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Barleywine Style Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale

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

793 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 793
Reviews: 430
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 41
Gots: 76 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 11-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 793 | Reviews: 430 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky and hazed caramel colored liquid with yeast particulates floating. A thick frothy cap of beige foam rises up firm and settles out slowly.

Low aroma of orange rind and toffee, some butterscotch. Rich flavor of liqueor citrus with sharp orange rind bitter and grapefruit esters, plus ripe fruit and spicy cinnamon. Subtle caramel rides beneath, but spicy citrusy hops keep pushing it back down.

Rich and full mouthfeel, satisfying, finishes with a tingle and an alcoholic warmth. Tasty beer, good sipper.

Photo of ommegoose
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The 2009 vintage is 10.9%.

Pours out sludgy, without a lot of carbonation. A hard pour generates little head. Second pour is better, with a fuller head, strong lacing, and a long lingering cap. Color is reddish-brown, leaning quite a bit towards the reddish. Semi-opaque.

Aroma of sticky oranges. Maple syrup, thick caramel, molasses. Sweet fruitiness comes about later. Plum.

Tastes of things sticky. Caramel, maple syrup, sappy resinous hops. Good malt/hop balance, but probably still towards the hoppy end of the spectrum at this stage. Hop profile is primarily orangey, then grapefruit, then some piney bitterness at the end. Not all that bitter, which is not surprising considering how beefy the malt profile is. A little more malt complexity would bump this up a notch. Brown sugar, softly tastes of plum and cherry. This is an enjoyable drink, but it's just a notch below my other favorites of the style.

Feels as full as one would expect. I was well into my review before I started to look for boozy hotness. It's masked well, but all other aspects of the beer make it no secret that it's a big one.

Drinkability is sort of down on this one. Sort of a wet finish that doesn't beg for the next sip. It's strong and heavy. Slower drink than a lot of big beers of the sort. Sometimes the high abv will get me to chug through faster, but not here. It's an adequate example of the style. Barleywines are a style where a decently executed one is still better than a lot of beers in a lot of other styles. Value is pretty good for a bomber, so that bumps the score a touch.

Photo of jsh420
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

pours dark carmel orange with a 1/2 finger tanish head that left lacing all over the glass

smell - wow big pine and grapefruit hops

taste - much of the same hoppy west coast baby - but all the pine and grapefruit hops are balanced well rich fruity candy sweet malts - and i do pick up on some blueberry flavors

mouthfeel is medium/heavy rich body very smooth and creamy

drinkability is great - i would love to crack open a 2008 to compare but this beer is 10% - however i had no problem finishing this bomber

Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow I had not had this yet, which seems like a glaring omission, seeing as how I've had access for quite some time and have tried a few beers from this brewery by now.
Looks good! Attractive mahogany color with a sticky, happy fun sculptable tan head. Appropriate for the style and doing it well.
I was going to score this lower on its scent until it finally warmed up enough. Very little is revealed when too cold; on the warmer side it really opens up. Hops dominate with a sweet undertone of caramelized malts playing backup.
Lots of big, well balanced flavor going on here. Tasty citrus hops, solid malt flavors all playing well together.
Must to try this next to other examples of the style that I hold in high regard. I would not be shocked if I had to edit some reviews due to such a tasting event.

Photo of jwinship83
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage drank from my duvel tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a deep dark copper colored body with ruby highlights around the edges when held up to the light. a small khaki colored head that is very sticky sits on top. leaves behind a solid wall of lace.

S- caramel and toffee malts. a small amount of alcohol is detected. this smells very hoppy. lots of grapefruit, pine, and a bit of orange.

T- it starts out with a healthy dose of caramel and toffee like malts. some cherries and raisins. the finish is a blast of citric and pine hops. grapefruit mostly, but also a bit of orange. you can taste all the alcohol.

M- full bodied and syrupy. moderately carbonated. strong warming from the alcohol.

D- enjoyable. not something id want to drink more than one of in a sitting, and not something id reach for very often. ill check this vintage out in a few years to see what its doing then. i kind of expected more out of this one.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz, 2008 Vintage.

Appearance: Clear light brown-dark orange. Off white head starts fluffy and fades to a thin rim. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Very rich, malty sweetness. Almost like boozy brown sugar. I dont smell much in the way of strong hops which is surprising since this is Green Flash, but on the other hand, this has been in my basement for a year and a half.

