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Blunderbuss Barleywine - Cambridge Brewing Company

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Blunderbuss Barleywine
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

94 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 74
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-10-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Alewife:
Photo of Alewife
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark copper color. Taste reminds me of being in the woods. Kind of a piney flavor. Complex, lots of flavor. Starts sweet, mellows, hints of citrus. Nice full body, medium smooth on the tongue. Finishes dry. Easy to drink.

Alewife, Apr 18, 2002
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Deep dark amber with a haze, light tan lace holds well.

Smell: Extreme aromatics, big on fruitiness and alcoholic esters. Some hoppy aromas and a touch of malt and caramel also.

Taste: Huge chewy malt, lots of residual sweetness of ripe fruit(figgy) and caramel. A hoppy oil keeps the enormous malt back bone in check with a sufficing bitterness and yet a bigger hop flavour. Sweet grain and fading hop linger into the after taste.

Notes: A devastatingly great barley wine, blended and balanced to perfection.

BeerAdvocate, May 10, 1999
Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2004 vintage. On tap and served in a snifter glass.

A - Crested lace clings to the glass well, almost like a crown.

S - Mild solvent alcohol, alcohol soaked raisins with a backing of caramel and hop petals.

T / M - Sweet with a light warmth, clean bitterness struggles to balance though the alcohol and toasted grain pitch in. More sweetness middle to end; blood orange, fig, brown sugar. So smooth and creamy.

Notes: Where is the 12% abv? Very deceiving to say the least ... an awesome treat to help bring the spring in.

Jason, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A mighty thanks and raised mug to Will for allowing us to sample this creation at the post-AOBF jazz brunch at the CBC. Aged for 2 years...this is going to be good.

The appearance is of a rich amber, with an ever-so-faint head. Stunning. Wonderfully fragrant, too. All sorts of scents weave an impressive tapestry of the complexity of this beer. Lots of fruits, sugary sweetness, alcohol, and flowery/fruity/spciy hops. It's the taste that reminds you just how special this beer is. A almost perfectly-balanced beer, with everything coming together on your palate....the chwey malty sweetness balanced with the hoppy bitterness, with the alcohol providing a nice warming effect. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and very drinkable. An excellent way to finish off the brunch with my fellow BA's.

Hats off and mugs raised again to Will. I may have to make a special trip to Boston again just to visit the CBC.

OldFrothingSlosh, May 31, 2003
Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

standardcherry, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

bpfrush, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of beenitty
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

beenitty, May 04, 2012
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap A the Brewery on 3/13/07 served in a 9 oz snifter glass.

AP: The Color is a vibrant and deep amber with rusty hues, totally opaque. A one-finger sized creamy colored head dissipates slowly to a constant scattered covering that is sticky and leaves some sparse lacing behind.

Nose: Sweet malt, spicey and herbal hop, sour fruits...all very aromatic.

Flavor: A very nice sweet malted flavor that's not too sweet; then it's a barage of flavor that includes herbal and spicey hops over sweet and sour fruits with some buttery bread mixed in with a mild heat that seems to really make the flavors flow together.. Very delightful and flavorful overall.

Feel: Full bodied, thick and slick feeling on the palate. Just right.

DA: Even with it's almost 12% ABV and it's full-bodied slick feel, this brew is extremely easy to drink.I had the Arquabus Barleywine last year and this Blunderbus is just as good, CBC sure does know how to brew a a fine American Barleywine. It's something you must experience for yourself.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Cambridge Brewing Company on 2/20/10. 2009 edition served in a snifter.

Pours a deep hazy amber with a thinner looking covering of creamy bright-white froth. Retains mostly with some thin foamy ringing but this does have a rich and sturdy flareup to it that leaves a robust cascade of lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma is rich in the nose with honey, bread, vanilla, and fruit coming out the strongest, while spice, green citric tones, and woody tannins pull up the back. More subtle accents of herbal hops and even a smidge of brown sugar work their way in as well.

The taste stars with a big sweet base of toasted bread, caramel, honey & brown sugar, and fruity accents. The remnants of the hops are mostly herbal with some extra notes of bitter citrus and spice that lingers in the back of the throat with a dry feel. A smack of vanilla and wood hangs on the palate as well, along with some leftover residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a big mouth-filling creaminess up front that then descends into a much more slick and sticky feel to the carbonation more towards the back of the swallow. There is some definite beef to this and I would say that it feels, body wise, like the posted 13% ABV but I'm pleased to find that the alcohol taste itself for the most part was held in check.

This was good take on a barrel-aged Barleywine. Maybe not quite as interesting as the description on the beer menu may have had me initially believe but the aroma and feel on this for such a big beer were enough to hold my attention through the duration of the glass. Another solid offering here from the CBC.

Kegatron, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of kirkse
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

kirkse, May 08, 2012
Photo of resistdefy
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

resistdefy, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of PeatReek
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9-oz snifter on draft. 2005 vintage.

