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Barley Wine 2013 - Helltown Brewing

Not Rated.
Barley Wine 2013
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BA SCORE
78
okay

27 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 27
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 23.26%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Helltown Brewing visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Helltown on 04-25-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Stinkypuss:
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.29/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep copper color with a white head and lace. Aroma of toffee, raisin French toast, sweet bread and light fruit. Rum raisin also factors in.

In the taste, toffee, marshmallow, vanilla and light iced tea like hop notes. There is a kiss of alcohol. Has some wood and slight vinous notes. A sweet, smooth, treat of a barleywine. Truly delicious.

The feel melts in your mouth as it is smooth and remarkably light to medium bodied. Overall this was a very good cask ale, and certainly the best cask-conditioned barleywine I've had to date. Fantastic!

Stinkypuss, May 03, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%

DaftPatrick, Friday at 05:50 AM
Photo of PSU_Mike
4.35/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I had this as Piper's Pub on cask during Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

It had a pretty deep brown color with an off-white head and very tiny bubbles. The smell was slightly muted malted chocolate. A drinking companion compared it to a tootsie roll. It was exceptionally easy to drink and had the creamiest mouthfeel I've ever experienced. All in all, it was a very easy drinking barleywine that I could have had several of in a sitting while marveling over how creamy it was. It is bottled now so I have to seek it out. I would put this in the same class as Gratitude and that's saying something.

PSU_Mike, May 09, 2014
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

WVbeergeek, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.6/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Helltown English-style Barleywine (Aged on Oak and Maple) 2013 Vintage
22 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating other than the year.
$8.49 @ Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Poured at 45˚F into an Imperial "nonic" pint glass without markings.

Appearance: Cloudy russet brown body beneath a massive head of frothy, yellow-tinged off-white foam. It took me a few pours, each time letting the head die down before pouring again, until I got to a decent finger and a half cap. Despite the massive head at first, it dropped fairly readily to an 1/8" surface covering cap. Lacing was minimal in a "beer clean" glass.

Smell: Caramelish malt, yeast, fruit (red apple, sweet pear, some sweet berry), some maple, spiciness from alcohol. Yeast, as in yeast itself and not yeasty characteristics should always be limited and I see that as a flaw. There's basically too much yeast in the bottle.

Taste: Yeasty, but without the harshness that sometimes comes with yeast - I should probably have let this beer rest in the fridge for a week or two to let the yeast settle. Beyond that, it's nicely caramelish falling somewhere midway between a soft and sweet golden caramel and a darker brown caramel that's headed towards notes of burnt sugar. It's straightforward caramel with a bit of gently subtly toasty breadiness, and there are no extraneous notes of chocolate or anything like that, which I feel is the perfect base if you want to add maple, otherwise it might get lost. And it's there, not leaping forward, but also not needing to be found. The oak comes through as well, but unfortunately the alcohol is a bit more present and kind of overtakes it. It's a slight bit harsh and kind of gives you a slap. Both, however, lead to dryness in the finish, which is needed as it's a slight touch sweet upfront. Two more points: some nice floral hops appear along with the malt, nicely threaded through, and then become even more apparent in the finish (or is that just the alcohol talking?); but unfortunately, and surprisingly, it's slightly oxidized which makes it seem almost as if it were made with malt extract. Or perhaps the yeastiness is giving me that impression of a homebrew-like character.

Mouthfeel: It initially foams in the mouth. Given that I've poured it at close to cellar temperature (as an English-syle barleywine probably should be) and it foamed up so much at first I think this may become a problematic beer in the future. I would not suggest aging it as it may explode, or at least will become even more carbonated. As it is, it's a bit distracting, and technically out of style. As it warms, however, it softens a bit and becomes more pleasant with a bit of creaminess. Unfortunately by that point the beers has warmed a bit. Given that, I'd suggest that if your first pour gives you quite a bit of foam, you should then pour the rest into a pitcher to de-gas it and proceed once the head has died back. Beyond carbonation issues, the alcohol adds a slickness to the mouthfeel; whether that's good or bad is up to personal tastes.

