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Before The Dawn - Steel Toe Brewing

Not Rated.
Before The DawnBefore The Dawn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

112 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 112
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 7.57%
Wants: 68
Gots: 38 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Steel Toe Brewing visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  13.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. Before the Dawn is a fusion of a Barleywine and a Russian Imperial Stout. Layer upon layer of complex malt character is what makes this beer so special. Caramel and toffee give way to molasses, coco and roasted malt. This rich and warming beer underwent a lengthy aging process in bourbon barrels which lends a wonderful oak and vanilla character followed by moderate tannin in the finish.

(Beer added by: claaark13 on 06-28-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Schlais


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

01-08-2013 09:22:50 | More by Schlais
Photo of warmbier804


5/5  rDev +14.7%

06-10-2014 00:32:28 | More by warmbier804
Photo of dc55110


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

04-11-2013 22:16:47 | More by dc55110
Photo of striker2160


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

04-02-2014 20:50:54 | More by striker2160
Photo of brooklynbrews


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

08-28-2012 17:29:04 | More by brooklynbrews
Photo of dbossman


4.08/5  rDev -6.4%

A: Black with hardly any head and minimal lacing

S: Malty, boozy; some bourbon and dark fruits; man, that smells good

T: Not too complex but tasty; bourbon, oak, and dark fruits blend together nicely

F: A touch thin but creamy enough to create a decent mouth feel on the finish

O: A very nice, boozy and yet not-too-complex barrel-aged barley wine; I wish it tasted as good as it smelled but I will take it nonetheless--it's a nice beer

06-13-2014 02:11:18 | More by dbossman
Photo of stpjames


4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

07-24-2013 18:19:14 | More by stpjames
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%

Shared by caSSino during BRoss242’s send-off party before he moves! Will miss you man! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured black with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel hop, and dark fruit. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly great brew. This was definitely the highlight of the tasting this evening as I was really wowed and shocked at what I found upon first investigation. Everything was really well balanced and all the flavors and aromas were spot-on for the style and with all the right intensity. I could have easy pounded a full bottle of this with no problem, but sharing is caring unfortunately. An absolute must try without a doubt as this was one of my biggest surprises of the year so far.

09-04-2012 11:30:35 | More by thagr81us
Photo of morimech


3.46/5  rDev -20.6%

From the second release a day after picking it up at the brewery.

Dense, dark, thick black fluid with half a finger head that stuck around for good long time. The chocolate colored head settles to a thick cap. A lot of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Bit of a weird aroma and not at all what I was expecting. Chocolate protein shake, wet lumber, vanilla, and lightly roasted malt. No significant sign of alcohol.

Not that whiskey forward but the barrel does play a significant flavor factor. I get more vanilla and woodsy flavor, then the whiskey. Some roasted malt with notes of chocolate and coffee. I could swear they put some lactose in this beer. Slight alcohol flavor and heat in the finish.

Thick and rich body. Very nicely carbonated gives a silky smooth, big beer feel.

I know the beer was originally brewed to be an imperial stout. I honestly do not know why they would go away from that style descriptor as it has better stout qualities, such as viscosity and luscious mouthfeel, than a lot of big stouts. I do not think barleywine when I drink this. The Bourbon barrel did not come through that well and this beer has some bizarre flavors for a barleywine or imperial stout. Huge letdown.

03-30-2014 21:30:18 | More by morimech
Photo of bum732


4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

04-06-2014 05:02:09 | More by bum732
Photo of GRG1313


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

07-04-2014 21:51:15 | More by GRG1313
Photo of claaark13


4.2/5  rDev -3.7%

Cork and caged 75cl bottle served at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip. Schlais is the man. This is a "Black Barleywine" aged in rye whiskey barrels.

A - Nearly black pour with a 1" creamy mocha head. Turns into some nice lacing. Looks more like a RIS. Seems to stick relaly well to the sides, but the legs don't remain too well. It looks fantastic, but I'd expect this out of a RIS, not a barleywine. Confusing?

S - Loads of caramel upfront. Dark malts, some spices. There is some barrel as well. Smells like a regular BA Barleywine.

T - Carmel, some vanilla throughout. Mild spices come through. Very smooth, vanilla finish. Some woodiness comes around as well as some mild booze. A little bit of roast starts to come through. The finish shows the slightest dry character mixed with creamy roast. Spiciness from the rye barrel is present. Minimal alcohol present considering the ABV%. Mild hops in the middle show as bitterness. I find a little coffee as well.

M - Somewhere between medium and thick. Feels pretty thick and creamy on the tongue.

O - It seems like the roast is what differentiates this from a regular American Barleywine. This is a great beer. Really tough to compare it to the Barleywine style. The spices from the rye barrel are a bit light, but the caramel/vanilla is nice. The roast gives it some RIS characteristics, but the Barleywine seems to still dominate. Don't age this, drink it now. I need another one. This is very interesting.

06-28-2012 23:58:21 | More by claaark13
Photo of ElfKicker


3/5  rDev -31.2%

10-06-2012 20:27:33 | More by ElfKicker
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev -8%

Thanks Steasy66!

Appearance. Pours pretty much black with a finger of thick tan head.

Smell. Dark malts, caramel and a little chocolate, molasses and a bit of licorice.

Taste. Whiskey and molasses, vanilla and chocolate, dark roasty malts and maybe a drop of coffee.

Mouthfeel. Full body, warm booze, smooth low carbonation.

Overall. Nice stuff. Wish I had noticed the abv before I decided to solo this. Should be interesting anyways....

11-16-2013 03:05:15 | More by Rutager
Photo of Devi0us


4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

01-12-2013 13:37:59 | More by Devi0us
Photo of VeganUndead


3.75/5  rDev -14%

06-13-2014 03:58:09 | More by VeganUndead
Photo of ddavison


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

04-02-2014 00:45:57 | More by ddavison
Photo of Nivek43


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

03-28-2014 22:58:52 | More by Nivek43
Photo of Ctrauty


4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

05-30-2013 02:06:51 | More by Ctrauty
Photo of jmarsh123


4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

Thanks to Schlais for the bottle!

Pours dark brown almost black with a small beige head receding quickly. Legs down the glass. Good lacing and retention for the ABV.

Bitter Baker's chocolate, a little toffee and spicy rye whisky in the aroma. Doesn't smell overly boozy despite the ABV and the chocolate character is bold and welcome.

Strong dark chocolate is the first thing that comes through on the flavor. Very much the most bold flavor. Bits of toffee and some more spicy whisky come through near the end. Finishes with a distinct rye kick and a little warming booze. Present, but well integrated whisky.

Medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation perhaps a touch higher than I'm used to on the style, but it works well with the whisky.

Very nice surprise and glad I traded for one. Can stand toe to toe with many BA American Barleywines around.

09-25-2012 22:08:36 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of Hopsiam14


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

06-29-2013 20:45:19 | More by Hopsiam14
Photo of largadeer


4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

02-25-2014 06:22:28 | More by largadeer
Photo of mendvicdog


4/5  rDev -8.3%

04-11-2014 23:12:11 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of HoudiniRN


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

03-29-2014 22:26:53 | More by HoudiniRN
Photo of CWhite


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

05-06-2014 18:37:36 | More by CWhite
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Before The Dawn from Steel Toe Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.