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Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine - Coronado Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brandy Barrel Aged BarleywineBrandy Barrel Aged Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

31 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 86
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 41
Gots: 18 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Coronado Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 08-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 86
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Jerz and Vacax Halloween bottle share. Sorry I dont know the screen name of the gentleman who brought it.

Look: Pours a deep mahogany color has a 1/8 inch white head and no real retention

Smell: Notes of brandy and oak with a bit of toffee

Taste: The beer starts of like a typical barleywine with lots of malt toffee and caramel. It has some dark fruits that show up in the middle of the beer but for me the winner is the back end of the beer where the brandy character really comes through and shines and it is absolutely fantastic

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Overall: I really really enjoyed this beer. I thought everything about it was on point with the flavor really being the winner for me. Definitely would love to get my hands on more of this and I highly recommend giving this a try

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Photo of djaeon
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a syrupy brown with little head and spotty lacing.

S: Molasses, maple, fig.

T: Dark fruits, maple syrup, light brandy flavors. Absolutely delicious!

M: Velvety smooth. Odd for a barleywine, but fits this beer perfectly. A little viscous. Slightly boozy. Love it.

O: I really hope I'm able to get more of this! I have a new favorite barleywine!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this brew at the Stone brewery outdoor bar. Served at 8 oz in a tulip snifter on draft. The beer arrives a clear chestnut hue with some ruby highlights and almost no foam or head.
The aroma is rich and malty with some ripe fruit or apricot and caramel and toffee. Pretty sweet aroma with maybe just a little boozy hit. I dont get any real assertive hop notes which is a little surprising for a west coast barleywine.
The first sip reveals a slightly oily textured average to larger body with minimal, spacious carbonation. The beer is sticky on my lips after each sip and definitely coats my palate as I drink the beer.
Flavor is sweet and malty with toffee and caramel and again some fruitiness. I think apricot fits here as well. The booze is amazingly well hidden making this a sneaky beer that should be sipped, but wont force you to do so. Hops are not a focus here and I think I get a little bit of pine and general vegetal background, but nothing in your face hoppy.
Very easy to drink and very enjoyable for this malty beer guy. I would recommend this beer to folks that like big beers. I docked the appearance only for minimal if any head retention from the pour. Give it a shot.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Muddy dark orange with purple and ruby highlights near the edges. The head is very thin and off-white, and eventually leaves the glass covered in sticky, oily residue and small dots of bubbles.

Complex, evolving, and sweet aroma consisting of caramel and toffee (lots of burnt sugar aromas), sweet brandy, vanilla, earth, wood. Complex, sweet--divine!

The flavor follows the aroma pretty similarly, though the brandy presence isn't as prominent in flavor as it is in the aroma, but the wood and earthy characters come through nicely. There's some pine and citrus hop presence, as well as huge burnt sugar caramel and toffee flavors. Moderately bitter, extremely delicious.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation and a bit oily. Just about perfect.

A sublime barrel-aging effort from Coronado. I hope we see more of these delicious experiments from them.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchill's for bear republic night

A-orangish color body with white whispy head

S-can't really get anything. Might be the glass

T-not much brandy character. Sweet barleywine malts and sugars with just a touch of brandy.

M-medium body and smooth

O-very pleasant suprise. Would,d want more

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Photo of corby112
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color that's completely opaque with a one finger yellowish-beige head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

The aroma of this beer is pretty complex with brandy barrel elements blended with dark fruit, earthy spice, citrus and leathery malt. Some dry, earthy oak, vanilla and a really prominent brandy character. Some boozy sweetness with hints of molasses, caramel apple, date, fig and raisin followed by leathery malt notes and subtle spice. Smells great.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation and perfectly integrated brandy barrel flavor. Some dry, toasted oak, coconut, sweet brandy and vanilla followed by dark fruit, leathery malt and sweet booze. Hints of caramel, molasses and toffee along with some fig, plum, raisin and faint citrus. There's some leathery malt toward the finish but the sweetness from the brandy, spices and honey overshadows it a bit. Just a touch of boozy warmth after the swallow but the high ABV is excellently masked. It's hard to believe that this beer is 11%. A bit on the sweet side but really flavorful and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AP for the generous extra.

Muddy reddish-brown appearance, with a surprisingly lively head that retains pretty well.

Mellow caramel malt and brandy nose. A lot of fruitiness from both the barrel and yeast, with somewhat of a stewed dark fruit character. Toasted coconut and cocoa appear as it warms.

