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Old Prospector Barleywine - Auburn Alehouse Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Old Prospector Barleywine
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BA SCORE
82
good

37 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 18.33%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Auburn Alehouse Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Offa on 04-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierJager89
4.58/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown with a slight purple tint.

S: Dark fruit, citrus, orange, grapefruit, grape and some wine barrel character in the nose.

T: Starts off almost like a strong double IPA with an orange/grapefruit hop character and typical dipa malt profile, followed by grape, followed by some spices, coriander, nutmeg, then some peppercorn, red wine, red grape wine barrel character in the finish which become is very wine-like.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: This brewery doesn't get the credit it deserves. This is a great beer, if perhaps not their best. It's somewhat novel in it's use of used Zinfandel barrels, and it uses barrels local to Placer county (the county in which the brewery is located) wineries.

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of flexabull
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color, with a decent off white head.

Aromas are of dark fruits, booze, and light cereal grains.

Taste is much like the nose. Tons of complex dark fruit flavors, chocolate like sweetness, and a finish that has a hint of flint like hops, and nice cutting alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is good, pretty smooth and full.

Drinkability is great. Very nice barleywine, lots of sweet fruity complex flavors. A pleasure to sip. In fact... my glass was empty pretty quickly.

Photo of 100floods
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Some gold paint-pen writing on the side shows a #806, 2011 and some other scribbles I'd hope I could read. I can make out BWood, but that's it.

Pours a very clear but dark mahogany brown hue. Off white head comes and goes, leaving a thin layer of foamy film.

Notes of wood, malty dark fruit some grape-like sweetness. Hints of milk chocolate, too.

Nice blend of wood and hop notes dominating the front with a nice, also woody, dark fruit and white wine finish. Notes of pepper carry its ways throughout the beer, which actual helps blend the hops and wine flavors almost perfectly. Slight hint of warmth in the finish. This is very different from most English-style barleywines in that the malt is not crowding things, but acting more as pillow for everything else. Hints of dark fruit rise to the font, but just a little. There are parts of the wine character that lean towards tasting a little like brett, which ain't a bad thing in this case. The hops zin and pepper flavors are so dominant that the malt notes almost seem nonexistent, although they're totally there, but playing second fiddle to everything else.

This achieves new flavors in my BW tasting travels. It almost doesn't have much of a BW character to it anymore. While I regret not aging this, I couldn't wait to try this brew. Very good.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark auburn hue with a finger of off white head. Retention, and lacing are awesome.

Smells of caramel, oak, dark berries, tannins, quite vinous.

Taste follows smell. Caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, pine, dark berries, brown sugar.

Viscous and full bodied. Low carbonation.

Pretty nice.

Photo of drewone
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was one of the many beers poured at the December Albany Taproom bottle share, courtesy of Darren. Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2012 vintage, I believe?

The appearance is not what I expected at all - dark, almost maroon in color with a very small, off-white head. The foam fizzles out almost completely - leaving behind no noticeable sticky lacing, although each swirl does coat the glass's edges with a briefly darkened sludgy texture. Hate to say it, but this looks really muddy and sludgy. Let's hope it smells and tastes better.

The aroma DOES indeed deliver a unique profile - and simply put, one of the most enjoyable and strangest profiles I've ever come across on a barleywine, particularly one that's barrel aged. This starts off with an immense amount of dried black fruits, ranging from prunes to cassis to blackberries, only then to dwell into some brief notes of peppercorns, slight black tea, and a variety of barrel spices - most notably, brown sugar and cloves. Then, there's a hyper-bizarre lactic flavor that comes through, as well as a bit of tartness, that's no doubt from the oak barrels used. Even if this is infected, it strangely works, as it accentuates the sweetness from the barrel spices and the fruity flavor from the malts and yeast. I had a jolly time whiffing this - it's pretty unique.

After a few sips, we were pretty convinced something went awry with the barrel aging process of this beer, but overall, it somehow works! First, there's the dark berry notes as mentioned earlier, with some spiciness, as well as a toffee, caramel, and brown sugar sweetness. Then, the lactic sugars take over like crazy upon the beer's profile, delivering a milk, sugar cream like consistency and funky cheese rind flavor that somehow melds really well with the fruits - in a way, this is the liquid equivalent of a blackberry cheese danish. There's no better way to describe it, but that's how it panned out. Grape must and tart, slightly vinegary flavors are at the finish, but it's otherwise pretty sweet, fruity, and decadent. Carbonation is surprisingly good after all this time, and it never feels sludgy or thick - rather, it's pretty vinous in quality overall, save for the extra carbonation. A really interesting, strange treat of a beer!

I was very surprised how much I liked this, but beer buyer beware: if you're not a big fan of red wine, or funky cheeses, you probably won't like this at all. There's a lot at stake here, and it's hard to know what exactly happened to this beer over time, but the results are very strange and truly unique. Recommended if you can find a bottle!

Photo of Rado
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Devi0us
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was Guilherme choice. Split three ways at Beer Revolution, on to the beer:

Zin barrels in a barleywine? Aging beers in wine barrels is a two way street, so let's find out where this goes. The beer is dark brown and looks almost black. The head is a half inch thick and retains decently. Aroma is a good sign with brown sugar, toasted malts, and some sour grape. Not out of whack yet.

The taste starts with raisin. Toasted sugar is brough to the front as well. Then comes a blast of sour,which I'm betting is the zin doing the talking. The overall flavor shouldn't work, but it just does. The beer is medium heavy bodied with a smooth texture.

