Blunderbuss Barleywine - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Blunderbuss Barleywine
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

111 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 78
Gots: 2 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-10-1999

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blunderbuss Barleywine Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 44
Photo of Uncwest96
3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not a big fan of the barley wine. It was way too heavy and fruity. Like a fig newton suspended in a PBR.

Photo of
3.23/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

Photo of BlackWednesday
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Photo of brother_rebus
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had the winter 2015 version on tap. Beautiful coconut vanilla heavy malted mixture with a smooth middle and crisp finish.

Photo of Alewife
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of morebeergood
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of carln26
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
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 !

Photo of oline73
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of kmo1030
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of thstevens12
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
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

Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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

Photo of Truh
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of francisweizen
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Again. Dark Red/No Head. Aromas are fruity and spicy with many complex notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other interesting spices. The taste is malty, and sweet up front with a nice sticky hoppiness that makes itself known in the middle palate of this brew. The spiciness comes back in the finish and coats your palate with interesting flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and more. The alcohol is muted, as are the hops, but it works in this brew. Mouthfeel is thick, sweet, and coating and drinkability is good. 11.5% Wow, could have folled me. This drinks like a lower abv, smoother version. A nice sipping BW from a great brewpub. Nice.

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a snifter at the Cambridge Brewing restaurant.

Dark ruby-copper color with a 1/2 finger head.

At first, the aroma is light fruit, raisin.

The alcoholic finish is prominent.

Taste: raisin and fruit.

Food paring enhances the beer aroma/taste 500%. As if this beer was meant to tasted with food. Unlike other barley wines, this beer works exceptionally well with food.
I had the Balsamic grilled chicken sandwich with cheese, and the salad with vinaigrette. After eating, the fruit, raisin, and toffee blossomed in the beer.

The beer is currently 13%(?) and served in an 8 oz snifter.With food paring, one of the best
American Barley wines I have tasted.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 in a flip top - thanks jdiddy! Pours a hazy orangish brown with minimal head. Smell is rich deep fruit, caramel and a little bourbon barrel. Taste is similar to the nose. Rich and delightful. Medium plus body. Delicate carbonation. Overall a wonderful sipper.

Photo of Mess
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 cobalt blue flip top bottle from New Year's Eve at CBC. Cellared until this evening. Poured into a large snifter. Promising audible hiss from the flip top.

A - Rich cloudy orange brown, not unlike unfiltered cider. Tight white head.

S - alcohol and honey in nose. Dates, powdered ginger.

T - Honey off the bat. Malty brown bread. Brandy-like alcohol. Honey more prevalent as it warms. Very clean, otherwise not overly flavorful.

M - even mouthfeel, not thick or thin. slick maybe with tight carbonation - nice given it's a flip top and I've not had good experience aging flip tops. Dry finish.

D - Clean, deceptively easy to drink at 11.75%. Definitely a sipper to savor throughout an evening.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of purplehops
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blunderbuss poured a deep rosewood brown with a thin light beige head that left some lacing on the glass. The aroma was floral hops, mace, apricots, caramel, and some evergreen notes. The taste started with a bold combination of caramel malt, mild brown sugar, and fig flavors. It then moves on to blend more flavors of pear, clove, and citrus along with the original flavors into a wonderful balanced complexity of goodness. The finish is smooth with a nice alcohol warmth balanced with malt and mace flavors and a hint of hop bitterness trying to make an appearance. Aftertaste is a sigh and a grin. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium full body that is a pleasure to watch swirl in the snifter (or maybe that's the alcohol that makes the swirls so pretty).
Overall a very nice Barley Wine that is well balanced with plenty of complexity and alcohol warmth. Well worth going out of your way for one.

Photo of PeatReek
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of Prufrock
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 release on tap into a snifter. tasted alongside the 2004, the bourbon barrel aged, and the wine barrel aged.

beautiful golden amber. less than half an inch of head.

smell is great: sweet caramel and floral, grassy hops. not as much vanilla in the 2005 than in the other versions.

tastes like the aroma; great balance between the sweetness and the bitter hops that wash it away in the aftertaste. no hint of the high alcohol content.

fantastic beer, and the 2005 is the best of the bunch. if you can, get some while it's still on tap.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

CBC had the '02 version at their most recent beer dinner, and I was lucky enough to partake of Todd's glass (thanks!). Served in a small snifter, it was the color of rich chestnut and raisins, and really, so nicely aged, it didn't need to impress with a big head or everything (I find these beers over-all don't creat big heads...they are concentrating on other things). Aroma was a deep, rich, thick layer of malt meets alcohol. Mouthfeel, I would say was medium +, and extremely smooth, considering the abv. I didn't know the abv until this review, I would have thought it was single digits. Tastewise, I enjoyed the rich, deep malty character, with touches of raisins. While not overly sweet, there was some fruity touches (dark fruit). Again, very smooth and enjoyable. A treat. Special note for Sakaroo: porkchop sandwiches.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Blunderbuss Barleywine from Cambridge Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.