Taste: Rich, sweet caramel melt all over. There is some residual hops flavor which compliments the sweetness nicely. The booze is definitely there.

Mouthfeel: Full and a little syrupy. Still has adequate carbonation.

Drinkability: I didn't really plan on cellaring this, but I'm not upset about it. The tamed hops makes this more like an English barleywine, but its really good.

Photo of robbyc1
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark gold with a slight tan head, lacing is minimal.

Really dark malt nose, but the alcohol overpowers it. There is a slightly fruity presence. Overall to much alcohol presence.

Flavor is flat, that is I get no flavors other than some malt, the abv again overpowers. It actually has enough hops that the end is balanced, a good thing.

Very heavy, but refined, a decent drinker, but over the top, need some aging. A young tasting beer, but age will not assist the flat flavor, one to try but not again given other A choices.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 vintage.

Pours a dark copper with medium ruby highlights. Pretty good , light tan head and foam for a barleywine. Warm, citrusy orange peel hop aroma. Then maybe an afterthought of caramel malts and a hint of cinnamon. The orangey hop bitterness and heat from the alcohol hit first, then the malty sweetness swings by as an afterthought. Texture is hot and gristeley up front, then very slowly smoothness out to a cognac like palate. Pretty harsh flavors and mouthfeels to this young barleywine. Bitter and a little rough upfront. Would probably smooth out after at least a year of aging. But if the beer doesn't taste good young, it won't taste much better aged.

Photo of nerow
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque amber into an oversized wine glass one finger head, average lacing, minimal retention. Smell is predominantly citrus, very little malt. Tastes mostly of citrus hops, some sweet toffee at the end. More or less one dimensional. Mouthfeel is creamy and pleasant, minimal carbonation. Drinkability is above average, however strongly tempered by the high ABV and hops. High alcohol hop bomb.

Photo of czechsaaz
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage

Lots of Citrus hop aroma, tons of orange peel and a baked brown sugar malt underneath. There's a little red-wine acidic yeast aroma too.

Deep amerber, almost red colored. Very little head but what's there is pure white and hangs like a ring around the rim of my glass. No rising carbonation bubbles in the glass. Very clear.

It starts out a little malty but then the hop bitterness takes over. The hops linger leaving an oily hop sensation in the aftertaste. The high bitterness really masks any malt and makes it seem very dry. There's grassy hops mixed in too.

Big bodied and lightly carbonated with a noticeable alcohol warmth.

Overall it's pretty one dimensional. A big ole hop-bomb.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008 bottle.

Cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear chestnut with heavy ruby highlights. A foamy spongey eggshell white head of several cms develops even with a fairly gentle pour. Head recedes gradually leaving mostly tightly spun lattice on the sides of my glass, a large island remains isolated in the center of the sea of beer.
The aroma is rich and a little boozy, but dark fruit, plums, figs, and red grapes come through the nose. Maybe a little bit of herbal and tea leaf hops mixed in the background.
First sip reveals an average body with fine yet spacious carbonation. The texture is smooth and easy to drink even for a big B-wine.
Flavor is sweet malt and fruit with a bit of molasses and caramel mixing with some fig and plums. Finishes with a bit of a bitey hop note that is similar to some pine sap and grapefruit rind. the alcohol is hidden as the beer doesnt warm on the swallow. Quite a nice beer, well crafted and enjoyable. Definitely more US barleywine with the hop kick on the finish.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark ruby / caramel brown

Smelled amazing at first,very strong blueberry , booze concoction with stringent odors. Definite metallicism detected in this brew. Possibly too much bitterness.

Mouthfeel: acidic, medium body

D: Tough to drink a bomber - better shared with another person

Photo of GbVDave
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

2009 Vintage

A: Pours a deep caramel brown with a dark khaki head that was bubbly, frothy, and very sticky. Tons of lace was left in its' wake.

S: Big aromas of caramel and toffee, citrus hops, nuts, brown sugar/molassas, and booze soaked apples.

T: Booze "enriched" caramel apples, pan roasted nuts, toasted caramel malt, and toffee.

M: Very prickly and sticky sweet. Solvent-like alcohol qualities. Slight roughness.

