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Arquebus - Cambridge Brewing Company

Arquebus
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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.9%


Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.75% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
Described by CBC as a Summer Barleywine. "Arquebus" refers to a heavy portable matchlock gun invented during the 15th century, and forerunner of the rifle.

(Beer added by: Sycodrummer on 07-14-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'07 Vintage

This is some tasty stuff. Pours a rich rusty brown with a thin tan head. The nose has big sweet malts, delicate hops, oak and chardonnay wine. The taste is equally complex and delicious. A huge white wine and oak presence over candy malts, ripe citrus fruits and spicy alcohol. Superb balance and drinkability. Full body silks over the palate and enhances the drinking experience.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2009 18:57:23 | More by rye726
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me say that I worked at a wine shop and love wine and have never had a beer with this much wine character. Like a dessert chardonnay almost.

Liquid caramel color or melted gold with a faint white head.

Great bready nose absolutely filled with candied fruits, peach, apricot, pear, so chardonnay in aroma. Great nose.

Most wine like beer I've ever tried. Amazing smooth creamy mouthfeel. Huge candied pear, apple, hints of oak, vanilla, mineral qualities, apricot and candied peach. Somewhat reminiscent of a peach dessert reduced with chardonnay. Nicely sweet in no way cloying. I would pay mucho money for cases of this wine....er beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2008 12:04:21 | More by mcallister
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one on-tap at the brewery for the CBC barleywine fest. This review is of the 2006 vintage, batch NO.1. It was just too damn good not to review.

A hazy dark orangish color with no head to it. Not a lot of life in the body.

The first sniff really surprised me. Lots of fruity sweetness with a good tart edge to it. Green apples are in there for sure. Also a nice floral aroma in there. I said "this smells amazing" from the first whiff.

This stuff tastes as good as it smells, which is impressive. Pretty sweet up front with fruits like apricot and a touch of honey. Not a cloying or powerful sweetness, just a mild, light fruit sweetness that I find to be refreshing. Then flowery notes that are more herbal than hoppy come through. I don't really notice any hop presence in here at all actually. A touch of woody oak is in there too, preceding a tart finish. The finish tastes like tart green apple, and is a nice touch of flavor, complexity and balance. An absolutely great tasting beer.

A pretty thin mouthfeel closer to a champagne than what I think of as a barleywine. Not highly carbonated though, rather low.

I would have stayed and drank this all night if I had the money (I also wanted to try some other of the Barleywine offerings). This one is balanced, interesting, and tasty. No alcohol is noticeable at all. I would guess that it was around 6-7% ABV and not 10.75. Overall, this is a phenominal beer. Everytime I go to a CBC event I find something that blows my mind and this is one of them. Probably the best English barleywine I have ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2009 16:34:34 | More by Hojaminbag
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asabreed

New York

4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served at the brewery in what they call a mini-tulip, which is shaped more like a mini-snifter. I think it's a 9 oz. glass, and though the server told me it's pretty much a 7 oz. pour, mine was filled, and thankfully, in retrospect, pretty much to the top.

This batch, whatever number it is, is 14% and not 10.75% ABV. The price was $6.50. This is what it says at the end of the website description: "Aged for one year in French oak chardonnay barrels acquired from the Silverado and Chateau Boswell wineries in Napa, the residual flavors contributed by the wood offer a mellowness of character not provided by stainless steel fermentation, as controlled oxidation deepens its color, enhances its rich texture, and concentrated notes of fruit."

Appearance: I think this may be slightly unfair, considering, as I stated previously, that the glass was pretty much filled to the brim. That said, and maybe it's also due to the high alcohol content, there's not much lacing or head at all, even with subsequent swirls. And thankfully, I just checked: it's served still, meaning without carbonation, to further the wine character of the brew. The color, however, is still very nice, as a lighter brown with copper highlights.

