Single Batch Series - Barleywine - Sebago Brewing Company

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Single Batch Series - BarleywineSingle Batch Series - Barleywine

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65 Reviews
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Reviews: 65
Hads: 142
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 7.98%
Wants: 92
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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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 142
Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Reagan1984. Served in a wine glass at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Finger of foam settles to a thin partial cap and thicker collar, with some spotty lace left behind. Hazy ruby-brown body.

S - Nice aroma, with tons of butterscotch, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and smooth bourbon notes. There's a bit of dry oak and alcohol as it warms up, but nothing out of character for 9.2%.

T - Taste isn't quite on the same level as the aroma, but it's still pretty solid. Lots of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, but a bit more rough whiskey and oak.

M - Smooth, medium body, sticky, chewy and bready, with medium-low carbonation and some light tannic dryness. Perhaps a bit of warming alcohol, but nothing excessive.

D - Well, it's the best Sebago beer I've had (although I haven't had many). Quite a deal for the listed $9 price tag. I'd happily drink this if it were local, as it's competitive with many higher profile (and priced) beers.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank Mike. This was the last beer we shared from his blind BIF box, served blind in a snifter for ticking.

Beer is brown, hazy, tan head, lazy small, no lacing, low retention, looks fine.

Aroma makes this a barleywine, strong sweet, bourbon.

Beer tastes fine but the aroma was better than the taste. The malt wins out the entire time, mild bourbon in the dry finish competing with some tannic oakiness too. Decent, probably one of the best beers of the night but that's not saying much.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber shared by torino at woodshop 5.1

Poured a dark syrupy brown with a thi head that left very little sticky lacing on the glass. Nice bourbon and caramel aromas dominate the nose with booze and brown sugar and dark fruit notes. Really boozy bourbon and caramel flavors up front with brown sugar and vanilla accents. The beer was full bodied with a low amount of carbonation that had a sweet and boozy finish. I definitely enjoy creative brewed beers like this even though it was pretty boozy. It went down pretty good considering the ABV.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber/mahogany hue with no head, just a thin band around the shoulders. Clarity falls somewhere between translucent and murky. Nose is buttery and expresses booze, bourbon and cotton candy. Taste follows nose; however, the bourbon barrel is much more prominent. Finish is slightly bitter and somewhat caustic, but not in a bad way. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps a little thin for the style, with a slighty oily texture and a mild, prickly carbonation. Finishes with some residual heat. Overall, this is a really fantastic barleywine. I'm psyched I was able to score some more bottles to cellar as I can only see this beer improving with time.

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Photo of Durge
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This comes in a proper snifter, a very dark mahogany color with a fair fizzy light tan head and modest lace. It smells like herbal hops and horshound, toffee and malt brandy, pretty complex, very nice. The taste is strong alcohol and brown bread, again somewhat brandy-like. Contrary to the note on this profile page, I believe the post at the bar was that this is actually 12% ABV. I also noted some sharp grass in the back. It feels mildly oily with very fine, tingly carbonation. I'd say this is generally a sipper but it's quite distinctive. Nice effort.

Update from 09-11-08 visit, downtown Portland;
A dark chestnut brown color with a blotchy tan head and similar lacing throughout. The aroma is sweet malt licorice, deep and luscious. The flavor brings a hardy and sharp apple and malt with plenty of alcohol warmth and merriment. It is quite sweet and tart. Pretty much a sipper in my book but it does grow on you as you move through it. Overall a similar grade to my previous taste. Very nice.
Well here's my 2011 update and what an improvement.Many of the same flavor qualities but I find this is much more balance and drinkable than my previous experience. And appearances upgrade to great lacing and a decent head. Though it remains fairly intense, this latest version is sweet but so tasty. It has a cough medicine quality, like Dr. Pepper with plenty of fruit and nutty oak bourbon ideas. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

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Photo of maximum12
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to mjg0725 for sending me this beer; I had to wipe off the drool as I watched it crawl closer on FedEx tracking. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife, who forced me to have one more beer tonight. If I never review again, you'll know I cracked open my head falling up the stairs.

