Burly Wine - Half Pints Brewing Company
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
4.16/5 rDev -0.7%
This was the blue bottle, so 2009 vintage. It pours a dark brown with a very meager head and an almost cloudy appearance. The smell is very rich with strong caramel aromas and some recognizable booziness - this is barleywine after all.
The taste is strong and boozy, but there are some pleasant flavours of caramel and a nice lingering sweetness which make it a lot easier to drink. The burn going down my throat is quite evident though. I recognize this is barleywine though, so it is unfair to fault the beer for being strong, and any unpleasantness that may come with it. The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbonated with some texture to mix things up. Overall this is an above average barleywine and a solid brew from half Pints.
07-28-2013 05:02:00 | More by Olek4374
British Columbia (Canada)
4.33/5 rDev +3.3%
Bottle looks just like the pic, so I'll have to say '10? Thanks Wordemupg!
Appearance. Pours a deep and murky caramel-amber with a thin, off-white head.
Smell. Caramel, raisins and some smooth booze with a little grainy malt.
Taste. Raisins and some nice, not too sweet caramel and some light and dark fruits with a mild tartness. A little bit of an earthy mineral taste along with the raisins in the finish. Nice stuff and gets better with every sip! Alcohol almost non-existant.
Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with below medium carbonation.
Overall. A great tasting barleywine. The high abv that is almost undetectable is amazing and can only be partly attributed to the aging. That gives this beer an extra .5 in the overall as far as I'm concerned. Thanks again, wordemupg!
12-05-2012 03:36:09 | More by Rutager
3.7/5 rDev -11.7%
Bottles from both wordemupg and kjyost - (blueish?) wax and a 341ml bottle, so this is from 2009 I'll guess. Into a tulip. Side by side with the bourbon barrel aged version.
Mahogany body, with deep ruby red highlights. A ring of bubbles for lace, whisps of retention. Toasty malts on the nose, bread crust, caramel, toffee, brown sugar and some mild hop character. Slight oxidation notes as well. Taste has caramel and toffee up front, very sweet malt, candy, light chocolate near the end with again some mild hop character. Fairly full feel, sweet with almost no bitterness. Sticky. A nice offering, but not completely outstanding.
10-31-2012 03:24:38 | More by liamt07
4.43/5 rDev +5.7%
Was able to drink a bomber of the the green-waxed 2008 vintage of this; cheers to oakbluff for that one. She was a beauty! This review is off a more recent vintage sent by kjyost, which ended up being equally as wonderful. Cheers!
Fun story too. A mate of mine lived in Winnipeg for a few years while working at the university there. We got into drinking one night and it turns out Half Pints was his favorite brewery and he hadn't had any since moving back to Ontario a couple years back. So, out came the Half Pints! He was pretty surprised to say the least.
From a 12oz bottle into a snifter
APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a faint wisp and ring. Maroon red in color, opaque, with zero carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end leaving some falling dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking barleywine for sure.
SMELL: Lots of caramel and toffee, with some nice red fruit notes as well. Some cedar wood notes and floral hops round it out nicely, though the caramel and toffee aromas steal the show a bit. Bold and enticing. Very ncie.
TASTE: Big flavors of caramel and toffee, as the nose suggestd, with butterscotch in there as well. Some piney hops and sweet honeydew melon notes at the swallow, moving into a big and persistent finish of caramel and toffee sweetness, red fruity notes, and a hint of hop bitterness as well. Quite flavorful. A touch more bitterness would make this other-worldly, but it's a real treat as it is.
PALATE: Medium-fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a scratch at the swallow, finishing slightly mouth-coating. Nice here.
OVERALL: This is really well executed. The aromas and flavora are impressive and nicely balanced, and the feel is full with just the right amount of kick to it. Very impressive and extremely enjoyable. Both the 2008 and 2010 bottles went down very easily. Too bad they decided to retire this one. Can I be the first to sign the resurrection petition? Cheers guys!
09-20-2012 06:33:05 | More by Jeffo
4.43/5 rDev +5.7%
Beer is dark amber/copper in colour. A vigorous pour results in a moderate white head. Head is very thick and full. Good retention.
Smell is alcohol, caramel malt, wood, smoke and a bit of fruit (I get a bit of graoe?). Very full scent, big and bold.
Big malt flavours in the taste; lots of caramel and bread, but not terribly sweet. The hops provide a good counterbalance. Has a very woody flavour, perhaps oak, that make it seem as if it was aged in oak barrels, though not barrels that held booze previously. Booze is noticeable but in a good way. Somewhat bitter finish. Very nice.
