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Old Prospector Barleywine - Auburn Alehouse Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Old Prospector Barleywine
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BA SCORE
81
good

33 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 18.82%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | 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: 33 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dominic4beer
3.88/5  rDev +9%

dominic4beer, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of Powderhornphil
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Powderhornphil, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of sia478
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

sia478, May 23, 2014
Photo of willjschmidt
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

willjschmidt, May 09, 2014
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.6/5  rDev -27%
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.

Alieniloquium, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of magictacosinus
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

magictacosinus, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of Cirus
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Cirus, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of JohnF51
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

JohnF51, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of Tony49er
3.63/5  rDev +2%
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

Tony49er, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Fatehunter, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of BierJager89
4.58/5  rDev +28.7%
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.

BierJager89, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of KevSal
3.31/5  rDev -7%
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!

KevSal, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of humulusphile
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

humulusphile, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of scot959
3/5  rDev -15.7%

scot959, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of RangnaR
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

RangnaR, May 13, 2013
Photo of Devi0us
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Devi0us, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.25/5  rDev -64.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

DoubleJ, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

t0rin0, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of SHODriver
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

SHODriver, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of DrunkenMonk
2/5  rDev -43.8%

DrunkenMonk, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -15.7%

drewone, May 08, 2012
Photo of peacebone116
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

peacebone116, May 05, 2012
Photo of Fux
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Fux, Mar 31, 2012
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Old Prospector Barleywine from Auburn Alehouse Brewery & Restaurant
81 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.