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Mayflower Barley Wine - Mayflower Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mayflower Barley WineMayflower Barley Wine

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

37 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 51
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.87%
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 51
Photo of ppoitras
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
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. (887 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a clear copper color with golden edges. It poured with a small whisp of a head that lingered for a long time.

s: Beautiful. The bourbon takes center stage, but it is an extremely mellow aroma. Not at all harsh, abrasive, or hot. While the bourbon if firmly in control, plenty of barleywine notes come through. I found dark fruits, molasses, vanilla, and maybe a hint of chocolate as well.

t: Starts off lightly sweet and amazingly complex. Lots of incredibly smooth bourbon backed nicely by musty fruit, brown sugar, and vanilla. That suggestion of chocolate can be found here as well. The finish is plenty warm, but not abrasive. I tasted some piny hops and a little oak at the end.

m: Big bodied and gently carbonated.

d: This ranks right up there with Central Waters BBBW as far as I'm concerned. Magnificent. (829 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009

A: Cloudy, murky, orange-brown in color. Dirty looking. Pours with the slightest of head.

S: Caramel sweetness with lots of vanilla and oak. Some bourbon with the alcohol becoming more pronounced as it warms.

T: Much like the aroma. Slightly sweet caramel with vanilla, oak, and an earthy woodsiness. Sugar cookie. A little heat on the finish.

M: A very round and voluptuous beer. A bit on the heavy side with low carbonation.

D: Surprisingly good for a barleywine. Very smooth. Still displaying the typical characteristics of a barleywine, but with many of the rough edges having been smoothed. (608 characters)

Photo of albern
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of rpstevens
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (1,066 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of eclipse54
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of celeriac
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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... (1,538 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (365 characters)

Photo of nas5755
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (811 characters)

Photo of Dajtai007
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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. (1,727 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Abriggs1 for sharing this one. 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date.

Quick review:
Pours a nice amber brown with little to no head. Aroma is dominated by sweet black vanilla beans and dark chocolate caramel candy! Super bright and super sweet smelling (...I know you can't *smell* sugar, but you know what I mean...) Flavor is sharp with a quick whack of hops and alcohol prickle then snaps tooth-ache sugary sweet. Lots of that caramel chew, something like a "cow-tale" candy, and tons of sugary bourbon notes.

This brew reminds me of the BBC Bourbon barrel-aged Scotch Ale. It's very sweet, delicious and viscous, but a little prickly from the alcohol too. Highly recommend. (692 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was very pleased to see this available at Ball Sqaure Liquors in Somerville tonight. Friends of mine have had pilot batches of this, and have had very good things to say, so lets see if it lives up to their hype. Poured in to a Westmalle chalice, the color is rosy, with not too much heading, more of a layer of white lacing. The bourbon comes through nicely in the nose without becoming overpowering. Dark Fruit and fresh grain make their way in there as well, although the bourbon is never forgotten. The grain really shines in this beer taste wise. Many times the hops or alcohol overwhelm the taste of Barleywines, but this is very well balanced. I see that this is about ten percent ABV, but it hides it well. As far as I am concerned, this is what a straight up Barleyine should taste like. The bourbon aging does add a certain character to it, but it does not get in the way at all. This is a very unique example of this style. Since they have switched brewers, my advice would be to grab more than one of these bottles, and cellar a few to see how they develop. Cheers (1,078 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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 (353 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
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... (777 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aggressive head forms atop this beer. Of white with decent structure. Slowly collapses on itself. Orange/Amber in color with a color clarity that clearly lets you know this is a thicker beer. Some spotty clumps of lace.

Aroma is musty and earthy without much bourbon/oak presence. However, as you work through the glass more wood becomes apparent in the aroma.

My first reaction is that the bourbon is much more pronounced. I was a little concerned with the aroma, but gladly the flavor surpassed my impression there. A mix of oak, deep fruity esters, layers of malt and some bourbon notes. What's interesting is that there is a sense of alcohol, but it makes sense with the notes from the barrel aging. They meld very well. A light vanilla note and almost a cherry vanilla flavor. I am not saying this taste like cherry, it doesn't. But there is something that made me thing Cherry Vanilla a couple of times. Almost a soapy nature to the aftertaste. Strong bitterness which is made up of the hops and some alcohol notes. Certainly some brown sugar in the sweetness. Decent complexity actually grows on me as I drink this.

Medium body with a smooth and large presence in your mouth. One to savor.

The more I drank this, the more I enjoyed it. Nice effort. (1,262 characters)

Photo of seeswo
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (744 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of an amazing trader I've been lucky enough to encounter. Bomber pours deep clear copper with off white head. The aroma has an initial modest pulse of dark fruity esters and molasses but then quickly heads into bourbon, some oak and mild heat at the end of the draw. The taste is smooth and sweet with esters like apricot, pear and prune and then picking up caramel moving into fairly smooth bourbon and faint wood like notes. Smooth yummy brew that will only improve with cellar time. (494 characters)

Photo of baggio
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle@Omhpers place.

Apperance: Deep red with a small, white, head. No lacing.

Smell: Caramel, Oak, Fruit, Malt.

Taste: Raspberry, Oak, Vanilla, Malt, Caramel and a wee bit of alcohol.

Palate: Feels balanced but the oak-flavors doesn't really help this one. Low carbonation.

A nice barrel-aged barleywine that i think would have been even nicer without the barrel-aging. Maybe i should have given it some more time in the cellar? Worth a try since it's widely available and not very expensive. (499 characters)

Photo of ThirstyBird
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dav05gua for sharing!!
Appears clear copper with small wispy head. Smell is rich malt, butterscotch, buttery. Taste is sweet rich malt, cherry. little spicy hops and some alcohol. Medium body and a smooth mouthfeel which is nice. Pretty nice Barley Wine overall. (272 characters)

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Mayflower Barley Wine from Mayflower Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.