Grand Illumination - AleWerks Brewing Company
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -9.7%
a well made but disappointingly generic american style barleywine. i have loved everything I've had from alewerks so far, so this was a bit of a reality check. gorgeous glazed bronze color with an inch or so of spiderweb lace head. it smells like a ton of cascade hops, high gravity ale yeast, and some sweeter medium toast malted barley. hops are heavy all throughout this beer, bitter up front and in the finish, with a slightly floral middle ground that meshes well with the malts. touch of brown sugar and a little caramel, in the taste too, but i find this to be lacking a few key components. the first is balance, this is a hop bomb, and works better as an american strong ale than a barleywine. second is the body. its just not big or round enough, maybe a little overcarbonated for the style, which makes the whole thing seems thin to me. it also gets less appealing as it warms because of the hops. somewhere in the mid to low B range.
05-11-2014 21:47:52 | More by StonedTrippin
3.94/5 rDev +0.8%
A - pours a deep muddied ruby muddy dark brown with a finger of great chocolatish colored head, OK retention and lacing.
S - sweet sugary malts mix with alcohol and dark fruit sweetness.
T - sweet slightly mediciny/boozy but no burn. Cherries
M - super smooth medium bodied. Minimal carbonation
04-22-2014 23:56:36 | More by MacQ32
3.66/5 rDev -6.4%
Vintage 2013, poured into a large snifter glass.
A little bit lifeless on the pour. Deep orange apricot with a bit of hazy and filmy appearance. One finger of light tan head is made and disappears pretty quickly to quite a thin but stable collar. There's a little bit of hint of orange glow towards the edges.
Nice little nose. Juicy fruit qualities, and tropical sweetness. Sort of a juiced papaya and passion fruit richness. Not overly sugary or sweet either, quite impressive but not too complex or diverse either.
Palate comes with a little bit of hop richness. Sharp bitterness and hints of oily zesty lime and lemon. Juiced tropics finish, but with large bitterness and bite. Slightly sour aftertaste, which feels quite a bit odd. Quite a good amount of sharp fizz on first sip, but slowly dissolves to a thin coating in the palate. Just a bit wet too in feel.
Overall it's not bad, quite unique, but probably not one I would want to gravitate to or have again in the realm.
04-04-2014 22:38:05 | More by smakawhat
3.01/5 rDev -23%
650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.
Appearance - Deep orange. Small off-white head. Thin collar.
Smell - Grapefruit hops. Fruity, otherwise. Pale caramel malt.
Taste - Grapefruit hops. Less fruity. Caramel malt. Bitter. A bit of nutty specialty malts.
Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Moderate bitterness.
Overall - Not very exciting.
03-04-2014 02:18:38 | More by Alieniloquium
3.81/5 rDev -2.6%
Bottle 0968 from 2010 courtesy of hanzo. Shared with the mrs out of 2 alewerks snifters.
a - brew had a bit of a sludgy look. Mahogany in color with a generous khaki head that dissolved rather quick leaving sparse lacing slicks on the sides of the glass. Really muddy, rusty looking. Not all that attractive.
s - sharp crisp boozy toffee wafers.
t - surprisingly in a good place right now (not that i have anything to compare to, but 2010 is tasting nice right now). As the nose suggested boozy piny toffee with a sharp caramel tinge.
m - thick and chewy.
o - overall seems like a once hopped out american barley where the hops have fully faded and now pushes caramel booze. Reminiscent of bigfoot right after the awkward phase.
02-23-2014 23:26:00 | More by cosmicevan
3.3/5 rDev -15.6%
22oz bottle from ThatCracker (thanks Andrew!). Bottle 571, 2013. Served in a Bruery snifter.
Pours opaque orange brown with a finger and a half ecrue head. A healthy layer of retention leaves plenty of lace.
Scents of orange, pine, earthy herbal notes and some caramel malts.
Lots of flavor here. Orange peel, caramel, pine, earthy mineral, floral bitterness, leather, toffee, hints of prune, something akin to sweet cough syrup and a significant booze kick. Overall bitter and boozey.
Oily, fairly heavy body with mild carbonation. Boozey, earthy, floral finish.
A relatively straight forward American barleywine. Good enough to drink when presented but I won't be hunting any more.
01-27-2014 13:04:26 | More by ThickNStout
4.2/5 rDev +7.4%
22 oz bottle (2013 vintage) into a tulip.
A: Pours a clear copper color. The head is a one finger pale yellow shade. Not only is the retention good, but it leaves behind some nice rings of lacing.
S: The hops here seem to be more citrusy than piny. I even want to say they're kind of berry-forward, suggesting this has Mosaic hops. Caramel and toffee malts are present, but thankfully are subdued. Actually, subdued is a good way to describe the general aroma; still decent, though.
T: Holy crap, where did all this blueberry flavor come from? And not the pure Fruity Pebbles you get in, say, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, but actual friggen' blueberries. This note hits the palate immediately and I love it. There's no way this isn't brewed with Mosaic - as well as this brew shows off the berry notes, how can't it be? It finishes with some more piny hop flavors, caramel, toffee, and a twinge of alcohol. Just an all-around excellent barleywine.
M: This is relatively light and crisp (for the style), yet still retains well-concealed alcohol. It's not overly dry, either. It does an excellent job of covering up the 10%.
O: I admit, when Bitter Valentine let me down, it made me take pause over this offering. I was dead wrong: this is freaking fantastic. There's just enough 'balance' to display the berry-forward goodness without overpowering the palate. One of my favorite hoppy barleywines to date.
01-23-2014 23:15:39 | More by ThisWangsChung
Grand Illumination from AleWerks Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.