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Barleywine Style Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale

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

745 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 745
Reviews: 427
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 11-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 745 | Reviews: 427 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brewji

British Columbia (Canada)

4.9/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On first pour, it glows with a rich, reddish amber colour, and a lacy white head top. I sniffed this beer like some people sniff flowers (I unfortunately am allergic to pollen). I took in a lot of deep malty scents, and hops, and...that's about it. But not in a bad way, this brew smelled righteous, knowing ahead of time that something big was going to happen. It's like a referee calling a penalty shot in overtime, going in for the big sip was the shot, and the overall taste determined whether or not the deke attempt worked.

Taking the first sip, I expected a train wreck of malty hops. However, I was greeted by a strong, pleasant malty tone, followed by a nice transition into an intense malty flavour, and a crisp, clean after taste. I was so impressed by the after taste, the clean-ish feeling that I got, that it made me want more. This is finally a brew over 10% that will leave you wanting more! Imagine Datsyuk with a highlight reel goal on a breakaway...naturally you'd want more (so long as he's not scoring on your team).

The first, middle, and end tastes are phenomenal. There are no complaints, as everything flows together, while still leaving a memorable taste that would definitely make me want to order this again. If you (or your friends) are new to barleywines, this is a definite first step into the world of 10%+ beers.

The Green Flash Brewing Co. BarleyWine gets a phenomenal penalty-shot-goal-in-overtime 9.5 / 10

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 22:46:04 | More by Brewji
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Green Flash Barley Wine Style Ale – 10.2% ABV – 2012 Vintage, consumed March 28, 2013
A: pours a deep and clear ruby red with three fingers of cream coloured froth and big globs of lacing on the tulip glass. Several bubbles in the body. Fantastic look.
S: red grapefruit, caramel-drizzled dates, pine resin, grassy and herbaceous hops, burnt sugar, toasty malt, navel orange, toffee, faint melon, and ethanol. Absolutely gargantuan nose.
T: rich caramel, toffee, and date-like sweetness, mango, toasty-roasted malts, alcohol, pungently citric and lingering resinous hop bitterness, some warmth going down. Tasty overall, but the flavour doesn’t quite live up to the aroma.
M: thick, silky-smooth, and full-bodied, bordering on syrupy, massive tongue-scraping bitterness lingers on the palate with some alcoholic burn in the throat (though not harsh).
O: an excellent, hop-forward U.S. barley wine; one of the better examples that I’ve tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 01:13:33 | More by cratez
Photo of ItalianPisces84


4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First off, let me just say this: not only is this not a barleywine, I'm not even sure I'd go so far as to call it "barleywine-style," whatever that may be. Any "-style" usually raises red flags for me, whether it is for a beer or "beef-style stock" or whatever. That said, I'm glad it didn't, because this is a solid beer. But it isn't a barleywine. If you are a barleywine fan, as I am, and are expecting one, you may be disappointed.

So before tasting this, pretend instead that you're about to taste a malty IPA... because that's what this is. Except of course there's nothing pale about it, owing to the strong malt character.

Anyway, the basic rundown... it poured a medium caramel, almost a deep amber color. Left a decent head which subsided fairly quickly to leave persistent lacing. Hops are the most apparent scent, and similarly are the strongest component in this beer's flavor, although the malt is a close second. There is enough malt to make this beer a little sticky, though it is surprisingly not at all viscous... at least not for a barleywine. As with the flavor, and especially the scent, this beer's viscosity (and overall texture) more closely resembles that of an IPA than a barleywine.

If I were to rate this beer as a barleywine it would get a very low mark, and that shouldn't happen because this is a very good beer. So I will rate it simply as a beer, regardless of label or sub-label.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 04:26:21 | More by ItalianPisces84
Photo of MaillardRx


4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass

A: A rich, auburn color that beautifully demonstrates the character of the malt color, great head and very lacy

S: Hops aplenty and many malts in the nose. It smells like a brew day.

T: It didn't really taste a whole lot like a barleywine, but rather, more like a deep, hoppy IPA. Some notes of fig, the alcohol taste is noticeable, which portrays a slight ammonia taste

M: Very full-bodied, a great mouthfeel

O: A very craftsman beer. It is complex, yet not overbearing. It is drinkable, yet gives you something to consider. I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 19:44:14 | More by MaillardRx
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barleywine pours a reddish amber color with a very small lacing head. The aroma is is very sharp, with an aged malty undertone. The taste is very sharp as well, noticeable bold malty undertone, with boozy flavors. Good full and bold flavors. Overall its a very nice traditional barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2013 19:22:25 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of chugalug06


3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Murky orange/red brew with creeping growing straw colored head. Lacing is decent.

