Single Batch Series - Barleywine - Sebago Brewing Company
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +16.8%
This bottle was a late 2011/early 2012 I think
Bomber poured into my Smuttynose tulip.
A-Light brown, hazy body with moderate, off-white, bubbly head with moderate lacing
S-Lots of bourbony deliciousness. Vanilla and oak and caramel and booze. Hoppiness is existent, but I think a year in the cellar has tamed that a bit. Quite sweet smelling as well.
T-Fairly bourbon forward, despite the year on it. This is a good thing though. This beer is mega-smooth and balanced. The American hops have toned down a bit. The bourbon gives way to a vanilla, toffee, and caramel (among other things) taste that is just fantastic.
M- Medium to low carbonation. Aftertaste dissipates fairly quickly. Smooth as hell though.
O-Just outstanding. Truly a standout beer from an underrated brewery. This barley wine is up there with the Sucabas and the CW BBBWs of the world, probably even better. The next bottle is going to get drank side by side to a Sucaba. I think this one will win out. I hope Sebago makes this one again soon. I can't praise this beer enough.
03-09-2013 07:46:21 | More by xanok
4.8/5 rDev +12.1%
this is my 6th or 7th bottle of this... 9 left in the cellar, a few going out to friends, so my stock is dwindling. I looorve this beer.
pours an amber color with a sandy tan head... one or two fingers, minimal lacing. good legs.
nose is sweet caramel/toffee. Delightful. About 6 months after bottling and we've mellowed in the nose a bit.
the taste is splendid. Candied figs, bourbon, vanilla and caramel taffy. This has mellowed a bit, although it was never too hot. Hops have vanished, although I don't remember them being too strong... this is a beer I want to drizzle on vanilla bean ice cream.
No way this feels like 12.5%. 10, tops. Smooth is an understatement. Ok, maybe a bit of heat, but it works with the flavors as an accent, not a detractor. I could drink this fast, but I want to savor every drop.
Sleeper beer of the year, 2012. This one kicks fucking ass. Sebago, brew more, or else. Or else.
07-24-2012 04:37:12 | More by ShogoKawada
4.75/5 rDev +11%
date of tasting: 4/2/2013
place of tasting: Barley Vine - Bristol, CT
beer: 2011 Barleywine limted release
brewery location: Gorham, Maine
glass: mug w/appearance test in tasting glass
temperature of beer: 55F
Appearance: rich copper, quite opaque. Head pours rich and heavy
Smell: first hit: coconut and rum, not to be confused with cloyingly sweet coconut rum but like someone took some really good white rum and poured it into a coconut (kind of like the vodka and watermelon everyone used to do back in college) and let it sit for a few days. Then I get a little shot of pineapple and vanilla, the vanilla hits you like a brick once you notice it. Very faint oaky/charred wood. Butterscotch maltiness is also there in every whiff.
Taste: oh-my butterscotch, almost marshmallow-like vanilla, hops are ever so slight they just kind of dance in the background reminding you that they are there. There is a hint of fresh cut grass that kind of just lies back like it’s all lazy and whatnot.
Mouthfeel: creamy, chewy, smooth, moderately heavy bodied.
Overall Impression: So happy I got to try this beer. The bourbon barrels really add some beautiful vanilla and smoothness that is really just wonderful. The beer itself is sweet as I would expect a barleywine would be, yet its not over the top, I can have a beer or two and not feel like I just stumbled out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (though I may still be stumbling with the 12.5%abv). So this was a 2011 vintage. We are now well into 2013. I am sure it has rounded itself out and become even smoother than it was originally. I would love to have tried this when it was released just to see the difference. I am curious what flavors have changed since then. Is the butterscotch now more pronounced? Were the hops more pronounced originally? The alcohol isn’t even a little perceivable, it just kind of hits you, as Martha Stewart always says “It’s a good thing”.
Food Pairings: steak, like a ribeye charred hard with an olive oil herb dressing. Blue cheese crackers and sopprassata. strawberry shortcake with an orange bourbon cream.
04-03-2013 02:21:53 | More by dpianka
4.73/5 rDev +10.5%
Thank you Reagan1984 for this wonderful beer.
A - pours a cloudy murky brown. Beer slightly laces, and head is minimal, but long lasting.
