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Barleywine - Sprecher Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

97 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.71%

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.71% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cokes on 12-13-2005)
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 84 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by beergurujr:
Photo of beergurujr


4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

standard sprecher 16 oz. stubby bottle, gold wax dipped. 2006 edition. sold by the single only. 9.71% ABV per label. served at about 55 degrees F, in a duvel tulip glass.

V- pours a nice autumnal reddish hue. clear, no sediment. off-white head rapidly dissapates. small bubble carbonation, but little of it.

A- malt. figs. a trace of something meatlike.

T- sweet caramel. smoke. malt extract. some hop at midpalate.

B- silky. smooth. quite filling.

F- reasonably dry. meaty. long lasting.

a very good effort from a decent brewery. sprecher's recent high gravity offerings have been very good values.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 04:11:25 | More by beergurujr
More User Reviews:
Photo of ricecracker420


4/5  rDev +7.5%

01-31-2014 05:38:57 | More by ricecracker420
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to whoever brought this one.

Pours a hazy orange-red with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cardboard, jellied fruit, and metallic aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and candied or jellied fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild metallic aftertaste that lingers on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but seems fairly oxidized all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 05:29:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BillRoth


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

12-30-2013 01:01:09 | More by BillRoth
Photo of jdkitchi


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

07-02-2013 03:28:54 | More by jdkitchi
Photo of Kegatron


3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

06-18-2013 21:06:30 | More by Kegatron
Photo of InVinoVeritas


4.5/5  rDev +21%

02-27-2013 01:55:59 | More by InVinoVeritas
Photo of t0rin0


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

02-20-2013 01:26:26 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Rifugium


3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I saw this lonely bottle sitting in the middle of the table, capped, at Stone Soup '13, and after a couple hours, I figured I'd open it. I'm not really sure what the deal with this one was, but the bottle had a sort of metallic badge branded onto it instead of the usual label. Not sure if it was an older vintage or a "special" batch or what.

Poured a cloudy, ruddy brown color with a slight off-white head that receded to a ringlet. Aroma of caramel and brown sugar, ripe fruit, somewhat earthy. More of the same in the taste, dark sugars, raisins and ripe stone fruits, a bit sweet, with some boozy notes, and maybe a dusting of cocoa powder. Pretty mild flavor overall, which is pretty typical for the style, compared to the more hefty--and to me, preferred--American style. Body was medium and carbonation was low. Pretty good overall, but not something I'd reach for again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 09:53:20 | More by Rifugium
Photo of beerpadawan


3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage.

Poured without much head, though there is some foam and bubble action, even as it sits a ring maintains with fine bubbles, tan, sticking to the glass.

The nose shows age, oxidation. But some nice tart and ripe fruit smells, molasses and brown sugar. Dried cherries, prune.

Flavor is similar: some wet cardboard. Plums. Super smooth with only the softest, lightly creamy effect of carbonation. Some alcohol warmth. Distant and faint sensation of bitterness. Notes of a sweet tawny port. Bittersweet caramel. Grapes and raisins.

A fun beer to find in a random liquor store. I don't think I'll go grab another. But let me know if you're interested: several more 2006 bottles remain in the cooler.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 06:34:48 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of JMBSH


3/5  rDev -19.4%

10-08-2012 01:40:18 | More by JMBSH
Photo of RiggerStyle

4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

09-18-2012 01:22:04 | More by RiggerStyle
Photo of kojevergas


3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed 2007. 9.71% ABV confirmed. Acquired at Whole Foods in Glendale, California. 16 fl oz brown glass bottle with waxed-over standard pressure cap served into a scotch ale glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I'm in the mood for a good barleywine. Per the label, this is ideally aged (it recommends 1-5 years of aging, and here we are at five years).

The label's more than a bit over-elaborate.

Served a bit warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with reduced fat triscuits and morbier (as laughably pretentious as that sounds).

Jaysus, the wax was a real bitch to get through. Difficult to open.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger beige colour head of nice cream, fair thickness, and pretty good retention considering the high ABV. Colour is a strange dark orange. Nontransparent. Non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Reminiscient of a good quad or dubbel in some respects: hints of dark fruit are prominent. Sherry and port come to mind per the label. Certainly dessert-esque. Dark fig and plum are highlights. Some caramelized malts. Some raisin. Quite sugary. Very appealing. A mild strength, fairly subtle aroma.

T: Fig, certainly. Plum - certainly not, to its detriment. The sugars are nice, with clean malts coming through for a full yet light body. Bright fruit manifests as well, with mango peel - yes, mango peel - coming through. It's slightly tropical. The yeast is very buried but still present, lending some vague spice that doesn't amount to much. Hopping is restrained but present, and does more than merely add background; I get the sense the hop bitterness has mellowed over the years leaving a light tropical fruit and floral character. Quite a nice effect. Well layered and complex, with notable subtlety. Still, it's a bit underwhelming for a five year aged beer. The sweet sugary quality occupying the climax lends it a very port-esque feel. Luckily, it's not too sweet. I don't know that sherry comes through, but it's possible; it's difficult to interpret what some of these notes are. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Tingly from the sugar. Smooth and wet otherwise. It's thick but light, much like a port. Suits the flavours and feel nicely.

