1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 745 | Reviews: 427 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of flydudehsv


4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber served in a snifter, purchased from Yosemite Valley's Village Store. Deep amber red/brown with a big, thick head. Oily texture. Aroma is hoppy and honey smell. Taste is mostly caramel and honey but still retains a citrus peel, pine; finishing grassy. Good Barleywine worth getting again!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 06:10:34 | More by flydudehsv
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains well before slowly disintegrating to a 1/4 inch head. Sticky lacing that adheres to the glass and then parts down leaving streaks behind.

S- Malty sweetness with a considerable hop sharpness in the back. They mesh together well, creating a citrus/cereal grain hybrid.

T- The bitterness mostly dominates in the flavor with the caramel-like malt trailing behind it. Certainly a hop-forward barleywine with more citrus notes and that signature west coast grassy flavor. The sweetness from the malt is still there but only as a moderator to tip the scale from the hop intensity. I must say though, the alcohol is fairly subdued resulting in high drinkability.

M- Sharp with a lingering hop bite, yet somehow has a soft, slick feel. Medium carbonation.

O- I can't tell if aging would make this one any better due to the fact that the hops are so enjoyable. Either way, I also enjoyed its mild sweetness and would definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 03:37:05 | More by Immortale25
Photo of martyl1000


4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I guess I have to talk a little more to get to the minimum number of words for this review to register. on speech to text. We'll see how well it transcribes my voice.
I guess I have to talk a little more to get to the minimum number of words for this review to register.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 08:05:51 | More by martyl1000
Photo of BeerDawgs


4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 220z bomber picked up in Asheville, NC

A - A deep mahogany/reddish amber. Lots of cloudiness, tons of head and sticky lace left all over the glass. Impressive

S - Very sweet aroma, toffee, caramel, brown sugar. The sweetness is typical of such a high ABV barleywine. Nice hop kick at the back. Well balanced. Tasty!

M - Medium bodied, fairly light on the tongue. High carbonation

O - Green Flash impresses yet again. They have not let me down in a long time. Well done Barleywine! Perfect for a Thursday night work week wind down...

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 03:15:35 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of ElSid


3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Beers of California


Bottle Date: None

A: Deep amber brown with a nice head of stone wash khaki head that simmers to a sheet that wraps around the edges of this beer.

S: Syrupy sweet, caramel, and breadiness along with a wininess and leather earthiness.

T: Leather and earth comes through with tinges of wine grapes and thick berry syrup sweetness. There is a nice leafy bitterness and hop spice, which adds to the moderate alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body and built with a moderate amount of carbonation. The linger is long and lace ample.

O: As straight forward as the name, this is a no-frills barleywine that is solid but lacks enthuiasiasm. Strong but without complexity and interest. A good introduction to the style and a worthy stepping stone to greater brews.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 03:11:27 | More by ElSid
Photo of smakawhat


4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber bottle into a large snifter glass. Vintage 2012.

A real creamy light tan head emerges, whipped and thicked up with very tiny bubbles, almost like mattress foam. Body color is a dark burnt orange, with hints of red, quite dark. Up to a bright light it has a real nice peach hue, and is a bit transparent.

Nose is real nice and fruity. Big grapefruit mush with lots of juicy zest sensations. Slightly toned down brown sugars, but some noticeable heat that is tolerable.

Palate coats nicely. A good sense of caramel, with the hop forward grapefruit action lingering. Nice mellow bitterness and chewy. Very coating mouthfeel with just the right amount of depth. Surprisingly not as sugar and sweet forward hinted on the nose, almost even dry.

Overall a real pleasant straightforward barleywine, very good.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 00:28:26 | More by smakawhat
Photo of JohnnyMc


4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great offering from Green Flash!

Pours out a deep mahogany with ruby red highlights and 2 fingers of off-white head.

The aroma has a lot of citrus hop notes, dark fruit like plum and fig and toffee and caramel malt notes.

The taste is mainly dominated by the dark fruit notes, but the citrusy hops are prominent too. There are a decent amount of sweeter malt flavors like toffee and caramel. Balanced between bitter and sweet.

