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Blunderbuss Barleywine - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blunderbuss Barleywine Alström Bros
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fettpopps
Fettpopps

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -30.6%

03-16-2014 02:27:57 | More by Fettpopps
Photo of


3.2/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at CBC.

Dark copper in color. Hazy. No head to speak of. Good legs, no lacing.

Aroma was sweet, honey and floral. Alcohol came through as well.

Taste was sweet, kinda like watered down honey or mead. Sherry flavors came through. Some figs and raisins. Very strong alcohol.

Body was medium to full. Low carbonation. Sweet. Alcohol warming came on very quickly.

I was guessing English barleywine based on sweetness and, to me, lack of hop bitterness. Very surprised that this is an American barleywine. Possible that the Late Harvest I was drinking prior to this may have altered my hop perception ability....
Some odd flavors in there as well that I couldn't describe, but didn't care for much.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2007 17:39:33 | More by
Photo of Caudalie
Caudalie

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

05-10-2013 14:59:14 | More by Caudalie
Photo of hlaus
hlaus

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

06-16-2012 00:57:36 | More by hlaus
Photo of doof116
doof116

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -19%

06-24-2012 21:42:11 | More by doof116
Photo of BlackWednesday
BlackWednesday

New York

3.73/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber hue with a fading head and minimal lace. The aroma has a strange vinous quality (which I see now may be the French Oak and dried fruits), salty and peppery with a moderate caramel vapor. There is a light phenolic nature to the nose as well. The taste is salty, tannic and bitter that attacks the palate before a smoother bready and malty character settles down. The finish is part sugar sweet and vanilla versus an equal part sharp spicy hops. The feel is biting and aggressive with a warming nature, the alcohol is not hidden but not offensive either. A good solid brew that could be even better with a tweak or two.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 03:39:34 | More by BlackWednesday
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

01-31-2014 14:33:28 | More by Davepoolesque
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

03-17-2012 20:34:22 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of Alewife
Alewife

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2002 16:18:18 | More by Alewife
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2012 10:29:09 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Brunobstyle
Brunobstyle

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7.4%

06-06-2012 19:55:04 | More by Brunobstyle
Photo of stevec32
stevec32

New York

4/5  rDev -7.4%

06-07-2012 00:53:37 | More by stevec32
Photo of markeyri
markeyri

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7.4%

01-26-2012 05:20:56 | More by markeyri
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7.4%

05-05-2013 15:33:37 | More by jaasen64
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -7.4%

09-09-2012 21:57:56 | More by t0rin0
Photo of wdarcy77
wdarcy77

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7.4%

01-30-2012 00:40:11 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stopped by for lunch today, and had a barleywine towards the end of the meal. Comes in a snifter glass. The color was cognac like. There was hardly any carbonation or head. The smell was amazing, the oak aged bourbon aspect really comes out. My friend across the table could smell it. The taste was immense, a wallop of beer and alcohol. You could defintitely feel the high abv. This is one of the best beers offered by CBC.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2007 22:45:17 | More by morebeergood
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 22:32:07 | More by oline73
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

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 !

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2005 18:39:50 | More by carln26
Photo of thstevens12
thstevens12

Washington

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

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 01:43:51 | More by thstevens12
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Kegatron

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2010 23:36:57 | More by Kegatron
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kmo1030

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: growler

02-20-2008 00:14:55 | More by kmo1030
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a copper color with a garnet tinge; the fluffy head leaves good lacing behind

Smell: Toffee, maraschino cherries and pineapple

Taste: Starts with a sweet blast of vanilla and maraschino cherry juice followed almost immediately by the pineapple bitterness; after the swallow, the strong pineapple flavors dominate through a lengthy finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A bit too sweet to drink in any quantity but clearly crafted with skill

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2007 04:50:55 | More by brentk56
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Declaimed haughtily with this one on 1/4/2005. Told it was a 8-oz. pour in a beguiling snifter, 12% abv, and let the rabbit run.

Initial fingernail head releases to a whitewash of squee-geed opulence. Rock candy sugar, high fruit sunny-ness, and germinating malt bawdiness, like a decaying nose gay to scent; alluring. As Boktech stated, there must have been some dry hopping, and I didn’t question his stance. Schism of malt court jester and apple-sweet tartness flay the dental roots on first contact, but lovingly; grape effects are noted and duly appreciated but the jam sandwich with lightly sifted brown sugar and just a hint of Toblerone are the added, finishing touches to this one. Would have loved to while the rest of my night away with this one, bent spoon, and a lump of sugar slowly dissolving into a green wash.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2005 01:55:31 | More by Truh
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original review was based on a sample at a beer tasting event.

Appearance: Poured from tap to give a beautiful dark amber-red barley wine with light tan foam that left some lace on the glass.

Smell: Aromas of citrus and hops and malt and sugar. A hint of spice in the smell, too.

Taste: Sweet caramel with nice floral hops throughout, including the finish. Delicious. Rich flavor. Some oak and spice mixed with the sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Very well balanced sweetness. Smooth, creamy, and rich.

Drinkability: Excellent. I wanted to drink more and more. A very fine barley wine. At the brewpub this is served slightly too cold, but let it have a chance to warm slightly, to just below room temperature to fully appreciate the smells and tastes.

2/09/03 Update
I visited the brewpub and had one of these served in a 12 oz snifter. This much improved the appearance and smell. This is an excellent barley wine, one of the best I have ever had. It will be interesting to see how this one fares after a year or two of aging.

5/10/03 Updated

Sampled the 2001 and 2002 vintages side by side. The 2001 has mellowed and aged incredibly well! I give it 4/ 4.5/ 4.5/ 4.5/ 4.5 .

App: Cloudy, brown with hints of red, thin white foam.
Smell: Richly sweet malt with a hint of floral hops.
Taste: Sweet, sugary, caramel, toffee, a little bite.
Mouth: Smooth, mellow, med. body, low carbonation.
Drink: Very, very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2003 20:44:13 | More by UncleJimbo
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Blunderbuss Barleywine from Cambridge Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.