D: Quite good. This one warms the throat and chest.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this BW is hazelnut in color, a finger of tan rocky head, no visible carbonation

S - rich aroma of deep roasted malts and dark brown sugar, grandmas molasses and dark fruits, especially raisins

T - more balancing hops that i expected, but the malts and dark sweets that are typical shine through, raisins, dates, brown sugar

M&D - a nice balance and a smooth, medium bodied beer, a standard quality barleywine, nothing to extraordinary but there is no lacking in any element, a great standby BW

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a trade, thanks augustgarage! My 2nd or 3rd Green Flash, don't usually see this one in my neck of the woods. All we get is the Imp. IPA and the Le Freak out here (got to go to MA to get them anyways)

A- From 22oz into wide snifter. A Creamy but fast-settling off-white had sits on a chestnut brown ale. Looks like a barleywine, through and through. Although I would have liked more of a head, at 10% that's probably more wishful thinking than anything else.

S- I smell sweetness, a malty sweetness that reminds me of pizza dough before you roll it out. Hmm. Fits with the barleywine, though. I smell molasses, maple syrup, smells like an empty bottle of Raison D'Extra, actually. Malt bomb at this point, can't distinguish the hops in the nose.

T- Wow. Heavy, heavy hops that were invisible before come out swinging and counter-punch the significant malt bill. This is no joke. Almost mouth-puckering, but that's not due to a sourness or tartness... just an overwhelming blast of flavor. Hops are pine-resin-esque... but hard to place far beyond their power as the sugar bomb takes over. As in the nose, molasses abounds. I want to drizzle this over pancakes or make cookies with it. Not your average barleywine... if the hops are this strong a year later, this must have been scorching fresh. As the alcohol works my tongue over, the flavors synergize a bit better. Bumping up to 4/5.

M- Thick, syrupy, a bit hot. Not bad, not my favorite. Somewhere in the middle.

D- Moderate. No joke. A true barleywine. The sweetness got to me after a while, but the hops helped this one ease along. I'd seek this one out again, for sure... but I'd let it sit for 3-5 years at least... this one begs to be aged.

Photo of velosuds
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Advice: let this warm to 50-55°F before enjoying, otherwise the alcohol is too astringent.

Vintage: 2008. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Purchased from Capital Market for $5.99.

A-Pours a very pleasing burnt-orange amber with a two finger, creamy tan head that recedes into a heavy, sticky lace all the way down the glass.

S-Malty fruit, like figs. And rum.

T-Alcohol is the predominant flavor. No disrespect to the brewer intended, but this almost seems it was distilled instead of brewed. Tastes like a lot more alcohol than a 10% ABV beer should. Besides this, there is a slight spicy fruitcake taste that is too subtle. Disappointing, but it does improve as it warms. Even then, it is not especially complex and too bitter for the style.

M-Tad thin. Difficult to discern since the alcohol pervades every aspect of this beer.

D-No thanks. Won't drink this again. This was close to a drain pour and would have been if it had not improved as it warmed. Demanding day at work, so I enjoyed the buzz. If ability to produce a buzz were a review characteristic, this would rate high.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle, 2006 vintage. Poured into my Sly Fox shaker glass. Appears the color of cloudy fresh brewed iced tea with an inch of creamy rust colored foam. The head leaves a thick lace covering the entire inside of my glass opposite of where I'm sippin' from. Flavors and aromas consist of prunes, quite bitter at first, alcohol is not very apparent at this age, toffee, bitter citrus peel, dark caramel. Falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation levels. Aftertaste is a bit bitter. Overall, I'd say this one held up pretty well and could go a bit longer in the cellar.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a deep amber color with a thin layer of head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is a sweet malt with a light backing of earthy hops.

The taste is ok, but in comparison to most barleywines it falls short tremendously. The malt is toffee. The hops show up only slightly. The dominating taste is the alcohol. There are dark fruity esters that resemble fig, but the alcohol is so astringent it detracts from anything else going on.

It's a little syrupy. The alchol makes it a little coarse and abrasive on the throat, and that just doesn't seem right for a beer. Carbonation and texture is good, though.

