Small Batch Series No. 3: English Style Barleywine - Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling

Not Rated.
Small Batch Series No. 3: English Style BarleywineSmall Batch Series No. 3: English Style Barleywine

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BA SCORE
78
okay

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 27.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This vintage ale undergoes a 3 hour boil to create a complex layer of malt character including caramel, toffee, ripe fruit, and leather. The floral and earth-toned Kent Goldings hops add a soft background of spice giving depth to the malt flavors and providing an overall balance. It has been aged for 6 months in oak barrels to allow time for this big beer to mature and mellow. At 10% ABV, it’s made to be laid down like a fine wine. If stored properly this barleywine should keep well for upwards of 10 years. Drink one now, save more for later!

(Beer added by: DRyan on 11-10-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to womencantsail for sharing this one at GRG1313’s tasting.

Bottled 10/8/12.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with fruit, acidic, and woody aromas. Taste is much the same with a Brett-like flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is funky and tasty.

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.38/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

375ml brown glass bottle with blue label and waxed-over pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local bottle shop for $6.99 USD and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I had Small Batch Series #4 last night and it wasn't very good. It was also a gusher, so I'll be expecting this to gush as well, and will side-pour it very slowly. Bottled 10/09/12 - making this exactly one year old. Reviewed as an English Barleywine because Ranger Creek's website identifies it as such. 10% ABV confirmed. "...Aged for 6 months in oak barrels."

Served cold - straight from me fridge.

As I remove the wax, the cap is revealed - and it's pretty rusted. I'm starting to get concerned.

Removal of the cap yields a brief hiss of carbonation. No liquid surges out.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Even slow pouring yields almost entirely foam; the head is a good eight fingers wide out of a possible nine. White in colour. Decent creaminess and thickness. Has a soft complexion. No lacing at all clings to the sides of the glass; this doesn't have "legs." Head retention is good - about 7-8+ minutes - but I suspect this is more from overcarbonation than careful brewing.

Body colour is a murky hazy nontransparent translucent copper-orange of below average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Not unique or special.

Sm: Wet cardboard, stale biscuit malt, light acetic character, vague wood (with none of the evocative character of oak), light sourness/funkiness, light sour apple, and a generic maltiness - but nowhere near the malty sweetness you'd expect from an English Barleywine. No hop character, alcohol, or yeast character is detectable. Infection is suspected. I really want more from the oak. Nothing mentioned in Ranger Creek's description is emerging here (No: caramel, toffee, ripe fruit, leather, or spice). The difference between the aroma and Ranger Creek's description definitely indicates infection.

An inoffensive aroma of average strength. I'm wary.

T: Definite bacterial sourness along with some fruity notes - especially sour apple. Has a light doughy yeast character as well. Biscuit malt, brown malt, caramalts. Vague oak, but it's not evocative or rich; if you're looking for a good oak-aged barleywine, look elsewhere. No toffee, leather, or spice. Very light acetic character. English hops lend some ripe fruit notes. Has some alcohol presence, but I wouldn't call it boozy or hot. Fair complexity. No real subtlety. Not at all gestalt. Wet cardboard on the finish.

To be frank, I absolutely think it's infected. But the beer isn't a complete train wreck; the sourness isn't bad. Sure, it's an absolute mess - there's no balance or cohesion at all - but it doesn't taste as off as it very well could.

Somewhat shallow depth of flavour for the style. Average duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour.

Horrible for an English Barleywine, but merely subpar when viewed outside of any style. If we view it as a sour, it's merely bad - not awful.

Mf: The texture is as much as a mess as the the taste. Rough at some points, harsh at others, dry, coarse, smooth, and wet - it's hard to describe since it isn't uniform. Certainly far from pleasant or refreshing. Overcarbonated, but not biting. It's a bit buttery in the second act. Doesn't suit the flavour profile at all, except by matching its chaos.

Not soft, oily, boozy, hot, or astringent.