Overall: I love the way that the maple gently comes through amidst the caramel, and that the oak backs it up. I'm going to have to try another bottle of this and let it sit to see if the yeast sediments out, and if perhaps this was just one of the last bottles from the run that got a little too much yeast in it. It has potential, and I hope it proves me right in the end.

NeroFiddled, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of kbuzz
2/5  rDev -39.6%

this beer is in no way a barleywine

kbuzz, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of ShanePB
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

ShanePB, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of weeare138
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

weeare138, May 23, 2014
Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Welcome to disappointing town with my 2100 review! Had no idea the low ratings on this or I may not have gotten it. Paid $8.99 for the bomber at my local RT 8 Giant Eagle.

A - Not sure why people are talking about over carbonation mine was carbonated normally but sadly the head fizzes out to nothing within seconds. Never a good sign like a malt liquor. Body is a hazy amber brown with no sediment floaties.
S - Again disappointment all maple or old is faint if you didn't tell me it was brewed with it I would have never guessed. Typical caramel and some cherry notes highlight.
T - Well its not undrinkable with heavy ethanol flavors but its pretty tasteless. Wet cardboard, some oak, and some herbal bitterness herbal and lingers mildly. Sadly it doesn't taste sweet of maple it only inherited the dryness of what maple brings making this beer a chore to drink.
M - Well it's not too light drinking with a medium bodied. It can be chugged so its not as heavy as the style should be.

Overall I am so sad this beer exists but its bound to happen that every great brewery releases a beer that is drinkable but not up to par. Kind of feel ripped off paying that much for the bomber since most of their on tap releases are usually 3-4 dollars.

DrDemento456, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of outoffocus
4/5  rDev +20.8%

outoffocus, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

4DAloveofSTOUT, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of JCam9981
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

JCam9981, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of HopFace
1/5  rDev -69.8%

HopFace, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of troy138
2/5  rDev -39.6%

As another guy before me said, this is in no way, shape or form a barley wine. This is more of a borderline English Strong Ale if anything. Far from horrible, but even farther from a barley wine. Helltown is a top notch brewery in my eyes. I have never been even close to remotely let down by one of their products, until now. This one misses the mark in every way for a barley wine. Fail.

troy138, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Glad I was able to pick this up after passing on trekking way out to Mt. Pleasant to pick some up.

Was this aged on maple syrup or maple wood? Because it sure seems like there is maple syrup going on here. Dark color to it. Massive tan-ish head. Minimal nose; kind of a sweet thing going on. Flavor is okay. Sweet shows mostly. Mild hop spices. A lot of maple influence, it seems. An okay barleywine. More sweet than I would have expected. I may go get another bottle to age for a bit to see what happens. But as it is, a decent drinker.

Not sure that this really fits the barleywine parameters for me.

RblWthACoz, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of chuckv
4.5/5  rDev +36%

chuckv, May 01, 2014
Photo of hollywood_15063
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

hollywood_15063, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Zuidman
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Zuidman, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of JeffTheJuice
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

JeffTheJuice, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of DIM
3.05/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aged on oak and maple

This was a hazy peachy copper color after the foam eventually settled. There is a very pleasant maple aroma here, but unfortunately there is also plenty of raw abrasive oakiness and harsh, booze toffee. Taste follows the nose, but it is even more abrasive on the tongue. Lightly sweet raisins, plums, and maple up front; very nice. The harsh, naked woody tingle at the end and the aggressive carbonation are tough to get past.

Overall there are some good elements here, but I wish the wood had been much less prominent. My first from these guys, I'll try more.

Edit: As the carbonation subsided, the harsher elements became much more subdued. The second glass wasn't half bad.

DIM, Yesterday at 01:16 AM
Photo of Sean32
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Sean32, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

DrFunkenstein, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Brewski
2/5  rDev -39.6%

Brewski, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of MDDMD
3.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-brown color with a decent light tan head and little lacing

S-toffee, caramel malt, hint of chocolate, dark fruit, hint of spice

T-caramel malt, toffee, raisins, figs, light chocolate, hint of wood

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth

O-average Barleywine, although a not unpleasant sipper

MDDMD, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of randylangford
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

randylangford, Jun 19, 2014
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Barley Wine 2013 from Helltown Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.