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Fathead Barleywine - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels - Nebraska Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fathead Barleywine - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey BarrelsFathead Barleywine - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels

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BA SCORE
88
very good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 44
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikedashg on 12-06-2009

A rich, full bodied Barley Wine with a wonderfully warming character from the malts & dark brown sugars. Held to the light, its burgundy color is fitting for a bigger beer that has aromatics that hint of the oak, the whiskey, the somewhat sweet nature, and molasses that makes this beer truly unique. The non-barrel-aged version of this beer took Silver in the 2009 US Open Beer Championships. Using Stranahan’s Whiskey barrels, we aged this beer for 6 months to impart a small amount of oak tannins and the whiskey character that combine to elevate this beer beyond its original entry into this world. Excellent to enjoy now and cellerable for years.

34 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 36
Reviews by russpowell:
Photo of russpowell
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with a pinky of tan head. Clouds up a bit, some head retention & no lacing

S: Fruittyness & port, a touch of butterscotch, finally whiskey

T: Follows the nose, dryness, loads of figs & some raisin & oaky dryness up front. Whiskey notes, figs, peatyness & pear brandy as this warms, some caramel . Woody dryness, booze bite, pears & figs in the finish

MF: Fairly chewy, light carbonation. Becomes sticky over time, starts thinning out a bit as it warms

This seems awfully subdued on hops for an American Barleywine. Not a bad offering, but now that I've had a few, I'd have have to say these guys are good but way over priced. I will probably be more cautious on future purchases of their product; ABV is well hidden for the most part

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #37 (Feb 2010):

Dull copper color; suds reach two fingers in height. Massive aromatic waft of whiskey, lots of wood with char and vanilla, brown sugar and ripe fruit. Somewhat smooth and extra creamy. Big boozy flavor slams the palate and then lifts it up for a shock of sweet- ness before the warmth sets in. Nutty maltiness tangles with some brown sugar notes; figgy fruitiness in the middle gets a little juicy. Mild barrel char. Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey ... taste like a first use on the barrel, wakes up the palate for sure. Semisweet finish with some faint ester and solvent alcohol residuals.

The beer got a full dose of flavor from the barrel yet does not put it in a stranglehold. A big, beautiful sipper.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into an acbf glass.

Pours a hazy light brown with a very small light brown head. Nose is very light and malty with sweetness.

Tate is slightly hoppy, but the booze dominates along with the malt. It's quite tasty and drinkable for what it is. Super drinkable given the style.

Photo of pat61
4.61/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fresh and over ripe fruit, dark sugars, spice, vanilla and light whiskey on the nose. It pours clean, bright dark amber to light brown under a 2” light tan tinted foam cap that rapidly dissipates to a thick film that leaves gothic window lace on the glass. Enters very creamy on the palate with a blend of dried fruit – predominantly fig and pitted fruit – plum and big malt flavors blending in with whiskey. Gets a little grainy on the finish but the hops and alcohol combine to balance the big malts. Has a very Belgian texture – light for its size and above average carbonation that is is fine and soft suggesting a very light mousse.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, Black Label

A: Poured a very dark brown with a decent one finger head. Retention was minimal, reducing to some bubbles on top. Not much lacing.

S: The whiskey definitely shines through on the aroma, hard to say if it had died down after a few months in the the bottle. There was also some oak and vanilla as well as a little bit of molasses and brown sugar.

T: The whiskey was not as heavy in the flavor profile, but certainly present. There is some fig and raison and the malts yield molasses and caramelized sugar. The booze is there, but is not overpowering.

M: Medium bodied, but slightly lighter than I would have expected. Low carbonation with a creamy feel. The whiskey/booze comes through a little bit as well.

O: Quite impressed. For a style that I typically don’t love, this beer was very enjoyable. The barrels added some nice flavors and while the alcohol shows up, it adds more than it takes away.

Photo of tdm168
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this to the Barleywine tasting.

