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Anniversary Barley Wine Ale - Uinta Brewing Company

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Anniversary Barley Wine Ale
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BA SCORE
86
very good

767 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 21
Gots: 70 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Uinta Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-25-2002

Rich and complex, this all malt barley wine exhibits hints of dried fruits, toffee and caramel balanced by an abundance of American hops.

72 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 767 | Reviews: 393
Reviews by jzeilinger:
More User Reviews:
Photo of StoutHearted
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a beautiful deep red with no head. A sweet smell emanates of chicory and raisins, and the taste matches, with a dry, hoppy flavor that coats the mouth and lingers. The hoppiness and heat of the alcohol takes over the mouthfeel with a bit of boldness. Nice for savoring, but it doesn't have the advantage of other barleywines in having different tones and flavors open up as the brew adjusts to room temperature. Thus, you get a straightforward brew instead of one that changes.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Happy 15 years, guys; only the best for the next 15! Oh, a generously hopped Barleywine ... something to sink our teeth into.

Bright clarity shows a rich-looking mahogany color, latte foam head comes and leaves with a sticky lace. Very aromatic with grapefruit zest, spearmint and tobacco from the hops, and a showing of caramel, figs and cookie dough from the malt and yeast. Smooth and creamy with a semi-slick medium to full body. Hops come in throwing bitterness around; lots of citric rind and tobacco bitterness that just does not want to shake off of the taste buds. Underneath sits the malt backbone, which has a lot of hop weight pressing down on it, but the foundation is sound enough to see this beer through. Hint of caramel and toasted bread in the middle is mostly squashed by the hops. Alcohol chimes in with a warmth and fresh fig fruitiness. Finishes with some maltiness, though the hops are still going strong even in the aftertaste.

Damn, this beer is bitter ... lovely, but bitter. Hopheads should rally to this beer. Cellaring should not even be a factor here as it is so delicious in its fresh form. Love the hops now.

Photo of blitz134
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12th edition, tasted a couple weeks back. Review from written notes.

Clear carnet body with a dense whipped khaki head. Coats the glass in foamy lace. A fair amount of carbonation rises to the surface.

Caramely, sweet aroma. Touch of raw sugar. Some piney hops to round it otu.

Taste is malt laden throughout. Dinner roll malts and some tobacco. Really no sweetness at all. Finish has an earthy and resin hop bitterness to it, but not overwhelming. No alcohol shows at all.

Mouthfel is medium. Very low carbonation. Coats the mouth well and the flavor lingers for a while.

A nice twist on the barleywine style for me with its lack of sweetness. Pretty good stuff.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a snifter this beer was a dark brown, kind of like mahogany. There was a rim of head at the periphery of the glass. Some scant lace.

A caramel aroma. Some dark fruit. Resiny hops.

Caramel taste. Raisins. Hops late.

On the milder side, but still a tasty barleywine. Worth a try.

Photo of Beaver13
2.58/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. 15th anniversary, bottled on 7/21/08. Pours a murky amber brown with a creamy frothy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet cola, candy sugar, fruits, and some alcohol.

The flavor is some sweet malts and fruits with a dirty earthy mineral background leading to a harsh alcoholic bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for the flavors in this - it's too alcoholic and muddled.

Photo of mikechance
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A --- Deep red with nice amount of foam

S --- Malts, little hops and some sweetness

T --- Excellent blend of hops and malts with alcohol, but not over the top. Very smooth for such a strong beer.

M --- Nice body, good carbonation and smooth

O --- Excellent! I will add this to my Top 10 Barleywine Beers to get every year. Uinta Beers have just started to hit the greater Sacramento area and they are very good. I look forward to enjoying more.