The pour is old brick red, minimal carbonation befitting its status as liver-bruiser. The nose causes just a little pre-cum. Good lord. Loads of bourbon, caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt with the depth of a Coyote Ugly cameo. I didn't mean that. Fantastic.

Sebago Barleywine - Bourbon Barrel Aged should be sued for false nose advertising. Huge drop from aroma to taste. The barrel dominates, subjugates, overrides the delicate beauty flowing from aroma, as efficiently numbing as a novacaine needle to the gums. Caramel plays hide & seek, badly. Significant oak/wood emerges in the middle, tangled up with toffee, vanilla, & moonshine. Slick as butter. Thought at first this might be a chore to wade through, now I'm thinking I might need more.

This one needs warmth & love to reach its full potential. Not sure if it's the alcohol, late hour, or bad TV, but this is really growing on me. Excellent beer.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to gary for hooking up this delicacy. enjoyed from my maine brewing co wine glass.

a - brew poured a transparent caramel plum color with a thin cream colored head that dissipated rather quickly.

s - REALLY nice. big toffee and caramel with a wonderful hint of oaky bourbon. smells fantastic.

t - bourbon is much more present in the flavor (not that it is hidden in the nose mind you). the blend is really spot on though. toffee and caramel is strong and present...i'm surprised this is considered an american barley, although, not sure when this was brewed, but there is no hop presence...but i like it! really tasty.

m - smooth with a slight tingle.

o - overall, this is a sleeper. shocked you don't hear more about it. can definitely hang with the big boys and probably beat one or two in a blind taste test. worth checking out, thanks gary...really solid pull!

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Photo of gford217
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Ben for this 22oz bottle.

Pours a hazy amber brown with a small beige head that recedes quickly to a solid collar and some light delicate lacing.

Aroma is really nice, especially if you like bourbon. Along with the bourbon is some sweet vanilla. There is lots of sweet caramel malts, molasses and a hint of hops but it's mostly a sweet aroma overall.

Taste is a little harsher than the aroma with the bourbon hitting the palate hard on the first sip. The backbone is full of molasses and caramel malts with some toffee. The hops are very subtle and swept away by the booze in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy despite having the bourbon presence throughout.

This is an excellent brew, but you better be ready for the bourbon which is quite prominent in the taste. Enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.


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Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Connecticut and was so pleasantly surprised by it. Truth be told, I have not been the biggest fan of Sebago products. This is definitely an exception.

Light brown amber color, thin head that fades quickly and little/no lace.

Aroma is coconut, vanilla and sweet caramel.

I think the flavor is wonderful. Definitely sweet and the same notes from the aroma are in the flavor. Lots of coconut and vanilla. Below this is a nice sweet caramel flavor. Just a touch of warming from the ABV, but not hot at all. A bot of toastiness in the malt flavor.

A touch sticky and fairly bold.

Nice little beer and one I’ll look for again down the road.

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Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Clear, sparkling crimson-garnet body. Finger of semi-thick, dirty beige head. Some lacing. Rich, malty notes of caramel, toffee, tobacco, and rummy fruits. Woody, bourbony notes of vanilla and oak. Big and decadent and very inviting.

Toasted malt and herbal, woody hop bitterness up front. Big fruit and caramel and toffee malt sweetness balloons and takes over. Rummy fruit sweetness slowly melds with woody, tannic, vanilla, and coconut bourbon flavors near the finish. Woody, herbal hop bitterness in the finish, along with lots of lingering fruit malt, bourbon, and coconut. Warming, quite, but not hot. Full bodied with a thick, creamy feel. Very nicely done and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Florida9
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dirty light brown color. Forms just a minimal light tan head that doesn't bother sticking around long. No lacing. Very aromatic. Lots of barrel. Lots of vanilla and oak. Sweet notes. Caramel. Brown sugar. Taste is similar. Quite sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and a light pepper quality. Okay caramel and vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel lower carbonation. Minimal bitterness. A very nice BW.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber with some clarity and no head. Nose is oak forward with some tannins, vanilla, dark fruit, caramel, and plenty of bourbon. Taste is very robust with plenty of dark fruit and caramel with heavy vanilla. Medium body with low carbonation. Nice balance, mild burn, quite tasty.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Single Batch Series - Barleywine from Sebago Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.