1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Mayflower Barley Wine - Mayflower Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mayflower Barley WineMayflower Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 15
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mayflower Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 37
Reviews by eclipse54:
Photo of eclipse54
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bottle I received from FluffyMcTingle a while back; thank you! Opened on my birthday back in May, and this is from notes taken then.

Body appears a hazy copper with golden hues near the edges of the glass; there is little retention on the tan had that develops. Smells of hazelnut, caramel, brown sugar, plum, date, and bourbon in the front followed by a very woody scent from the barrel. Tastes of bourbon, hazelnut, caramel, malt, and brown sugar. There is a strong wood/straw flavor throughout. Mouth is rather sweet, yet smooth with a dry finish. Overall, a great beer that I’d love to have again, especially with the same amount of time on the bottle.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a snifter this excellent barleywine was a cherry amber color with just a rim of head. Big time caramel malt aroma, as well as a fair amount of alcohol, and a bit of fruit. Taste followed aroma. Lots of caramel malt, moderately alcoholic, and a little bit of cherry. I thought it was a little more aggressive than the typical English barleywine. Enjoyed it a lot.

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from LarryG, cheers Larry!

Pours an effervescent/chill-hazed caramel with a sliver of fast-fading cream colored head. Nice viscous look to this, moderate head retention & lacing, some floaties

S: Apricots, plums, breadyness & bourbon coming through once it warms up

T: Booze-soaked bread, reminds me Christmas pudding a bit with cherries & plums, leading the way. More of the same as this warms, along with dryness, a strong oaky/toffee/bourbon sweetness, plus some leafy hops. Finishes with some sour- wood honey, bourbon, & dryness

MF: A bit thin for the style, some boozey warmth, fairly lively carbonation that fades a little over time

Drink easy, but not enough malt backbone to push this to upper tier. Still, a nice barrel aged variant on the style...

Photo of Dajtai007
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Took this to a recent tasting:

English Barleywine aged in Buffalo Trace barrels. Poured deep amber into my snifter. Nice 1/4" creamy head that dissipates to lacing. Smells pretty burly of barrel. This was recently released so its pretty young. After a few sips it became really delightfully different. Subtle beginnings with a warming vanilla sweetness. Creamy mouth feel and great mild carbonation (creamy). I see lots of potential to this beer. I am so glad I got a couple to sit on, very nice english style barley wine. Worth gathering for years to come.

Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial glass. Color was a dark orange, light brow with a off white head. Constant stream of bubbles rising from the bottom. Aroma was sweet, started off slightly fruity, finished with a touch of syrup. Mellowed out as it sat. Taste was orangy, with a vanilla sweetness. Felt very good in the mouth. Coated very well, and was nicely carbonated. Went down very easily, but hit very hard and surprisingly fast.

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Special thanks to axeman9182 for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a rich and chewy copper color. Head is very short lived and light tan/light orange in color. Lace was at a minimum as was carbonation.

S: Very sweet smelling. Caramel, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, red apple, red grapes, cherry, and a hint of char.

T: Everything found in the smell with more emphasis on the caramel and fruit. Bourbon taste is subtle and a bit smoky.

M: Quite thick and sweet. Almost bordering on syrupy, but not. Slick and oily with enough boozy bite to keep things interesting.

D: Yeah, it's no summer session beer but not all beers are meant for sessioning. Don't rush through this and you'll be rewarded.

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.94/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thin white head that quickly fades to a few scant bubbles that scamper to a glass side. Opaque clay mud color. An ugly duckling quite frankly.

Aroma is fairly reserved: some apple barrel and plum esters, vanilla and a lil' booze. Taste is the aroma intensified: caramel covered apple with a vanilla flair. Not overly boozey but enough malt to know where the high abv came from.

A hop compliment would have been nice. Or maybe even a another grain as the malt bill is entirely Maris Otter. A very monotone beer overall. Huge disappointment from one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of ppoitras
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle received from konabrewer. Thanks for the opportunity! Actually had the privilege of enjoying this off the tank when I toured Mayflower, wasn't carbed yet, but still had a great flavor profile even then.

Poured into a DFH tulip, formed a 1/4" beige head above the totally cloudy orangey amber brew. Bubbles quickly retreat to the rim, leaving a sporadic skim over the middle, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet, fruity, and dominated by bourbon.

