Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Barleywine Style Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

434 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 434
Hads: 814
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 44
Gots: 83 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 11-08-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 434 | Hads: 814
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid barleywine, though not exceptional. Great head and reddish brown and lacey, aroma of barleywine and hops.Some citrus taste. A sourish taste. Medium mouthfeel.Would gladly have after two or more years ageing.Alcohol warming.Good caramel.Just not too unique. (264 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Green Flash Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same along with a weird celery-like flavor. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the celery flavor I am picking up is pretty odd. (585 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I almost think this should be considered an english style barleywine. Its got some bitterness that american barleywines have but theres an overpowering sweetness that is somewhere between english and aged american barleywine.

The beer poured a nice clear brownish color that made a little tan head that was nice and sticky. The smell was a sweet caramel malt with a little tartness noticeable. Not really a lot of hops present in the nose. The taste was a more extreme version of the smell. Good all around, just not what I expected. Real sweet and malty with a good bitterness to match. It had a dryness to it that I'm sure is from the hops. I'm not sure exactly to explain the flavor other than think of Old Foghorn or Old Crustacean that hasn't been aged very long.

Body and carbonation were both good. Definetely drinkable. (830 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  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. (456 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy brownish red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down and left a bit of lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are strong aromas of malt in the nose along with notes of alcohol and caramel as well as hints of brandy and dark fruits.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, although the taste of alcohol isn’t quite as prominent compared to the smell. There are some hints of sweetness in the initial taste, which quickly transitions over to a light amount of bitterness that persists through the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation and has lots of warming from the alcohol. It has some hints of stickiness.
O: For the most part, the alcohol is masked from the taste, however this is definitely a beer that needs to be sipped given its strength and full-bodied nature. (964 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good conventional barleywine. pours a deep ruby brown color, like an overripe apple. small white head, minimal lacing. smells strong, notes of spice and wheat bread are present, as is some darker malt sweetness. flavor is nice, well rounded, this one might age well. toffee and dried fruit mingle in the flavor as well. feel is good too, bubbly and just short of full bodied. i could drink several of these, and the price was fair. overall one of the more enjoyable barleywine's ive had this season. (499 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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 (675 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a medium brown/burgundy color ale with a great foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of caramel malt and light dry fruit is offset by some west coast hops. Taste of sweet caramel malt and subtle dry figs is balance with some citrus hops. Body is about average with some great carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Well done and I have to confess that I did enjoy this even though I usually prefer my barleywine with more malt profile then hop profile. (505 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber shared by alfrantzell. Thanks, Arne. 2008 edition. Pours a dark chestnut color, in the glass it's nearly opaque. A large off-white head tops the body, retains well and leaves thick rings of lacing as it slowly settles.

Citrusy aroma, still surprisingly hop-forward. Pine, earth, dark malts - not a lot of sweetness. A bit of tobacco and mild papery oxidation.

Robust hoppiness hits the tongue first. There's a strong pine flavor, undertones of grapefruit flesh and peel, dark fruit, earthy notes of tobacco and leather. Alcohol is briefly noticeable mid-palate. Quite dry overall, there's a strong malt character but it's more earthy, leathery, moderately toasty. Medium-bodied with a dry, bitter and hoppy finish with faint sherry-like oxidation. This has aged pretty gracefully. (789 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Barleywine Style Ale is a glorious, glowing shade of cherry red infused with Sunkist tangerine. The upper third of the glass is filled with golden ecru colored foam that features hundreds of sticky bubbles on its upper surface. This much lid longevity and this much lovely lace is unusual with an ABV this high.

The color and the aroma (and the GFBC website) indicate that caramel malt will be one of the beer's major features. Also evident is what smells like a generous amount of American hops. Approximately one year in the bottle will have tamed the beast to some extent, but 85 IBUs was a pretty lofty starting point.

This is good beer. The more interesting flavors provided by the caramel malt (compared to mostly pale malt) help to mask the alcohol. Age undoubtedly helped in that regard as well. In addition, hop bitterness doesn't outrace hop flavor, which is a definite danger in a high alpha acid American barleywine. Nice job all around.

Specifics include English toffee, tea leaves, pine sap, orange and white grapefruit peel, and a shot of white rum. Again, the alcohol is pretty well-integrated, but you definitely know you're drinking a big brew. If you want a decent amount of hoppiness, I'd suggest drinking this particular vintage before the end of this year.

The mouthfeel is built for quick consumption... although that isn't recommended. Time has undoubtedly sapped some of the beer's full stickiness and the bubbles are on the soft and gentle side. None of that is a deal-breaker as far as I'm concerned.