Smell: What an amazingly effervescent and beautiful thing this has going for it. You can smell the white vinous characteristics going on, but what I love is the concentrated vanilla, which almost, because of the French oak, hints at bourbon. And though it's wine, and not bourbon, it's amazing how the boozy oak aromas are coming through more than the concentrated grapes. Wildflowers are coming through too, a raucous and stretched bouquet of petals, along with honey sweetness, but what I like here are those two separate parts combining with, you guessed it, the wildflower honey aromas. There are also notes of tangerine and peach, white grapes, and all kinds of other fruits going on. My wife kept making fun of me every time I went in for a whiff, because I kept telling her how amazing it was.

Taste: For a still beer, this is pretty amazing. Again, the booziness comes out from the wine and oak flavors, with vanilla, caramel, a lot of fruit esters with peach and tangerine, and there's a wonderful acidity mixing in, almost like a sour or wild ale's acidity from Brett being introduced, which it's not here.

Mouthfeel: So if this is a still beer, which I didn't know until I recently checked the website just to make sure I wasn't missing something, how am I getting a good back-end burst of carbonation? I'm not really sure, but alas. That said, the body isn't as heavy as it should be, both for seemingly the method of production and the high alcohol content. But it IS, miraculously, easy to drink, probably due to the lack mostly of carbonation, and the wine-like nature of the brew's body. I would say medium-bodied, and more wine-like, not surprisingly, than syrupy or cloying.

Drinkability: Since I've gotten into wine the last few years, that may have something to do with this, as the beer begins to make you question the nature of the hybrid brew that a lot of the barrel aging is getting us to do these days as beer drinkers. If you can't stand wine, this may be a stretch for you, but if you're also a wine drinker, and like barrel aged beers like I do, this will hopefully be something you'll also really enjoy.

I feel like $6.50 for around an 8 oz. pour is a steal for this brew. As I told our server: "If some big company got the recipe for this and tweaked it, it would be as sought after as anything I can think of," and though many would disagree, I could see this style, the summer barleywine, becoming something big down the road. Wild Ales? Sours? Watch out: this could be gunning for you. That said, if you're around, do try it, it's beyond worth it. One of the best and weirdest brews I've had easily within the last year. Keep it up, Will Meyers.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2010 20:49:33 | More by asabreed
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ChrisPro

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CBC.

A - Clear orange-brown with an eggshell colored head. Honey-legs left on the glass as I drank.

S - One whiff and I know that this is exactly why I came to CBC. Tons going on with this beer with caramel, fig, honey, mango and apricot. The grapes/barrel give it a really complex aroma that I can't get enough of

T - Sipping this is like sipping dessert. There is so much sweetness and complexity I feel like it's a complete dessert dish. Tons of caramel sweetness, but just a slight dry tannic finish to attempt at cleaning the palate.

M - Very full bodied and nice carb. Slightly boozy, but it doesn't detract from the beer at all.

O - This is a phenomenal barrel-aged beer and deserves to be up there with the best. If you're in Boston and this is on tap, make sure to find your way to Cambridge. I put away a few of these that night and didn't regret it (well, maybe a little the next morning).

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 11:52:23 | More by ChrisPro
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FunkyMacGroovin

California

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in an 8oz (I think) snifter-style glass. 2010 batch is 14% abv. Pours a delightful golden hue. The beer is served still to accentuate its similarities with wine, so there is no head. Smell is redolent of a winery in the Napa Valley - oak, vanilla, wildflowers, and a bit of acid on the nose. Absolutely enchanting.

The description of the beer says they used white wine grapes in the brew, used malolactic fermentation, and then aged the beer in Chardonnay barrels. These characteristics are immediately and beautifully apparent when you take a sip. Tons of buttery diacetyl flavor combined with the oak and the grapes made me seriously question whether I had been served a wine passed off as beer. It actually reminded me of an over-oaked Chardonnay, which would be a negative characteristic of wine, but is executed so well in this beer I couldn't help but love it. Honey and fruit flavors are also present and further complement the winey-ness (not to be confused with whiney-ness). Acidity is here too, imparted by the grapes - a good thing too, else the finish would almost certainly become cloying. Amid all these flavors and more there is a tinge of detectable hoppiness, just enough to remind you that this is, in fact, beer. Mouthfeel is medium in body, dry on the finish, and even a little effervescent despite the lack of carbonation.

