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Barley Wine - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barley WineBarley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

144 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 3
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 02-23-2011

The first sip of this brilliant, red-brown beer reveals a robust mouth feel and complex flavors including raisin, dark bread, some sherry flavors sure to increase with age. With the finish comes the flavor of Columbus hops followed by the alcohol warmth that can be felt down your throat.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 43
Reviews by Zorro:
Photo of Zorro
4.01/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a tall tan colored head.

Smell is strong with the hops. Strong NW style hops mostly pine with some cedar and cinnamon scent. Scents of brown sugar and caramel. Black pepper and apple skin in the ethanol fraction. Slight chocolate aroma.

Starts out sweet and woody with a big caramel taste. Bittersweet taste with a significant amount of sweetness. Butterscotch taste with a significant ethanol flavor. Bitterness is medium. Brown sugar is present. Tasty but not quite among the best.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a tasty beer but not quite world class. Worth a try.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say that I have been really impressed with some of Epic's wares, this is one of them.Poured into an over sized wine glass a deep copper color with a thinner but well retained head atop,a great mix of deep caramel malts and resiny hops,I was surprised at such a hop punch this beer gave off,pleasantly surprised at that.Sweetish upfront with caramel malts and boozy alcohol but it melds nicely into a leafy hoppy lingering finish,there is a bit of leather that comes into play adding to the complexity.To me this is a top notch American barleywine its's big and brash with a healthy dose of hops,I loved it.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy reddish chestnut under a thin tan foam collar, splotches of lace, faint legs.
S: Fruity, estery nose with some rich malt sugars.
T: Dried fruit, caramelly malt, prune and then a medium high bitter hop finish.
M: Big body with a below average carbonation. Slight warming.
O: A big bold barley wine that can probably stand some age.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glassy bronze/maple syrup brown, with a bountiful head that thins to skim and crown in a minute or so. Small dots of lace on glass.

One of those super-caramel-y, candy-like BWs, a bit Bigfoot-ish, less hoppy though, with hints of vanilla, mineral, and root beer, and not much alcohol, surprisingly.

Like the nose, there's caramel, vanilla, mineral, root beer, but also showing the hops, and also a bit of a bitter herbal flair, a bit roasty, and somewhat bitter. Alcohol doesn't intrude at all, although there's just a sweet touch of warmth here. True to style, yet also throws a few tolerable curveballs in.

Slightly sticky and thick-ish, yet with plenty of smoothness and bounce.

If not spectacular then quite solid. Very American take on the style, and that's how it's meant to be. Perhaps a bit on the sweeter side, but there's enough depth here to offer a contemplative sipper for all but the most picky-ass barleywine fan.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this to the Barleywine tasting.

A - dark orangish amber with a short-lived head with little retention

S - caramel, candy sugar, bread, dark fruit

T - caramel, bread, sugary, alcohol, faint bitter hops, citrusy

M - full bodied, well carbonated, smooth, warming alcohol

This is a dangerously drinkable, complex beer that has great balance and hops character. The malts are forward and it's a bit sticky. On the whole this is a delicious example of the style.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

props to andrenaline for including this treat in our latest trade
A - hazy copper, tight creamy head retained outstanding with lots of wispy lacing all around
S - big piney hops and booze, some grain and candy sweetness, with a bit of a harshness to it
T - starts with a nutty and pine mix, touch of caramel and booze, finishes with a mild mineral quality
M - medium and creamy, just a touch of boozy heat, finishes full
O - the harsh aroma was a bit off putting but the flavour and feel redeemed it, not great but definitely a good barleywine

