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Barleywine Style Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

434 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 434
Hads: 816
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
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
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Reviews: 434 | Hads: 816
Photo of jera1350
4.23/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.23/5  rDev +9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2011 vintage stated on label.

appears a dark hazy amber copper color, with 1/2" creamy khaki colored head. decent head retention. smells quite boozey, slightly fruity alcohol esters. taste definitely starts very caramely, then a bit of earthy, piney, hops. sweet lingering aftertaste. medium thickness, smooth, soft carbonation. nice mouthfeel.

overall - if aroma was improved, it would complete the beer. solid though.

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Photo of daledeee
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 oz bomber

Pours perfectly. Nice light tan head and pretty dark brown body.

Nose is spicy, hoppy and malty.

Taste is more balanced than some other brew I have had from this place. It comes across as slightly creamy, pretty hoppy but a good dose of malt as well. The hops don't take over until the finish.

Carbonation is really nice and overall I like this beer.

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

Split a 22oz bottle of the 2012 vintage, poured into duvel glass

A: pours a hazy tawny/ruby brown with about a finger of brownish head that leavs some nice lacing... Good looking brew.

S: sticky malts, toffee, caramel. A hint of rasin and a load of citrus hoppyness, brown sugar

T: much like the nose loads of sticky malts, toffe and caramel, balanced out with loads of pine and citrus hops, notes of grapefruit and brown sugar, touch of alcohol , yummy.

M: medium body with crisp stinging medium/high carbonation, dry finish, Not overly sticky or syrupy. The alcohol is present and this is deffinatly a delicious sipper.

O: this is an excellent barleywine, nice balance between bitter and sweet, nice finish, very tasty

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

2012 bottling

A: deep amber brown with red-orange highlights; fat head left lotsa lace

S: caramel malt, dark fruit

T: pine, resin, robust malt, subdued sweetness, a little solventy

M: medium body, bittered caramel feel; slightly sticky

O: a good barleywine - but not much else; nothing really exceptional to set it apart; a worthy buy and try

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with Vintage 2012 on the bottle. Pours a dark mahogany color with an inch of frothy tan head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of booze, brown sugar, dark fruits, caramel malts and bread. Taste has a surprising amount of citrus hop flavor upfront followed by the caramel malts, earth, booze, and burnt brown sugar. Nice amount of alcohol burn. Afertaste of caramel and booze along with some dark fruits. This is a barleywine with a fair amount of hop flavor to it. Interested in aging one now. Overall, this is a solid barleywine worth seeking out.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, rich, dark amber color with a fat, fluffy taupe head that seems to linger forever. Toasted malt, caramel, and mown grass make up the aroma. Smooth, thicker consistency contributes to a pleasant mouthfeel. In true Green Flash fashion, there's a lot of high alpha acid hop resin that cuts the grain about midway and coats the palate. Despite the 11% ABV, there's very little alcohol warmth or taste. This is a fun Barleywine.

ADDENDUM: When eating with this beer, the alcohol gets expressed more prominently.

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4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22fl oz bottle. Snifter glass. Renjoyed on may´12. Pours mahogany in color. Beige, small bubbled, froth creates a thick & lasting crown. Spotty lacing on sides. Yeast & chocolate with hints of floral hops to the nose. Dry bitterness, toffee notes & toasted coffee. Viscous & creamy mouthfeel. Full body, moderate carbonation.Wood & pine on the aftertaste.ABV is felt just at the end to confirm it is not necessary to be a hot Barley Wine to be a Top one. Very nice drinking experience.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Creamy-dense head. The beer is darkly clear, an umber brown.

S: Sticky molasses malts and a touch of roast. Some vaguely metallic hops.

T/M: A pleasantly thick beer. Heavy malt base and some piny hops to bitter out the burnt toffee maintaste. The hoppiness grows as I continue drinking, along with a citric tang that is an interesting counterpoint to the strong alcohol and aforementioned heavy malt. Full-bodied and hefty. A sipper.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I'd drink again, and recommend to others. A great example of an American barleywine. Extreme, but in equal measures; bittersweet, as it were.

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Photo of capeannbass36
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a snifter....
A- Pours a fairly clear amber, reddish orange, topped with a 3 finger sticky, soapy beige colored head that hangs around for awhile.

S- Typical barleywine scent. Malt, toffee, caramel, some dark fruit. Some hops.

T- Follows the nose quite similarly. Some raisins. Yum.

M- Medium light carbonation. A touch slick and oily.

O- Finally a Green Flash that I like! Wish that I had another to sit in for a year to compare notes.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. Lots of head, maybe five or six fingers. Color was caramel coffee and cloudy lacing on the top. More cappuccino than anything else. Wet, tan and even film on the sides.

Smelled a potent whiff of wet citrus hops up front. Caramel and toffee malts as well. Some spices as well, which I couldn’t put my finger on.

