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Arquebus - Cambridge Brewing Company

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Arquebus
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

35 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 35
Hads: 108
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 4.71%
Wants: 34
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.75% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sycodrummer on 07-14-2006

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 108
Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (932 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (1,735 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (637 characters)

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (892 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (794 characters)

Photo of sloejams
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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. (637 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
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!!!! (599 characters)

Photo of Franchise
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
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! (727 characters)

Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

CBC's summer barleywine served in a stemmed wine glass:

A wine glass is definitely appropriate for this ale. Honeyish orange haze with no foam stand. Aromatics of candied tangerine peel, peach preserves, honeysuckle, and honeydew melon. Musky green Chardonnay grapes mixed with vanilla oak tannins in flavor. Subdued hop flavor and aroma. Hops are clearly not the focus. Sticky and syrupy finish to this digestif in the French tradition of an after-dinner port or brandy. A tantalizing take on the barleywine style. (518 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,056 characters)

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Arquebus from Cambridge Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.