1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Trainwreck Barley Wine - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trainwreck Barley WineTrainwreck Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

41 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.92%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
On the ale side of the yeast divide, this year’s barley wine, Trainwreck, is set to derail your holidays in the best way possible. Providing a boxcar of big malts and rich, caramel aromas, Trainwreck will run you around the corner on two wheels. Available for a limited time, so don't miss the train.

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 12-06-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by CookstLiquor:
Photo of CookstLiquor
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bomber bottle. Pours a brownish orangey colour with a thin head. On the nose it's an interesting mix of coconut, chocolate, earth and alcohol. Taste is similarly boozy. There's a plenty of residual sweetness as well almost giving it a liqueur-like feel. Huge bitter finish. Probably will age well. Definitely an English-style barley wine, as it lacks some of the big hop aromas of the West Coast style.

CookstLiquor, Dec 27, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of trail77
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

trail77, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of chickenm
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%

chickenm, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle, 2011 version. A good name and imagery for this style.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fat fingers of tight, silky foamy ecru head, which leaves a nice chain mail pattern of lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of weirdly dry biscuity malt, kind of nutty, and very faint earthy, leafy hops - like a big ESB. The taste is really just more of the same - nutty biscuit malt, sweet, but not nearly overly so. A bit of black fruit arises as it warms, and the hops are fairly sedate, of the citrus and earthy variety. I'm questioning my powers of perception, because this has all the 'heat' of a standard brown ale, yet the label proclaims a full sawbuck's worth of ABV.

The carbonation, as advertised, is soft, but still lurking, the body dangling in the netherworld between a solid medium and full weight. The smoothness, well, it's just never in question, as clean as this thing is. It all finishes in kind, somewhat sweet, the nutty malt and mildly bitter citrus/leafy hoppiness slowly ceding the floor to a subtle, sneaky alcohol warming.

Well, not exactly the hoppy, big fruity malt monster that I was expecting, but more of a strong brown ale, or a simple version of an English style barleywine. Still quite drinkable, though, partly due to the booze taking a slow, lazy arc in getting around to making itself apparent - first in taste, unexpectedly, then in effect, in a much more predictable manner.

biboergosum, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Sammy, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy brown amber, thumb of tan head retained respectably with some lacing
S - big nutty malt with some toffee sweetness, mildly earthy with a faint hint of booze
T - strong nutty malt with hints of caramel, an light earthy and metallic hop flavour, high ABV is non existent in terms of flavour
M - medium body with a rich feel, no alcohol heat to speak of which is both a positive a negative in terms of what you'd expect for a barley wine
O - I agree with previous comments that this is a more of a strong nut brown ale than a barley wine, but the 10% is so well hidden that you can't help but be impressed

joemcgrath27, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Rutager
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bomber.

Appearance. Pours a hazy amber-brown with a thin, orangy-tan head.

Smell. Sweet caramel, some floral hops and a little bit of citrus.

Taste. Nice sweet caramel and some smooth caramel malts, the hops have really faded but there's a touch of citrus (mainly orange) and very little bitterness. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with low+, smooth carbonation. Just a touch sticky.

Overall. Very nice, easy drinking barleywine. I'm curious how this would taste fresh now, but I don't think it was a mistake by any means to age this one a while.

Rutager, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Adam for this bottle.
2012 Vintage to snifter.

A - Medium to dark copper/brown with a thin layer of dirty white head.

S - Sweet bourbon, oak and a hint of vanilla dominate the nose with some sweet caramel, raisins and toffee.

T - The barrel dominates with bourbon, charred oak and vanilla flavours standing out. There is a big caramel presence from the base beer and some lighter toffee, raisin and date flavours.

M - Medium body, creamy. Light carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of IronDjinn
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a clear deep almond hue, creamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Toasty, nutty malt on the nose, mild tropical fruit esters.

The flavour is very clean for the style, but also very mild. Dry toasty malt character up front, some nuttiness in the middle joined by spicy, leafy hops, the latter of which carries things to the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, silky smooth, moderate carbonation.

Honestly seems to me more of an Imperial Brown that a Barleywine, American-style or otherwise. Still enjoyable, it's a very clean beer, however misses the mark on the style the brewery was aiming for. The alcohol content is beautifully hidden though, very smooth for it's punching weight.

IronDjinn, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of pudoo
4/5  rDev +4.4%

pudoo, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of ritzkiss
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650ml bottle thanks to EskimoDave, appreciate you sending this new incarnation of the barleywine.

Pours a reddish ruddy toffee brown, finger of khaki head. Nose is toffee, raisins, dark fruits, booze. Appealing enough.

Falls apart in the flavor dept. - a bit of a train wreck actually (why name your beer this?). Boozy as all hell, rough. Toffee, wood, dark fruits, toast, molasses. A little thin which only highlights the roughness of the booze. Light hop bite in the finish.

Phillips, I find, struggles with some of their bigger beers and this one is a prime example. Worse off than other incarnations, this one is not a bad beer but not a good one either.

ritzkiss, May 02, 2011
Photo of papat444
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

***2011 Vintage***

Thanks to either chickenm or Rutager, can't remember who sent it to me!

Poured from a 650ml. bottle.

