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John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
John Barleycorn Barleywine AleJohn Barleycorn Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

459 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 459
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 20
Gots: 22 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Same recipe each year. ABV varies slightly 9.5-11.0%

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-26-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 459 | Reviews: 349 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by airheadmtrcycle:
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
airheadmtrcycle

Georgia

3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. Brown with red highlights, a foamy head that fades with some lacing.

Smells semi-sweet and fruity with some pretty strong booze that dominates. Tastes similar with a strong bitterness and a very dry finish. A sipper for sure. If it rolls down to my throat immediately it burns. I have to be careful to hold the sip on my tongue to get a full appreciation. Letting it warms helps enjoyment some too.

The mouthfeel is coarse. Quite carbonated with a very dry finish and extreme bitterness that left my mouth cottony. I needed a glass of water to drink next to it. Not too drinkable in my opinion.

This beer needs to be aged. I'm going to put the other 3 away until next year. Maybe it wasn't meant to be consumed right away.

It's also possible I don't understand the style well enough to appreciate some of its better qualities. I won't give up on the beer or the style.

Addendum: 01/17/11

I tried another from this 4-pack and it was a completely different beer. It seems the one I reviewed above was a bad beer. (I've never had a bad beer before.) The second one was delicious, sweet and fruity, but the alcohol balanced everything with a pleasant spiciness. There was no bitterness, and the mouth feel was far less carbonated and not course at all. This one was very drinkable. I'm going to have another right now. The scores now reflects the second beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 00:50:57 | More by airheadmtrcycle
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paulish

New York

4/5  rDev +7.2%

07-30-2014 03:02:33 | More by paulish
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KAF

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

07-17-2014 02:49:10 | More by KAF
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irishpride

New York

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

07-04-2014 23:51:14 | More by irishpride
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Dan_McNeely

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Decided to try it from a wine glass. Very strong bold look. It's a bit lighter in appearance at the top. It had a deep brown almost dark toffee color. A very muscular look to it.

S- Roasted Barley smells very fine and smooth. If it tastes like it smells, it will go down easy. I don't smell the booze. It's has a confident aroma, an almost I'm better than you feel. Again, very masculine, in a suave sense.

T- The taste sweeps in letting it self be known. As suspected, much like the aroma it's like Fabio from a romance novel. It holds a welcoming bitter aftertaste that I can enjoy. A bit of a deep chocolate after taste.

M- Heavenly. I've not had a barley wine with this much distinction and just makes my mouth feel good. Light, but not too light. I can tell it's a high percentage, but it's telling me, "Don't worry, you'll enjoy this", in a not so creepy way.

A gentleman's beer, dark, handsome, intelligent, confident something I can be proud to drink. This is a fantastic beer, it really improved my attitude after a long day at the office. Even if you've never had or usually don't enjoy this style, I highly suggest to pick it up.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2014 01:59:30 | More by Dan_McNeely
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Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from RussianDragon. Thanks Dave!

2012 Vintage

The beer is slightly murky with a chestnut brown body and a half inch of tan head. Aromas include toffee, dates, booze, malt, perhaps prunes or raisins. Thick body with a mild but present sweetness. Big flavor with malt complexity, a touch of brown sugar. A nice beer to sip and savor.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2014 04:21:06 | More by Huhzubendah
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spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from the Total Wine Palm Desert CA for $3.50 - 2012 edition

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a good size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/molasses/toffee, anise

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, molasses/toffeel, and hops. There is also some vanilla, some burnt notes, and anise.

Overall - Pretty solid stuff. The booze is well hidden and there is a nice balance of sweet and bitter. Maybe a little thin for a barleywine, but lots of great flavours. A wood aged version of this would be excellent I'm sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2014 01:33:25 | More by spinrsx
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OBeerMeGreatOne

California

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

06-04-2014 00:53:53 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
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zestar

California

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

05-31-2014 08:29:45 | More by zestar
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robear

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -19.6%

05-24-2014 17:16:05 | More by robear
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New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

05-24-2014 12:57:39 | More by Latarnik
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California

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

05-07-2014 04:26:40 | More by 2GOOFY
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atrocity

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

04-29-2014 17:59:11 | More by atrocity
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Wesleyfroda11211

New York

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

04-08-2014 12:27:56 | More by Wesleyfroda11211
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SocalKicks

California

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

04-06-2014 18:25:24 | More by SocalKicks
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minterro

Colorado

3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Little's Wine and Liquor store. Bottle is from 2011 and store cellared, so anywhere from a little over 3 years old. Never heard of this brewery before, I like the label though (different from the BA pic).

A&S: Almost opaque garnet colored beer. Lots of unfiltered specks floating around. Light tan head that doesn't hang around or leave lacing. Not a whole lot of aroma coming off this beer, but includes sweet maltyness, some alcohol, lacking a hops presence (not surprising with the aging).

T&M: This beer has got to be pretty bitter fresh even after 3 years aging, must be pretty brutal fresh. Alcohol presence is great with this amount of aging. Heavy on the malts with hints of carmel and apple cider. Kind of a nutty finish. Has sweeter elements of an English Barleywine and the bitterness of an American Barleywine. Semi-dry finish. Medium body, low carbonation. Pretty palate cleansing, no real chewy lingering effects.

Overall: Without having it fresh, this seems like a good one to site on so it can cool. Not spectacular, but not bad. At less than 3 bucks and 11% ABV it is work a try, but I personally wouldn't buy it again. Admittedly, this is my favorite of the two barleywine styles.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 03:35:27 | More by minterro
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Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

03-28-2014 16:43:12 | More by beerhast
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NCStateAE

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

03-22-2014 01:08:15 | More by NCStateAE
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Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

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Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

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zac16125

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip
no bottling dates

A: Very dark brown, almost black, with just over 1 fingers width of light tan head. Head dissipates down fairly quickly and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, caramel/toffee, cinnamon, bakers chocolate. Pretty sweet, with some balancing booze. Components are very nice, but its fairly mild.

T: Fig like dark fruits, toffee, vinous notes, bakers chocolate, some bitterness. Tasty

M/D: Full bodied, appropriate carbonation, ABV is very well masked, drinkability is good.

O: A solid barleywine. I really enjoyed this one. Worth checking out, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 03:22:26 | More by zac16125
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California

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

02-28-2014 03:55:30 | More by Mightykingmalard
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Washington

4/5  rDev +7.2%

02-12-2014 23:16:55 | More by sia478
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Kansas

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John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.