Photo of BeerIsland
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the XVI, obtained in an Ogden State store while visiting here in August. It's a very pretty beer; deep amber covered with a thick head. The smell is wonderful, rich and malty with some caramel notes. There are slight hints of sweetness that may overwhelm. The first taste is excellent, well balanced and not too heavy. The conditioning is very good. Just a bit of alcohol in the lingering finish. No cloying flavors at all. This seems more drinakable than most barleywines but I'd've liked a better balanced finish.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is their XV (Fifteenth) Anniversary edition at 10.4% ABV bottled on "8/29/08", so this little number (12 ounceer) has been in the bottle for a total of about 3 weeks! Yikes, FRESH barley wine, not sure how I should feel about that...anyway lightly cooled and into a tulip glass, this one pours a rich, glowing dark, dark shade of honey amber, clear, equally thick and rich dark tan head, that leaves plenty of coating and scattered lace. Nose of gobs of malt, bready sweetness and resiny hops in the rear. First impression of this fresh and young brew is "wow" big and bold, smooth on the tongue, goes down easy. Big smooth malts, nicely balanced by more resinous hops on the back of the mouth. This one is drinking great right now and I would assume it will only improve with some time in the bottle. My first try of any of the Uinta line (how does one pronounce that anyway?) which have just made on shore in the NYC area.I'm impressed, well worth a try now or in a few months on one of those cold winter nights.

Photo of tigg924
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark brown, high carbonation, clear, huge inch and a half head

Smell: caramel, hops, pineapple, and citrus

Taste: caramel, hops which is the dominant flavor, pineapple, sugarcane, and a coffee finish

Mouthfeel: bitter throughout with a little softening and sweetening towards the end. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: This one is not a bad beer, but I have had way more complex in the style. It struck me as a bit on the hoppy side. I think one is enough for me.

Photo of wjimson
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at a local liquor store. I was quite glad to find something that was over 4% in this part of the state.

Although the malt profile of this beer is well balanced, it came across as a little bland: lacking in richness. The taste of candi sugar is quite evident to the tongue and throat. A winning side of this beer is the well hiden alcohol content and and low acidity. The hop profile is also nicely balanced and mild.

Even after drinking this beer on a hot-summer afternoon, I did not felt the 9.8% alcohol at work. Like all other beers I have had in this state so far, the alcohol present feels lower than the stated alcohol content on the label, even if it means 4%. The lack of richness and alcohol-feel to this beer makes it very drinkable.

Photo of ehammond1
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Dark brown and auburn with a thin khaki head and sheets of lacing down the glass.

A surprisingly citrus aroma--lots of orange and grapefruit spring up from the glass, alone with some toffee and caramel sweetness, and dark rye bread aroma add a little spice. Terrific!

Sweet toffee and caramel, along with some roast and char in the flavor. The citrus hops take the backseat to the malt profile, and there's a certain alcohol sting throughout.

Medium bodied. Ample carbonation.

A good barleywine, though I wish the citrus hops I smelled in the aroma translated through to the flavor.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't say how much this beer overcame my low expectations. Poured almost looking like a red ale. Aroma was pungent. Lots of comparisons to Bigfoot already.

Taste, extremely smooth for its alcohol level, hopping, not Bigfoot level, but high. Nothing was over the top, but perfectly balanced, no overt sweetness that can sometimes ruin a barleywine.

Great mouthfeel, its enjoyable, not uber bitter, maintains perfect balance throughout, great price for this beer, and very drinkable, especially for the style and ABV.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle was picked up from a bottle shop the date of the bottled on is 10/12/12...I bought it 2/28/14. Overall appears a deep murky mahogany brown hue big tan head forming thick, with fine speckled lacing. Smells like an aged barleywine, what does that mean the hops have tamed, the malts are full of over ripened fruit and big alcohol notes. The smell is of spicy plum and raisin notes, that I can't quit sniffing on. Dark fruit, brown sugar, malt layers in the flavor, nothing like an aged Bigfoot, a hint of diacetyl or wet cardboard in the malt character just from oxidation. Plum and dark fruit sugars coat the palate, not bad at all...well aged smoothed out Anniversary IPA bottled on 10/12/12. Mouthfeel is creamy, effervescent carbonation medium bodied texture. Overall it's good barleywine, I'm intrigued to see what this beer tastes like fresh, with 2 years of age it's fantastic.