Dr: Having had a couple of these small batch series beers now, I can say with confidence that the cats at Ranger Creek's barrel aging program do not have their shit together. This is a grand failure of a purported English Barleywine, and it's only incidental that it's at all drinkable. Even then, it's subpar. Unacceptable at $6.99 USD a pop. I certainly wouldn't get it again, and I'll be wary of Ranger Creek's other barrel aged beers in the future. Too bad I have a couple others in me fridge. I'd strongly recommended avoiding this one, and my view of Ranger Creek is getting more and more negative. Terrible for the targeted style.

D+

Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -40.7%

Photo of Lare453
1/5  rDev -70.3%

Photo of champ103
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just about every bottle I have had from Ranger Creek has been off in some way. If not outright infection, always something else. Lets see how this goes.

A: At first crack of the cap this is a small gusher. Not very encouraging. Foamy white head pours out. After a minute the head recedes to a small ring. Light lace is left. The color is incredibly murky and unpleasant orange/reddish.
S: Man, there is a lot going on here. I am not sure if I like it though. At first a huge acidic/sour fruit aroma. Sour apple, peach even. Light toasted malt and toffee. Peppermint and sweet hard candy. A lot going on here that I can't pick out, and does not mesh well for me.
T: Follows the nose. Just so much going on, it overwhelms the senses. A sour and acidic bite up front. Mostly apple skins. Very sweet, hard candy like flavors. Buttery malt peaks through after this warms. Nothing is really bad, just all over the place.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Though a bit thin for my tastes. The alcohol is noticeable, though not a big deal. Overall, I am not really enjoying the bottle.

I can't say there is anything "wrong" with this. I can't tell if there is an infection or this the way it is suppose to be. Though like everything else from Ranger Creek this is not as advertised. At worst, infection. At best, just a messy messy beer that has no structure.

Photo of BGsWo22
1/5  rDev -70.3%

Photo of BMart
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of gtermi
4.38/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a little bit of a darker golden body with a decent head that slowly fades away and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S: I am getting a decent amount of sweet malt, alcohol and a little bit of tartness.

T: Wow, this doesn't seem like a Barleywine at all... It's very sour and and almost has a wild ale type flavor. I actually prefer this over your typical barleywine.

M: There is a little bit of crispness on the back of the throat and as it goes down. It does go down with ease.

O: I dont know if this is infected, but dear god I do love the sourness that this beer delivers. I grabbed a few other bottles to see if they become more sour with age.

Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of dfhhead25
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of wagenvolks
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of MacQ32
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of duff247
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of CTJman
1.75/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of inlimbo77
4.23/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml, Bottled 10/10/12
HF wine glass

A: Pours a deep reddish orange color. Very cloudy. Lots of carbonation. Big two fingers of fluffy white head. Leaves some sticky lacing. Alcohol feet.

S: Smells pretty pleasant. Some slight fruity aromas first. Pulling those English hops. Digging in, get some vanilla/oak character. Some yeasty notes.

T: On the tip of the tongue, you get a bite of bitterness. Fruity flavor. Middle of the mouth you get some of that oak character. Some buttery vanilla flavors. Maybe a slight infection, but it plays well with the other flavors. Dry finish. Booze hidden nicely.

M: Big medium leading to full, with the malts. Easy to drink.

Photo of Danobold
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of wtkphoto
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of browniewithnuts
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of cnbrown313
4.36/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a cork and cage bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours dark orange / amber in color with a small off white head that fades and leaves very nice lacing.

S - I was expecting the typical malty notes of an English barleywine, but that's not what you pick up on the nose at all. Funky, sour, barrel aged notes followed by a little bit of sweetness.

T - Wow! Strong sour / lacto taste up front followed by a sweet finish. You get some really nice barrel aged characteristics in there too from the oak as well as some barnyard funk. The ABV is almost completely hidden too. I had to go back and make sure this was really a 10% ABV beer.

M - The mouthfeel is very light and crisp for a barleywine with vine champagne-like carbonation.

O - I absolutely loved this beer, but it was nothing like what I was expecting. If you don't like sour / funky beers and you are looking for a traditional barleywine, this is not for you. I would really like to see what this beer tastes like after aging for a bit too.

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Small Batch Series No. 3: English Style Barleywine from Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
78 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.