Single Batch Series - Barleywine - Sebago Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 7.94%
Wants: 93
Gots: 31 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sebago Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: barleywinebrewer on 05-01-2008

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
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 65
Reviews by WorldWideStout:
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Dajtai007 who, as a fellow maltmaven brother, felt that I needed to try this.

A: A lovely burnished copper, translucent body. Not much head, but hey, it's a friggin' barleywine.

S: A delightful toffee and vanilla scent is predominant. Interestingly, I also detect some subdued tropical fruit notes, which in combination with the strong malts remind me of a wheatwine. There may be a bit of spice from the barrel aging in there as well.

T: The start is the hardest part to describe. It is sweet, but it somehow hides in the back of my mouth so that I can't describe it that well. In the middle, the rich malts come in, giving me those delightful butterscotch and toffee notes which have made me such a fan of this style. A bit of tropical fruits, spice from the barrel aging, and a touch of heat come in towards the finish. Not much of an aftertaste.

M: Smooth and just the right heaviness, so that while feeling full, I don't have to push myself to keep taking sips.

D: For a barleywine, I would say pretty good. I absolutely would not drink another bomber of this, but I think I could still enjoy a few sips.

Delightful. Not quite world class, as the taste didn't have the depth, but a delicious beer that any fans of this style would very much enjoy sipping. Though I did taste a bit of wood, I didn't really get much in the way of bourbon. The alcohol level was barely detectable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into snifter

A: fairly good clarity, brownish red tint not much head but soapy quality to it

S: butterscotch, toffee, vanilla

T: very similar to the nose you can get a rush of hops but it is crushed by the vanilla, toffee quite quickly can taste the alcohol decent amount of heat a little nutty on the end and a little bit of a sourish aftertaste

M: tingly lays on the tongue a bit but not syrupy

O: interesting and impressive the look with that amazing clarity had me thinking this was going to be tasteless but it's amazing love it with the toffee and vanilla the hops are very dialed down or the barrel has overwhelmed them quite impressively except for the little bit of heat this beer is amazing

Photo of distichlis
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of blackkristos
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of oline73
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of Etan
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of KevSal
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with Stopper. Poured into a snifter at room temp the beer pours a slightly hazy chestnut hue with minimal beige head. The head fades to an edge layer and wispy islands rather quickly after the pour. Aroma is vanilla and bourbon, some caramel and brown sugar. I dont get any real hop hits and the booze is also well hidden.
First sip reveal an average body with silky smooth texture and very mild rolling carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt bourbon and brown sugar. I get a little booze towards the end of each sip. I still dont get hops and the beer is malty and tasty. Reminds me more of an old ale as a style, but a yummy brew nonetheless.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

thanks to surge1311 for trading me a bottle!

poured into tulip glass.

bottle date 10/20/2011.

Appearance: copper bodied beer with a light reddish hue. Almost 2 fingers of light tan head that leaves a nice sticky lace on the glass just a little better than spotty lace.

Smell: dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. It smells a little bit boozey, tannic, and vinious.

Taste: dark fruits(mostly figs and dates), dry and woody oak, vanilla, toasty coconut, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toffee, mild leather and tobacco notes. The bourbon is well integrated into the malt profile. Such nice balance and complexity!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. This beer is super smooth mellow, and creamy. I think that this vintage has an ABV of 12.5% and it drinks like its 8 to 9%. Not a hint of booze!

Overall: This is a really great beer. Its doesnt happen too often that you find a really awesome shelf beer that has both quality and a great price point. This beer really evolved as it got warmer. Honestly, this beer is at its best once its above cellar temperature, dont even bother putting this beer in the fridge. A real class act beer here, just a showstopper!

Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a khaki, three-finger head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Almost clear deep amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light bourbon nose, flavor is clover and bourbon, higher ABV is hidden. Dry finish. $9.50 for a 22oz bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to andrewinski1 for this one!

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

When the garnet was first forged by the hands of the gods, they were confident that nothing could match its chromatic beauty. Strangely, though, their foresight has been proven to have been quite weak in this area. Case in point: Sebago Single Batch Barleywine. The pour's divine combination of rich browns and hearty reds apes the garnet's majesty perfectly (or, is it the other way 'round...?). Hell, I'd make a ring out of a solid form of this barleywine, I tell you what. Mirroring this lovely amalgam is the nose, which sweetly combines a sharp hoppy pine with a rich caramel maltiness, while throwing in some toffee and molasses for good measure. Ah, the generosity... When the tongue gets hold of this nectar, molasses, maple syrup, caramel, light smoke, and a hint of oak blitz from up front. Following quickly thereafter a sharp caramel leads the hop brigade, bringing along a nicely harsh bittersness, a piney citrus as sharp as the bitterness, and an intimation of lemon. It all meshes together in the mouth as it coats the tongue below very well, thick and juicy, yet somehow smooth enough to preclude malingering. Dionysus be praised, the gods have another brew to keep by their cloudy sides.