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.
Very smooth with partly hidden alcohol. Alcohol esters are obvious in tasting and there is noticeable warming in the mouthfeel.
Smells sweet with fruity, but is more malty upon tasting.

O: a very good barleywine.

Photo of timontheroad
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best before 12/2/14. Dark brown opaque, half inch light brown head that settled to a nice film that laced nicely. The aroma is fantastic, with rich dark fruit notes, lotsa raisin, toffee and some piney notes. The flavor is similar, with caramel malt, figs, raisins, and a bit of hop bitterness. The alcohol is definitely present in the taste. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy for a Barleywine, with a very nice finish and aftertaste, nicely carbonated. Overall, this is a very nice beer, I'll probably be looking out for this one again.

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a dark ruby-brown color with a rocky 1.5-finger tan head. The head slowly dissipates into a patchy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of deep caramel malts and booze-soaked red cherries with hints of milk chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Rich caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by boozy red cherries. Midway through the sip a hint of brown sugar and butterscotch enter into the profile before fading away before a mildly bitter ending. A sugary sweetness lingers after the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished the bottle with no problem and could have another.

Overall I thought the nose and flavors were cleaner while the beer was on the colder side, which in my experience is a rarity for a big barleywine. I say try it while it's cold (~50 deg F) but even if it's warmer it's worth a shot.

Photo of samtrillo
3.8/5  rDev -1%

Deep and dark amber red.

Nose of candied fruit, fruitcake, caramelized malt.

Flavor exhibits a mouthful of sweet malt, prunes and plum, citrus, and smokey toffee. Surprisingly bitter finish from the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium to full from the ABV and a bit sticky. Mild carbonation.

Overall it's a good effort for the style. If a smokey and bitter barleywine sounds nice try this out.

Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no indication as to what 'anniversary' it is.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby-red amber hue, with two fingers of densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves a whole metric shit-ton of randomly encyclopaedic lace around the glass as things gradually abate.

It smells of pungent caramel/toffee malt, Nordic licorice, muddled Mediterranean fruit, concentrated orange and grapefruit rind, and heady, but at least minding its manners, alcohol. The taste is musty caramel malt, toffee pudding, black orchard fruit - plums, prunes, and overripe cherries - a bit of wayward yeast, spicy grassy, leafy, and citrusy hops, and a certain by-standing alcohol measure.

The bubbles are quite low-key and unobtrusive for the most part, the body a heady medium-heavy weight, and more or less smooth, the hops and booze kind of too entranced with their own images to care all that much about interfering here. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel/toffee malt and burgeoning alcohol vying to be the only game in town, in the face of an insurgent complex hoppiness.

Huh - for all the guff and mockery that I've heard about Utah brewing in general, at home and abroad, this offering really sloughs off all that inanity - big and brash, hoppy and malty, in layers that I can't possibly appreciate from this single instance in time. Worth trying, if only to see how it's doing, and right now for me, it's doing just fine.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with 09/08 bottled on date into an Ommegang chalice.

A--Dark ruby with chestnut browns in it. Almost no head, maybe a quarter-inch of white foam that dies almost immediately to a ring with minimal soapy dots on the glass. A finger swish brings it to life pretty easily, though.

S--Lots of Cascade hops, which to me means pine and floral, specifically rosewater type scents. This is actually a little annoying to me, not because I don't like hops, but because I expect at least some of the cloying malt to peep through on the nose. If you dig on this one and really open up the hoover nostrils you can maybe find some chicory buried in there along with a hint of almonds. But that's really pushing it.

