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Single Batch Series - Barleywine - Sebago Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Single Batch Series - BarleywineSingle Batch Series - Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.18%
Wants: 86
Gots: 28 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Sebago Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is a blend of Old World influence and modern day ingredients and technique. Domestic malt and distinctly American hops produce this rich, full bodied ale. On top of it all, this beer was barrel-aged in charred oak bourbon barrels for over eight months. The end result is an unfiltered dark ruby colored ale with very intense aromatics.

60 IBU

(Beer added by: barleywinebrewer on 05-01-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Note, this is the bottled Single Batch Series that weighs in at 12.5%... not sure why the BA entry currently says 9.2%.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch, frothy, offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving a couple islands of lacing. Pours a hazy dark red and leaves sweeping lacing.

Smell: Bourbon and oak, with a rich cake-like aroma. Some molasses and booziness comes out with warmth. Has some nutty hints, like pistachio. Not too complex, but very inviting.

Taste: Thick caramel and vanilla oak--I'm sold immediately. Some chocolate and lots of toffee. Bourbon barrel influence is strongly reminiscent of Bourbon County stout and its deep pastry and caramel character. Decent hop bitterness and a surprisingly dry finish. Leaves less of an aftertaste than a lingering suggestion of bourbon and oak.

This is a good beer. Lots of pastry like malt depth without any cloying sweetness, some spicy bourbon notes, and a strong vanilla American oak presence. 12.5%ABV? I would believe 6%, the beer is that smooth and hides it alcohol that well. Slight warmth in the finish is the only indication of its ABV. Hop bitterness comes with a slightly ashy flavor that works for me.

I've had deeper barleywines, but the barrel aging really takes this over the top. It's very well done, and the base beer is obviously good.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied / light side of full bodied. Mild carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: This is the first Sebago beer I've had after seeing their bottles here and there over the years, and I have to say that I'm impressed. Finely crafted, well thought out, with a barrel influence that approaches Goose Island or Firestone Walker quality.

Despite the bold and rich flavors, this beer is dangerously drinkable. I picked it up on a whim ($9 for this kind of beer? Excellent), and I'm very glad I did.

Pahn, Nov 05, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev 0%

Picked up a bottle of this at Tully's the other day. After tasting it, I'll be back for more. In a tulip glass the beer was a deep reddish brown, kind of claret colored. It had a very scant head. Aroma of toffee and bourbon, with a hint of vanilla. Great taste of toffee, oak, and bourbon. The 9% ABV was noticeable but not intrusive. An incredibly smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable.

lordofthewiens, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Bottle received via trade with woosterbill. Thanks Will!

A - Pours a beautiful clear deep amber with a half finger of tan head. Not much head retention, and only small spots of lacing.

S - Smell is a harmonious blend of caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak and some dark fruits. A bit of noticeable alcohol in the aroma, but not distracting.

T - Again, lots of caramel and toffee, with some dark dried fruits, faint hop bitterness, some vanilla and oak. Finshes with a pretty significant oak component that is quite drying. Very nice.

M - Medium/full mouthfeel starts off slightly sweet, but oak tannins soon dominate and lead to a very dry finish.

O - This is an excellent barrel-aged barleywine and the first offering I have had from Sebago. It isn't quite in the class of King Henry, but easily one of the most enjoyable barleywines I've had. Over time, the barrel taste gets a bit too strong, but I would love to have this again.

warnerry, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

mctizzz, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of PressFastF0rward
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

PressFastF0rward, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of alamode
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

alamode, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -6.5%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of distichlis
4.28/5  rDev 0%

I don't think I could have chosen a better beer for my first review. Let me first note that the label that states "aged in bourbon barrels" is an apt description of the ale contained therein. Pours with a slightly sweet and pungent bourbon scent. Beautiful dark brown color, and the taste to back up the aroma. If you enjoy the occasional small batch bourbon as I do, this is a truly exceptional beer with similar flavors, mouthfeel, and scent. I can honestly say I've never had any beer like this before; not that I've never had beer which was aged in bourbon barrels before, but none have ever been of this caliber. If you like good bourbon (wild turkey does NOT count!) and good ales, give this a try. This is definately a sipper. It's not that I didn't thoroughly enjoy this brew, but I thought the 24oz. bottle was a little overpowering for one person to drink w/o food.