Photo of trappistlover
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(22oz bottle from Total Wine Desert Ridge. Release #2). Pours a clear red-copper color with off-white head. Some small lacing patterns appear when the head falls. Low carbonation. Thearoma has spicy hops, rum (?), pumpernickel, and some dried fruit. Rich and unique. Taste is bitter with a sweet malt backbone. Full bodied with an oily texture. Finish is a bit harsh with the alcohol being noticeable. So far, my least favorite of the Epic beers I’ve had.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the bomber in a snifter, this barely wine pours a muddled brown with red tinges and a decent head that dissipates to a thin ring and very light lacing. Nose of caramel malts, some raisins, and resinous hops. Flavors follow the nose perfectly with a strong hop character blending with a moderate malt backbone with hints of raisins and dates. Hop forward barely wine style with a bitter hop aftertaste, moderate carbonation, and an effervescent mouth feel makes it drinkable, yet still very hop forward diminishing from the sweeter side that could be apparent with potential age. Decent barely wine.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.55/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into an Epic tulip.
10.4% ABV, Release #14

A - It's hard to see the haze through the deep tarnished copper color, but Epic's Barley Wine definitely isn't clear. It does have a fantastic head though! The ivory foam tickles the glass with wisps of lace before settling to a halo of loose bubbles.

S - Rich and complex maltiness captivates the nostrils, drawing the olfactory in for closer inspection. What's found are plump sherry-soaked raisins swimming in melted caramel cube and toffee sweetness basking under the light shade of earthy hop pedals.

T - The complexity continues as Epic's Barley Wine tastes undeniably malt-forward with silky smooth caramel and toffee sweetness dribbling over the crusts of thickly sliced, freshly baked bread. Subtle notes of toast on the verge of roast make their way into the background with a light kiss of earthy hops that signal resiny pine flavors.

M - With it's medium-full body and exceptionally smooth feel finishing with sweetness, Epic's Barley Wine only offers a slight kiss of hops for balance and a faint trace of bitterness behind the warming alcohol.

O - If I didn't know any better I might forgo the fact this is billed as an "American Barleywine" and accept it as the malty English style with open arms. Malt-forward through and through, the subtle offerings of earthy, almost piney American hops are miniscule in comparison to the rich and forthright malt complexities contained in this beer. It's alcohol presence certainly isn't disguised but it's also not in any way a focal point of the beer, which makes it a bit dangerous on the drinkability scale.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up tonight at Bier Thirty over in Bown... Damn ... $10!! The boys at Epic are growing very proud of their beers. :-) Batch #3.

Pours with a 1" tannish head that leaves tons of lacing atop a slightly hazed amber red brew.

Nose is toasty malts with some hints of citrus hops... caramel and a bit of something that I associate with old malt extract... Does not seem that "American" to me, but what do I know.

Flavor is again very malty with just a touch more than enough bitterness to balance... Hop flavors are again slightly pithy orange zest and move back into the bitterness then lingers for a while after the finish... In between the front and back, a pretty heavy maltiness shoulders the load... dark toast, malty caramel and some toffee essence.. Nothing outstanding, just a pretty okay example of the style.

The body is a touch thick, but a light/medium carbonation is ever present that makes me remember that we are in BW territory... Maybe a bit boozy with warmth, but no nail polish or jet fuel ever shows.

Overall, this is a nice brew right out of the gate... I don't know how well it would age... I doubt for more than a year or so. I still get bits of oxidation... There are hints for sure in the nose and aroma of unfermented malt extract mixed in water.

I guess I dig it... I may buy another just to cellar and try again in 9-12 months.. but I say drink it fresh.

4/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

Photo of yamar68
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and dim amber/copper. Swelling off-white head, good looking lacing right off the bat.

I smell all sorts of OG... big sweetness. Some booze surfaces immediately, huge malts dominate this thing. Some honey notes, but the aroma doesn't stray far from the massive malt presence.

For how imposing the nose is, the taste is actually pretty dull, and I poured it room temp. It reminds me of a good barleywine on mute. The booze is still full strength though, leaving this one a bit out of whack.

I probably won't revisit this one. Not a fail by any means, they just need to beef this one up a bit.