The body is medium-full and it has a rich mouthfeel. There is not taste or smell of alcohol, but a strong warming affect.

This is a really tasty Barleywine and very easy to drink considering the high ABV, but not the best I've ever had. Worthy trying especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2012 06:56:26 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of DrewV

New York

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A finely balanced beer here, well-executed and smooth as silk, in traditional Green Flash style. Utilizes their signature malt base with some very fruity hops to set off the balance. Definitely leans more towards the fruity style of barleywines, a' la Founders Bolt Cutter, but I prefer the sharp Simcoe flavor in the Bigfoot / Old Guardian vein. Green Flash has definitely produced a fine brew here, but a bit on the mild side for me. I'll give this a B+/A-.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 00:39:23 | More by DrewV
Photo of mvanaskie13


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight tulip glass, color is amber to light brown, head presents about 1/4 inch thick.

Smell maple sugar, light fig, caramel and some moderate bitter notes.

Taste is pretty solid, not overly sweet nice flavor presence in the maple, caramel type with some very strong bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little cloying, but expected from a brew like this. Paired well with the leftover desserts.

Overall solid bwine, a little bitter than most but not too cliying, nice mix of flavors

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 05:29:50 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of CraftBeerTastic


4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #231
Served On: 10/26/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 10.9%
Date/ Code: 2011 Vintage

This was a 22oz. bomber from Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick.

Look: This heavy brew poured a rich clear copper color - bordering on ruby red. The head was a sandy tan color of froth - was an initial 2 fingers that dissipated to a thin patchy film. The lacing was incredible and very sticky looking on the glass.

Smell: This one had a very robust hop aroma. Huge onionskin notes with some pine. The malt sweetness was also very pronounced - all within a very resiny character.

Taste: First up was a malt sweetness that lead into a charge of pungent hops. A harsh hop bitterness hit with some hints of floral and onion trailing behind. A warming sensation appeared on the back-end. Then the huge malt bill made itself know with an almost cloying sweetness that cleared away the hop profile and created a lingering sweet aftertaste.

I enjoyed this brew. It was a very well hopped interpretation of a Barleywine that seemed like a SN Bigfoot that was taken to the next level.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2012 18:20:38 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of stlunatic15


3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber to a Tulip.

A - Dark mahogany with a 1/2 inch head. Standard lacing.

S - Molasses, maple syrup, caramel, and a light hint of chocolate.

T - Definitely a deep, malty flavor. Slightly boozy at the end, but that's a given since it's still young (2012). Also getting some dark berry notes - almost tastes like chocolate covered cherries, with a hint of raisin.

M - Very well carbonated, medium-bodied, but the thickness is still there. Still a slight burn at the back of the throat due to the booziness and its young age.

O - A very dense, complex barley wine with lots of noticeable flavors occurring. I am trying it fresh for the first time, and now I'm thinking about picking up another bottle to lay down, because I believe this beer has great potential for aging well. Will report back in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 08:17:50 | More by stlunatic15
Photo of BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased from Smiley's in Dover NH before they closed this past spring. Green label, Vintage 2011. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

A: Cloudy brew the color of apple cider. A moderate pour generates 1/2" of dense rocky foam, very creamy-looking, surprisingly good retention given the high ABV. Tons of lace, impressive!

S: This might seem odd, but my first impression is GIN. A distinctive spicy juniper aroma. This fades as it airs, but I still get it lingering behind other things. Aroma is a super thick sweet malty body, full and rounded, covers all the malty sweet spots in the nose. It smells like something you'd have to eat with a spoon. The OG must be absolutely massive. A distinct caramel/ toffee note leads the charge. Also smelling some green apple, of all things.

T/M: Significantly less complex than the smell. Less of a clean malt sweetness, more of a muddy caramel struggling to keep peppery alcohol under wraps. The high ABV was well-hidden in the smell but definitely makes itself known in the taste. Feel is a tight balance between thick malt body and thin sharp alcohol, again with the alcohol winning out.