Nice strong pine aroma. Nicely resinous too. Aromatics are nice and developed.

Strong upfront flavors with faded bitterness. Slightly awkward dryness on the finish. Lots of pine resin. Dank. Strong weird sweetness has yet to fade. Carbonation is high and fits, but isn’t blended overly nice. Drinks harsh and needs to be more.

If this brew went back to the drawing board or maybe a barrel (cough-cough) it may shape into something wonderful. However, as currently sits, it’s forgettable, but at the price point ($6/22oz) it’s worthy.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 05:12:47 | More by chugalug06
Photo of a0lbudman


4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark copper with a large tan head that fades slowly and leave a heavy lacing on the glass
S-good caramel malt and dark fruit with some hops
A-caramel malt and dark fruit hit me at first then the spice flavor took over. The aftertaste was a warming alcohol taste with hops bitterness coming in along with a great caramel finish
M-medium body with good carbonation
O-It was a very complex beer. You get caramel malt to spice then hop bitterness then you get a very good malt finish and every sip gets better

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 22:54:46 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of Scrapss


4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a wide-mouth, large mason jar. 2012 vintage.

A: DEEP amber. Beautiful two finger soapy top/rocky bottom head of off-white color. Persistent head.

S: hoppy and malty. toffee. Alphas, acetyls, rich malt. seems like caramel malt is present. There's even some tart fruit hiding in there. Complex.

T: Very nice smooth hop bitterness after a blast of smooth malt. Very smooth. There's some of the fruit in the nose present. yeast is hiding.

M: big complex finish with the malt and hop playing with each other in a little dance. moderate carbonation stays in solution until the finish, where it presents a creamy hit followed by a slightly metallic upfinish followed by a spicy, boozy ultimate finish. Malt fights back after ultimate finish for the last word.

O: Very nice balanced barleywine worth trying. Green Flash shows extreme competence in this style with this brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 21:42:07 | More by Scrapss
Photo of pkalix


4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep malted aroma in a very cider-red color with a little bit of foam on top.
some tartness in the taste, related moreso, I believe, to the alcohol content than any hops. but lots of sweetness on the palate first, a kind of bitter and sweetness from the malts. but some hop presence too.
overall, a great high octane brew. I appreciate the taste and like the different variations of barleywines and other high abv brews but I cant help but wonder why those idiots keep drinking that manure 4loco or whatever it is when this is just so much greater when one may want a higher abv-ed beverage....?

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 00:38:49 | More by pkalix
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Two small tasting cups at Cotteridge Wine during a 6th July Black Country Bus Trip (sorry if I stole someones cup, but I needed two to rate/review it correctly).

Impressed: poured a good clear amber, on top a white crown of uneven foam.

Intense semi-sweet malty aroma: caramel and toffee notes leading the way.

Taste is also semi-sweet (at first) before the hop content kicks in and you finish with a fine bitter and dry mouth.

Nice Barley Wine and thanks to Cotteridge Wine for the free tasting.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 10:08:56 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of Smurf2055


3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Winner of a four way barleywine blind taste (against Full Sail, Crit Hit, Dick’s).

Pours a copper color with minimal head.

Lighter smell than the color would suggest. Fig and raisins.

Decent carbonation. Pretty sweet taste, with a bit of cherry. Not that sticky. Fruity and very complex.

The most unique of the four that I tried, and I wouldn’t mind getting one again.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 04:14:06 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of SmashPants


4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: solid brown 650mL longneck, with an acceptable non-macro label.

Appearance: deep golden amber-brown in colour, low- to- mid carbonation with a one finger head. Great lacing as it drops slowly over time to a thick, rocky cap. Wonderful!

Aroma: a rich, powerful combination of caramel malts and heavy fruits. The nose alone whets the palate. I'm looking forward to this one!

Taste: where the nose whet my apetite, the palate picks up and delivers. Dark fruit esters combine with those caramel and treacle malts and some spice over the top.

Aftertaste: a lingering light bitterness and some warming alcohol. Overall, a wonderful beer.

Mouth feel: full and lasting, this is a beer for a night-time session. Amazing.