Sour barleywine? If so, this is a good one.

Photo of Fux
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jordan. Thanks a lot for this very interesting brew!

A: Pours brown with a thin thick off-white head

S: Amazing smell, very interesting but quite strange. Aroma is of blue cheese and dark grapes, a bit muddy. A bit boring over time, but unique.

T: The taste follows the nose but a bit more balanced, with more pronounced vinous, boozy notes.

M: Medium bodied, not a heater. The mouthfeel fits well with this not so easy to drink beer.

O: Overall a very unique, interesting brew. The ageing on Zin barrels do affect this beer in a complex way. Worthy to try.

Photo of dominic4beer
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Brew33
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this bottle from Azureoval, thanks Josh.

Wax dipped bottle, siged, and scribbled on by the brewer. Barleywine aged in Zin barrels.

The pour is right on for the style, dark brown in color with a few bubbles on top. The aroma was fantastic. Tons of wine barrel. Vinous notes all over the nose, some booziness, and dark malts. Not very sweet in the nose. Very appealing.

The flavor was less stellar than the nose but still pretty good. Fairly flat and one dimensional. Malt complexity didn't exactly blow me away. A touch of herbal, perfumy hops in the finish. Pretty dry for a 10% Barleywine. Highly attenuated for the style. The Wine barrel offers a nice vinous quality with a light, almost peppery character.

The body and mouthfeel were good. I liked this beer, it's an interesting take on a Barleywine.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Vintage 2012

Pours out a deep red/brown, with ruby highlights. 1/2 inch tan head with minimal lacing.

The smell starts with dark, fruity malts, oak and caramel. Alcohol follows, with a hint of white wine and pine.

Very mellow taste. Chocolate plum comes to mind for the start of the taste. Slight booze followed by dry oak around the middle. Slight, tart grape followed by a hint of pine for the finish. Slightly hot with a moderate thickness.

In all honesty, with wine barrel aging, I wouldn't cellar any longer on the 2012 Vintage. It's good now, but when I think cellar potential, I think probably not.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at GRG1313's tasting.

2014 vintage. Bottled 11/12/14.

Pours a clear reddish-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, toffee, brown sugar, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid red wine barrel aged aspects that are slightly better in the smell.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of willjschmidt
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of SHODriver
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown with very limited head production that fades quickly. I couldn't even tell you what color it was.
S: smells intensely sweet and malty with notes of caramel and toffee. there's some alcoholic fruitiness as well and maybe a little bit extra from the wine barrel. no bitterness but there's definitely some malt and slight booziness in the nose
T: kinda muted but gets louder as it warms up. a bit of wine flavor mixed with caramel and toffee, hints of tobacco, slight oakiness, a bit of roast malt at times as well along with some fruitiness. it's ever so slightly tart at times too. swallow brings a slightly sharp wine flavor and a bit more malty caramel flavor. it has a lot more soft and nuanced flavors as well but they are very fleeting so I don't have enough time to place them.
M: soft carbonation and a medium mouthfeel, it feels a bit thin for a barleywine in my opinion
O: not bad but not great. kinda forgettable in the end. it's on the verge of amazing but the flavors need to be a bigger. It drinks easy for its ABV though which is nice.

Photo of Tony49er
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type- On tap at the Brewery poured into a tulip glass

Appearance- Dark reddish brown, off white head very thin which is expected at 10%ABV

Smell- Strong plums, dark cherries, sweet malty notes, wine type characters

Taste- Strong plums, dark cherries, sweet malty notes, wine type characters, smooth alcohol notes, not overpowering, great hop backbone

Mouthfeel- Smooth, full, easy sipping Barley wine, each sip makes you want another one

Overall- Another great beer from a Brewery that does not get enough credit this Barley wine was aged in local Zinfandel barrels I will buy a bottle or two and age them and hopefully they hold up and improve with age...CHEERS

Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours half a finger of head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is musty wood with grapes... and a touch of lemon.
The taste is dark, boozy with strong bitterness, molasses, wine notes and a dry wood finish.
The texture is smooth and soft with low carbonation.
Fairly nice. This was a 2013 bottle, which will probably smooth out with age.

Photo of peacebone116
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 22-oz bomber into a Delirium snifter--picked this bottle up at the brewery in March. This is an English-style Barley Wine that has been aged in Zinfandel barrels.

A: Deep dark brown with red hues, wearing a delicate off-white cap that fades to leave intricate lacing behind.

N: Very interesting tobacco, oak, dark fruits and toffee....with hint of something funky--like buttermilk or blue cheese. There is a lot going on here.

T/M: It all comes together with the taste, which really does not follow the nose here. There is a the hint of oak and stone fruit aspects. In the middle, that note of "funky cheese" comes through for a flash of flavor mixed with some tartness that gives way to the hints of the zinfandel. Ultimately, this comes across as a sour. The zin really comes through making this beer seem much more light bodied than it really is. The alcohol remains slightly eclipsed by the tartness, but the heat is present as the glass warms. Very sippable.

I think this is incredibly interesting... but NOT an English-style BW. Not sure if this is a one-off due to the barrel being infected, or if it is what they were going for, but it is...interesting. Lots of flavors and aromas...some pleasant, some questionable. Overall though, an intriguing attempt at something different.

Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of sia478
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Cirus
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of humulusphile
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

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Old Prospector Barleywine from Auburn Alehouse Brewery & Restaurant
82 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.