D: Not the best drinker, largely due to difficulties in keeping the high ABV under control in the taste. I've had other brews just as strong that do a better job at that task.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 02:40:17 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 12:12:02 | More by tdm168
Photo of deadonhisfeet


3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage reviewed in October of 2012. Poured from a bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Pours out slightly murky, reddish-brown, tawny liquid with a nice one finger of khaki head. The nose definitely says Barleywine. I get sweet, medicinal notes of toffee, sweet malt, and cherries.

Full body and very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Very sweet throughout the palate with little resistance from the hops. Intense malt flavors of sweet cherries, orange, toast, and holiday cookies. Warming bit of alcohol on the finish and lingering flavors of baking spice and orange rind.

This beer was a bargain at 4.99 per bomber. Plus, it's bottle conditioned and should continue to evolve over time. I realize my bottle was about a year old. I must try a fresh bottle some time to see if it has a bit more hop presence.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 00:13:07 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of ncfranklin


3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip. 2012 Vintage.

A: Dark toffey brown. Hazy throughout with a finger tan head that laces well.

S: Nose is Malty sweet and feint. Light resiny pine.

T: Straight after the now. Big malty here with caramel and candy, some hops of pine give a resiny bite. Light alcohol mingles in.

M: Big and chewy as expected. A light bite from the hops leaves a slight tingle to the mouth.

D: A no-frills staple west coast American barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 02:16:52 | More by ncfranklin
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice dark caramel, with a very light brown foamy head. Head lasted a few minutes, but left nice lacing on the sides, and the remainder clung a fair amount. Aroma was floral sweet, a hint of spicy sugar, but you could also smell the alcohol. Flavor was a well balanced sweet, with a bit of hoppy after taste. Coated very well in the mouth. Nice thick and chewy, with a little bit of carbonation in the mouth. Overall a good barleywine. Perhaps just a smidgen oversweet, but outside of that it was delicious.

Bottle said 2011 Vintage

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 23:09:51 | More by mountdew1
Photo of Slatetank


3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 16:54:59 | More by Slatetank
Photo of MadScientist

New York

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

A: Medium copper with excellent clarity. The persistent tan head of creamy mousse-like bubbles leave a fine lacing on the glass.

S: The light malt aromas of caramel with some bread notes increases as it warms. There is a light citrus and floral hop aroma with some light fruit esters. No diacetyl, no DMS. The moderately strong alcohol aroma is slightly hot.

T: There is an intense hops bitterness and a prominent almost equal malt flavor of caramel, toffee and slight notes of crusty bread. The moderate hops flavor is mostly citrus and resinous pine. The flavor balance is fairly bitter with a strong malt close behind. The finish is medium dry with a an aggressive bitterness and grainy malt flavor.

M: A smooth medium-full bodied beer with a moderately-low carbonation. There is a substantial alcohol warmth and a light creaminess.

O: A West Coast styled American Barleywine that features substantial hops bitterness, alcohol and a surprisingly high amount of malts flavors. It's a great beer to sip on a cool Autumn night.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 03:04:12 | More by MadScientist
Photo of jera1350


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009.

Amber colored, sticky head of tan foam that generates some nice lacing.

The smell is nice, but a bit light. Dark Jamaican spiced rum, hops and sweet toffee malt. Mostly dark rum though.

Dark spiced rum dominates the flavor here. Spicy, mellow booze, toasted nuts and spicy and earthy hops. Lingering spice and hops in the aftertaste.

Very smooth, full bodied and dry on the finish.

Very nice barleywine that has done well with age. I think this would have been a hot mess fresh. Very pleasant drinker with a unique spice component for the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 02:23:10 | More by jera1350
Photo of lurpy1


3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First impression...I really like Green Flash, consider them underrated, but they don't grab your attention with the bland, lifeless labels. If you took off the wording, I'd guess it was the label from a bag of organic tortilla chips. Anyhoo. Green Flash. Liked the stout. LOVED the IPAs. Here goes the Barleywine. And how bout you Green Flash people have some fun and name the beer?

Pour is nice, deep amber with a mushy finger of head. Smell is good too. caramel, toffee, oaty, with a challenging amount of hops.

