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Johan The Barleywine | Sun King Brewing Company

very good
14 Reviews
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Johan The BarleywineJohan The Barleywine

Brewed by:
Sun King Brewing Company
Indiana, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aasher on 01-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 35
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks silverx for cracking open this can @ our tasting
The beer pours a dark amber with a halo of white head that doesn't lace. It beer smells a like a hit of boozy caramel. The taste, as expected based on the smell, is sweet with a touch booze. However, this beer is still quite drinkable and exceptional for a canned barleywine! I'd love to sit on some of these for next summer's golfing.

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Photo of Auracom
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Random tick opportunity thanks to Jeff. Barleywine in a can is pretty awesome, no doubt. 3 oz. poured into a CBS snifter on June 8th, 2012.

A - Pours a semi-clear, medium brown coloring. Wisps of an offwhite head that faded within a few minutes. Poor lacing. Very few alcohol legs.

S - Getting some dark pitted fruits and "bitterness", almost coffee and hops blended. Raisin bread and cinnamon brown sugar. A bit muted, or maybe gentle is a better descriptor.

T - Lots of toasted dark fruit, burnt sugar, almonds, and dark rye bread. A bit backend bitterness and an edgy roasted aftertaste.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, semi-dry lingering finish. Not half bad here.

D - Not too bad, perhaps a bit too calm in the aromas but the taste is aligned with what I'd expect from Sun King without even having had a whole lot from them so far.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can, 10% abv. Pours a very deep chestnut to mahogany color. Some ruby edges. Head is merely an afterthought.

Great nose, full of dried fruit, raisins, figs, caramel and toffee. A whiff of alcohol as well.

Mouth follows the nose, with some nice fig, raisin and dried fruit flavors. Big malt character holds up well, with a bit of lingering sweetness. Nice dose of earthy bitterness, with some drying notes at the end to round things out.

Medium body, carbonation seems just a bit excessive. Some warmth, but nothing overwhelming. Nice beer, bonus for being in a can

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can courtesy of someone who yourefragile and I coordinated on a trade with. I never got the name, but thanks. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a nice caramel color with a moderate white head. Bit of a collar. The nose carries some toffee and caramel plus a faint bit of hops and alcohol. Flavor has a bit of hops in the background to go with a good malt presence. Nice toffee and caramel plus slight fruit. Medium body and good carbonation. Pretty good.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/08/12 notes. Thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one. 16 oz. can into a tulip.

a - Pours a hazy, mahogany color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, tofee, sweet fruity malts, light spice, and toasted malts. Lots of caramel and sweet fruits, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, sweet fruity malts, toffee, dark fruits, toasted malts, and light nuts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good barleywine. Lots of caramel and sweet fruits, and pretty easy to drink. Something I would definitely buy if I saw it on the shelf.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Thorpe429, decent barleywine served out of a 16 ounce can, and indicated that it is a barleywine by that ghetto ass sticker.

Beer served in a tulip, beer is brown, hazy, thin wispy lazy head, moderate to low carbonation, low lacing, not much retention, looks fine.

Aroma is sweet, malty, fruity, apples and pears. Interesting but smells like a barleywine.

Beer si medium in body and sweet, strong, nice finish with a little bitterness. Strong throughout, best barleywine I've had out of a can by far. Decent enough, nothing wrong with it, solid beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is dark orange/copper hued with a quarter inch of lasting tan head. The aroma offers sweet malt, toffee, booze, hops. Smells appropriate for the style. Smooth flavor , with malt, fruit, and hop flavors gaining strength as the beer warms. Alcohol is present, but in the background. Overall, a solid barleywine. Recommended.

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Photo of jwb06
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of Can into CBS snifter

A: Copper color with just a touch of foam, no lacing
S: Delicious, smells of sweet toffee, caramel and bourbon. Some raisin/fig aroma as well
T: Taste follows smell. Sweetness hits up front with a nice rich malt on the back end
M: Nice, really gose down smooth
O: Very nice barleywine from Sun King. Really nice beer to sip on a cold evening. Stayed true to the English Barleywine style with a focus on the sweet malt without a heavy hop

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Photo of mcallister
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bold crystal ruby colored with a good amount of carbonation on the pour. The head pours large and fades fairly quickly into a tan foamy floating top leaving sticky lace in sporadic places.

Big on toffee and dried fruits. Hints of caramel, milk chocolate, fig, date, golden raisin, brown sugar, sweet and delectable aromas with a hint of rum and booze. Some notes of citrus in the background and pine.