Appearance: 2 finger head with average retention atop a copper-brown body that slowly cascades as the pour progresses.

Smell: Musty, leather, dried apricots, pungent fruit, cranberries.

Taste: Light candy, dried plums, brown sugar, dry herbs, earthy minerals, mild candy flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average. Medium body (barely), lacks fullness though does have an initial good impression.

Overall: Decent but nothing more really. Good aroma though.

papat444, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of WalterWalter
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very powerful, of course. I'm not very familiar with barley wine but the character is quite different from other really strong beers I've had (e.g. Belgian Trappist ales).

This has a nice deep orange-red colour with just a little bit of foamy head with a good pour. Complex smell with suggestions of cider and caramel. Flavour is very malty and thick, with just the right carbonation - not fizzy, but not too flat. Full feeling. Slight hints of wine and fruit hiding behind the stronger tastes; reviewer below says "plums" and I could definitely detect that after thinking about it a bit. Bitter hops shine through after the initial malt attack and persist in the aftertaste; the hops taste is basically just bitter without citrus or cannabis tones (which is good, because it would probably clash with the heavy malty flavour of this beer).

Lots of alcohol, at 10%. The label warns you to be careful not to "lose your caboose!" which is an appropriate warning. I had a whole bottle to myself and it practically knocked me off my seat. I'd recommend sharing it!

WalterWalter, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of Vandelayindustri
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Vandelayindustri, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of Voonder
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle
2013

A - very dark brown with copper notes. foamy thick tan head, very beautiful, dissipates slowly lots of lace.

S - sweet, yeasty, earthy. some dark fruit flavours (raisins, plum). alcohol isn't evident. good solid nose.

T - very balanced, starts very sweet, almost chocolaty, a lot of sweet malts, chocolate and some caramel. nicely followed by bitters notes, plums and raisins present all the way through. Alcohol is perfectly hidden within this very flavourful beer.

M - carbonation is on the spot, beer is very smooth and balanced.

O - well, I enjoyed it very much. did not have high expectations and really it was very good. Not as yeasty as I would expect from barley wine, I would even say milder than an average barley wine, but very well balanced, smooth, very drinkable for ABV. Definitely having this again - winters in Calgary are cold and long, so probably on more than one occasion. Great job Phillips!

Voonder, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of LongRoad
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

LongRoad, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

bumchilly25, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of Derek
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Derek, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of andrenaline
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huge props to joemcgrath27 for this gem... Looking forward to checking out another Phillips brew!

A - Pours a nice ruby red colour, two thumbs of big bubbled, fluffy beige head, solid retention and chunky lacing with little visible body carbonation.

S - Sweet caramel, musty greens, leafy hops, subtle spice notes with hints of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg with a peppery finish.

T - Nice caramel malt base, the leafy hop notes come through nicely as well, some raisins, and plum notes also coming through. Some mild molasses and hints of vanilla with a touch of ABV heat and sweetness on the finish.

M - A tad thin, which could be the result of its travels and aging. A carbonation lift would be nice, finishes wet.

O - A tasty barleywine and another winner from Phillips. These guys are cranking out some top quality ales, and this is no exception. Worth seeking out, and at 10% the alcohol is nicely hidden, making is dangerously drinkable.

andrenaline, May 04, 2012
Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Kmat10, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of leaddog
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition.

Appearance - Pours a dark and hazy mahogany brown with a thin white head.

Smell - Plum, cherry, toffee, spicy notes.

Taste - Plum and cherry shines through, with a bit of the fruity sweetness. The spicy notes are noticeable throughout. Very low bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied barleywine with some good carbonation to it. A little bit of fluffiness to it.

Overall - An interesting take on the barleywine by Phillips. Was really surprised with the plum and cherry notes (more fruit based than hops). The ABV is well balanced within the brew. I would like to see how this ages.

leaddog, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of Erik-P
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Erik-P, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of ericj551
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Trainwreck Barleywine pours a deep red brown with a nice, slightly off white head. The aroma is sweet and malty, with notes of caramel, brown sugar, and dark fruit. There is a slight hint of citrusy hops.

The flavor is sweet, with more rich, caramel and molasses malt flavor. Bitterness is mild, but enough to balance the sweetness nicely. Some mild, earthy and slightly spicy hops show up in the end, along with a hint of alcohol. The alcohol flavor increases as the beer warms, but is mild for the strength.

ericj551, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 23/12/11

A clear reddish amber with lots of bubbles of all sizes feeding a large beige head that quickly falls to a thick film leaving a few partial rings of lace

S heaps of caramel with a little booze, some citrus and leafy tea bag with a little rum raisin

T what I smell but somehow there's even more caramel, the booze is completely gone, I'm impressed how well concealed the 10% is, just a little nutty on the finish with a bready aspect

M pretty thick and syrupy, mellow carbonation and a little sticky

O I wouldn't call it an American BW with not much in the way of hops but I liked the intense malty caramel aspect

this fresh bottle already tastes aged with little hop character and quite malty too begin with, also worth mentioning again is how little booze I can taste, very well hidden booze

wordemupg, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev +4.4%

EskimoDave, Nov 21, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Trainwreck Barley Wine from Phillips Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.