A - dark brownish amber with a shrt, brown head that has little retention

S - candy sugar, alcohol, whiskey, bread, caramel, apple

T - caramel, bread, apples, alcohol, faintly bitter, faint citrus, dark fruit, faint whiskey notes

M - full bodied, well carbonated, warm

This is a great beer. it's complex, but a bit fruit forward. The malt and hops are greatly balanced. The whiskey adds some comlexity. This is definitely worth a try.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention and limited lacing. Aroma of clear whiskey notes with light warming alcohol and sweet malt notes. Taste is a bit too sweet for my taste with some warming alcohol notes and rounded edge from the barrel-aging. Body is about average with OK carbonation and light alcohol notes. Limited complexity with too much sweetness and good barrel–aging notes.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: medium translucent brown with a thin pale head; motes of lace

S: malt, vanilla, molasses

T: brown sugar, vanilla caramel, sweet fruits like dates and figs, toffee, subtle traces of whiskey

M: warming, smooth, creamy

O: these guys are good; their Hop God Belgian IPA-style was one of the best pale ales I've had, and this barleywine is among the best barleywines I've had - gotta try their stout if I see it... Bold, expensive, and brilliantly crafted, a sure treat for the taste buds. As this warmed, the whiskey really came out and created such an excellent taste. At this point in my drinking career, my favorite American Barleywine (right up there with $ucaba and King Henry, considered English barleywines).

Photo of mikedashg
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to @ArtofBeer for opening this at our little going away party at Stone for @MartinEmde and @TheKewe

A - golden orange amber with a fairy small head

S - Whiskey, light pear, nothing too overpowering

T - Whiskey forward, slight bitter hops and a great malt caramel backbone. Whiskey after taste as well. Pretty smooth.

M - low to moderate carb full body but a little thin

D - ABV is pretty hidden, even though there is a good amount of whiskey barrel flavor boozyness going on. Not too complex because of it I think.

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark red amber with a finger of fluffy, light tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Whiskey and sweet brown sugar, vanilla, and dark fruit.

Taste: Follows from the smell. Strong whiskey presence, but it was smooth. Hints of vanilla, oak, and brown sugar. The finish is bitter and warm from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This was a sipper, but I was surprised how easy it was to drink after smelling it. A nice after dinner drink.

Photo of Sanderson
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Base beer is over run by the barrel. Tasted like a weak barley wine with a splash of bourbon. Mouthfeel is very thin. Not impressed.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, dry whiskey, small dark fruit and a small alcohol note. In the taste, dry whiskey, brown sugar, and notes of vanilla. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry brown sugar and whiskey in the aftertaste. Not overbearing whiskey at all, and a nice brown sugar flavor to round it all out.

Photo of womencantsail
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Eric for sending me this bottle awhile back.

A: The pour is almost flat and pours a murky orange-amber color. I don't see any foam/head at all.

S: This is a damn boozy beer. The nose is almost completely dominated by the whiskey aroma. In fact, that, coupled with the intense oakiness, brings out an almost sour aroma. Strangely, I get a bit of pineapple and maybe some green apple.

T: There is a bit of bread, toffee, and caramel here. It's decently sweet, but the whiskey aroma once again absolutely overwhelms this beer. Tons of oak and maybe a hint of vanilla.

M: The body is medium with a very, very low level of carbonation.

D: Kind of disappointing and difficult to drink with all the booze going on.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fathead barleywine pours a clear, dark ruby color with a small head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving a few spots and lines of lace behind.

The aroma has notes of caramel malt and cherry, but it has strong alcohol notes. With the alcohol and cherry aromas it reminds me of cough syrup.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth and creamy with light carbonation. The flavor is malty with some spices and alcohol mixed in. Caramel malt dominates, but mixed in are subtle notes of bubblegum, clove, and cinnamon (maybe nutmeg?). It finishes with bread and ripe fruit (cherry). At the end hot alcohol finishes the sip. Once gone the caramel and cherry linger on the palate.

This beer could use some age on it to smooth out the alcohol, but it's very drinkable for 10%+ and quite tasty.