I'm not sure how the abv is hidden so well, but if I hadn't known it was 14% ahead of time I could've easily mistaken it for a 7-10% brew. Incredibly drinkable - I could drink myself into a pants-wetting, bush-puking, cougar-seducing humdinger of a stupor without thinking twice (or stopping to notice that my pants are gone and there's a Sharpie-mustache on my face).

If you told someone who had never heard the term before that this was a barleywine and served it to them, they'd think you were crazy when you told them it was beer. Someone should probably think of a new style to classify this beer, because the moniker 'summer barleywine' doesn't do anything to prepare you for what it is. An entirely wonderful beverage in every way.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2010 03:43:56 | More by FunkyMacGroovin
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Franchise

Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured a ruby caramel creamy color with a small tan head that quickly faded. The nose is fantastic...honey, chardonney grapes, peach, mango, suttle spices, nuts, and oak. The taste starts vinos in nature, alcohal is warming but not really apparent at 10.5%. This beer has loads of tannins that make you smack the tongue, and the hop presence is right there to give you some balancing bitterness.

The strong malt backbone and the aging in the chardonney barrels are a great compliment making this a smooth sippable brew. I can see why this is called a summer barleywine due to the refreshing nature in terms of carbonation, also the fruit feel on the palate. Anyone that is a fan of barleywines you need to try this brew!

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2006 23:35:23 | More by Franchise
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GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Summer. Served in a stemmed wine glass. Barleywine/Oak barrel aged.

Golden/Light amber. Small/bright white head, nice lacing.

Citrusy nose, VERY nice arromatic nose. Pungent fruityness.

Taste's include: Peack, apricot and slightly tart effect with a great white-wine hit going down. Crisp and deep taste. Very impressed.

Feels extremely smooth and mellow. VERY white-wine feeling and equally as crisp. Light to medium body that sparkles.

10.75 % ABV. You would NEVER know it. Amazing.

Aged in french oak chardonnay barrels from the Silverado Winery in Napa.

Go get some!!!!

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2006 23:43:57 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
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sloejams

California

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This here is straight up delicious. Barleywine and summer don't seem to fit. Barleywines: thick, syrupy, staggeringly high in alcohol, made for men with beards. Summer: generally none of that ('cept me, me and my beard). Arquebus is aged in chardonnay barrels which give it well, a chardonnay type fruit flavor. This sounds odd and it is, but somehow it all works. It seems slightly lower in hops than most barleywines which allows the tannins slick over the top giving an almost honey flavor. Served in a wine glass, this is far more accessible than most barleywines. A day later I returned to the CBC and this is exactly what I wanted.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2006 20:26:18 | More by sloejams
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this yesterday at the CBC, just a great beer. had a lighter peach color, very light carbonation, arrived in a wine glass with maybe a little lace around the glass, but no head. pretty much smelled like a chardonnay on top, grapes and peach, and a little more fruit. some malt carried through, but it were these lighter scents that carried the day. the taste was great, very smooth, the malt seems to enhance the strength of the fruit flavors of the beer. body was really really thick, almost syrupy which worked well with the chardonnay flavors which dominated the finish, with a light apple flavor as well.

one of the top light barleywines, very few fit the bill in the summer, but this one does.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2008 12:13:13 | More by Atron67
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Sycodrummer

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A "summer barleywine" from CBC; as the menu describes meant to sip, have a kick, and still refresh. Presented from the tap in a 10oz. narrow wine glass the beer was a light ruby red, orange/light amber color. No head and no lacing. Few signs of carbonation at all.

The nose is very strong with white wine aromas. Some grape and soft fruit. I picked up a hint of peach.