As a whole, this beer isn't bad, but compared to a majority of barleywines available I'd say it's only slightly above average.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a deep amber color with a tan head. Nose of nice thick malt, hops and some pine. The taste was good. It was little lighter of barleywines than I am used to but good. Not as thick and sticky. A little more againg could resolve that. It has subtle piney hops kick which is great and characteristic of NW beers, especially in NW IPA's. A pleasure to drink.
2007 Vintage
Poured a brownish amber color with good carbonation and a tan head. Nose is caramel, toffee and some pine. taste has shifted toward a big caramel, toffee presence but the ABV is still strong and so is the hop profile. Mouthfeel is balanced, creamy, sweet and delicous! Damn good at 2 years!

Photo of PatronWizard
2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage the missus brought home from Bevmo.

Pour looks great. Sticky mocha head over a deeep shade of caramel. Little lacing to boot.

After the good looks, the smell is disappointing. Very faint green apple, caramel, and acetone.

Uh yeah, taste is a stronger version of the nose: very faint green apple, caramel and acetone.

Thick and fairly smooth but ... meh. Total bummer actually. I like Green Flash (the IPA and Hop Head Red are both awesome) but this beast tastes too much like paint thinner. I won't waste it but I won't get it again.

In fact as time goes on, this becomes a fucking chore. Good thing it's 10% - at least I can drown my sorrows.

Overall: not right

Photo of Dodo2step
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach

22 oz poured into a weizen glass.

A- a fomay uprising head during pour. Sticks nicely to the glass and is a light amber color. Beer itself is an amber red color that is murky.

S- sugary sweet malts and alcohol dominate the nose at first. After a few sniffs i also get toffee, caramel and some dark fruit rise to the occassion as well.

T- dry grassy hops hit you up front. alcohol is potent and the candied fruit and pine come out as well.

M-dry and bitter hops. Alcohol coats the mouth and a warmth fills the throat all the way down.

D- its not as smooth as i would want my barleywines. The grassy hops take away the drinkability. Either way you want to sip this one. Overall a good brew.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

Pours a deep burgundy color with a large sticky light tan head, a beautiful looking beer.

Scent of strong grassy hops, sugars, caramel, and a fairly biting alcohol. A great scent, but it would be much better without the strong alcohol presence.

Taste of grassy hops, caramel, sugars, light fruit and the strong alcohol. This could be very tasty without the overpowering alcohol, I will be aging some of this to see how it turns out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a bite of alcohol.

Photo of womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -16%
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.

Photo of sweetbrew82
2.08/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22 oz. into a snifter/ 2008

P: Very dark amber with a cream-colored head that's quite nice! It's thick and dense with a frothy, yet firm crown of foam that shows very good retention for a 10% brew. Sinks to form a thick collar while leaving some notches of lace in its wake.

A: Huge waves of toasted caramel malts, toffee, piney hops, dark fruits, burnt sugar, and booze are present. Damn, I hope this isn't as boozy as it smells because this is reminding me of hard liquor, which is more than a bit worrysome.

T: And now my worries have come to reality. This over-powering booziness reminds me a little of fresh Old Guardian. Its got that solvent-like, vodka quality to it that just scorches everything in sight. Anyhow, there's a bready caramel malt that proclaims itself king right off the bat. But the citrusy, piney hops manage to make their way to the forefront in spots as well. There are also some pleasant notes of toffee and dark fruits in here as well, but you have to dig a little for them. They are pretty sublte, but they remind me of figs and black cherries. Some slight oxidation noted in this bottle as well, but I'm not holding that against this brew as it's not the brewers fault. The absurd amount of unbridled, unmasked alcohol, however, is!

M: Green Flash Barleywine is a medium-full bodied beer that leans more toward full as it warms up a bit. Its got a sticky, creamy, mouth-coating chewiness to it along with a prickly bite from the generous amount of carbonation.

Notes: This is just a boozy mess of a beer that completely fails to work in harmony right now. It's a shame because there are some really good flavors in here, too. That vodka-like ethanol just wore me down and made it a chore to get through even a glass. And considering that I am a cheap-ass bastard in the worst way, it takes a lot for a beer to become a drainpour. Unfortunately, this one pushed me past the threshold and the rest met its fate at the bottom of my kitchen sink. What the hell happened here? Green Flash makes excellent beers, but this just wasn't one of them! Will have to revisit this to ensure that I didn't get a bad bottle.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.