I'll be headed back to Tully's beer and wine in Wells, ME for several more bottles. The $9-odd price tag for a standard 24 ounce "big bottle" is well worth it. I hope to make it to Sebago's brew pub in South Portland (or Scarborough (it's on the town line and I never can tell just which town it's in) to give this a try on tap if it's available.

distichlis, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of brian23456
5/5  rDev +16.8%

brian23456, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%

A big thanks to HopStoopid120 for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a nice ruddy mahogany color. About a finger of slight tan head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Heavy vanilla, toffee, and caramel. Slight bourbon and oak. Very nice.

Taste – Wow. The creamy vanilla and bourbon flavors come up front. Then comes the oak and legitimate real toffee flavor mixed with just the faintest of dark cocoa. Finishes with caramel and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel – A very smooth, creamy medium body. Medium to low carbonation that is spot on.

Overall – Well hell. This is one of the better extra’s I have ever received in relation to taste. A fantastic barleywine and honestly one I will seek more out of.

SpdKilz, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of bonez05404
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

bonez05404, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of blackkristos
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

I was really pleasantly surprised by how excellent this is. I had seen it on the board, but I am normally not much of a fan of Barlywine. After a bit of good selling by the waitress, I gave it a go.

A - A nice red color with very little white head.

S - certainly caramel. So much so that I thought it may be too sweet

T - I found it not as sweet as it smelled, but the caramel was indeed strong.

M - Full body with soft carbonation. The sweetness is not quite so prominent.

D - A great sipping beer served in a very nice snifter. I did not have another, but would have if not for the 2 beers previous.

blackkristos, May 10, 2008
Photo of scubahood
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

scubahood, May 23, 2012
Photo of hockeypuck
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

hockeypuck, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of jmarsh123
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%

Thanks to jamesb7 for the bottle!

Pours murky mahogany with a finger of beige head fading into a wisp leaving excellent legs down the glass.

Smells of sweet toffee with some mild hoppiness. Not a whole lot of bourbon on the nose.

Straight malty. Loads of sweet toffee and caramel. Again a little less hoppy than the typical American Barleywine. Closer akin to the English style. Finishes a little boozy and hot with the bourbon.

Pretty thick mouthfeel and mild carbonation.

Fairly solid beer, but the bourbon comes out a bit hot near the end. Good flavors and a good beer, but I think some time may do this well.

jmarsh123, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%

From their limited 22oz bottles.

I had a conversation with one of the peeps at Sebago and they said this recipe differed from the original barleywine they put on-tap a couple years ago. Not quite sure, but I don't think their first batch was barrel aged either, whereas this version was aged in bourbon barrels for at least 8 months. I've had the new version on-tap a few occasions now but I've decided to review the bottled product.

Pours a deep copper/amber color with a thin wispy head, slight tan color to it, leaves a cap on it for pretty much the entire time.

Smell is hugely aromatic, I'm talking a huge caramel malt presence with pronounce bourbon notes, it's not hot or overwhelming but makes itself known, bit of vanilla and other dark fruit, the bourbon really complements and just lends that extra bit of complexity.

Taste is smooth and creamy, I feel a bit of the strength in the aftertaste but it isn't a huge burn, more like a warming sensation but it does become more noticeable as the beer warms up, the caramel melds very nicely with a bit of bourbon, not a bourbon bomb in any regard.

The barrel aging really did wonders with this barleywine, I'm not sure what else changed in the recipe, if anything at all, either way it's a marked improvement. I can see this being even better with some more age on it. Guess I'll need to go grab a few more bottles to hold onto, the wait was definitely worth it. Guess I'll have to bug Kai about something other than this now...

deltatauhobbit, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -6.5%

HopsHopenstein, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of oline73
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. This was opened at a BA Barleywine tasting.

