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Single Batch Series - Barleywine - Sebago Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

65 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 143
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 91
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
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 143
Photo of abecall98
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

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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.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of redleaves
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour almost headless, dark caramel with a touch of red. Nose starts off wood, caramel, malt, butterscotch. A closer whif does bring up some nail polish and cat food. Don't sniff too hard. Boozy, taste is light sweet, butterscotch, caramel, barrel, char, touch of leaf, maybe green pepper, black pepper. Edges on cloying but bites off the end. Thick on the tongue but enough bite and texture. Abv is there in the taste but that is alright, thank goodness for the barrel, I feel like it wouldn't have done so well. Very nice. Just don't breathe in too hard!

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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 KevSal
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

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Photo of cbeer88
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into DFH snifter.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown floats into the glass, finger and a half of off-white head. Lacing is very spotted and head has nice thin staying power.

Smell: Toffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel malt. Very nice.

Taste: Wow. Impressively well blended and balanced with toffee, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar. The bourbon is in your face and provides a bit of heat, but it's really not over the top at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full bodied and chewy. Carb is adequate.

Drinkability: I'm questioning if this is really as low as 9.2%, but if that's accurate, then bomber down the hatch… so smooth and drinkable.

Overall: This is a stunner. Sebago makes some solid (if unspectacular) beers and definitely flies under the radar. I've had some of the barrel-aged one-offs at the brewpub before, but this is their best beer, and also one of the best sub-$10 barrel aged bombers of anything I've ever had. I only picked up two bottles - wish I had more!

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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 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 Ungertaker
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A- copper with minimal head and a sticky lacing

S- toffee, vanilla, bourbon, astringent alcohol, cane sugar

T- pretty much the same as the aroma, yet much smoother than anticipated with the only alcohol presence being a slight booze in the bourbon flavor. The bourbon is definitely forward in the taste.

M- carbonation is forward with a medium mouthfeel. The astringency is felt, even with the lack of presence in the taste.

O- stevefinny sent this bottle to me in the secret Santa BIF; what a pleasant surprise it was. I have read that this is a $9 bomber. If it is, it is 100% worth it! I have paid much more for beers that pale in comparison to this. I would love to get another bottle to see what a year would do for this (if I could hold into it that long!).

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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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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 andrewinski1
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. There is a small bubbly head atop a dark red amber body.

The aroma has a lot of vanilla and some oak.

The taste starts out with a slight bit of malt sweetness that reveals barrel notes of wood and vanilla. There is a slight bourbon bite at the end. I even get a touch of cocoa.

The body is medium with a small amount of sharp carbonation.

This is pretty good. I will drink again.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a ruddy dark red with a decent light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has wonderful notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, figs, and brown sugar.

T: The taste is similar to the nose with an interesting hop presence as well. Other flavors that stand out are vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar coated figs.

M: The feel is a bit on the thinner side of medium but it's creamy.

O: The hops in this one try to take over the taste but the barrel flavors still shine through. Pretty good stuff but not the best BW I've had.

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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 silentjay
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a deep mahogany brew with a smallish light tan head that settles at one finger and laces well.

veryyy bourbon heavy aroma. kind of an odd peaty smokiness that would lead me toward thinking this was aged in scotch barrels instead of bourbon, but its obvious the bourbon barrels used (not sure of the brand) were very charred. some caramel sweetness and grains.

again, bourbon heavy. charred wood dominates, with some vanilla trying to sweeten things up. boozy, sweet, a touch fruity. the vanilla/coconut bourbon flavors come through even more as it warms with the charred portion being toned down a bit. The barleywine aspects of this are subdued, which is kind of the antithesis of a barleywine.

thinner body than expected for the style with subtle carbonation but tons of heat left after the swallow.

I like bourbon. I like bourbon-heavy beers, but this one just misses the mark for me. Its parts don't quite mesh well into a beer that I'd seek out.

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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 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 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 celticfutblclub
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 bottle poured into new belgium glass
big thanks to Reagan1984 for this one!

A - nice chestnut colored body with just a hint of light getting through on the edges. off white head about a finger thick. decent retention and good lacing.

S - bourbon, oak, raisins, pine. it seems to be well balance nose wise maybe the bourbon and oak are a little more pronounced.

T - strong bourbon taste upfront. piny hops lie behind with hints of oak raisins and chocolate.

M - medium bodied with medium carbonation. good astringency from the hops. very very boozy far more than the 9.2% would lead you to believe.

O - its a really good bourbon barleywine. i think bringing out the other flavors a bit more and this would be a superb brew.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-clouded bright red color with a fingers worth of head that fizzles away quickly

S: Now this is a great smelling beer! Plenty of bourbon, vanilla, oak, alcohol, malts, and sugars. Straight-forward, but definitely potently awesome

T: Continues from the smell, big bourbon flavors followed by oak and vanilla. For how high the alcohol is, it is hidden well (that is, if you discount the big bourbon flavors). It's almost like someone dropped a double shot of bourbon into the beer and took the alcohol out of the mix. Definitely enjoyable if you like bourbon

M: Medium body with low-moderate carbonation

O: This is a really good bourbon barrel-aged barley wine. The $8 bomber is definitely worth it, especially, like I said before, if you like bourbon. Pick some up if you stumble across it!

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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 Bendurgin
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from 2010.

Pours hazy amber with a tight, beige head of a quarter inch. A partial skim coat and short streaks of lacing for the duration of the glasss.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of bourbon and a hint of malt way behind. Proofing dough, vanilla, nuts, toffee, caramel, and booze follow through.

On the thinner side of medium bodied with a crispish and slightly tacky mouthfeel.

Bourbon, caramel, sweet malt, vanilla, and chipped toffee start the palate. Hopping is subdued and a trace of bitterness is just enough to take the edge off the sweetness.

Finishes with lingering boozy heat, plump malt, and fading vanilla.

Well, if you want a beer with plenty of Bourbon in it you've found it. For me the malt, hops, and body need to be shored up to balance out the massive Bourbon character.
I still would have no problem cellaring several of these to see where they would go.
Nice to see another big beer come out of Maine.

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