Appearance: deep, hazy copper body. If copper metal were translucent, it would look like this. Rocky tan/ecru head, starts thick with nice lacing.

Aroma: deep caramel sweetness, followed by a grassy, earthy and slightly citrus, LIVELY hop aroma.

Taste and mouthfeel: not a ton of alcohol feel initially. Body is thick, thick, thick. Taste is very broad... caramely, floral, notes of plum, slight orange tang. Grinding American hop presence with a shade of grapefruit. OK! Eventually the alcohol comes through, in the form of a slight tongue-numbness after several sips.

Drinkable? Way too! I could drink Blunderbuss until I passed out. And it wouldn't take long.

PeatReek, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of carln26
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap today while down at CBC for lunch. It poured a deep clear brown with ruby highlights. It had a decent cream head. The nose was filled with citrus floral pine along with a little hard candy. The taste was sweet candy up front with figs and floral hop. Some black cherry midway through the flavor profile. This beer realy reminds me of a Pinot Noir with layers of cheery, black cherry and the figs. Smooth mouth feel good drinkability. My only complaint was serving size. It was a small snifter that they only poured 3 quarters full. Come on, I'm a big boy !

carln26, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of EnronCFO
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

EnronCFO, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at Sunset Boston.
Pours a honey color with a red hue. Thick foamy head.
Caramel, vanilla, raison, and booze aroma.
Taste is very similar, sweet and easy on the palate with a bit of hop bite.
Overall, really nice well balanced and drinkable beer.
I hope to try more of CBC.

DrinkSlurm, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the brewery during EBF weekend. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber color with a ring of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Sweet caramel with some raisins, brown sugar, and some heat from the alcohol.

Taste: Similar to the smell, which is a very good thing. Sweet with caramel and some vanilla notes. Dark fruit and smooth, warm alcohol wound things out. The finish is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and the carbonation is a bit high given the style. The finish has a touch of dryness to it.

Overall: This is a very good barleywine and I would love to have it again. Very complex and delicious.

oline73, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of dreis
4.75/5  rDev +10%

dreis, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of Caudalie
3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

Caudalie, May 10, 2013
Photo of IBUnit63
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CBC and into a snifter it goes...

Clean light bourbon body topped with buttery 1-finger head-good lacing.

Almost estery scent-at least more than expected for a BW. Lighter than expected...good English-style grassy hops in there at first, but floral notes emerge. Slight sweet alcohol burn.

I like this-borders on a Triple IPA feel, it's so light. Grassy hops on nose become floral and even citrusy-CBC mentioned there were Cascade, Centennial and Galena in here and it was dry-hopped. It shows. Malt feel is light with mellow sweetness-alcohol burn is negligible.

Mouthfeel is comforting-a little cool-gets sweeter with warmth. Tingly from carbonation. Clean finish.

Whoooa, camel...wayyy too drinkable at 11% ABV. A "crisp" BW? Whodathunkit?

IBUnit63, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of kmo1030
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i'm reviewing the limited bottling that i recieved on new years eve. i'm thinking this counts as a growler for the purposes of reviewing. if anyone has any info that it may have been legitimately bottled rather than pulled off tap i will gladly update this review.

the beer pours a hazed amber brown with a thin tan head.
i get some citrusy hoppiness, mostly grapefruit and a little pine with the first whiff. it's got an earthy caramel/toffee base beneath the hops, with some additional fruitiness, maybe some medicinal cherry, and dark fruitiness that's mostly raisin-y. a little grassiness develops with warmth. with the warmth, the hops that i thought i smelled recede way into the background, to such a degree that i feel i may have been mistaken. the smell is a little understated in this format.
the taste is loaded with toffee and buttered crusty bread. beneath that lies some very interesting fruitiness. cherry, raisin, sweet orange, pear, plum. herbal, slightly grapefruit-y hops provide bitterness at the end and clean things up rather well. a bit hot, but not 11.5% hot.
the mouthfeel is pretty full and slick, with moderate, but fine carbonation.
good drinkability especially cnosidering the high abv. a very fine example of an engligh leaning american barleywine.

kmo1030, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of MistahBeah
5/5  rDev +15.7%

MistahBeah, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of GuidedByBill
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

GuidedByBill, May 14, 2012
Photo of Steinberger
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Steinberger, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of thstevens12
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08 blunderbuss bottle on location at CBC

Appearance: Cloudy, orangeish brown. No head or lacing.
3.5

Smell: Vinous - smells akin to a sour. Wildflower honey and tropical fruit (pineapple?). Warm booze. Really great nose.
4.5

Taste: First thought is honey drizzled bread. Syrupy sweet, almost cloying. The apricot character brings to mind dessert wine.
4

Mouthfeel: Slick and thin. Doesn't coat or cling-surprising given high abv
4

Overall: Good beer - glad I had chance to try. Reminds me of white port. Would love to try bal-aged iteration (09/10 vintage I believe)
4

thstevens12, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of Davepoolesque
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Davepoolesque, Jan 31, 2014
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Blunderbuss Barleywine from Cambridge Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.