Taste begins sweet, fruity with a touch of tart in the middle, vanilla notes from beginning to end, but barrel and alcohol flavors really come on at the close. Alcohol warmth and slight numbness after the swallow. Mouthfeel is way smooth, esp for abv and strength of flavors, with superb drinkability as well. Great depth of flavor keeps me coming back looking for stuff I missed the last swallow. Get it if you can find it.

Photo of rpstevens
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Leary's in Newburyport. Poured from a bomber into my White Birch Glass. The beer pours a murky mahogany color with a 1/2 finger white head that quickly fades to a tight cap. There is a slight bubbly lacing on the sides of the glass, but no more than expected.

The smell is just as expected, but very good: brown sugar, vanilla, toasted malt and oak. This is a very sweet smelling beer, and the bourbon just adds to it.

The taste mirrors the smell and the style nicely. The initial taste is vanilla, brown sugar, dark fruits (almost like grandma's mince meat pie) with a light toasty graham cracker accent. There is a light oak characteristic and some bourbon in the backbone of this one, as well as a light earthy hop.

The beer is well carbonated for the style, light but just enough to make the flavors move. The beer is heavy, sweet and filled with bourbon and oak characteristics. I drank the whole bomber over the course of 30 minutes or so, just right for the style. This is a nice offering from Mayflower, I look forward to other releases.

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Been waiting to review this for a while, and forgot as it was way in the back of my beer fridge. well, here goes.

A: Light fluffy fizzy 1/2 finger head slowly disperses over a hazy and cloudy orange wheat like color with hints of pink grapefruit color.

N: Hmm, pretty nice actually. Lots of sweet malts, some earthy and spicy btiter hops, and tons of bourbon and oak. The nose at least is loaded with bourbon, hints of vanilla, and a nice oak aroma. Some juicy ripe fruit comes with all that, believe it or not grapefruit of all fruits... or maybe my mind is just wanting some.

T: Very rich and thick, lots of malts, more malts per square inch than anything I can think of as a good reference. Somewhat syrupy with lots of sweet sugars, molasses, touch of maple, almost creamy, and tons of barley. There is a little ripe fruit in there too, but sadly no grapefruit this time. WIth all that is some oak flavors and lots of bourbon again, although not as much as the nose had. Some boozy taste too reminding you of its 10.5%, and adds some warmth. Some bitterness comes through too, with a little spicy and even citrus hops.

M: Pretty thick and rich, little syrupy, lots of warming booze, and decent carbonation.

F: Still pretty sweet on the finish, with a lingering boozy feel and taste as well as warmth and slight tingle. Very stick from the sweetness. Some lingering bitterness too with more earthy, spicy hops. Some woody esthers come through on the finish with more oak, and again lots of bourbon flavor.

Overall a pretty tasty barleywine. I really like how the oak and bourbon come through, and has some nice hop bitterness. A little on the sticky sweet side, and boozy, so I hope to age a few and see how it goes.

Photo of BostonHops
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

bomber served in on oversized wineglass. (which, incidentally, is fast becoming my go-to glass.)

pours a deep, hazy copper color with about a finger of head that lingers for a while before giving way to a decent amount of lacing.

nose is very sweet and fruity with a little tartness and booze evident; vinous, all i can think about is a white wine. in the first sip i get some grape, apple, alcohol, and a notes of caramel and molasses. i wonder if mine was spiked with chardonnay. (suddenly the wineglass seems very appropriate.) thick, chewy mouthfeel; moderately carbed. the vinous characters don't seem to be a recurring theme in other reviews which leads me to speculate whether i landed an off bottle. going to have trouble finishing the bomber.

original reviewed on: 08-12-2010

Photo of jdhilt
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Hazy amber color. Nose is oak. Flavor is oak, dark fruit and some caramel with a slight oak/medicinal finish. $11.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a copper/burnt orange color with a finger or two worth of off-white head.

S: The usual caramel and sugary notes that you get in a barleywine, but quite a bit of alcohol as well. A slight fruitiness to it.

T: Plenty of sweetness to this one, and heavy on the sugar and a fair amount of booze. A bit of vanilla, sweet fruits, and a bit of green apple.

M: Medium body with a slight tendency toward syrup. Moderate carbonation to go with it.