Tasted caramel toffee malts and citrus rye hops. Very bitter on the tongue after. Pretty malty.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

Not bad for my first taste of barley wine. May come back and rate this again once I’ve had a few.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: Lots of hops, as you'd expect, with hints of caramel and malt in the aroma.

T: Tasted of hops, a bit of malt, a little citrus (grapefruit), and caramel. Not quite as hoppy as I would have guessed, but still a balanced, straightforward flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Another solidly made, drinkable beer from Green Flash.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Great Divide snifter

A-- Poured a dark toffee with orange splashes. Quite clear. Small carbonation bubbles are visible in this. One and a half light brown finger head that worked its way to a thick layer of film.

S-- Orange, grapefruit, pine and booze. Malts a a bit buried in this early but with air the backbone slowly overtakes the hops. More candied orange with toffee.

T-- Pungent orange and grapefruit mixed with a nice carmel backing. Slightly sweet and jammy once I got through the hops. More of a bigger malt bodied DIPA to me.

M-- Let this sit on the mouth for a bit and get a lot of the malt. Lots of strawberry orange jam. Booze is apparent but this is a 2011 so that figures. Showing signs of smoothing out. Medium bodied and low carbonation.

O-- Think this barleywine is on the turn to the good stuff. Hops are not as apparent and the malt is slowing taking over. ABV is very obvious in spots and in others quite smooth. Probably will be a staple in my cellar for a while

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Photo of tbeckett
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beer Deluxe. 2011 vintage. From notes.

A - Poured deep ruby with a three finger beige head. Thick head on top of a bright body left thick lace rings and half a finger of retention.

S - Hops, caramel, vibrant punch hops. Booze, sweet dark fruit. A bit floral, honey, and lemon candy with candied orange too.

T - Strong IPA-like flavour with maltier backbone. Dark fruit, booze. Floral with citrus and sweet malt too.

M - Mild carbonation, full body and a sweet tingly finish.

O/D - Subtle version of an American Barleywine. Less aggressive hop profile than usual in the style which I liked. Rich malt yet hoppy and aggressive. Good.

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Photo of jtingue
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Mahogany brown in color. Pours with 3 fingers of cappuccino head, which slowly dissipates, leaving lots of sticky lacing, to a good layer on top of the beer.

Smell. Obviously a very hop forward barleywine, with citrus and pine. In the background, though there is a lot of alcohol and some more traditional barleywine: toffee, some vanilla, and dark fruits.

Taste. Very sweet as it first touches the lips. Some raisin like flavors come next. Some moderate bitterness comes in, along with some grapefruit hop flavor. Some toffee sweetness come in, before another round of bitterness which lingers into a sweet finish.

Mouthfeel. The body, as one would expect is pretty full, and carbonation is low. Nothing complex here, but appropriate for a barleywine.

Not usually a fan of american barleywines, as compared to the english version. This one, however, was quite pleasant and the hop presence was more balanced with the malts, as opposed to a bigfoot IMO. Its hard to describe some of the hop flavors in this one, as they blend so well with the other flavors.

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Photo of Brad007
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red/burgundy color with a one-finger head into my glass. Barleywine style? Umm, sure!

Sweet with raisin, plum and some hops in the nose. Not overwhelming.

Some citrus hops but not much else. Raisin, etc. Lots of alcohol. Your standard barleywine.

Ditto on mouthfeel, except that the alcohol kicks back some more.

Not the best I've had. That honor goes to the one, the only Vermonster!

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Photo of evilkalla
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bomber into my Arrogant Bastard Ale glass. 2012 vintage.

A: Dark amber/red color. Pours with a very thick half inch of head. Carbonation is small but visible. Very nice.

S: Very malty with hints of piney hops.

T: Immediate piney bitterness, followed by a huge caramel malt backbone. Bitterness lingers for a long time. Very nice. This would probably age really well.

M: Thick but not syrupy. Good.

O: Glad I tried this. Wish I had bought another one to age for a while.

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Photo of shambeano
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with a mate and poured into a tulip.
A- dark ambery brown. Inch of fluffy head, some lacing. Looks good.
S- sweet malt, caramel, biscuity, the some resiny, piny hops.
T- sweet and caramely malts straight up, fair bit of resinous hop, pine. Tastes much like it smells, well rounded.
M- thick and creamy, length lacks a touch.
O- very nice version of a barleywine. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich ruddy-amber hue with a relatively haze-free body. Head is two fingers of frothy orange-tinged tan foam. I like it.

Smell: strong, rich malt aroma with quite a bit of sweetness. Nice, but not very complex at all. I feel like there could be a lot more going on.

Taste: rich, strong, sweet malt with a big alcohol bite. The flavor is really quite good; like the aroma, though, it's not terribly complex. Still, the rich maltiness works perfectly for the style.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a decent level of carbonation and a good, rich texture. I like it.

Overall: a decent barleywine. I wish there were more complexity here, but overall this is a well-crafted and tasty brew.

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Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.