Moderate carbonation, full bodied but not as big as many barleywines. Slightly syrupy.
Overall, very nice. Really a good barleywine. Has this beer seriously been retired??? Crazy.
02-11-2012 04:00:32 | More by jrenihan
3.88/5 rDev -7.4%
341ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip glass. 2010 vintage (Tan wax).
A - Pours with a nice thick tan head of foam atop a deep burgundy beer. When held up to the light this barley wine glows a bright pink color with lots of haze floating in the body. Nice head retention and relentless lacing.
S - Woody caramel malt, sort of nutty as well. Moderate grassy hops in there as well. It's sort of got skunkiness at first as well. Maybe a bit of oak and vanilla combination playing a role here too. Some dark fruitiness shows up as well, namely dates and apricots.
T - Well, it's certainly complex. I'm getting everything form big earthy wood notes and resinous smoke flavors, to assorted spices and dark fruits. Herbal hops bite the back of the palate as this one finishes. Small alcohol warmth. It's not exactly astringent or bitter, but it's got a big bite of flavor in the finish. Hops, spices and phenolic notes linger long after the liquid has passed. Dates, plums and apricots add a touch of sweetness along with earthy caramel malt, Belgian candi sugar and cola syrup.
M - Thick and full bodied. Definitely a little oily and a little syrupy, but it's still fairly smooth throughout. The alcohol is certainly detectable in the feel of this beer, but it's still pretty good in this department.
D - For me, this beer is a touch too phenolic and herbal. The flavor is powerful and in-your-face, there's no denying that; but overall this isn't quite my idea of a great beer. Still, I enjoyed and I can definitely see myself revisiting this one again down the road, but that probably won't happen due to it being retired. Oh well, at least I got to grab a bottle before they were all gone!
02-06-2012 07:17:39 | More by Converge
British Columbia (Canada)
4.28/5 rDev +2.1%
NOTE: 2010 bottle
Now retired, I figured it might be best to review a bottle before they are all gone...
Appearance - Nice, consistent head. Lots of sediment here when held up to the light. A deep amber/ brown. Great color to this Barley Wine.
Smell - Very nice woodsy aroma. A slight spice on the nose given off from the hops (definitely has a Goldings characteristic). Caramel, butter, herbs and faint toffee.
Taste - Oak and other warm, wood-like qualities. Prunes, caramel, dates, a little flour and toffee. Spicy. The alcohol is surprisingly hidden for a beer at 10.5% abv. Reasonably smooth and chewy. A noticeable amount of Barley grains used here. This bottle is a little more sour than usual. I think the beer could age a bit more, too. A very sugary and complex brew.
Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation, not too much. Quite heavy and buttery. Syrupy and thick. Coats the roof of the mouth. Buzzes on the tongue afterwards. Not quite as balanced as I would like, but a decent feel. A tad too sweet, but then again, it is a Barley Wine.
Overall - This Barley Wine is very heavy to ingest. One bottle and it may be time to switch things up. Perhaps it may be enjoyed more with a meal (steak or herb chicken even). It really strikes the mouth, bolstering complexity and lots of woody flavors. Spicy and unique. It's unfortunate that they've retired this brew for now. Luckily for me, I have one vintage year (a bottle 2009) and two more bottles of 2010 standing up on my shelf. Looking forward to aging these, especially the '09. Barley Wines can sometimes be hit and miss. This one is quite enjoyable. Perhaps one of the better ones I've had to date. Hopefully Half Pints considers brewing this recipe again.
12-18-2011 06:17:24 | More by Agent1
3.43/5 rDev -18.1%
12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Generously provided as an extra by alpineclimber, thanks a lot!
2010 vintage (tan wax)
A - Pours a fairly muddy looking brown with dark orange tinges to it. Cloudy body with about a finger's worth of tan head that doesn't have much retention to it. Some spotty lacing as well; it is almost like a leopard print in the way it is laid out.
S - The nose is pretty tame for such a high ABV barleywine. I actually have to work to get something out of it since its not very aromatic in my opinion. As it warms it does start to release aromas easier, starting with caramel but then leading to toffee and even some slightly smoked wood.
T - Luckily the flavors aren't as greedy as the nose in that they relinquish their bounty willingly. Pretty much all malts here, but without over-the-top sweetness. A decent amount of caramel permeates throughout, mixed with some dark pitted fruits and raisins. The wood continues here, as well as a somewhat alcoholic finish.