On the tongue, this beer is probably a victim of my expectations, as all the recent BWs I've had are barrel-aged, so my palate is wondering where the bourbon is. After shaking off that downer, I find the cascade hops too present. The sweet notes are very subtle initially and gone in the finish, leaving a watered down version of the West Coast IPA. Not bad. But much room for improvement. I get that Green Flash knows its hops, but they seem to not be able to get out of their own way in turning this into another hop attack. Must be a California thing, Lagunitas does the same thing, make EVERYTHING hoppy.

Nice thick mouthfeel, not as sugary as a barleywine should be, and it is dragged down a bit by the wateriness.

One of the hoppier barleywines I've ever had. Not a miss per se, but probably below average in the barleywine patheon and the weakest of many great beers I've had from Green Flash. Extremely marginal recommendation on this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 12:02:48 | More by lurpy1
Photo of Nugganooch


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

Notes taken from 08/09/12
2012 Vintage - 22oz bomber into a taster flute

A: GF Barleywine pours a deep rich caramel color with red and brown hues when held to the light. The brew looks dense with some haze to it that gives off a sort of brassy glow. A finger worth of dark sandy head formed looking stale and cakey. Practically motionless. Ever so slowly it resides, leaving rooftop lined lace down the glass.

S: Smells of caramelized grains, sugar soaked raisins, some spice, toffee, and leathery earth. There is a decent amount of fruity plum and fig-like esters present with a touch of alcohol. Nice and appropriate for the style.

T: Intense flavors are forward with gooey kettled caramel malts, candied figs, crusty bread, and spiced raisins/currants. There is high amount of bitterness with a nice flourishing hop presence. A bit of caramelized apple and pear met with lesser notes of grass, dry pine needle, and sour orange peel. Beer is on the sweeter side as to be expected with a sharp alcohol bite and warming sensation. A really bold and intense Barleywine.

M: Mouthfeel is moderately heavier in chew but with a nice creamy texture up front and dry prickly carbonic finish. Lends to a more quaffable experience. Noticeable lingering hop residues.

D: Overall a solid American Barleywine with some real complex layers resulting from an extended boil of Pale Malts (English?), high Crystal malts, and perhaps some Special B accentuating that raisin/figgy ester profile. Huge charge of hops here. Not quite as smooth as a SN Bigfoot when fresh but just as good in its own way. Alcohol definitely asserts itself this one could benefit from another 6-12 months on it.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 18:11:09 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of PolarBear3


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown in colour and fairly cloudy with a biege thin head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin film.

S - Get of alot toffee, caramel and sweet candy with floral citrus hops throughout.

T - Get caramel malts and loads of toffee, raisins and a little toffee apple and pine at the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation

O - Very impressed with this one. A little on the boozy side but very well balanced and definaitely worth a go.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 11:20:12 | More by PolarBear3
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2012 01:19:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of VaTechHopHead

4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012, 22 oz. bottled poured into a Stone tulip glass

A - Deep brown in color, slightly hazy, and has a thick light tan head that lasts.

S - Very sweet, as evident of the 4-hour boiling process, but not overly sweet. Hints of toffee, caramel and molasses. Zero hop presence in this one.

T - Very similar to the aroma but with a little less sweetness. Great toffee/caramel flavor and just a hint of toasted biscuit in the background. Again, hardly any hop flavor in this one. Finishes semi-sweet with a great roasted acidity.

M/O - Medium to big body on this one and no alcohol taste/burn. Leaves the palate clean and slightly chewy. Overall it's a great barleywine in my opinion that tends to the low-hop characteristics of the style. Will be a regular in my fridge/cellar.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 18:09:02 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of bushbeer75


4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle

Green Flash Barleywine Ale poured into a snifter at 550. Body was a dark brown color with a red cast producing a nice looking bubbly tan head and spotty lacing. The nose is of caramel malt, toffee, and citrus hops. The taste is toffee, some brown sugar and a sweet caramel upfront followed by a generous grapefruit citrus hop finish. Mouthfeel is a little sticky but also smooth with a fuller body and a nice alcohol warming builds as consumed.

Green Flash Barleywine is not my favorite American Barleywine however, it is good nonetheless. .. Nice ‘warming’ winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 18:32:00 | More by bushbeer75
Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 745 ratings.