The beer pours a cloudy red amber color. This one is sweet enough with a hint of hops. This was one of the better balanced beers we had that night. There is a slight tart note in the mix as well. I'm getting some caramel and a grapefruit peel bitterness.

oline73, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of Etan
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Sent to me by the generous Valdieu2. 2010 vintage.

A: Pours an opaque reddish brown with a small off-white head. Tiny bit of lacing. Generic barleywine look.

S: Nose comprised of soft mushed dark fruit (raisin, fig), brown bread malt and sugar, slight sweet caramel.

T: Assertive dark dried fruit, sugar-coated, bourbon-laced. Fig, raisin, banana bread, big caramel and toffee, smoothed out by a bit of solid oak and smooth vanilla. The liquor is there but doesn't overwhelm the malt profile. The alcohol shows itself in a brief flash, but then fades into the sweetness of the beer.

M: Nice, soft body. Still a good tingle of carbonation on it.

O: This is definitely up there with the big ones. Really quite smooth.

Etan, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of KevSal
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%

huge thanks to Pahn for this gem. man hes sent me a lot of awesome beers and this is the first one i finally review? wtf! Evan needs some recognition!

extra he sent along in a trade. 22oz bomber into 2 snifter

a- pours out a deep orange hue, very light in color for a ba barelywine. small tiny head that dissapears quickly. very clear, and the carbonation is noticeable.

s- holy smokes! as soon as i cracked this one the banquet of vanila and toffe filled the room. very impressive, immediately reminds me more of a ba scotch ale, think backwoods bastard. lots of sweetness and bourbon vanilla. slight alc faintly on the back end.

t- yum this one follows the nose closely. tons of great bourbon character with out the alch at all. this barelywine compliments the bourbon well. im really enjoying this one. very similar to backwoods bastard.

m- medium to thick bodied with maybe a touch too much carbonation, nothing a swirl doesnt fix.

o- wow what a great surprise! this one is very well executed. lots of the flavors i enjoy. looking forward to trying more single batches. again it very similar to backwoods, i think this is exactly what i was hoping from ba full boar to put devils canyon on the map, they need to take notes.

thanks again Evan! youve got me in wee heaven!

KevSal, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of calcnerd
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

calcnerd, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of Massbmx
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Massbmx, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4/5  rDev -6.5%

I first heard about this last year on this site and wanted to try it but did not manage to get into portland when it was available. This trip netted 2 glasses of this nice barleywine.

A - rich amber red color, touch of orange at the edges with a soft off white head which quickly settles to a light ring around the edge
S - caramel malts, light citric hops dominate. Tough to tell too much as we were in the bar area with lot's of aromas in the air.
T - crisp light citric hops with a complimentary caramel malt backing. Not over the top with the hops but enough to say not an EBW.
M - medium full body, nice soft carbonation, some heat, good finish.
D - I went back for seconds. Really nice sipper on tap! Sadly, no bottles to go.

barleywinebrewer, May 01, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%

On-tap 12/11/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery red color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramel, fruits, hearty malts, some hops and a touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out very creamy for the style and with candy-like sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. The malt character is hearty and there’s a subdued but complementary hops presence that creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good Barleywine worth drinking for as long as you can handle it.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%

Part of Blind BIF 6. Thanks to Brez07. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a moderately-dark brown with a thin off-white collar and a touch of a spotty lacing. The nose brings through quite a bit of bourbon and some light fruit. Heavy sweetness. Flavor has a good dosing of bourbon and some sweetness. Light oak. Dry tannins in the finish. Some booze. Lots of bourbon and not heavy enough to be a stout, so my guess is a bourbon barleywine.

Thorpe429, Jan 07, 2012
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Single Batch Series - Barleywine from Sebago Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.