Taste is innitially soft and mellow with a very wine-y like taste. White grape and a soft alcohol. Nothing here intimates 10.75 ABV. Soft summer fruits and malt dominate the palate. The beer has a soft mouthfeel, about the consistancy of juice. Only mildly, carbonated.

An interesting twist here to a summer beer. As the menu described it, refreshing with a kick. Light body and little hop presence make it good for the hot weather. And the subtle wine-like alcohol presence give it the strengh needed for a barley wine. This one lacked the big screaming hop presence of American Barley wines and instead goes for smoothness, balance, and subtle strength. A very nice selection.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2006 13:23:57 | More by Sycodrummer
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Damian

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at the Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA
Served in a wine glass
Thanks Will!

Poured a hazy, orangey-amber with a bubbly, bright white, one-finger head that quickly faded to a stubborn ring of lace.

The aroma was sweet and malty rich. Slightly oaky with some white wine-like characteristics (possibly muscat grapes). Strong fruity notes (peach and apricot) were apparent. As the beer warmed, the sweetness and the fruitiness became much more pronounced.

The taste was smooth, sweet and loaded with complexity. Rich and syrupy up front. As with the aroma, peaches and candied apricots dominated. Some honey came through as well. Granny smith apples were also noticeable, lending the beer a hint of cider-like tartness. Grapey notes appeared in the center. The muscat/green grape flavor crescendoed in the dry, semi-oaky finish that reminded me more of a chardonnay than a beer. Barrel aging at its finest! The 10.5% ABV was warming and welcomed, even on this hot summer evening. The long-lasting aftertaste was once again sweet and syrupy, with an intense peach brandy-like flavor.

The mouthfeel was thinner than average (for the style) with a fine, lively carbonation. Ultra creamy and supple on the palate.

Drinkability was simply terrific. This barleywine definitely errs on the sweeter end of the spectrum for the style, yet the tannins help keep it in check. At 10.5% ABV, the beer went down like candy. Also, the lighter body helped make this "summer-style" barleywine an even more quaffable treat.

I have tried a number of beers from the Cambridge Brewing Company and this barleywine definitely seems to be their finest offering. Fans of experimental beers should definitely seek out this gem. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2008 06:09:32 | More by Damian
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DefenCorps

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wish I'd gotten another glass of this instead of their IPA, it was phenomenal.

Still copper color with no head, but for someone who loves the Bon Chien Grand Crus, this is actually appealing. Great, complex nose. Honey jumps out but there's dates, figs, prunes and a little booze. Mild tartness. Palate opens with a mild tartness with the complex nose replicated. Finishes sweet with a hint of booze. The more I ponder this, the more it's like a bastardized blend of a Bon Chien and an aged JW Lees, an awful sounding combination, but one that works stunningly

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2009 04:15:37 | More by DefenCorps
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YonderWanderer

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cambridge Brewing Company.

This is the first barley wine I've really enjoyed in a long time. I'm not a huge fan of the style, and typically I find them too heavy and syrupy - just a little too much of everything. However, a summer barley wine? I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try this, as the description sounded quite good. It arrived in a wine glass and was a hazy amber color - bright and bold, with little head. The aroma was decent, pleasing without being cloying. Light fruit was the primary scent.

The taste was excellent - fruity with a solid malt base, and with a dry finish. Not much of a hop profile, but the overall taste certainly makes up for it. Mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied - not syrupy like some barley wines tend to be. In terms of drinkability, this is a sipper - great for a nice evening of sitting outside at the brewery. Very well done.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2007 15:05:12 | More by YonderWanderer
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donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A summer barleywine? Sign me up!

Poured still, Arquebus looks like mud. A wine glass full of watery mud. Smells like Chardonnay, light floral hops, and pear.

Tastes is very Chardonnay as well. Apricots and mild caramel with a green apple finish melded together by a permeating earthen wood. Honey, white whine dryness without being cloying. For such a high abv beer, the alcohol is extremely subdued.

More wine than barley but ridiculously creative and different. Would go great with some sun if Boston ever gets any this summer.