M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with relatively low carbonation. Smooth and yet somewhat sticky.
D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I would love to see this beer get a little more 'burly' and bold as it's currently lacking that extra oomph that I look for in a barleywine. The nose definitely needs some work, but the flavors pave a smooth foundation for that to work on.
08-31-2011 03:18:45 | More by nhindian
3.6/5 rDev -14.1%
***2009 vintage (blue wax)***
Thanks to kjyost for this one.
Poured from a 341ml. bottle.
Appearance: A nice 3 finger head forms that reduces to 1 and holds. Sticky lacing on the sides. Body is a bit more clear than expected with a reddish tinted body.
Smell: Musty a bit, caramel, lactic a little, plums, old wood.
Taste: A sweet hit upfront and mellows into a herb-like spiciness. Some caramelized sugar and leather.
Mouthfeel: Super smooth, low carbonation but no staying power in the mouth. As soon as the sip is gone, so is the feel. No mouth coating or lingering presence. On the plus side, it has no real alcohol heat.
Overall: A decent barleywine but the body keeps it from being top-tier. Middle of the road for me.
08-25-2011 10:19:04 | More by papat444
4.2/5 rDev +0.2%
reviewed this on july 6th 2011.
Might be first taste of Manitoba. Probably my first waxed bottle as well. Thanks again to Bobsy for this! Not sure how old this is but the wax is blue if that means anything.
341ml bottle opened with Taps magazine bbbarfly opener and poured into Taps magazine snifter.
A- Almost opaque burnt orange/hazelnut. Not very much of the grayish head is left but lots of peculiar speckled lacing.
S- A tiny bit of onion is what strikes me first but it doesn’t bother, there’s lots more good in here. Lots of sweet caramel and even something like almonds or marzipan. Alcohol is present but still a bit discrete. Smells very good. Alcohol creeps out as it warms.
T-Less sweet than I thought. Oxidized maybe? There some sort of red wine tartness. Hops are more present than expected as well. Very woody and robust. A little earthy even. The caramel still makes a notable appearance but instead of the butterscotch found in the smell I get more of a maillard reaction, refined sugar reduction type of taste. Very hoppy after-taste. Alchol tastes is a little bit like cognac.
M- A pretty heavy beer. Body is syrupy, medium carbonation fades fast in the mouth and finish is considerably far from dry. Astringent though. Slow drinking.
O- I think this bottle might be a tad bit oxidized but it still is a great barleywine. Full, quite hoppy without tasting like an IIPA. I want more.
08-14-2011 17:54:02 | More by Yoonisaykul
4.15/5 rDev -1%
This beer was sent to me by Shadman from BA. Cheers!
Got the blue label which makes this one the 2010 vintage (Thanks Dave for correcting me, I thought it was the 2009). The beer color is dark amber. Little head forms up. The aroma is light in intensity, I would have expected more. Get some caramel notes and sugar. When the beer warms a little bit, the aroma gets better and stronger with caramel. Complex on the taste however. Sweet. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. This is a true sipper. I started a little bit too cold, but the end was very good, if not extraordinary.
Truly a very good beer.
08-11-2011 01:30:38 | More by ZorPrime
4.93/5 rDev +17.7%
I believe this is the 2008 vintage. 341ml bottle with a green wax dip over the cap. Purchased at Willow Park in Calgary in September 2010. Poured in a snifter.
Beige head is just a thin cap on the pour and quickly recedes to a couple of thin islands. Minimal carbonation. Cloudy and reddish amber in colour.
Aroma is rich and full. Dried fruit, caramel, grapefruit, sweet malts. Surprisingly strong with so little head or carbonation. Hints of the alcohol become apparent as it warms.
Big, bold and rich flavours roll across the tongue. The malt is right up front with caramel and dried fruit. Then the hops come in around the middle to make a wonderfully balanced centre. Everything smoothly melds into a hoppier finish. Citrus and herbal hop notes in the finish. Aftertaste is long and drawn out. This has mellowed nicely with age and all of the characteristics blend together beautifully.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth. For this much alcohol, it's amazingly drinkable. Just a little resin-y and oily.
World class! One of the top 2 Barleywines I've ever had the privilege of tasting. The other one was made by the same brewer while at a different brewery/brewpub. Why the heck did I wait so long to crack this?!?
08-09-2011 01:56:10 | More by Noxious26
Burly Wine from Half Pints Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.