Photo of FosterJM
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

452nd review on BA
bottle to snifter
750 ML
2011 Bottle- Bought at NS in Lincoln, NE

App- A huge pillowy two finger head. A dark dark orange with only dots of cling.

Smell- A lot of citrus dominates this one. Leaning towards orange but could be mistaken for some tangerine. A bit of oaky vanilla as well.

Taste- A good barleywine with nice soft flavors. A lot softer than a lot of the bigger BW's I have lately and leaves itself in the middle. Not a huge booze fest or a DIPA but nice middle of the road.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Leaves a smooth mamoasa(spelling?) feel. A little orange and booze.

Drink- It's quite different than what I expected. Not a booze fest not a DIPA but right in the middle. I could drink a couple bottles of this one. It's fairly balanced and at the end a little spicy.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: burgundy - swirls of fine sediment within - fairly large, surprisingly bright-white head - keeps a collar and leaves some snotty lace - didn't dump much sediment into the glass, however, the beer appears quite hazy

S: obvious whiskey-barrel aging - vanilla? yes! - little bit of vinyl or paint-like alcohol - bubblegum, circus peanut (banana ester)

T: whiskey-barrel-aged barleywine, of course! - toasted wood, vanilla - kind of a boozy, extra malty brown ale flavor - some signs of depth (booze, raisin/fig, honeysuckle) - is that some hop bitterness? or is it a little alcohol burn? - alcohol may be a little too forward - overall, not bad but arguably muted by the barrel-derived elements and lees that slipped in

M: fairly smooth - what you'd expect from a barrel-aged barleywine - a mild nectar-y or syrupy consistency, nicely attenuated by the alcohol, adding some body complexity - moderately dry finish

O: nice body, perhaps marginally too fruity, great flavor balance, but not enough depth - the barrel aging added some nice flavors but maybe messed up what would've been a fine barleywine on its own

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, dirty burgundy color with a one-finger, off-white head of thick foam. Pretty good head retention and some soapy trails of foam were left behind.

S - It smelled of oak, vanilla and some whiskey. Some boozy heat in the nose.

T - Some dried dark fruit flavors - plum, maybe. Vanilla, caramel some oak. Whiskey flavor is muted but present.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a very dry finish.

D - This is a very good barrel aged barleywine. I enjoyed it.

Photo of mcallister
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Garnet in color with many particulates in suspension. An slightly off white head of a half inch turns into an foamy topper and nice creamy ring around the glass.

Lots of dried fig and date at the forefront of the aroma. Followed by milk chocolate, toasted vanilla, charred oak, raisin and a hint of earth and fresh baked cinnamon bread.

Big and english in style, which I prefer. Big juicy date and fig, raisin and plum. Bourbon comes through nicely with a good amount of vanilla and toasted oak on the finish. An earthy, almost herbal flavor deep into the finish. Fresh baked rustic crusty breads, with a immense deep sweet malt intensity. The middle is slightly missing and carbonation seems a bit off from making this beer really shine. Otherwise very nice. But not near the asking cost of $25 a bottle.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to RedHaze for this brew.

750ml Bottle
Capped

Poured into a chalice a nice cloudy brownish color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some big oil slicks and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, big whiskey note, slight dark fruits. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, very nice whiskey note up front, some figs, raisins, plums. Medium body, the ABV is hidden pretty well, a nice sipper. Drinkable, WOW! this one surprised me, glad to have a chance trying it out. Thanks Chris.

Photo of Juuroumaru
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- pours a nice brown/caramel color with a solid tan head.
S- I get the whiskey barrel on the nose along with caramel notes.
T- Caramel greatness with a touch of whiskey and maybe a hint of vanilla.
M- Very smooth coasting across the tongue
O- a very well balanced malty barleywine with a nice hint of whiskey. Wish i had another one of these to age.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Brown/caramel colored with a mild haze. Cream colored head settles to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

S: Light runny caramel, treacle, bread pudding, crust. Booze soaked golden raisins. Baked apples. Brown sugar. Vague tropical fruit for an instant. Whiff of alcohol. Fragrant oak and woody vanilla hints of whiskey. Subdued peppery note. Very good.