Serving type: cask

07-03-2009 15:34:07 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of vonnegut21
vonnegut21

New York

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Reddish brown color with minimal head.

S: Toffee, dark winter fruit, brown sugar, and vanilla.

T: Much like the nose. Huge sweetness. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Lots of fig and raisin. Almost reminds me of a barrel aged dubbel.

M; Smooth and creamy, but a bit thin and completely uncarbonated. Not a bad experience, just a bit unexpected when drinking a barleywine

O: This is a really tasty beer that I am glad I finally was able to try after much anticipation.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2013 00:45:19 | More by vonnegut21
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ccrida

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the brewpub, served in a wine glass, Arquebus is a hazy peach with a small white collar and no effervescence. Dead still, but great color, I've always liked the lighter BWs, this on has a radiant glow to it.

Smell is lots of chardonnay grapes and alcohol, with a touch of toffee, it seems thick.

Taste is unusually dry and spritzy for a BW, which really cuts the viscosity of the body nicely. Very sweet, candy and apricot esters. I really like this style, fruity but not as thick and sweet as most English BWs do to the apparent minerals to help dry it out. Also, I can't help but wonder about the pervasiveness of the white wine...was this aged in chardonnay barrels?

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick, with a nice carbonation when you swish it.

Drinkability is high for me, very tasty and unique as well, I really enjoyed it and am glad I got to spend some time in Cambridge this summer and try this out.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2008 22:29:15 | More by ccrida
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IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

200th review! From tap into a wine goblet...

Pours like a mead-honey-maple-caramel-apple body with thin wispy beige-rose head.

Honey, muscat, champagne-maybe some apple-very light 4 style and cider-ish.

Wow-so clean for style but very very cidery-an easy drinking barleywine with a lot of muscat character and even some fizz-lots like an Aussie sticky. As it warms it does take on more of a true dessert wine character.

Cleaner than an Aussie sticky-sparkly on mouth - alcohol shows up to cut the fat.

Could drink lots more than I should; the emerging sweet wine character tempers drinkability a bit, but this still works very well.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2008 22:58:00 | More by IBUnit63
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SABERG

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this offering fully. On trap at CBC

A - Deep gold, with veery little head. Stuck to the glass very much like a deset wine.

S - Facefull of fruit, absolutely stunning. Apricot, honey, melon, pear. Minor malts and very minor hop.

T - Smooth to a fault, alluring and complex. Very similar to a late harvest riesling.

M - Oily and sweet, Muscadet with a long finish.

O - A fabulous sipper, with no sign of the booziness that can trip up a great barleywine.

Fine job by CBC

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2011 23:56:43 | More by SABERG
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taez555

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass this beer poured a hazy bright amber body with little to no head.

Surprisingly light to drink at first and only medium bodied. Rich malt, but with layers upon layers of fruit focusing big time on fresh peaches, apricots and loads of coconut. This beer is barrel aged in white wine barrels and it really shines through giving just a mild touch of oak without being overpowering. Bitterness is there to give it some backbone but never overshadows the malt or fruit flavors.

Wow! Summer barleywine, I like it, I like it a lot. The combination of fresh malt, coconut and oak is the most amazing combination on a breezy summer afternoon. It noted that they'll be aging this puppy for a while, it should be interesting to see how it ages, but it's fantastic now as it is.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2006 19:02:50 | More by taez555
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cambridge Brewing Company. Reviewed from notes taken on August 9th, 2010. Served in a 9 ounce "mini-tulip".

While the BA entry says the beer is 10%~ ABV, this batch was 14%.

Appearance: Light semi-translucent copper with no head or lacing, but nice legs.

Smell: White wine, apricot, a bit of vinegar. Faintly floral. More interesting flavors come out as it warm: some bread, some brandy. Nice.

Taste: Caramel, brown sugar, white wine, apricot. It's deep, fruity, smooth, and hot. Nice toffee-like maltiness. Some tartness is here as well. Kind of funny that the vinegar and white wine notes work together really well. There's a nice, big, genre-bending musty depth to the beer, along with some good spirit flavors.