Great palate, surprisingly balanced and subdued, with a big caramel malt backbone that supports layers of sweet dark fruit and toasted coconut. Medium-full body, a touch fuller than the Firestone 15 that preceded it. Slight booze on the palate that lends a touch of dryness to the finish, otherwise this is pretty damn mellow and ready to drink. Finishes semi-sweet, there's a mild bite from the wood and alcohol.

Quality stuff overall, I'm impressed, especially coming from Coronado.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle. Bottle date reads: 09/19/11 (I think, ?). Got this via trade with barfdiggs back in January. Poured this into a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours a murky, reddish brown color. Initially about a half finger of nice tight bubbles light tab head. Already getting some nice lacing. Looks nicely bottle carbonated. Definitely seeing some alcohol feet.

S: I smell sweet delicious malts. I am getting some nice vanilla, toffee, caramel, etc. I take it the vanilla is coming from the barrel. There are also some dark fruits: raisins, prunes maybe. You get some booze, but drinking a little cold it's not too bad.

T: I actually get a little hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue, and it sticks with you for a while. Then you get some of that brandy barrel flavor. It's a nice pleasant surprise from the bourbon. You get vanilla and sweet toffee flavor. The back end is like sucking on a delicious caramel. The finish is long without being too sweet. You do get some booze in the back end though. Definitely some back throat warming.

M: It's a full bodied beer that doesn't drink like it. It's a nice smooth, cold still, mouthfeel.

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Photo of spicelab
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. 2011. Shared with mulder1010 and MrKennedy. Reveiwed from notes.

Murky brown with a beige head of moderate staying power. Leaves the odd bit of spotty lace.

The additives are straight to the fore, with orange blossom and brown sugar residing over notes of stewed plums, caramelised dates, molasses, pungent toffee and bready malts, and doughy yeast.

Similar, but bigger and better. The brandy barrel works effectively to prevent cloying sweetness from encroaching, and integrates nicely with the chunky strawberry jam and orange character.

Medium, with mouthwash-esque carbonation and mild booze heat. Could do with a ballsier body.

Classy stuff. Great example of barrel ageing and additives being employed smartly and in just the right proportions to complement and enhance the base beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy brown with a 1/2 inch puffy tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, citrus zest, and a brandy alcohol aroma. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, citrus zest, brandy, and some slight wood flavors. A mild bitterness and alcohol warmth in the back of the throat after each sip. This beer has a bubbly and crisp level of carbonation with a smooth but slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged barleywine that is very tasty and well done.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage acquired as an extra in a trade w/ Skrip. Thanks so much man!

A- Pours a dark amber/brown with ruby hues around the edges. A finger of off-white head dissipates to a thin cover that leaves some lacing.

S- The aroma is almost braggot like, with loads of rich honey, and a strong brandy presence. Sweet malt, prunes, and a bit of earthy hops are detected.

T- The taste is very mellow, with most flavors being subtle rather than in your face. Only a touch of honey is present early, but more later on. Some overripe apple and sweet malt in the middle, followed by brandy, a healthy dose of booze, and a bitter hop bite at the end.

M- The mouthfeel is not as thick as expected, but fine for the style. Very light carbonation, and it leaves a viscous coating on the mouth.

O- For the first brandy barrel aged beer I've had this was very pleasant. Perhaps a bit more subtle in flavor and abundant in booze than I would like, but I'd still drink this again if given the chance!

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Photo of claspada
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy amber, almost brown color with a smallish fluffy, khaki colored head that leaves some spotty lacing. No hues when held up to the light.

Aromas begin with a decent amount of brandy characteristics; grape, dates, figs. Then you get the dark toffee and caramelized sugar/honey typical of the style. As it warms you get some lighter more boozy brandy notes; rum soaked raisins.

The tastes follow the nose but are slightly less complex. The same dark caramel, toffee and rum soaked raisins are present once again. Then in the background you get more of the oak and grapey brandy but not as much as I would have hoped. Maybe 6 months wasn't enough time in the barrel for this one. Also in the background as it warms I get a light bitterness from some American citrus/pine hops and a slight biting alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is simple, semi-sweet from the ample honey and brandy barrel aging, but the hop presence balances out the finish to prevent it from being overly sweet.

Overall this was a very high quality barrel-aged barley wine from a brewery which doesn't to much barrel aging to my knowledge so they deserve props there, but it falls a little short of being world class in my opinion. Maybe it needed a little more time to age to let those hops and alcohol fall out to showcase the base beer and the brandy goodness. If I could readily find this I would grab 2 or 3 more to cellar because I think this has great potential in say 6 mo to a year from now, but as of now it is just very good, not great.

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Photo of kevanb
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a wine glass.