D: Not my favorite barleywine, but this one might mellow out and come together with some age on it.

Photo of celeriac
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Semi-aggressive pour gets a lovely 2-finger head of fairly tight, ivory foam, which settles over the course of a few minutes to a fine lingering cap and sparse, oily-looking lacing. Eventually retreats to a mere ring. The body of the beer is a bit murky and a dark amber.

Very rich aroma, with bit of vanilla and brown sugar. The malts reveal themselves with a nice toasty nose, a little roast fruit (like fruit pie) and a fair amount of spice, actually. Mulled cider with a tiny splash of bourbon. Lovely smell.

The flavor is surprisingly spicy, although not at all hot. Fairly sweet, certainly, with a lot of wildflower honey flavor. The spice continues into the flavor, again reminding me of a nice honey. Significant bitterness certainly, but it rides in the back seat, letting the malt steal the show with very little hop flavor. A touch of astringency from the wood barrels, but very minor. The bourbon richness is there but with almost none of the alcohol heat that sometimes shows up in barrel aged beers. A little baked apple. It's actually quite restrained for a big beer, but by no means boring. None of the soy/umami notes I sometimes taste in barleywines.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky and oily, with subtle carbonation. Could be a touch creamier and more carbonated maybe, but certainly well in line with the style. Extremely drinkable for a 10+ abv beer, so smooth drinking that it's hard to imagine how fresh it still is. Definitely going to tuck a bottle away for next winter...

Photo of albern
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice barley wine. It pours a nice amber color with a good head for the style and decent retention. The nose is woody bourbon.

This beer has lots of complexity to it. It is strong, but it hides itself pretty well. Unlike the cloyingly sweet barleywines, or the syrupy liqueur like drinks that come under this label, this offering is a bit different. The beer is sweet, but not overly so, it is fairly full bodied but it isn't sticky. The beer has a nice bourbon flavor, very woody, earthy, add some florals to the mix, and some spices and you have a complex and very enjoyable beer. The ABV is slightly warming on the back end, but it really is nicely hidden and doesn't predominate.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to garlicfire for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice cloudy light brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes, bourbon, grapes, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, nice little hop note, very nice bourbon note, and some caramel. Medium body, ABV is hidden pretty well with this one. Drinkable, another very nice brew from Mayflower.

Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a standard pint glass. Acquired in a trade with LarryG.

A - Copper with good clarity, a steady barrage of rising bubbles and a small white head. Good lacing.

S - Oak, caramel, grass and a touch of alcohol.

T - A rich bust or flavor with caramel, brown sugar, molasses, oak and alcohol.

M - Creamy and smooth with a moderate level of carbonation.

D - Rich flavors keep the pace slow but it is enjoyable and warming. I'm not too familiar with Mayflower having moved away from the area but this is a good beer.

Photo of nas5755
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Copper with a decent head that lingers with solid retention for a big and old beer(just shy of 2 years)

S- Roasted caramel, raisins, some tannins and vanilla.

T-Very interesting and complex. I get alot of apple brandy and cider notes mixed with the traditional barley-wine flavors, caramel, raisins, some oxidized malts and hops. Very nice.

M- The only flaw with this beer is the fusel heat on the finish and depending on my mood I either love it or hate it with big beers. Tonight it is sorta clawing at me as it is a bit harsh. Carbonation is on the lower end of the specturm.

Overall- This is a tasty beer, nice bal characters are present. I get a very big apple brandy flavors and some Utopia flavors blended in. Very nice beer.

At or near the peak, I can only see more oxidation coming into play.

Photo of DrJay
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange caramel colour. A hard pour produced a short cap of rocky, off-white foam that settled to a fine collar. Lacing was short-lived and spotty. Caramel dominated the aroma, lots of fruity apple, whisky, light vanilla and wood, slight cheese. More of the same in the flavour with a focus on sweetness rather than bitterness. Quite fruity on the back end, maybe a bit of citrus in addition to the apple and pear character. Boozy alcohol flavour and warmth in the finish was prominent, but not overdone. Full bodied, lowish carbonation. Not bad, but I'd be more interested to try the base beer before it went into barrels.

Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Appearance was somewhere between amber and unpasteurized apple cider with a slightly hazy clarity. Head immediately dissipated following the pour leaving a residual skim and a frothy/bubbly band around the shoulders. Some spots of lacing exposed during the tasting. Nose reveals bourbon, a hint of booze and a weird herbal/vegetal quality - reminds me a little of the Havarti cheese I had for lunch. Taste consistent with nose - herbal quality is still there, but a little less intense. Some diacetyl also comes out in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light and mildly carbonated with a slightly oily texture. I was really looking forward to this, but have to say that I'm a bit disappointed. Unfortunately, it falls short in just about every category in my opinion. The basic elements are there, but something is jut off about this brew - perhaps a bad bottle?

Photo of seeswo
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy copper color with a small head. Looks a bit lighter than what I am used to, but not in a bad way. The nose is limited caramel malt, a touch of oak and vanilla, and a fair amount of fruit, like apricot and apple. When I sipped it, I think I accused it of being an applewine. Really, apple, apricot, reserved bourbon and caramel. This is a strange flavor for a barleywine, but it actually tastes really good. Mouthfeel is reasonable medium-low carbonation and sweet but not overly so. Overall, this is good, but like no English Barleywine I have had before. If they took this and aged it in apple brandy barrels, there is a chance they would end up with an amazing concoction. As is, this was very interesting to try and enjoyable.

Photo of steve8robin
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the last bottles in the beer store for this season...

A: Looks a medium ruby copper. Small white head that fades quickly. Good.

S: Candi sugar, oaks, and caramel upfront. Fruity scents in the middle with a nice backend. Awesome!

T: Candi sugar upfront with some butterscotch / toffee notes. Bitter hops in the middle with some fruit and caramel on the backend. Good.

M: Great smoothness to this brew.

D: Goes down very good.

All in all, this ended up being a decent brew. Good for an English barleywine, but not great by any means. I think can appeal to hop heads and malt heads alike. Good brew.

Photo of Jeffo
2.76/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this from bring a while back. Cheers for hanging out man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Aged in bourbon barrels for several months

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-thick looking, off-white head with great retention. Murky copper or dark burnt orange with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a full cap but only a slight wisp remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass. Good looking.

SMELL: Bourbon barrel with oak, vanilla and alcohol. Toffee and some leather on the nose as well. Some white wine and green grapes in there as well, which is a little odd. Quite aromatic, though a little different than expected.

TASTE: Alcoholic and boozy for sure. Booze, oak, and white wine qualities up front with toffee, caramel sweetness, and a big alcohol punch at the swallow. Bourbon barrel puts some oak and a touch of vanilla in there, then some leather, white wine and booze linger after the swallow. Quite flavorful, though quite odd as well, with the wine flavors giving it a slight tartness. Not bad, but not quite my take on bourbon barrel aged barleywines.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not overly creamy, goes down with a huge burn at the swallow finishes somewhat sticky. Harsh and boozy at the swallow with a big burn as well.

OVERALL: This is flavorful and interesting, but not really typical for the style. The white wine flavors make it slightly tart, and the bourbon barrel aging doesn't really give it that typical bourbon barrel quality either. This is also harsh, boozy and a huge alcohol bomb, making it difficult to enjoy. A decent beer, but not quite for me. Thanks again bring!

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a orange golden color with a decent off white head. the smell is sweet bourbon hints of oak vanilla and toffee. the flavor is a nice bourbon sweetness, vanilla oak, the mouthfeel is a little thinner than i would like and slightly to much carbonation. overal this is a solid barrel aged barleywine. if you have the chance its worth trying

Photo of perrymarcus
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bomber served in on oversized wineglass. (which, incidentally, is fast becoming my go-to glass.)

pours a deep, hazy copper color with about a finger of head that lingers for a while, decent amount of lacing. nose is very sweet, all i can think about is a white wine; fruity with a little tartness and some booze. in the first sip i get some grape, apple, alcohol, and a note of caramel from the malt. i wonder if mine was spiked with chardonnay. (suddenly the wineglass seems very appropriate.) thick, chewy mouthfeel; moderately carbed. this isn't a style i tend to gravitate toward, so i'm trying to keep the style characteristics in mind while reviewing. that said, i may have trouble finishing the bomber.

to view more.
Mayflower Barley Wine from Mayflower Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.