T--Same deal as the nose. The hops are the highlight, and while I got no beef with the ingredient, I don't really need a 10 percent version of Liberty Ale. Oh well. There is a mellow pleasant alcohol warmth that makes barleywines special, and again, if you go looking for it and wait until the initial piney and floral character of the hops dies but pay attention before the resinous bitterness parches out the finish--you've got about a half second window here--then you catch a decent glimpse of more roasty nuttiness of almonds, decent chicory bitterness, and a more fully developed marriage between honeyed sweet malt and rosy hops. This is all begging to make its way to the forefront but gets squashed.

M&D--Both are fine. I think the mouthfeel may be the strongest part of this beer, as it's not heavy or fizzy, but mildly smooth and round. Drinkability would be higher but I'm not that much of a hophead.

I've never had Bigfoot, but if it's this hoppy I'm gonna be in trouble...

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Uinta- XIV Anniversay Barleywine

Big thanks to Wasatch for this!

A- Ruddy reddish brown with a small head. Good chunky messy lacing.
S- Oily pine hops and alcohol. The nose is weak on this!?
T- Strong oily pine hops with a slight touch of dried fruits; raisin and figs.
M- This one starts off watery, sweet and bitter hops arrive midway through and ends off sweet malty and boozy.

Overall- let this warm up. Not bad although flavors seem, a bit, toned down.

Photo of MrVonzipper
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy rootbeer brown with visible yeast throughout. Very little head with no rention and a light tan color.

Rich maltiness, molasses, raisin and fig on the nose

Rich dark malt flavor, molasses, alcohol-bourbon and a hint of caramel

A little sticky and heavy on the palate with an alcoholic kick. Very alcoholic aftertaste

Overall I'm not very impressed, especially due to it being an anniversary beer. Bottled 3-22-11, the bottle description say "Can be laid down to age" this is another example that the brewers might want to puta best after date. Although I don't really visualize too much future complexity. It's not very well balanced with very heavy sugar/maltiness and alcohol being the overwhelming factors. I'd be interested to try this again after about 4-5 years of aging but I definitely would not buy it again otherwise.

Oh yea... This was the 17th anniversary.

Photo of GilGarp
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anniversary XIV. Bottled 1/14/08. 10.4%

I wonder if these should be broken up into individual anniversary years. I haven't had other vintages but I can be pretty sure they weren't all the same. I'll leave that up to the Bros.

Pours stright the middle of a tall glass and has the perfect 2" head. It's a dark cloudy brown with red highlights.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a definate hop background. Sweetness comes through as well - brown sugar and cinnamon.

Flavor has it's sweetness too but a powerful kick of hop bitterness to balance it out. There's lots of depth to it with sweet fruits, nuts, spice, toffee, and citrus.

Mouthfeel has a good level of carbonation but it's high in alcohol and bitterness so it's not all that easy to drink. One is enough for an evening. All that being said, it's appropriate for the style.

I had a bad impression of barleywine for some unknown reason but this one has changed me. I may be seeking out others in the future.

Photo of asabreed
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

XI Anniversary (year 2004). 12 oz bottle. 10.4% ABV (not 9.8% as listed). Poured into a wine glass. Even though this is my first time trying it, I bought two bottles just so I could lay one down on general principle (and the cellar, of course, is getting more out of hand by each passing week).

Appearance: I'm pretty sure the coldness of the beer completely destroyed the head in my wine glass, as the lacing seems to want to stay, and it still a bit spotty. So I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt on my mistake; the color makes up for it anyway. As with most barley wines, it's a beautiful mahogany brown.

Smell: What an odd nose, maybe one of the oddest I've ever been able to observe. There's definitely some pine and hop characterstics of course. Now the malts, as it warms a bit, are starting to open to cookie-like aromas. But there's still something odd in there, which almost smells like some sort of cleaner for grease or something. Sounds weird, I know, but it's an odd element I can't pick out, and it really detracts from possibilities. Maybe another year or two will balance out whatever needs to be balanced out.

