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Blunderbuss Barleywine - Cambridge Brewing Company

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Blunderbuss Barleywine
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

98 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 8.58%
Wants: 75
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: 98 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +16%

MistahBeah, Jun 06, 2013
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5/5  rDev +16%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of waughbrew
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark red with orange highlights and just a ring of white head when served. Smells of sweet caramel cherries. The flavor is the longest, most complex, most evolving flavor ever tasted in a barleywine, even when a little too cold. A lot of apple action and definitely on the sweet side despite the bunch of hop bitterness in there. A fresh fruity hop flavor is there but does not get in the way of the dominating malt. It grows, then declines, with the vanilla taking over from the hops and no uncomfortable moments at all. Thick and smooth. Exceptional.

waughbrew, Feb 05, 2005
Photo of alexgash
4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'04-'05 vintage on-tap at the brewpub. This vintage was listed as 12%.
Deep ruby brown body with a faint haze and a small, but persistent, light tan head. Big aromas of fruity esters, caramel, burnt sugar, vanilla, rum, all checked by a spicy, dry-hopped, noble piney, mesmerizing hop backing. Amazing. Taste does not disappoint. Very complex malt flavors: dark stewed fruits, toffee/caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, brandy, light anise/licorice. Never gets too sweet thanks to a hefty hop balance. Bitter enough to subdue the malt, but nowhere near astringent, just great hop flavor: spicy, floral, piney, it's all good! Wow. Finish lingers on forever. Big, chewy malt body, yet luxuriously smooth throughout. Warming and dangerously drinkable. Get this if you can!

alexgash, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of dreis
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

dreis, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of aorloski
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

aorloski, Jan 10, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

kaelingirl, Mar 14, 2012
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4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Streetcore, Mar 29, 2012
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4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

valdieu2, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Kelp
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Kelp, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of hopmopped
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

hopmopped, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of TrevorGW
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a short snifter at the brewpub. Deep hazy amber body with a thin head that sticks around along the edges.

Aroma is soft. Raspberries and honey, and possibly some bread from the yeast.

Taste is sweet and fruity. Up front you are hit with maple sugar and a creamy orange. A little bit of chalkiness in the middle. Finish is dry, which is an accomplishment considering the syrupy texture that you get at the start. Moreish!

Tightly carbonated and full-bodied. The bubbles are complimentary to the malt and do not invade the flavor in any negative way. This is a pleasure to sip. Very quaffable.

Every barleywine is different in its complexities. This one is a marvel.

TrevorGW, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of bceagles39
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at CBC on Monday May 10, 2010. The 2009 Blunderbuss.

Beautiful pour, frothy head, serious lacing. Amber color.

Oaky smell at first, then onto the fruits.

Taste is sweet at first, grows in complexity with each sip. Rich flavors of raisins, caramel.

Heavy mouthfeel, which I loved, but yet still very smooth and highly drinkable.

Great example of the style, my favorite CBC beer.

bceagles39, May 21, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cambridge Brewing on 3/1/10.

A - Very hazy reddish orange liquid akin to cinnamon with half an inch of bubbly beige head that receded to a doughnut-shaped ring of retention then settled into a patchy film and spotty lace.

S - Superbly aromatic nose with a sweet, candy-like sugary character, prevalent borubon character and woody, oaky notes. Aroma is quite hoppy as well with hints of floral notes, fresh herbs and citrus fruit. Wow! There is even a lush vanilla sweetness that is just lovely. What a fantastic smelling beer!

T - Extraordinarily complex with lush vanilla notes and strong bourbon character as well as floral hop notes and a hint of citrus fruit. Malt is swet and sugary with a caramel presence. Oak character is restrained overall, keeping the dryness to a minimum. The citrus attributes really open up as the liquid warms up.

M - Medium bodied with a fairly syrupy texture and ample carbonation, but not too lively. Finishes with moderate alcohol warmth and bitterness on the palate.

D - Blunderbuss is definitely up there with the best barleywines I've encountered in my travels and boasts an amazing bourbon character that just hits the mark perfectly. This is a complex barleywine that remains extremely drinkable without becoming too warm or alcoholic in the process. Fabulous!

ffejherb, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Pahn
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml flip top growler (but they call it a bottle, so I'll call it a bottle) of 2008 Blunderbuss barleywine, drank on premises at CBC.

Appearance: Looks still. Hazy brown orange. No lacing. Attractive nonetheless.

Smell: Booze, faint musty note, lots of sweetness, some grape and some raisin. As the beer warms, the smell really coalesces into a beautiful whole.

Taste: Somewhat white wine like up front, leading to a deep "well aged English barleywine" set of raisin and sugar notes, ending with a long, chewy toffee finish.

Hard to fully describe the flavor of this one. Not a lot of notes I can name besides "Raisin, some darker malts, toffee." Still, the overall flavor approaches perfection. The flavor *is* without any overt flaws. If it's rightly a 4.5 instead of a 5.0, it's just that more things could be happening.

Mouthfeel: On this front, the beer really is perfect. It's medium bodied and a little sugary and chewy, but everything is in balance. Just enough carbonation. Every aspect of the feel elevates the flavor.

Drinkability: Huge, well aged barleywine with barely any discernible alcohol in the flavor, great depth, great balance. These are the beers that draw me to master brewers, so I can't give it below a 5.0 for drinkability. I wouldn't just order it again, I'd go out of my way to find it.

I thought I'd be sick of Arquebus and Blunderbuss after trying their various (brilliant) iterations at the recent CBC barleywine festival. The bottled 2008 stands with the best of them, and illustrates why 1 to 2 base beers can be enough to merit an entire event. Of the beers I had at the fest, I'd say only Blunderbuss aged in port barrels beats this one. Excellent stuff (par for the course for CBC).

Pahn, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
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
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4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

standardcherry, Jun 02, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

bpfrush, Nov 14, 2011
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4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

beenitty, May 04, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

kirkse, May 08, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

EnronCFO, Feb 21, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

CuriousMonk, Jun 19, 2013
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Blunderbuss Barleywine from Cambridge Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.