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Release 15

A: poured into a snifter to a deep brown with a finger and a half of dense off white head that retains well and leaves good lacing
S: smells of earthy and herbal hops with some slight caramel and raisin notes
T: taste is bready and caramelly malt sweetness with some stone fruits and herbal hop flavors with a little bit of citrus rind. swallow brings a big and bitter herbal hop note that lingers for some time.
M: big and slightly chewy on the palate with soft well rounded carbonation. finish is oily and slightly drying from the alcohol
O: A little abrasive right now but with a year or two to mellow out this one should be smooth and dangerous. The complexity is there and the mouthfeel is killer but for me it needs a little time for the hops to mellow.

Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release #14 (9/30/13) 10.4% abv. Brewed with 6 different malts and 4 different hops. Poured into a snifter. Very large, off-white head with a heavy sea-foam consistency (thick but airy). Really dark coffee-like color, similar to an Old Ale. This is an older bottle but its tasting significantly better than I anticipated. Very malt forward with the requisite accompanying sweetness, some sherry notes and a hearty breadiness. Slight lingering grassy hop flavor but the hops are virtually nonexistent now. The body is on the heavy side for the style which works to this beer's advantage. While a bit unconventional, this beer is an excellent representation of the English-style barleywines. As a fan of non-hoppy barleywines, I'm really pleased with this.

Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Steve, Release #5. 650ml into a tulip.

Dark brown with OK lacing and light retention. Great toffee and caramel right off the bat, light fruitiness and some relatively generic sweet malt character. Taste is about the same, caramel, bitter citrus, dark breads and alcohol. Heavy feel, fairly dense and relatively intense bitterness. Good but not great, pretty average for the style I thought.

Photo of aasher
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle batch #3.

This beer pours a medium bodied dirty, creek water brown in color with amber hues and a one finger beige, soapy head. The nose consists of slight dry hoppiness, toffee, and raisins. It's not very aromatic and is pretty muted. The flavors are initially dry and bitter. It has moderate hop character initially. It then falls into deep malt of toffee and caramel. It's ok. It's pretty standard for the style, nothing special. It drinks full in body and is surprisingly dry for the style. This is a decent barleywine overall but nothing over the top. If you like traditional American barleywines this one could be up your alley.

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with a head that has very good retention for the high abv/style. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of toffee, raisins, rum-soaked bread and some pine.

The taste is of toffee with raisins. Enough hops give it a piney/citric balance to fit it into the "American" rather than "English" style, though the malt stays ahead through the finish. Alcohol is warming, but not too hot.

It is silky smooth. Carbonation fitting for the general character of the beer.

This is a wonderful American barleywine. Toffee character is strong, but has a hop character in the balance. A great "sipper".

Photo of alexhahn82
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release #1

Appearance: Medium Amber with a very thing head.
Smell: EXTREME. From smelling the bottle after opening to the glass after pouring, this barley wine screams HOPS! Very pleasant suprise!
Taste is semi caramelly with a favorable hop flavor with a tame ending.
Mouthfeel: Almost as light pucker of vinegar with a very nice effervescence.
Overall: An impressive almost "west coast" interpretation of a hoppy barley wine, a must try!

Photo of martyl1000
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%

This seems as inspired as my favorite barleywines, but seems to be missing some key attribute.

Photo of TheFlern
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up two bottles on my way out of SLC. Back at my pad in Ketchum on my birthday I decided to crack a bottle open. Lets see how it stands up...

Appearance: A decent amount of white head forms leaving an average amount of lacing. The beer itself is a light amber color and very clear.

Smell: I was a little thrown off here. This barleywine isn't bitter smelling but sweet! It is really sweet in fact much like the English style barleywines. Having had little experience with the English style I was intrigued to take my first sip.

Taste: This brew is sweet up front with a bitterness on the edges (if that makes sense). The taste is very strong and I imagine that with age this beer will become a favorite among English style barleywines that are American brewed by enthusiasts here on BA.

Mouthfeel: Very sharp alcohol. This one needs to be put away for at least a year.

Drinkability: Its hard to drink too fast given the alcohol content and how prominent it is at such a young age for the beer. However, I can feel that this beer was designed to be aged and not drunk immediately.