T: Bread pudding, treacle, light runny caramel, dash of cocoa, walnuts. Cherries and booze soaked golden raisins. Barrel flavors form an anchor- caramel, woody vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Bourbon-esque whiskey and a dose of brown sugar become the predominant flavors toward the end and finish things off, along with drying oak.

M: Medium-thick with a slight viscosity and a moderately chewy texture. Oak tannins are smooth and drying. Low carbonation. Warming alcohol slowly seeps into the soul. Great velvety texture.

O: Not the big, bruising, rib-sticking barleywine I expected. This is a more sophisticated beverage. Flavors mesh well and blend into each other, making for a smooth and easy drink. It tastes far more mature than it is.

Photo of Dope
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

No bottling date that I can see. You'd think for almost $25 they could at least put a date on it.

A: Very dark brown pour with red highlights. Medium sized and frothy tan head. Head fades slowly, leaving very nice wide expanses of lacing. Foam island hangs around forever. Very nice.

S: Super sweet whiskey notes. Caramel, toffee and molasses. Dark fruits, mainly fig I think. Get some other fruit in there too, peach and apricot I think. Very fruity in fact. Some oaky leather too. Very unique for a barleywine.

T: Decent amount of whiskey up front. Heavy on the caramel with a bunch of molasses. Again, very fruity. I'm not sure what's up with the fruitiness, it's very unusual. It is very much like apricot but I think I still get peach. Are there pears or apples too? Huh. Get a little hoppiness, maybe some pine? And some dry, stale bread crusts. Lingering toffee and drying oak in the aftertaste. Some booziness floating around in the finish and between sips too, lending an even more drying feeling. Kinda get some tingly medicinal bandaid-type flavor in the aftertaste once it warms.

M: Fairly heavy but the boozy whiskey cuts it a bit. Quite dry in the aftertaste.

O: Interesting barleywine. Far and away the fruitiest I've ever had. I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Very complex beer regardless, but the flavors just don't work that well for me. It's like a bad mash up of many different flavors. Almost wonder about brewing defects or if it just doesn't suit my palate.

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tawny amber color with a finger's worth of head that leaves many traces behind

Smell: Sure, it's a bit boozy, but there are a lot of interesting elements underneath, ranging from piney hops to caramel, brown sugar and figgy malts; the whiskey barrel wafts in the background

Taste: The malts command center stage, bringing caramel, figs, dates and golden raisins; by mid-palate, however, the piney hops take over along with the whiskey barrel; hops and whiskey are both prominent in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: There is a lot to like in this barleywine; it is very well-balanced with a lot of flavors coming together; still, I can't help but say that something is missing that would take it into the top echelon and I think it has to do with the the malt bill

Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good lookin out drew for sharing this brew.

A: poured brown in color with yellow highlights on the edges and had a thin bubbly head leaving a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of whiskey character upfront on the nose with caramel, toffee, booze, brown sugar popping out and hints of molasses as well.

T: the caramel and toffee flavors were more apparent on the taste with whiskey barrel, booze, molasses, dark fruit accents and a touch of cherries.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, whiskey boozy, mild fruity, and creamy finish.

D: a sipper for sure but was tasty and glad to see that the state of nebraska has some decent BA aged brews.

Photo of joefuzz
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09 vintage poured into oversized snifter

Pours lighter brown with a thin off white head that quickly fades to a nice collar of very small bubbles

Smells is extremely fruity (apples, figs, black cherries and some slight coconut) with a slight sense of alcohol.

Taste is an amazing blend of fruity and sweet. Coconut comes to mind immediately and pretty much dominates on the first sip giving way to a mouth coating molasses taste as it goes down and some slight alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and carbonation pretty low.

Overall I wasn't expecting much going into this but it was amazing in every way. It is also a very nice change of pace to see a beer that was aged in something in something a little different than what has been flooding the shelves in my area lately. If you have one of these and have yet to try it, open it.

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Fathead Barleywine - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.