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a finger or so worth of off-white head.

S: A nice note of caramel, toffee, and burnt sugar up front. The barrel is subtle, but does provide a nice vanilla note that blends nicely with the sugary characteristics of the beer.

T: Quite a bit of caramel and burnt sugar up front along with a touch of alcohol. Not too much in the way of fruitiness, but some nice barrel and bourbon notes.

M: Medium bodied with a pretty decent level of carbonation for a barrel aged barleywine.

D: A very nice beer indeed. I was looking forward to trying this one and it did not disappoint.

Photo of davey101
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. 2011 vintage. I grabbed a few more bottles. One of them was legible enough on the printed neck date to read "Bottled 10 28 11"

A - Very clear dark red body. Pour yields a dirty and creamy khaki head with large bubbles. Light lacing, but thick alcohol legs.

S - Candied raisins, toffee, brown sugar, oak, and some light vanilla. Very smooth and warming, The bourbon presence is rather light but provides a very subtle contribution to some solid english style barley wine notes, No hop presence what so ever.

T - Rich dark fruits, caramel and toffee, brown sugar and very light piney hops. This is amazingly delicious. The bourbon is again rather light but present in some faint oak and vanilla notes.

M - Medium bodied with a low level of carbonation. Lets talk about the alcohol content. 12.5%...I had no idea. Its just so smooth, there is literally no alcohol presence.

O - This beer is beyond impressive. Zero hype, reasonable price, and a shelf beer. I honestly think it can go head to head against the titans of barrel aged barley-wines (King Henry, Abacus, Naked Evil, etc). It probably wouldn't beat them out, but it sure as hell would give them a scare. Furthermore, its refreshing to see a beer sit in a barrel for only three months versus a year or so. The bourbon notes are balanced and subtle. Perfection, honestly.

Photo of Beerandboards
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter. Bottled on date is unreadable, but I assume its a 2012.

A - kind of a light brown sugar type brown. Minimal white/tan head that revives with a swirl. Leaves slight to moderate lacing.

S - lots of vanilla, caramel, sweet smelling toasty notes.

T - Starts out a little hot. Loads of toasted marshmallow type tastes, vanilla and caramel. Hop bitterness at the end. Not terribly complex, but tasty nonetheless. As it warms, the flavors open up and mellow out the heat.

M - A little too thin for me. Carbonation is a little above medium, and maybe a little prickly.

O - My original plan had been to age this one. Then I decided to go by the rule of, if you only have one, taste it fresh. At first, my thought was I should have let it sit for a while, the heat and the bitterness seemed like it could use some age. However, I think this may be a good one to do fresh. Its not real complex, so I think age might make it a little thin. Plus, overall, its a pretty tasty beverage. Not quite top notch, but thoroughly enjoyed.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 10.18.12.

A - Pours a dark, cloudy and fizzy brown with a very thin light tan head that moves to the edges quickly.

S - Sweet dark fruit, carmel, and some booze.

T - Toffee, carmel, vanilla, coconut. Amazing.

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body. A nice sweet finish.

O - Great layers and falvors. Really enjoyed this one.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared tonight by Mike, I think, Thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a slightly hazy deep golden/amber color with a smallish off white head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Smells really sweet with lots of caramel and brown sugar, a fair amount of light sweet fruit, a bit of ethanol, and hints of oak and bourbon. The flavor is quite sweet with sugary caramel and light sweet fruits along with a solid shot of vanilla oak and bourbon. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Nice barleywine, if not a bit on the sweet side. Some age should do wonders for this brew.

Photo of abriggs1
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

When I put this beer down three years ago in 2010, I knew it would turn into something special. I've never been so happy to be so right! I loved this beer fresh, but three years in Sebago's bourbon barrel aged barley wine is easily the best barrel aged barley wine I've ever had.

Deep rich toffee with a vanilla and burnt caramel finish. The bourbon barrel aging really comes out in force here. Even my belches have hits of awesomeness. Fresh, this beer tasted like a barley wine. Aged three years, it's just like an old ale.

Sebago has outdone itself with this fabulous offering. I hope they decide to brew it again because they've hit the nail on the head with this one.

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Single Batch Series - Barleywine from Sebago Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.