S - oh my. There are few beers that have that aroma that grab you by the horns and pull you in. This, is one of them. So much going on in the nose. I first notice a strong prescence of barrel, and sweet whisky. A further whiff reveals some sweet fruits such as plum and strawberry oddly. Just fantastic.
T - sweet malt begins the flavor journey. I pick up hints of caramel and brown sugar. The bourbon flavor itself is a little subdued, but vanilla flavors from the barrel shine nicely. Slight oak and sugar finish the flavor profile. Alcohol is almost unnoticed.
M - creamy and smooth. Sticky mouthfeel as well. Just wonderful.
O - one of my favorite Barleywines of all time. I'm not the biggest Fan of the style either. This beer further pushes my interest into the BA Barleywines. I know I have a lot more to try, but this sets my bar. Thanks Greg.
04-24-2012 03:36:38 | More by abecall98
4.64/5 rDev +8.4%
Bomber served in a snifter. Big thanks to Davey101 for this hidden gem!
A - Pours a deep, murky reddish brown. Minimal head. Looks like a BA Barleywine ;)
S - Immediately hit with a faint smell of bourbon which dissipates into loads of caramel and brown sugar. Smells excellent!
T - Up front the bourbon barrel comes through, but in the mid and back the sweet dark fruits, caramel, and toffee take over. No bitterness to be found. Your taste buds beg you to take another sip. Outstanding stuff!
M - Moderate carbonation. No heat to be found. If I didn't know better, I would have been shocked it was 12.5%. Very drinkable.
O - This is an outstanding BA Barleywine. Probably the most underrated beer I've ever had.
03-25-2013 02:15:00 | More by Hugonaut13
4.63/5 rDev +8.2%
Had this on tap at Mikro in Hamden, CT while visiting a friend.
Pour: It was poured into a Maudite snifter. The color was dark caramel brown with a hint of amber. The head was light tan with moderate lacing.
Smell: Smells of slight sweet pineapple, caramel and hints of raisin.
Taste: Smooth sweet raisin and slight hints of caramel with a slight bourbon finish. There was mild hop character as well. Absolutely delicious.
Mouth feel: Thick with a very smooth, clean finish. Leaves you lingering and wanting for more. Nary a hint of alcohol burn.
Drinkability: Very high. I had to order another! This is a fantastic offering from Sebago. I even lucked out and found a pile of them stashed at the local store the next day! We will see how it tastes out of the bottle...and aged.
05-23-2012 16:37:08 | More by tsreynolds
4.58/5 rDev +7%
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.
10-19-2012 03:56:47 | More by davey101
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...
04-30-2010 23:36:15 | More by deltatauhobbit
4.55/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
10-26-2012 04:17:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.55/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
11-23-2013 01:50:59 | More by abriggs1
4.53/5 rDev +5.8%
Poured into a giant snifter. This one pours a dark mahogany with about an inch of rocky beige head. Nice soapy lace.
Nice rich aroma here. Boozy caramel sweetness with hints of chocolate and raisins. Hints of oak with sweet toffee rounding this out. No doubt about it this one is sweet for sure. Butterscotch and toffee on the pallet with a nice fig and raisin profile. Nice big malts with chocolate flavors in the background.
The body is full and chewy with soft carbonation.
Thanks for putting this one in barrels Sebago, I'm simply in love.
11-09-2011 03:29:41 | More by Bendurgin
4.53/5 rDev +5.8%
Bomber into a Duvel tulip. Split with another BA.
A: Translucent red-amber body under a solid cap of fine tan head. Nice lace. Attractive.
S: Smooth, rich, and supple: vanilla, oak, bourbon, and toffee. So simple, so incredibly enjoyable. I could inhale this for hours. Wow.
T: Very oaky, with vanilla and bourbon leading in to toffee and booze. Great, but a little less smooth than the impeccable aroma.
M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Fine.
O: What a terrific beer - and for only $9 a bomber! As soon as I took my first sniff of this bottle I made up my mind to buy at least a few more. This is a top-notch BBBW, plain and simple. It doesn't have any truly memorable features (like King Henry's stout nuances, Kuhnhenn BBBW's crazy earthiness, etc), but it delivers spiritous sweetness with the best of them. Everyone should seek out this beer, and Sebago should change their minds about the whole "single batch" thing.
01-22-2012 22:11:12 | More by woosterbill
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.
10-21-2012 01:41:26 | More by warnerry
Single Batch Series - Barleywine from Sebago Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.