A: Really sexy burgundy color, slight off-white head that dissipates quickly but leaves a thick rim around the glass. Very thick viscous appearance as the beer sloshes about the glass, very opaque, hints of tan and rub red in the light.

S: Brandy sweetness comes off immediately, oak and vanilla come through as well followed by a very strong malt backbone. I detect tads of coffee, plum and the faintest of chocolate from the brandy sweetness. Nicely balanced and really intriguing, almost no heat from the alcohol, very well hidden in the nose.

T: A bit muddled and not as balanced as the nose, but still delicious. Lots of malt, big grain flavors come forward followed by nice toffee and nougat flavors. Some dark fruits appear with oak and sappy flavors, but the balance isn't as refined as the nose. It gets a bit muddled and the alcohol is very present in the flavor, no burn but a definite alcohol presence, but nothing NOTABLY brandy. Kind of wishing for a bigger brandy kick.

M: Nice syrupy texture, reminiscent of a strong ale like Double Bastard, but there is some unpleasant heat at times from the alcohol but no burn. Very smooth finish compliments this well.

O: Really lovely barleywine from Coronado. The brandy added a lot to the aroma, but not as much to the flavors as I'd like, but the flavors are still extremely pleasant and very enjoyable. Could use some age, but great fresh.

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

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a muddy reddish brown with a nice tan head that fades to a ring and leaves tiny bits of lacing.

S: The nose has beautiful notes of raisins, apples, grapes, a bit of hops, rich cherries, and some vanilla. As it warms you can realy smell the brandy barrel influence.

T: The taste has good notes of apples, grapes, vanilla, brandy, and a touch of earthy hops on the finish.

M: The feel is medium bodied and a bit creamy.

O: Good but not great. The brandy barrels come through with some fruity grape and apple notes. Recommended if you're looking for something different other than the typical bourbon barrel varieties.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011. Pours a murky, muddy, brownish-purple color with a small off-white head that disappears quickly. Scent is immediate brandy with a lot of dark fruits and oak. Sweet honey and brown sugar linger in the nose as well with a hint of alcohol. Taste is initially brown sugar and dark fruits. Prunes and raisins. Vanilla and oak with some boozy brandy characteristics. Finishes with sweet honey and slight alcohol burn. The mouthfeel seems a little off. It's a little light on the body for a barrel aged barleywine. Well carbonated, just light-bodied. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is a tasty beer that is thrown off by the mouthfeel a bit.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, a generous extra from JRSD. This one was allowed to warm a little bit before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Coronado's Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine pours surprisingly dark. It's a very deep mahogany, just a shade or two shy of full on black. Three or so fingers of khaki colored head come together, and stick around for awhile. Lacing is pretty much non-existent. The nose is phenomenal, and is led by a strong aroma of caramelized brown sugar. There are also notes of toffee and booze soaked apricots and figs to keep things lively. The flavor shifts the focus to a caramel sweetness, and keeps the hot fruitiness. There's also a fairly present oxidation note that suggests both sherry and wet cardboard. The body is full, but not as much so as it could have been. The carbonation is nice and mild though, really letting the maltiness take center stage. I like the idea of a brandy barrel aged barleywine, and Coronado's attempt at it isn't bad, but I still can't help but fee there's some missed potential here.

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Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1256th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22 oz

No bottle date
I know I bought this from Total Wine but not sure what $$ was.

App- A very ruddy brown pour with some garnet mixed in. A nice medium two finger light khaki head formed and was gone. A small amount of residual cling.

Smell- A ton of huge honey notes on this one. A small hop tinge and a big blast of booze on the nose. A creamy brandy note was there as well.

Taste- Taking into account the added malts and hops for the style, this tastes an awful lot like Eclipse Brandy. This however had just a touch more cordial flavor to it with a bit of creaminess, a bit prickly and smooth all wrapped together.

Mouth- A fuller medium with a bit of a prickly medium carbonation level. Residual creamy malts and booze.

Drink- Tasty, not a top level BBBW but getting close to them. I would like another bottle to sit on for a while.

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Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this a while ago as an extra from Shane. Thanks dude! Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and splotches of lacing. The body is a murky, turbid medium-dark brown body. Nice head, but ugly body.

S - Smells like a lot of brown malt, with milk chocolate, caramel, and nuttiness to it. Brandy and oak presence are on the lighter side of things, but impart a nebulous fruitiness to the caramel, honey, and cocoa malt bill.

T - Reminds me of malted milk balls, with notes of caramel, honey, and treacle, and fruitiness from both brandy and English ale yeast. Oak shows up in the finish a bit more.

M - Medium body that seems a tad undersized for 11%. Soft carbonation, creamy texture, and fairly low tannin presence for a barrel-aged beer. Fairly mellow for the ABV.

