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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 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 GRG1313
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Rado
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of GClas
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of dominic4beer
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Powderhornphil
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of sia478
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of willjschmidt
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.6/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Reddish brown body. No real head. Thin collar.

Smell - Caramel. Vinous notes. Vanilla. Kinda oaky.

Taste - Starts off nice. Oaky. Caramel. A little fruity. The finish is what kills it. Vigorous off flavor manifests itself as an intense bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Extremely bitter woody flavor. Medium carbonation. Astringent.

Overall - Started off ok, but ugh, it's rough in the back.

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 Cirus
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of JohnF51
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

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 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 KevSal
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

the niners make it to the championship game!!!

ba barleywine time!

this was just released right in time for this game

22oz green wax bottle

a- looks great, with a white head

s- smells alright the wine is strong up front. dark fruits are in there along bright white grape.

t- follows the nose very closly, dont think this is working for me, ripe grape with dark fruit, lots of wine, i guess it is giving ke what i asked for

m- mouthfeel is light medium, its got alot of wine elemants and even somewhat dryness that is fighting the big body.

o- decent beer, i got exactly what i asked for. not hard to drink but this is not for me.

this stuff is like champagne for me right! niners ate going to seattle!

Photo of humulusphile
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

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 scot959
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of RangnaR
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Devi0us
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.25/5  rDev -65.3%

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 t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

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