Overall: I've only had one barleywine before (Moylan's Old Blarney Barleywine Style Ale), this was my second. Both are absolutely exceptional. I get the feeling that this will be my favourite style from here on out.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 03:34:52 | More by SmashPants
Photo of William85


3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a well-balanced barleywine; and whereas balance in a barleywine ale is often achieved by sacrificing hoppiness, it seems like Green Flash has sought to emphasize the hop profile and malt profile in roughly equal proportions, without diminishing either.

Although I feel that hop-dominated barleywines work better (though these apparently come too close to DIPAs for some tastes), the sacrifice nothing approach taken here results in an interesting taste/mouthfeel -- an unmistakable smoothness/sweetness is *distinctly* present right next to a downright spicy hop presence in every sip.

Personally, I'll be sticking with Bigfoot and Old Ruffian as my go-to barleywines, but this one is definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 17:40:20 | More by William85
Photo of SamJory

United Kingdom (England)

4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

650 ml bomber, 2010 vintage poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark ruby, fairly opaque with an off-white head.

On the nose I immediately get the caramel malt and rich fruity esters along with some hops in there too.

On the palate the fruity esters, caramel malt and hops hit you first, which gives way to a vinous warmth. The aging has given this beer such a beautiful balance - not overly sweet with malt and not overly bitter and more like a double IPA like some other American barleywines. The taste is incredibly smooth, rounded with some piney bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full, and the finish lasts and lasts. I had this beer a few months ago when it came in from the warehouse from work, and now it's come back it's even better. A very special experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 17:57:07 | More by SamJory
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper with a large, slowly fading head.
Hoppy aroma, but with a fair bit of malt noticeable underneath. Grapefruit, resinous hops, spicy notes, caramel, bready malt.
Pretty hoppy aggressive flavours. Very sharp pine and grapefruit with accompanying massive bitterness alongside some bready malt. Thick syrupy body.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 02:52:13 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of arfenhouse


4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage.

A: Dark amber with off white head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Good amount of caramel malt. Spicy hops, floral hops, and pine. Orange peel.

T: Sweet caramel and pine combo upfront. Sweet and very slight bitter grain. A touch of spicy hops mixed with orange peel. Finishes with a bit of bitter pine.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Wet finish.

O: My favorite barleywine so far. Good amount of sweetness and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 06:10:53 | More by arfenhouse
Photo of superspak


4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2011 vintage. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big orange rind, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, caramel, toast, floral, grass, molasses, dark bread, light roast, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and hop notes. Taste of big orange zest, grapefruit, pine, caramel, molasses, toast, floral, grass, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, caramel, toast, molasses, pine resin, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barleywine! Great balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 05:14:46 | More by superspak
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Real nice looking, auburn and clear in the glass with a great, rock-steady head that leaves sticky lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, a little fruitiness, and some hoppiness. Slightly subdued on the aroma.

Flavor is pretty bold and malt-forward, plenty of caramel malt and dark fruits, some citrus, a good amount of hops bite.

Slightly slick and plenty bitter, the bitterness follows through on the finish big time. A little less viscous than typical barleywines. Carbonation is smooth and about right for the style.

Overall it's a nice, smooth barleywine that meets my expectations for Green Flash's usual high standards.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 17:48:10 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of mpedara429


4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours our a very burnt amber color with the slightest haze. A bountiful three fingers of fluffy and sticky tan head.

S: Red licorice, tropical fruit, caramel, and a touch of booze.

T: Very similar to the smell. Good amount of piney hoppiness.

M: Medium body that is creamy with an above average amount of carbonation. A bit warming on the way down.

O: I dig it. It is somewhat similar to and IIPA with it's hop profile. What sets it apart is it's big malt base.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 00:28:31 | More by mpedara429
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a thin cap of tan foam that leaves a dancing pattern of lace

Smell: Citrusy hops and caramel malts

Taste: The caramel flavors lay down the backbone and then the citrusy hops take over; plenty of hoppy character that edges into piney territory, after the swallow, though the caramel malt flavors linger into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Clearly an American style barleywine, with a strong hop profile, yet this is a bit middle-of-the-road for the style, with a mouthfeel that is slightly thin and a malt base that is a bit understated; still, quite a nice drinker

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 21:18:11 | More by brentk56
Photo of Tone


4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of wet hop, citrus hops, slight floral hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and hop oils. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hop oils, hint of roasted malt, alcohol, citrus hops, slight floral hops, hint of wet hop, and a hint of earthy malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, body, and complexity. My only slight complaint is that I wish is had a little more balance in flavors between the hops and malt/alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2013 18:55:24 | More by Tone
Photo of kylehay2004


