Bourbon is present in the back end with a nice vanilla taste. I was worried this beer would be too sweet for me but it's very nicely balanced. This is a pretty big beer but goes down surprisingly smooth.

Mouthfeel is about right for a barleywine but I was expecting this to be on the heavier side. Overall this was not cheap (Mikkeller never is), but I'm glad I picked this up as I've had the red wine aged edition last year and wanted to compare the differences.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.26/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: There's a slight haze to the amber-brown body that pours out. Small, light beige head.

Smell: Slightly phenolic, somewhat solventy nose with diminutive notes of caramel, toasted grains, and fruit. It certainly has a firm level of harshness and unacceptability.

Taste: A sweetish glug of simple syrup with a slight caramel taste to it. Sprinkling of raisins. Hint of spiciness. A lightly tannic, though significantly harsh bourbon character scuttling the already lacking quality of the base beer and hanging on like grim death through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: I was never taken by the standard Big Worse and I'd even say the bourbon treatment is even a further hindrance not a benefiting boost.

Photo of corby112
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color that appears dark amber, almost brown in the glass with a two finger pillowy, yellowish-beige head that very slowly fades into a lasting ring. Large streaks of lacing left behind.

Earthy, leathery aroma with some sweet malt notes and a subtle barrel character. There is some toasted oak and boozy bourbon but it doesn't overpower the nose, allowing the malt character to come through. I usually never say this, but it could use more barrel. Hints of caramel and toffee along with some dark fruit and alcohol.

Medium bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation for the style. Slightly spicy with a decent barrel character that gives off some dry oak and sweet bourbon flavor without overpowering the base beer. There's still a lot of leathery malt with hints of caramel, toffee, nut and biscuit as well as some fig, date and raisin. Decently balanced with a well masked ABV but is definitely still a sipper. I haven't been a fan of many of Mikkeller's barrel aged beers but this one is pretty good.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex and boozy barleywine with a shiny maltier bourbonesque edge.

Presentation: 375 ml green, plastic corked, and caged bottle. Light yellow illustration with a two mugshots of the brewers. Back highlights the the brewing at de Proef. Notes style and 12% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Hazy amber brown pour with a fair head that displays good retention and surface memory with some lacing.

S - Sweet nose, malty and lightly boozy with a hint of bourbon and vanilla and a resinous hint…

T - Flow follows with a nice malty range, touches of vanilla with a boozy bourbon flow and a light hoppy dash in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation, rather smooth and a touch creamy. Boozy and warming but while definitely a strong trait of its characters not a flaw in any way .

O - Nice bourbon barrel barleywine, pleasing sipping experience.

Notes: Hmmmm… Coming back to this one after having tried two versions of the Big Worst before (a great one and a not so great one…) this was a much maltier surprise. Maltier than expected with a nice feel and boozy range. Borderline worthy of the repeat...

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of vanilla and sweet malt notes are quite nice with bourbon not overshadowing the aroma. Taste is more easily drinkable then expected with a nice mix between some light bourbon notes with some vanilla and a rich but not overly sweet malt backbone. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol notes. Well brewed with good complexity and remains easily drinkable.

Photo of mrandypandy
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle purchased a while back at Hop City in Atlanta.

A - Pours a murky, dirty, hazy brown. Big white head on pour. Good lacing.
S - Malty caramel sweetness, hints of bourbon. Toffee.
T - Sweet. Very sweet. Caramel and butterscotch dominate. Restrained bourbon notes. Raisins.
M - Meium to heavy body. Thick and sweet.
O - Sweeter, but not as boozy as I was expecting. Better than the regular Big Worse baleywine, but not worth the hefty price-tag.

Photo of Paulydeets
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375 ml pour into a Blue Point 10th anniversary tulip.

Pours a dark amber color with a one inch head that dies down to a nice froth that seems to stick around forever.

Smells of sweet alcohol, a little caramel maybe, but mostly sweet alcohol, this wont be a let down in the heat department. As it warms i get a little bread in the smell.

Just like the smell, sweet bready caramel alcohol, BUT there is also some oxidation that didnt show up that much in the smell until I tasted it and knew it was there. Definately some bourbon/vanilla and an oaky finish

Mouthfeel was a little thin and unexpected, and it was a little too sweet and oxodized, not a good combo. I liked the dry finish tho.

