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Grand Illumination - AleWerks Brewing Company

Grand IlluminationGrand Illumination

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

168 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.46%

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hoppymeal on 12-20-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 94 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Redwood21:
Photo of Redwood21


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: the head dies super fast, and maybe i am being to harsh on the beer but at 11% it could stay for at least half the party instead of dipping at 7:30. the jet black color of the beer is pretty intense, and in better lighting its revealed that its actually just insanely deep brown.

S: there is not a super strong aroma, a little burnt oak vanilla nose with maybe a hint of smoked malt character as well. it has an earthy richness to it

T: strong in flavor and as it warms it becomes a bit more boozy there is the sweetness from dried and condensed fruit that is wonderfully cut by the mellow tannins that exude from the charred oak barrel taste. this is not a rauch beer or a bourbon barrel stout by any means, but it does have that same sorta profile

M/D: this is a pretty good beer, no real complaints, its not 100% my personal preference in terms of taste and feel for style, but if you like this style, try it, totally worth it, and very good

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 04:13:50 | More by Redwood21
More User Reviews:
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage

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

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2014 23:56:36 | More by MacQ32
Photo of smakawhat


3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 22:38:05 | More by smakawhat
Photo of lurpy1


4/5  rDev +2.3%

03-28-2014 13:11:48 | More by lurpy1
Photo of Kaiyotee


4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

03-27-2014 22:52:52 | More by Kaiyotee
Photo of Dave_Treat


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

03-16-2014 18:36:11 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of Drknight


4/5  rDev +2.3%

03-15-2014 16:18:35 | More by Drknight
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.01/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 02:18:38 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 23:26:00 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ThickNStout


3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 13:04:26 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of ThisWangsChung


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 23:15:39 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of dmk91


3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

01-22-2014 19:28:42 | More by dmk91
Photo of chippo33


3/5  rDev -23.3%

01-21-2014 06:10:15 | More by chippo33
Photo of ZachKelly


4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

01-13-2014 07:12:42 | More by ZachKelly
Photo of e30todamax


4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

01-08-2014 03:11:41 | More by e30todamax
Photo of mendvicdog


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

12-17-2013 22:00:50 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of jlindros


4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle 190 2012 vintage, thanks to HeadyHops81 for this interesting barleywine, often one of my fav styles.

Light fizzy head, candy apple red color, hazy.

Nose lots of candy malts, light toasty reddish malt, sweet candy, red apple candy coating, light booze, some light esters, nice light spicy hops and bitterness, caramel and toffee, light mineral.

Taste is fairly sweet, lots of candy, mild syrupy, lots of sugar, caramel, toffee, red apple candy and genetic candy sugar, mild fruity flavor too, light warming booze with fruity ester kick, little creamy malt character, smooth. Hops are fairly bitter and spicy, little chewy. Finish is long spicy hop, quite bitter as it dries a bit but still sticky, lots of reddish candy lingering.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, little sticky syrupy, decent carb, nice warming booze.

Overall not bad. Nice malt characters, decent hop bitterness and balance, nice overall barleywine, nothing really wrong, but doesn't really go beyond either.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 02:32:11 | More by jlindros
Photo of dfhhead25


3/5  rDev -23.3%

10-09-2013 20:08:38 | More by dfhhead25
Photo of rudzud


3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a tulip a nice caramel hue with hardly any head thin halo.

S - Aromas of sweet toffee and caramel, light warm alcohol, faint sweet malts, soft vanilla.

T - Taste is nice citrus notes, faint sweet malts, caramel, toffee, faint booze. Quite nice.

M.- Mouthfeel is solid creamy, lightly carbonated, tasty.

O - Overall I enjoyed this beer, lots of caramel notes, not too sweet, solid

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 01:24:07 | More by rudzud
Photo of BMart


4/5  rDev +2.3%

10-07-2013 18:58:46 | More by BMart
Photo of nickfl


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

09-27-2013 22:30:43 | More by nickfl
Photo of Drucifer


4/5  rDev +2.3%

09-15-2013 20:38:31 | More by Drucifer
Photo of plumcrazyfx


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

09-15-2013 11:40:03 | More by plumcrazyfx
Photo of bbeane


3/5  rDev -23.3%

09-12-2013 23:26:35 | More by bbeane
Photo of AngusOg

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.3%

09-04-2013 01:38:15 | More by AngusOg
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Grand Illumination from AleWerks Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.