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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

85 Ratings

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Ratings: 85
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 44
Gots: 28 | 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
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.

Photo of TomClem
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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 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 theminutemen
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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 thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Nebraska Fathead

Poured into a brandy snifter.

Mahogany color of a body with a taupe-colored head of not even one finger. It has since fallen to a loosely-knit pattern of bubbles and ring. Not much cling to the glass with the exception of alcohol legs. Can't expect much more from such a big beer.

Dipping my nose into this one (still too cold, mind you), I get the whiskey barrel and loads of fruit. Black cherries, Fig Newtons, brown sugar, and a light caramel. There's not an overpowering oak presence, but there is some definitive vanilla extract as a byproduct. A musty odor with a whale of a malt bill, one can tell. Some faint citrus/pine hop comes wafting in.

Yep, this one's huge. Alcohol is a little numbing, but slowly yields to woody flavors of an oaky whiskey, vanilla, caramelized sugars, and bing cherries. There's also plum, brandy, and heaps of caramel malts and crystal malts. Has a rum cake presentation of the grain bill. I'd be really interested to know what this would have tasted like before it was aged in the barrel. Seems a little thin in taste without the whiskey presence, which is smooth and satiating going down. The alcohol is still intense, and a year or two in the pantry might iron that out. I have another bottle to wait on. Fathead isn't overly sweet, there is a nice biting bitterness that couples with an alcohol burn in the mouth and throat and stomach. That a nice buttery quality that accelerates as it warms.

Hot, hot, hot! A big no-no, even in this fresh bottle. Can't think that the boys of Nebraska brewing intended their barrel-aged barleywine to go down like a liqueur. The carbonation is lacking, in addition. You can't just plow through this one. It's a bold sipper. Milky feel of the body gives it some chewiness.

I'm very intrigued as to see where this one goes after some time laid down. If ya got 'em, sit on 'em. Try it in a year. It's too hot right now.

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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 BigE90
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been on a Barrel Aged Barley wine kick lately. Picked this up at Berman’s a couple weeks ago.

Quite a creamy and substantive head forms on top this beer and stays for quite a long time. Eventually gravity wins the battle and a ¼ inch of tight foam caps the beer. Fairly classic beep amber color with just a slight hint of maroon. Good clarity and color.

Whiskey wins the day in the aroma. Some raw wood, coconut and the whiskey itself. A touch of malt sweetness, but very mild.

It bores me to say the flavor follows the aroma and I usually try to avoid that. Can’t here as they are so in sync. Everything mentioned above is there in almost the same ratio. The coconut and raw wood are on stage here. I am more of a fan of bourbon with the vanilla flavors. There is a touch of musty malt at the end here as well.

Not quite as bold of body as I had anticipated.

A decent beer, but not among my favorite.

Photo of drpimento
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a medium sized off white, fine head and a little lace. Color was a slightly hazy amber, Aroma was malt, yeast, caramel, hop, solvents. Flavor what exactly like nose plus a little carbonic tang. Body and carbonation ok. Finish is like flavor and on the short side. No hint of alcohol.

Photo of bigorange
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of Alpar
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +27.2%

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 richbrew
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Exiled
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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 BigMcLargeHuge
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Courtesy of ratebeer's very own markwise. Pours out copper with tan head. The aroma is pure whiskey with thin veins of vanilla and oak. I guess there’s beer in here somewhere too. Hmm. Don’t smell any beer. OK. The taste is all barrel booze, just like the nose, with straight up fortified whiskey, some vanilla and modest levels of oak. They did put beer in the barrel, right? Wow. I wonder how good the beer was that was lost in this barrel. Maybe it is better I don't know.

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 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 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 THECPJ
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with a orange hue 1 finger off white head

smell: vanilla, whiskey, sweet, caramel sugar

taste: sweet, caramel, malts, alcohol

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: I'm usually not a fan of american barleywine's but this was tasty and I think it's do to the whiskey barrel aging.


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