Good BW, still a little rough around the edges. Syrupy mouthfeel is balanced by creamy carbonation. Big of sweet melted toffee, reminiscent of a sugar baby. Bourbon soaked figs, rum soaked raisin, milk chocolate, caramel, date, quince paste, orange marmalade, and very bitter earthy hops to balance the finish. Ends bitter as hell which I think will be much better once this fades, leaves an unpleasant taste and feel on the finish.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/amber with a small tan head that leaves lots of lacing down the glass.

Smells of toffee with some notes of caramel and a bit boozy as well.

Up front there are lots of sweet malts with some heavy syrupy toffee taste with some night toasted malts backing it up. A little bit of citrus also makes an appearance. Finishes very smooth and velvety with just a slight hint of booze.

Mouthfeel is very thick. Pretty syrupy without becoming cloying. Low carbonation level.

The first beer brewed at my favorite local brewery, this one has gotten a lot better with some age on it. One more from this one time release that will be getting a bit more age before enjoying it.

*Edit* Not reflected in review scores, but cracked one open pre-DLD 4/27/12 and it is even better. Really mellowed out a bit and is a damn good beer

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Photo of womencantsail
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Dan.

A: The beer pours a hazed amber color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Toffee and toasted bread make up the bulk of the aroma on this one. A nice touch of caramel along with some citrus hops and a bit of grape juice. Pretty simplistic aromas.

T: The flavor is a bit more complex and...good. Pineapple and grapefruit hop notes provide a nice balance to the sweetness of the toffee, caramel, and brown sugar. Toasted bread and sweet dark fruits.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: One of the better beers I've had from Sun King. A pretty decent barleywine.

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Photo of 1Adam12
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally decided to pop one of my two cans. Pours a beautiful ruby red, dark. Smells of dark fruits, currants, fig, and I catch cherry. Tastes awesome. Very fruity..plum, cherry... semi sweet malt, a bit of alcohol, definitely has a red wine characteristic to it, but sweeter than red wine. Very smooth, creamy, a bit of carbonation. I could drink this all the time. I'm stoked that I have my one can left, but I wish I had more. Good job sunking!

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark chestnut in color with good carbonation that leaves an off-white head about a half an inch in thickness. Some lacing and some legs inside the glass, this shows its strength.

Aroma - lots of dark fruits, raisins and prunes, some slight booziness that tickles the nose and an endless amount of caramel, burnt sugar and baked apples. Perhaps a bit of sherry and rum cake as well. This one is a sipper and the smell alone will tell you that.

Taste - brown sugar, dried dark fruits, molasses with some alcohol heat on the tongue. Very smooth with loads of sweet flavors all melding together. Lots of layers unfolding as this one warms a bit. Toffee and caramel along with baked apples hit the palate as well. A very satisfying barleywine that certainly hits all the marks for the style. The folks at Sun King should be proud.

Overall - at 2 years of age Johan the Barleywine is certainly showing it's complexity and smoothness. This was certainly a sipper and definitely a soul-warmer.

Would I buy more of it? - a moot point. If possible I surely would.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a coppery brown color with red hues when held to the light. One finger eggshell white head shows medium retention. This beer left some sheety lacing on the sides of the glass when drinking it down.

S- Caramel malts come out swinging along with a heavy dose of alcohol. The alcohol is very medicinal but dies down a little toward the end. Light vanilla and toffee notes as well with some peppery hops. This just smells like a boozy mess...lets hope I'm not right.

T- Upon first taste this beer has a nice caramel and toffee malt flavor that gets balanced a little by peppery hops. This beer in the middle shoot out a ton of medicinal alcohol. This became a little bit of a annoyance more than anything else. Caramel malts with hints of vanilla toward the end of the beer. Alcohol comes back out toward the very end with a light hop bite as well.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Caramel malts and medicinal alcohol are left on the palate. Aftertaste is a ton of alcohol, toffee and caramel malts, and hints of vanilla. Flavors were a little hot and messy for my liking. No real off flavors just a ton of alcohol right in your face all the time. Heavy drying on the palate from all the alcohol.

D- This barleywine is very young still and should be able to cellar for some years to come to mellow out that alcohol heat. I see this one coming out a little more by this time next year and tasting very good. For now though it is a little green still for me even though I know it has been sitting around a little while.

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Johan The Barleywine from Sun King Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.