Barley Wine - Epic Brewing Company

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Barley WineBarley Wine

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BA SCORE
84
good

148 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.89%
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: 148 | Reviews: 43
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.55/5  rDev +23%
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 oberon
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
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 ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber-brown color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and caramelized malts with some brown sugar with a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar. Through the middle, some grapefruit and pineapple hops come through with some bitterness. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts and grapefruit hops and bitterness with some brown sugar and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice malt and hop balance with good hop bitterness and body to balance.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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 drrone
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch 12

A - pours a dark amber, with light head that faded quickly and left small patches if residual lace.
S- great caramel, malt, bread/biscuit and a great hop presence.
T- Really great taste, more of the nose, but a great hop resin profile. Very impressed.
M-very easy to drink with very light carbonation. Hides the abv very well.
O- fanastic taste, very smooth. This is probably my new go to barley wine. Epic rarely disappoints. Well done.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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 martyl1000
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%

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

Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
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 kagent777
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
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 Bowers-Brew
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Release 14 - Bottled September 2013 - Served @ 50deg F in Snifter

A - Medium brown with red highlights. Light tan head - ~1/2" when poured aggressively.

S - Lots of malt, candied sugar, molasses, raisins, caramel, tobacco - light hop and alcohol notes.

T/F - Brown sugar, raisin, sherry, plums - sweet/bitter finish. Slight alcohol bite - thin finish.

O - Brownish/Red Barleywine that has rich & mellow flavors with each sip. I thought this tasted better than what it's rated, but it needs a little more to make it great. I think this would be a good candidate for bourbon and oak aging. Prost!

Photo of Zorro
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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 SHODriver
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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 kawilliams81
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark copper with 1 finger tan head. Tons of spotting and lacing remains on the glass.

S- caramel, brown sugar, vanilla.

T- sweet toasted malts, caramel, and brown sugar.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very smooth.

O- good barleywine. Well balanced, sweet and smooth.

Photo of rkuhnel
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was release number 1. From the 22-oz bottle it poured a red brown color with a fat tan head and a lot of lacing The nose is roasted malta and ripe fruit .Medium body, lots of alcohol, and powerful mourhfeel. The flavor is very intense with lots of rich malt flavors balanced with flavorful hops. The finish showed a lot of fruit and some bitterness. This one appeared to have some age on it and was simply excellent.

Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy dark copper with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like strong copper and citrus zest, with lots of sweet caramel and a little honey wheat.
T: It tasted like citrus zest and orange hops, with sweet caramel and a little copper and honey wheat. It had a mostly clean and bitter aftertaste with some heat and sweetness.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice body.
D: This had a very nicely balanced scent and taste with good body. The alcohol was noticeable, so drinkability drops a bit. But age would really help mellow it out, and barrel aging would probably really benefit the flavor profile (adding a lot of complimentary complexities). There is really nothing wrong with this beer. Enjoyable barleywine.

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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 Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good take on a US barley wine. Eenough range without too hefty a hop punch, while maintaining the overall character.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Paper label with a simple light cream and soft brown range, with name of the brew and series branding . Side narrative Offers a small note about the special and limited character of the brew (1800 numbered bottles, although the number is not apparent anywhere), and encourages to check their website for more details. Notes release #1, and 10.1 % Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Hazy deep amber pour, short frothy head, moderate retention, good surface memory, and some splashes of lacing.

S - Soft fair nose, malty touches, caramel, toffee, floral touches leading to the hoppiness.

T - Flavor is long and delicate with a nice malty undercurrent punctuated with hoppy notes. Caramel, toffee, resin, pine, orange peel...

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation with a smooth emerging booze sense caressing

O - On par with a good version of a US barley wine, without an overtly aggressive hop side.

Notes: Fair offering from Epic, while nothing memorable this is a good standard.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Epic's barleywine pours a mahogany brown with a nice web of foam above it which clung to the glass as it went down. The nose is a mixture of fermented sweet malt and hop bitterness. Fruity alcohol also joins the party. The malt hits the ground running on the palate. Caramel, toffee and dark fruit are joined by citrus rind in the center, some tobacco too. The hops provide some bitterness along with warmness from the booze. Mouthfeel is robust, almost oily as it coats the palate. A fine, drinkable rendition.

Photo of alexhahn82
3.81/5  rDev +3%
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 RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep copper-red colored body with a rich, soft and creamy thick head; globs of foam and lacing sticking to the glass. Rich caramel aroma; pecan note teaser; warm bread. Honey and warm whole grain bread flavors; fruity esters; soothing hop bitterness. Medium bodied with an airy softness and delicate smoothness; semi-dry finish.

A very pleasing Scotch ale that packs a lot of pleasing surprises in its deep and complex persona. Light and airy yet exuding a deeply satisfying malt grain and nutty flavor profile.

---------------------

Additional notes: reference release #15, SLC #1190, ABV 10.2% (3/31/2015 pour date)- basically the same as my original review...rich and tasty...

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a good barleywine, squarely in the middle of english and american convention. its a deep copper color, lazy tan head on top, and an aroma of burning sugars, caramel sauce from the can, raisins, and pine hops. an odd arrangement where the malt and all its layers of sugars and grain character comes on the front end, and all of the hops, primarily the bitterness, comes on the back end, the finish, and the swallow. its a dichotomy so pronounced that the beer lacks cohesion, unity, and flow. still, i like the robustness of it all, the no holds barred approach, not afraid to chuck a bunch of hops in a traditionally sweet brew. it makes me happy in some ways, and even though the alcohol is very well hidden for such a colossal beer, this is a bomber to share. intimidating even at 11 ounces, its surprisingly light in body for how big it is, and its full of flavor. not passive beer at all, thats for sure. not my favorite example of the style out there, but a well made one.

Photo of TheDDO
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Release #14, poured into a snifter

Apperance- Pours a hazy rusty brown, looks like that rusty nail sticking out of your backyard woodshed. Starts with a finger and a half of cream colored spongy head that quickly dissipates to small bubbles around the outside edge of the beer. Leaves behind a spoty lacing.

Smell- Caramel right off the bat. As the beer warm, a citrus hoppiness develops. Almost Pale Ale like. Not your typical Barley Wine scent, which is not necessary a bad thing.

Taste- As I took the first sip, I had a hard time putting my finger on what what was there, a complex beer indeed. So I went over to Epic's website. They describe this beer as having a "dark bread" taste. That brought it home for me, I did pick up on some dark fruit, pumpernickel taste. Not bad. This beer develops well as it warms. The alcohol is well hidden, but does warm as it goes down.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and sticky at the same time. This beer coats the mouth well, allowing you to try and distinguish what exactly is going on with this brew. Very nice.

Overall- This was a good beer. I may have been expecting a bit more, but I'm not disappointed in any means. If you run across this beer, i recommend trying it. I may pick another up to age, just to see if my mind changes in a year or so.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Barley Wine from Epic Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.