4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Single finger thick off white head with little retention on a murky amber and crimson body with excellent lacing. Nice rich aroma of mostly citrus fruit but also some dark fruits and fig on a caramel malt background. Well balanced flavor with toasted caramel malts and earthy and fruity hops with notes of toffee and pine resin. Not overly sour or bitter. Alcohol is a little strong but not too bad for the ABV. Sooth, medium body and moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 01:44:54 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of duracell

Quebec (Canada)

4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red/amber body with an off-white creamy head sticking nicely to the glass. Big floral hoppiness in the noze with a nice layer of malt. Hop is really present in the taste with a lot of floral/piney/citrusy notes an a purgent bitterness. Big malty sweetness that gives a full body which balances the hop with raisins/figs aroma. Alcohol at the end gently tickles the throat. Really good barley wine! One of the american examples that is close to an imperial IPA in terms of IBU and hoppy notes. I really love that one, recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 02:54:54 | More by duracell
Photo of SerialHiker


4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a caramel mahogany color…some very light khaki colored head formed and a thin layer remains…though it’s dark, it’s fairly transparent and I don’t see too many bubbles happening…honestly, there’s not much life here, kinda looks like an average beer…(3.25/5)

Smell: It’s sweet, but not overly candy sweet…I’m getting that dark cherry/strawberry sweetness aroma, but it’s not as strong as other barleywines I’ve had…I’m also picking up some toffee, caramel, spices, pepper, piney hops, earthiness…light dark fruit, a touch of brown sugar and some alcohol heat…I definitely get a little more amber malt than I normally do as well…it’s nice, but not overly aromatic…though as it warms, there is a stronger aroma that highlights more pepper and spices…(4/5)

Taste: Yum! Sweet malts, I’m getting that dark cherry/strawberry sweetness and much like the nose, it’s not candy sweet…it’s more just like sweet caramel amber malts…there’s a good amount of piney, resinous hops flavor there as well balancing and adding to the overall package…it’s almost equal parts sweet amber malts and piney hops…I’m getting some of that brown sugar, fig, spices and booze…I can definitely taste the booze which adds more than subtracts to the flavor...the spices are warming my belly…real good flavor, it’s just a little different from other barleywines I’ve had…it’s got a little bit more of an amber malt flavor than I’m used to…(4.25/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with tons of carbonation…it fluffs up nice bringing more candy sweetness than just in a basic sip, but still it’s not overly candy sweet…it’s mildly chewy, there is some bitterness that hits the outside of my tongue and it ends rather wet with touch of alcohol…(4.25/5)

Overall: I’m quickly finding another style of beer that I’m liking…this barleywine is not as sweet as some I’ve had and while that’s not a bad thing, it just makes it different…the malt flavor is a little too amber malt for me, but that’s the only “knock” I’ve got and that’s probably just be a personal preference…the piney resinous hop flavor is strong and complimentary…this is a solid brew that doesn’t take long to be effective but isn’t too strong to cloud my judgment either…very drinkable and easily recommendable…I definitely want to get at least one more for the future…it’s got a vintage date which usually means it can survive in a cellar for at least a couple of years and I mind as well test that…if you just want a beer to sit back and relax with, this is a great choice…shoot, this is a great choice for disc golfing with and that’s my highest honor! I have to say, the more I drink, the more I like this brew…(4/5)

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 02:54:44 | More by SerialHiker
Photo of brewskis


3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brownish ruby red color with a finger and a half dark tan head that dissipates somewhat slowly and leaves a thick ring of lacing. Smells of lots of carmel and toffee, lots of bready notes from the malt, some brown sugar, raisins, a little dankness from the hops, as well as some grapefruit and pine. Thought there would be more hops on the nose. Taste starts with some resinous hop qualities such as grapefruit, pine, and orange rind. Then in the middle the hop qualities take a back seat to the malts. Lots of carmel, toffee, breadiness, some molasses or brown sugar. Then the finish is more of the heavy malt presence: lots of sweetness and breadiness, as well as some raisins, but more of the resinous hops show through as well. More complex hops flavors show through on the end such as floral, grass, and resin. Some booze on the finish that provides a warming sensation on the way down. Tastes very much like Bells This One Goes to 11 when it warms, as the hops show through much more. A pretty full body with a thick, creamy, and oily mouthfeel. Have had better American barleywines, but still decent.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 03:49:02 | More by brewskis
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Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 745 ratings.