D - A pleasant beer in small doses. It's sweet, but not cloying although I can imagine it would start to fatigue after 6-8oz. Alcohol is well-hidden. I could have gone for a tiny bit more oak to balance the sweetness, as the flavor profile is more English than American. Best beer I've had from this brewery, so I hope they make it again.

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Photo of n2185
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark mahogany with a finger of khaki head that fades into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: caramel, vanilla, and oak dominate with some toffee aromas following. There are also some raisin, grape, and alcohol notes as well.

T: vanilla, caramel, and oak are strong here as well. There are also strong raisin and dark grape flavors from the brandy. Light alcohol burn.

M: medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is lively on the tongue and has a bite to it.

O: a good beer overall, though I think it could use a year or two to smooth out.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - sludgy brown, half finger tab head and some decent lacing

S - brandy, sugar, vanilla, nice sexy sweet and funky yeast, red wine, slight bourbon, slight spIces, wood, soil, sweet dark and very ripe fruits, tons of malts and just such a nice booze note!

T - brandy! Sugar, on the back end tastes like a coffee note? Toasted and overly sweet malts, very fruity wine, OAK, earth, Belgian yeast, bready, vanilla, sweet flowers, toffee, chocolate, super nice bitterness on the back end and a slight very earthy and very bitter hop

M - full bodied, low acidity, medium minus balance, nice complexity and huge finish

D - I am a fan, I am not a fan of the stout/porter notes in the ale, everything else I love! Very, sweet boozy and goes down smooth! Not refreshing, but tasty

Final thought - $12 is not ok for the price! The nice 11% abv is rad! Age one, drink one fresh and drink one if you just want to get fucked up!

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Photo of Rutager
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thank you to mrbubbler for this 2011, b1 bottle!!

Appearance. Pours a murky reddish brown with some orange-amber coming through at the edges.Topped with a half finger of pale khaki head.

Smell. Big brown sugar, orange rind and caramel, some woody booze and slightly vinous.

Taste. Sweet brown sugar and lightly tangy oranges complete with the rind, and a decent amount of brandy and old dank wood.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied, low+ carbonation.

Overall. A good barleywine but not as smooth as I like them. Big flavours for sure.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy amber... Buckeyeboy busted out this bottle.. Thanks Jeremy...

Good barrel qualities... vinous and caramel.. thick oak and toffee... not a big brandy fan, but it seems to work in this respect...

Flavor is pretty standard American BW flavors.. lite caramel and toasty malt.. some slight pine hoppiness... a bit of burnt sugar creme caramel essence.. a bit of grapy brandy... booze...

body is about right... medium heavy with light/medium carbonation... pretty well done... I normally don't like brandy barrel aged beers, but this is not overdone and still pretty approachable...


Thanks Jeremy.... I never would have tried for this brew.

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Photo of stakem
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Brett (bdubleedublerun) for this generous extra in one of our trades. Shared at a tasting, this was a bomber poured into a snifter. The brew looks a hazed brown color with a cap of yellowish tan froth. It displays decent retention and revives with a swirl.

The smells of this brew comes across with a strong scent of earthy honey and an herbal quakity almost like green tea. It is a very familiar smell but not one I associate with beer. Across the back is a smoothness of sweet smelling vanilla and a bit of caramel.

Just like the aroma suggested, it tastes equally bold with a character of honey. A bit of green tea flavoring and astringency is felt through the body with an increasingly fusel alcohol character. It leaves an aftertaste that is a little spicy with oak and a flavor I associate with almost insence or cedar. Quite unique to say the least.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light to modest level of carbonation. Certainly unique that kind of grew on me but it's not something I would be able to sit down and enjoy an entire bottle of myself. This was a nice step off the usual path for a barrel aged barleywine. If you get the chance you should give it a try. Thanks again Brett.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Strong Ale 2011

Brownish in color with a finger of khaki colored head. The aroma is certainly of brandy. There is a bit of oak and vanilla in there, but not quite as much of the usual strong caramel/toffee aromas. Just sweet, really. Maybe brown sugar? The flavor is similar in that sense: very sweet. Some caramel and toffee notes, maybe some hop notes in the background. There is quite a bit of brandy flavor, though, which is nice.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured an amber color with good carbonation leaving a light dirty white cap

S: That distinctive toofee, caramel like smell with some pine needles

T/M: Mostly toffee and caramel with some Earthiness and wood. Some pine needles, lightly acidic and a subtle hop bitterness on the end. I really detcted no honey but felt it on the mouthfeel as it kept it sticky sweet and weighed on the tongue a bit.

O: Good

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Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine from Coronado Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.