Fruitiness, caramel, funk, white wine, spirits... sound like a good combination? Well, when done by the Cambridge Brewing Company, it is one. Great tasting beer. Not a 5.0 for me, as I can think of a few better English barleywines and why they're better, but definitely outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with almost no carbonation. Juicy and hot.

Drinkability: If I'm at CBC and this beer is on tap, I'm not going to miss the opportunity to have it. If I had been going directly home after my visit, I probably would have bought a growler if they'd let me.

English barleywine is one of my favorite styles, and this beer does it justice.

As a sidenote, I (as always) was ridiculously afraid to eat while drinking this (lest I take away from the flavor of the beer), but as the previous beers and this one's 14%~ were affecting me, I couldn't resist getting some fries with the CBC's homemade ketchup (which were amazing). Salt, tomato, and fried potato are not things I would imagine want to be paired with this beer, but it didn't matter at all; the flavor is huge, and won't be brought down even by a senseless pairing.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2010 07:18:02 | More by Pahn
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewpub.

Pretty much no head, mostly clear copper brown color.

Nose has tons of sweet malts, brown sugar, some caramel and toffee, crystal malts, molasses, and a very light grape must.

Taste is pretty sweet, light buttery oak and vanilla, brown sugar, crystal malts, toffee, little creamy, pretty malty too, some booze but not too heavy, some woody barrel ester flavors, light tart grape flavor and some old white wine. Finishes a bit hot, still fairly sweet, more brown sugar, caramel, and hint of toasty malts, and grapes. Complex and tasty.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb for the style, bit boozy.

Overall pretty good, the grape add a nice touch to the sweet caramelized brown malts, nice malts and flavors overall, a little boozy but decent for 11ish %.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2011 22:07:16 | More by jlindros
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Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apricot colour, average mouthfeel. Brett in the aroma. Looks and tastes white grapey. Apricot summer fruit in there, you can taste it too. Can the Chardonnay be transfered for the wood, or was it used. Very fruity, sweetish.
Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, I am still revelling in it 2.5 days later.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2009 01:42:51 | More by Sammy
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mdfb79

New York

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/18/12 notes. Had this one on tap at the brewpub up in MA. Menu said it was actually 14% ABV; maybe the earlier batches were 10.75%. They serve it as a 6 oz. pour which was the perfect amount of this one.

a - Pours a somewhat clear amber-orange color with a tiny bit of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of white wine, oak, citrus, grapes, vanilla, and some fruity malts. Tons of white wine here; very nice.

t - Tastes of white wine, vanilla, honey, smooth oak, fruity malts, green grapes, earthy notes, light citrus. More vanilla and some honey here, so SUPER smooth. Little better than the nose.

m - Medium body and no real carbonation. Body is super smooth and easy to drink thanks to the honey and vanilla.

o - Overall a really good beer. A sipper for sure, and I can see the comparisons some people have made to Utopias, as it is definitely a "have only a few ounces of" dessert beer. If you're a white wine fan you should definitely seek it out, and I'd certainly have it again if I saw it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2012 20:19:43 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mshallah
mshallah

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wine glass and poured "still"(with little or no head)as stated on the beer menu. Mine had a bit of a creamy head compared to the other glasses at the table. I tried it both ways and actually preferred it with the 1/4 inch of creamy foam to emphasize the brew's beery qualities. Right away the smell and taste are an explosion of fruit. Fresh grape up front,melon in the background. Tropical fruit all around. These intense fruit characteristics make this beer something very special. The chardonnay character is mild in the nose but is more noticeable in the finish. The wine flavors really round out this barleywine and are the same I look for in a white wine. This is one of those beers that crosses lines and pushes boundaries. My first such labeled as Summer Barleywine. Will has the skill in the art of brewing.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2008 03:08:00 | More by mshallah
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Arquebus from Cambridge Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.