Dr: A nice all-around barleywine. I wouldn't endeavor to get it again, but I'm glad I tried it. Maybe the best beer I've had from Wisconsin. (I'll leave that to you to interpret). I enjoyed it. Very drinkable for the ABV. The five years of aging does seem a bit over-elaborate - just like the label - but I guess what you see is sometimes what you get. Fans of the style would do well to try it.

High B-

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 07:29:57 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is classic barleywine, with a lot of caramel and toffee malt, as well as a hint of maple. The flavor is similar, with a lot sweetness from the caramel and toffee malt, as well as a good bit of alcohol and some maple. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I really liked this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 03:40:25 | More by Mora2000
Photo of oldsmuggler

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7.5%

02-17-2012 22:59:20 | More by oldsmuggler
Photo of bennetj17


3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium copper/orange color. Thin head, lightly hazy appearance. Sweet, intense malty aroma. Lots of caramel in the nose, with touches of cherry. Suprisingly not alot of balance from the hops, and not much alcohol as this one is on the low ABV end for Barleywine.

The taste is quite sweet, but also has a keen cherry-like tartness going on that makes it very interesting. There is alot of residual sugar and without much bitter balance from the hops, you'd think it was a bit cloying. Thankfully that unique tart cherry character gives it another dimension. The mouthfeel was decent overall, a bit syrupy but not overly so. Medium carbonation.

All in all I was impressed, and I had low expectations looking at the other reviews. Not something I would drink all the time, but this was a Barleywine like none I've ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 05:07:31 | More by bennetj17
Photo of DoctorB2B


4.5/5  rDev +21%

11-20-2011 19:29:01 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of brandoman63


4/5  rDev +7.5%

11-20-2011 03:48:39 | More by brandoman63
Photo of richbrew

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -19.4%

11-16-2011 01:35:45 | More by richbrew
Photo of Exiled


4/5  rDev +7.5%

11-14-2011 21:06:02 | More by Exiled
Photo of clickpush


4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. Pour bottle to tulip. Orange ruby body topped by one finger of tight off-white head. Plenty of fizzle when I open the bottle. Lots of tiny bubbles streaming up. Looks good for the age. Head reduces to a light cap of lace and white halo.

Nose: Smell is sweet and tart. A hint of oxidation. Lots of caramel, strawberry, mint. While light, it's very nice.

Mouth: Creamy and lightly fizzy. Great flavors of caramel and berries. More strawberry. Warming all the way through. This one has held up amazingly well! Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 00:05:31 | More by clickpush
Photo of Knapp85


3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This barley wine from 2010 caught my eye with the gold wax and the embossed label on the bottle. Very cool looking brew. I read that it ages well but wanted to try it right away anyhow. The beer poured out as a deep reddish brown color with a tan head on it. The head faded away pretty quickly leaving just a ring around the glass. The aroma was of fermented plums and heavy barley with some hops mixed in there too. The taste was a little funky, I wasn't digging it too much. I think aging this would benefit this beer a lot. The mouthfeel was thick and concentrated. Everything was pretty good except the taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 19:58:08 | More by Knapp85
Photo of meatyard


3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 vintage with a gold, waxed top and a 1.75 x 2.5" applied, oval, metal emblem-weird.

Pours a pretty, amber color and has a one-finger, short-lived, white head without lace.

The smell is light malt aroma and is buttery or butterscotch.

A definite butterscotch (diacetyl) flavor along with some lightly roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium, ample carbonation and a bit dry.

Overall: Not a fan of the butterscotch in my beer though there is some interesting malt flavor that keeps me from making it a drainpour.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 23:46:42 | More by meatyard
Photo of Suds


3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer is presented in a pint bottle, with a wax coated cap. It's a beautiful, clear golden color with a very slight head. The aroma is nice...lots of pale malt scents...some caramel and a notable alcohol scent. The aroma is most reminiscent of Marsala, and very intense. The scents are also unnecessarily fruity. The taste is malty, warming, and fruity-laden. It's fruity and much to dry to be a proper barleywine. Alcohol and apples. The body is somewhat too light. The smell is enjoyable and pleasant, but the experience just doesn't carry over to the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 02:46:36 | More by Suds
Photo of misinformed


3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 oz. bottle, code dated June 18 2008. Reviewed 1/9/2011, pint glass.

A- Poured with 1/4" off white head that faded really fast down to a tiny ring around the edge. Clear medium deep orange colored beer.

S- Strong, sweet, and alcoholic.

T- Really rich, sweet malt. Syrupy dark fruit that is mainly cherry. Very sugary sweet almost to the degree of being like flat soda.

M- Thin body with some alcohol heat on the back of the throat. Surprisingly there is a bit of carbonation still.

D- This is the metal label version with silver wax. I just grabbed this at the store a couple of days ago so I was surprised when I got home and realized that it was from 2008. It definitely tastes aged. Thin with very rich sweet flavor. Almost cloying. I couldn't drink more than 10 oz. or so. One to be shared for sure. After reading the back of the bottle the taste does seem to match their description although any hops are long gone at this point.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 02:39:02 | More by misinformed
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Barleywine from Sprecher Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.