Overall I definately wouldnt by this again, especially at about 15 bucks. A little sweeter than I like, the oxidation didnt help either. I always say its worth a shot because I like to experience everything.

Photo of Arbitrator
1.44/5  rDev -62.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Craig.

A: Pours a clear amber-ruby with light beige head.

S: Sherry oxidation (much stronger than the non-BA version); it's even muscat-like on the nose. It smells like a mead, really. Quite nice. Caramelly, spicy bourbon.

T: Very bourbony (almost like a rye spiciness to it) with a caramel bent. Strong bitterness, just as in the base beer, but the aging seems to have taken the edge off of it.

M: This beer is thinner than the base beer; the flavor falls off quickly. Oak leaves a lingering astringency, while the jarring hops produce bitterness.

O: Mikkeller gives me hope that I can someday brew terrible beers and charge a lot for them and laugh all the way to the bank. This is substantially worse than the base beer. I applaud the trainwreck.

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into two small snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Back label coded 4601011

A: Pours a relatively still hazy apple cider color. First pour was kind of ugly but the second pour was the redeemer. Loads of creamy light khaki colored foam and sticky lace. Very nice.

S: Pretty subtle, this one. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of aromas here. However, none of them whallop the nose. I like that in this type of beer. Tobacco, bourbon, vanilla, caramel apples, molassas, and a bit of bread pudding.

T: See above. Tastes exactly as it smells.

M: Very, very smooth. Fusel alcohol is kept to a bare minimum, leaving only the slightest tickle in the nose. Sweet but not syrupy. Hangs around in the mouth but doesn't overstay its' welcome.

O: Very nice. We were prepared for a 'blow the back of your head' off Mikkeller BA beer and were gifted with a nice example of subtlty. I'd buy this again if it weren't so spendy.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have a tendency to buy Mikkeller when I come to America, even though it's available in Australia. 1) Because it's much cheaper here than home and 2) Because Mikkeller is freakin' awesome. Sampled in New York, because it didn't make the cut of beers to take home.

Pours a deep, heavy red-brown colour, hazed—but who knows what with. This almost looks as though the haze comes purely from the viscosity of the liquid, as though it's absorbing even the light which passes through it. Head is very fine, although falters to a ring of minute bubbles soon after pouring. Lacing is sheeting and thick, however. Looks excellent.

Nose is smooth and oaky, with big vanilla notes, and huge spiritous booziness. Oily hop characters cavort through the haze of booze fumes and sweet mellow malt. It's an impressively aggressive and beautifully melded aroma.

Taste is also good, but the sharpness of the booze becomes rather ragged and insistent here. Smooth vanilla does a good job of soothing the rawness, but the spiritous burn still flickers on to the back palate. Complex dark flavours dance around, giving a flash of roasted grain at various points, and giving hints of whiskey. Feel is smooth and delightful.

A very good beer, that is undoubtedly aided by the bourbon barrel vanilla characters, although the booze is hefty in this one. Share it, sample it, enjoy it.

I wish I had have saved it and shared it.

Photo of alexhahn82
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber, almost reddish brown color, small head but poured by someone with a delicate hand.

S. -- A very almost "old ale" style smell with a hint of bourbon on the nose.

T/M - Taste is right on face with a Barley Wine except with major oak hints bold and upfront that finishes with an almost whiskey more so than bourbon ending.

O -- Awesome. I love Barley Wine and I love bourbon barrel aged beers. Seek and Destroy!!

PP (Price Point) - $11.99 for a 375ml is well worth it, especially @ 12%ABV.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours very hazy copper into my snifter with just about two fingers of tan head that has really nice retention and plenty of sticky lacing.

S - Lots of oak and vanilla, bourbon, booze, rich caramel malts, molasses, raisins and other dark fruits. The booze is a bit over powering.

T - Big caramel malt sweetness, bourbon, oak, vanilla, slight tartness, molasses, raisin and apple. Booze is very present, however it is pretty balanced with the complexity of this one.

M - Full body, smooth and creamy carbonation, and slightly sticky.

O - Overall this is really good, a little overwhelming on the palate though. Share with a friend.

Photo of brotherloco
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle. This one is capped, unlike the C&C non-bbal version that I drank last week.

Out of the bottle this beer looks better than the original non-bbal version. A lot more carbonation gives a 3 finger beige head on top of a dark reddish brown beer. Less sediment as well.