Taste: Surprisingly smooth for all the hops. The beer has mellowed out a bit, I imagine at least, from being a year old (in the taste department at least). The hop bitterness is welcoming. It's hoppy for sure, but it starts, gets a bit smoother, and oddly enough the malt tends to finish it out on the back of the tongue with the aftertatse. Maybe another few years will really get this guy to it's full potential? Not as much discernibility with the flavors as I'd like, but you have your berries, your malts, some yeastiness. Probably the normal aspects of a still slightly green barley wine.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, but not crazy, as the carbonation fights that urge. Quite nice, and one of the best things about this bottle.

Drinkability: I'm still not sure about this at its early stages, though I didn't like Old Horizontal at its early stages either. Yet, I'm a huge hop fan (as far as double IPAs and IPAs go), and I love DFH Olde School, but I wasn't a big fan of Old Crustacean. So I don't know, maybe I have to come to grips with realizing that many barley wines just aren't my thing? Not sure, but either way, this isn't an expensive beer, especially for one bottle, so I'd say it's worth a shot (despite what my review says) if you're a big fan of the style.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fifteenth Anniversary edition, bottled 9/29/08. Thanks to everyone who didn't buy this at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, I now have a 6-pack of an aged barleywine that I didn't have to cellar myself. Sweet. (They have more, I believe!)

Not much "ziss" when opening the cap, but it's not dead after the pour...rather it's got a bubbly beige head that takes a couple minutes to thin, and then is just a crown. The liquid is a rusty brown, almost like watered-down chocolate milk as it takes on an almost bronze hue. Dots and slashes of lace are left on the sides of the snifter.

Aroma is huge gooey caramel, a bit of toffee, the sweet/salty pairing of taffy, raisin, fig, and a fair bit of alcohol to ramp up the volume on those other characteristics.

The flavor takes the dark fruits detected in the aroma and shoves them to the front. Along with raisin and fig, there's a good bit of overripe plum, and a particularly grape-y sweetness, although not sure I'd call this vinous (despite the name of the style). Caramel; toffee. Charred oak far in the background, and a healthy hit of leather, both which provide balance against the sweetness of this beer. Alcohol is present but incorporated well. Maybe this is just playing tricks on me, considering it's been in the bottle almost two years, but this has the vibe of an English old ale as much as it does an American barleywine.

Mouthfeel is round, silky, chewy and has just the right amount of stickiness. The grassy bitterness of hops show up in the finish, and that stickiness keeps them rolling long after each sip.

Complex and balanced, I'm curious to try newer (and older) versions of this bad boy. My first bottle three days ago seemed okay; second bottle yesterday impressed a bit more; today's tasting showed me the light. A classic case of a "grower" beer. Big beer lovers, seek it out.

Photo of cokes
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

XVI, bottled 2/17/10

Translucent crimson-brown with a healthy beige head that shows solid rentention and lace for a beer this size.
Burnt toffee, grilled pineapples, prunes, Sherry, stewed apples, toasted walnuts, anise, and fig jelly grab and twist the hairs in one's nostrils. Hops have mellowed a good deal from the last time I tried this (maybe 8 months ago or so) and as much as I enjoyed them, they left behind a very refined, malt-bath barleywine.
As it oozes across the tongue, it leaves a wake of burnt brown sugar, plums, prunes, raisins, and general dark fruit compote. The middle brings notions of exotic fruit, drenched in molasses and stewed. Then a bit of yeast slurry and tart cherries. Some fortified wine, alcohol and vinous suggestions, but intergrated into the dark fruit persona, and the actual strength is only accounted for by its thickness and felt in the head. Hopping still adds resins of wood and pine, with tracers of floral bitterness...just enough to maintain a bit of balance.
The carbonation gives it an airy, fleecy feel upfront, but dwindles out over time, leaving it thick, sturdy, beefy, but un-cloying.
Forget any state-associated beer-handicap, this is a rock solid barleywine, and it keeps getting better with age.

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Anniversary Barley Wine Ale from Uinta Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.