I suggest picking up a few bottles if you've got the extra cash and putting most of them away in your cellar. Epic brewing has yet to let me down!

Photo of andrenaline
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Release #6

A - Pours a slightly hazy copper colour, thumb of head with solid retention and solid sheeting lacing.

S - Heavy citrus hops and earthy pine, hints of cedar, and a touch of toffee on the finish.

T - The flavour is surprisingly mild, given the heavy nose. A muddled earthy pine hop flavour comes through alongside boozy toffee and some salted roasted almonds. The ABV could be better hidden, but the flavour profile is tasty nonetheless.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and dry on the finish.

O - A tasty Barley Wine and worth a try, but the ABV could be a bit more subtle. Decent flavour profile but could use a bit fine tuning to make it world class.

Photo of kagent777
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a CCB snifter maybe a little too cold. Batch number 1 (brewed September of 2010) has 10.1 ABV. This one has been stored cool since purchase. First beer of 2013, over 2.5 yrs old.

Appearance: A gorgeous red brown with a fluffy white head about one finger tall. The head is cool looking with a few large bubbles but mostly smaller bubbles.

Smell: Pungent hops as soon as the bottle is opened, even at 2.5 yrs old. Nice dark dried fruity notes, black cherry, raisin, and dark spicy bread. Malt smell is rich and a little sweet.

Taste: The dark fruit is most evident with some toffee and caramel. A little sweetness mingling with the smooth booze of 10.1 ABV. Even a touch of cocoa. There is a little barrel woodiness that is lurking in the background. The hops bitterness is also hiding in the background, and not as forward as I imagine it was at bottling. Moderate strength for a BW, but also balanced. One of the most interesting Barleywines that I have had.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and clingy body, with correspondingly low carbonation. Right where it should be.

Overall: A very interesting barleywine, I really enjoyed the flavor. I wonder how much the newer releases of this beer compare? The price is a bit stiff at about 8 or so per bomber, but I could drink this once a winter or so. Marked a 3.5 only for price.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In review is a 2012 vintage.

A - Pours a toffee color with a two fingered cream head and modest carbonation. Color is a little on the lighter side for a barley wine.

S - Roasted toffee, a small trace of citrus, caramel, and a hint of booze.

T - Follows the nose with a nice mixture of roasted caramel/toffee, followed by some citrus bitterness on the end and a waft of alcohol effervescence. There's a slight hint of woodiness and left on the palate is a lingering alcohol warmth and a mouth coated with roasted caramel and citrus bitterness that's perfectly balanced.

M - Medium body to full medium body but feels a little light for the style, coats the lips with sticky toffee sugar.

O - I love the Exponential Series from Epic, they do a great job. Solid, but sits in the middle of the pack. Definitely worth trying, though.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber bottle pours correctly into a snifter.

A: Pale tawny brown. Drab. Frothy head fades but leaves a little spotty lace.

S: Very hoppy with some tawny aromas. Hops like fuggles. Wood, big alcohol.

T: Very bitter. Woody, strong. Very astringent. Some banana and apricot in the alcohol warmth.

M: Slight oiliness with overwhelming dryness. Med-low carbonation.

O: Actually a little unenjoyable. Not quite to my interpretation of the style.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Release # 5.

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. There is some floating sediment in the glass after the pour. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel/toffee, and some herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is the same with some somewhat strong alcohol flavors on the finish. There is also a medium amount of bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slight level of carbonation and a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine with a solid set of aromas and flavors. The alcohol is a bit jarring but nothing too bad.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #66 in my great Utah Brew Hunt.

At first, there was something really not working about this beer. That quickly faded away. Thankfully.

Overall, this strikes me as an "everyday" barleywine. It's mellow and smooth and carries a nice flavor profile. There could be a more lingering flavor to it all, but it isn't bad or anything. A little bit too malty sweet. Nice to drink, if not uninspiring and uneventful.

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Barley Wine from Epic Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.