Green Flash Barleywine Style Ale isn't the best American barleywine on the block, but it does more right than it does wrong. If you like caramel malt, citric hops and double-digit ABVs, give this one a whirl. Bottom line: it ain't flashy, but it's as solid as granite. (1,815 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a two-finger, long lasting, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty and boozy with a touch of caramel.

T - It tasted of caramel and toffee with a nice sweetness. There is a good dose of bitter hops to balance out the sweet.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with an alcohol warmth.

O - This is a really tasty barleywine. It leans toward sweet but has just enough balance. (496 characters)

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a bit of chilled haze a medium to dark brown with a thinner but well retained slight off white head atop,man I love the hopped up barley wine aromas big resiny pine and a bit of pear and grapefruit mixed with heavy alcohol and caramel sweetness.First off I noticed as took a drink that the body was a little light for the style but the flavors were spot on as far as what I was expecting,deeply piney and citric with a hefty sweet malt base with some hot alcohol as it warmed.This beer packs a punch but not enough of one in the body,man this could be awesome. (572 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This bottle was a 2008 Vintage.

A: A dark amber color with a fairly large off-white head, which was rather surprising for a barleywine.

S: Lots of malt, toffee, caramel, a bit of hop bitterness.

T: This is where this beer really falls short. I normally enjoy barleywines, but this beer is overly boozy, and the malt/caramel dominate all the other flavors. I was hoping to taste some of the hop flavors and dark fruits (that are normally present in a barleywine), but was sadly let down.

M: Full bodied and very light on the carbonation.

D: Dissapointing flavor and the incredibl presence of booze make this beer not all that drinkable. (640 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body with a rather thin ring of beige-colored bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is packed with pine needles and ruby red grapefruit -- any maltiness seems to be an afterthought.

Taste: Dry, biscuity maltiness with the vaguest hints of brown sugar and dark caramel. Full hoppiness with an intense bitterness for a so-called barleywine. Plenty piney and chock full of grapefruit, maybe a bit of wood in there as well. Warming on the bitter, woody finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad DIPA! As a barleywine, it's definitely coming up short in terms of malt depth. Sure, you could chalk it up to merely being "young", but I just don't see enough malt character present to really ever come to the fore.. (774 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a short off-white head, that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, fruit, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh burst of hops bitterness followed by an alcohol sting when you sip the beer right away. However, if you let the beer sit for about 10-15 minutes everything tones down and the beer becomes much more balanced. At that point it starts with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and some fruit. The hops bitterness is still there and is still strong but after the beer warms it’s much more harmonious with the other components of the beer. The malt character is hearty and there is still a bit of an alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice stronger beer to drink on for a long time and while it’s not a terribly high ABV, this beer is more of a sipper because it improves greatly as it warms. (1,206 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Wegman's - good deal for a bomber- under $8. Enjoyed chilled in a tumbler.

The color is deep caramel amber with ruddy hues and thick frothy 3 finger puffy cream of light beige. The lace sticks in a thick lace pattern. The smell is a mix of pine and floral hop notes with a sweet and slightly alcohol influenced aroma with mild hint of toffee and citrus with a mild herbal perfume type hop scent. The feel is good, very rich and bitter with a warming alcohol finish and moderately full body with slight acicidty balanced by a moderately high sweetness anchoring the intense hop element, very complex and spicy.

This Barleywine has everything for Fans of the West coast style wrapped up in the flavor. There is a blast of pine with slight fusel alcohol in the taste and hint of spice with a light caramel dose of malt in the deep lasting middle which leads to a bitter and slightly warm finish. The taste has slight citrus/grapefruit tinges but mainly pine oriented hops and gentle caramel from the malt combine with a strong taste of alcohol but not overboard as it mainly comes through in the finish. I enjoyed this one a lot, a pretty solid example of an American Style barlewine -very fresh and full of hops, but not really trying to be an Imperial Ipa in disguise -it has the malt backbone you expect in a Barleywine. (1,346 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours orange/auburn with 4+ fingers of fluffed up sand colored head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Piney & citric hops up front & that's all

T: Caramel that is quickly cut off by piney & grapefruitty hops. A little breadyness and caramel fights through the hop storm as this warms, but only for a while. Bitter chocolate is also present, but mostly loads of grapefruitty hops, plus boozey warmth. Finishes with a whsiper of caramel, bready, intensely bitter & pretty boozey