Aroma brings on warm oak and vanilla as expected, strong sweet malt and medium booze presence. Not getting as much of the dark fruit as the original but it's buried in there somewhere.

Taste starts smooth and sweet, blossoms to a more biting boubon and somewhat floral/minty bitterness. A touch of the Belgian sugar from the original, but that's more in the background. Same sort of vinegary dark fruit notes as the original. Lingering dry bourbon finish.

Medium to full bodied, with a creamy start and a dry finish. The booze lets itself be known, but is nicely enveloped by the flavor. Still, it encourages sipping.

The barrel aging definitely makes this a better beer than the original.

Photo of seeswo
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, caramel brown with a good sized tan head. Smells of bourbon, solvent alcohol and brown sugar barleywine. Smells better than that description. Taste is bourbon and vanilla, but not overly harsh and a bit lower key than expected, with some faded hops, sweetness, cardboard and a touch of unexpected wateriness. There's also a bit of that solvent flavor in there. Again, I like it better than that description, but it really does taste a bit like a super bold barrel-aged barleywine with a few ice cubes in it that are now melted. Hard to review that well. Sits nicely in the mouth with good medium low carbonation and a medium heavy mouthfeel. Overall, I can't give this a stellar rating for taste, and I think I generally wanted to like this beer more than I did.

Photo of Trilogy31
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice chestnut brown not much head but leaves sticky lacing. Nose is pour bourbon barrel, oak, vanilla, toffee and some caramel flavored vodka. Taste is very sweet with caramel popcorn, sweet coffee, milk chocolate finished with syrupy sweet bourbon and a touch of bitterness to wash it away. Very nice mouthfeel that is well carbonated and balanced, a very nice and complex beer if a touch sweet in the mouth. Definitely something a would drink again.

Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy deep copper color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with large amounts of syrupy medium fruits - pears mostly with hints of raisins. Also present are mild amounts of molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Very sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by thick molasses and toffee flavors. Midway through the sip overripe medium fruit flavors work their way into things, carrying through to a moderately sweet finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass however I'm not sure I'd like another.

Overall I had to double-check to make sure I did in fact buy the bourbon edition - I got absolutely none out of the aroma or flavor profile. I would think some oak and bourbon would temper the sweetness a bit, something that is needed.

Photo of DaveHS
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours dark burgundy with 2 inches of creamy light mocha head. Leaves plenty of sticky lacing.

S-Bourbon, candied fruit, booze, old wood, dry leaves.

T/M-Thin and boozy, with a warming finish. Bourbon character doesn't present itself immediately, but fades in on the back end. The high alcohol impedes the flavor, limiting what can be tasted. Dry booziness overtakes most of the flavors, but I get traces of fruity sweetness and caramel.

D-I could see this being more successful with 2+ years in the bottle. Right now it's too hot, and comes across as unfocused.

Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375ml bottle.

Pours a deep, hazy reddish brown with a big, frothy beige head that really sticks stubbornly to the glass and leaves very nice lacing.

The aroma is heavy with bourbon and oak and very sweet with caramelized sugar, overripe red apples and toffee. Lots of vanilla and caramel as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lower carbonation than I was expecting given the pour. Lots of alcohol and wood and viscous sweetness on the palate.

Like most of the bigger Mikkeller brews, this is no subtle brew. Tons of flavors, alcohol, sweetness, bitterness all rolled into a bottle. Certainly not drinkable but very tasty.

Photo of woosterbill
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Green bottle (375ml?) into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Hazy red-orange body with healthy wisps of off-white bubbles. Light, spotty lacing. Not a bad-looking BA barleywine.

S: Pretty single-minded with the solventy fusel alcohols. Light, fresh fruitiness comes in, surprisingly (not dark candied fruits as might be expected), but there really isn't any discernible barrel character. Mediocre.

T: Very sweet and fruity with nail-polish remover alcohol dominating throughout. Not great, but I kind of enjoy it.

M: Medium-bodied with a surprisingly lively body. Pretty good.

D: Weirdly drinkable with its sweet fruitiness. Not great, but not as bad as could be expected with such thorough booziness.

Notes: Maybe I'm too demanding, but I really want some bourbon in a bourbon-barrel barleywine. Perhaps bourbon barrels, which do so well in Scotland, lose all of their magic by the time they reach Denmark, since both this and the bourbon Beer Geek Breakfast were rather disappointing. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

Cheers!

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Big Worse (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.