MF: Chewy/heavy bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks a little slow, could it be the 10% ABV??? Yes, that & the intense hoppyness. Folks that dig big & hoppy will really like this. Me, I require a little more balance. Maybe this needs a year or 3 to mellow out?? (756 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep clouded plum amber body slightly clouded forms a large cream off white forms thick lacing evenly strung. Aroma has a deep caramel plum and raisin tartness with fresh cut green apples and vinous grapes, touch of a woody character a bit herbaceous. Flavor is raw and herbaceous very upfront in your face with west coast hops, pine, and citrus with herbal qualities a flowing. Fruity alcoholic with charred caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Again some tree bark qualities with unwavering hop bitterness throughout much not as pure extreme grapefruit as their DIPA. Mouthfeel is big full bodied malts with oily raw resinous textures galore. Drinkability is nice a unrefined not as established west coast barleywine that really reminds me of Big Foot. Great stuff glad that I sampled it, the more I try from this brewery the more impressed I become. (860 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 2008 bottle with my wife - I think bvc sent me this older bottle. Served in my Stone pint glass.

A - Pours with a big tan foam that dissipates slowly and leaves plenty of splotchy lacing and a thick cap. Transparent amber color with no obvious bubbles. Pretty nice looking barleywine.

S - Caramel apple, toffee, brown sugar, maybe a touch of maple. Alcohol seems to have mellowed out a bit in the past two years, as have the hops that are present in fresh bottles. I think this may be a little one-dimensional on the sweet side of things, but it's still quite pleasant.

T - The taste is quite similar to Half Pints Burly Wine, with the dark fruit and chocolate notes emerging a bit more. There's also a plethora of caramel, raisin, and burnt sugar. The finish is mildly bitter and there's the faintest trace of residual citrus hops. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden at this stage, and there's only the slightest hint of oxidation.

M - Smooth, medium body that might be a slightest bit to thin for the 10% ABV. Fairly warming - nice brew for a snowy February evening in Chicago. Some light residual stickiness.

D - It gets a little saccharine after 8oz or so, so I don't think I'd want to drink a bomber on my own. The alcohol buzz also creeps up fairly quickly. Otherwise it's a pretty enjoyable barleywine - not sure if there was bad batch/vintage, because this tastes much better than some of the recent reviews would indicate. (1,443 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (1,295 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage- 22 oz. bottle - poured into snifter:

Pours deep caramel-colored with a thin tan head that becomes a thick patch, then a swirling lace. Some dotted spots of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is citric, piney, resiny with caramel/toffee.

The taste is caramel with citric, earthy, leafy notes. Caramel becomes toffeeish as it warms. Sweet with a bitterish dryness in the finish.

Thickish and syrupy with some carbonation lending some smoothness, though alcohol is very sharp.

Certainly "American", especially as there are Pacific NW hops that come into play, especially in the aroma. This is a big brew that is certainly a slow sipper. A bottle half-the-size is certainly enough to be suitable for a nightcap that will call for dream-land. (758 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has an excellent hop aroma that's balanced nicely with some burnt toffee aromas. The citrus hop aroma really shines through. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal and roasted malt flavor that leans a bit on the smokey side. The hops flavor is quite bitter and works it's way all the through to the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking barleywine. I love the hop character in this one. Recommended. (587 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the alcohol and the brown sugar. I also get some pine from the hops and some dark fruit. The flavor is more of the same. I get some cherry and plum notes as well as some pine, toffee, alcohol and brown sugar. Low to medium bitterness and a decent amount of warming from the alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very tasty American barleywine. (430 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09/11/08- Purchased at Draegr's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation-22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep mahagoney in color. About a 3/4 inch head. Leeaves very light lace markings.

Smell- Very reminescent of Bigfoot. Very hoppy with pine and grapefruit accents, plus a nice caramel roasted malt nose.

Taste- Hopped up more than Bigfoot. Intense and bitter pine hops play the main part. The malt is carmely, but lacking just a bit. Seems a bit watery at times, while other times it seems just fine.

Mouthfeel- As stated above, watery at times. Has a nice carbonation level and leaves a sharp bitter aftertatse in it's trail.

Drinkability- I'm more of a fan of the English style of Barleywine. I'm as much of a hophead as the next guy, but it seems like each barleywine I have, they are trying to top each other with their hoppiness. Still a good beer that I would have again if offered. (931 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this to the Barleywine tasting.

A - dark, murky amber with a thick, huge, brownish, foamy head

S - candy sugar, tropical fruit, faint medicine

T - mango, bread, alcohol, caramel, faint dark fruit, faintly bitter

M - full bodied, well carbonated, warm

This is a solid, hoppybeer that has a great flavor and good complexity. The balance is there and it has scary drinkability. It's a borderline DIPA with the tropical fruit notes from the hops, but it packs a nice barleywine-like malt character. This was a nice all around. It's definitely worth a try. (587 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.