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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

799 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 799
Reviews: 430
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 42
Gots: 79 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 799 | Reviews: 430 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of the bottle this beer was a deep garnet color approaching brown. The head was huge, three fingers of tan bubbles that descended back to a rocky cap after a while that laced well. The aroma weres quite nice, ripe fruit, figs and raisins, rich hops, toffee and alcohol esters. The flavors followed suit, I was first rushed by the flavors of fermented cherries and raisins, quite sweet. This was soon followed by pine and grapefruit notes from the hops and at last the alcohol heat and caramel malt at the end. As big as it was the balance was well struck. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth helping to make it rather drinkable. Though sweet it never became cloying even as it warmed up and I think the sugars helped control the 10% alcohol punch. It was a good example of the style and I recommend it.

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

Vintage 2008

Appearance: It pours a nice looking, hazy brown color with plenty of garnet highlights. The head is creamy, off-white, and about two fingers deep in color. Retention was very good and left a nice thick coat of lace on the glass. Pretty impressive.

Smell: The nose is initially dominated by citrus grapefruit and pineapple scents. They're sweet smelling and enticing. It's followed by a heavy, sweet malt smell. Smells like a good mix of pale and caramel malts. Hops are strong, piney, and citric. Definitely a lot of west coast character in the hops. Hops are very strong and seem to overtake the malt aromas. That bodes well for this one. It's worth noting here that the nose opens up quite a bit as it warms. Alcohol is noteable, which is no surprise. My bottle indicates the abv is 10%. That's tough to hide. Nonetheless, good job here.

Taste: It is sweet and fruity up front. Citrus grapefruit and pineapple flavors are sweet and strong. It's pretty sugary. I probably never want to know how many calories are in a bomber of this stuff. It has a very nice malt base. It's sweet and does taste like a good mix of caramel and pale varieties. Hops are very strong and flavorful. They're mostly piney and citric. They give it a really nice bitter flavor and do overtake the malts in terms of strength. On the secondary level, it does feature some nice dark fruit flavors. It's mostly raisin and plum, but they do add quite a bit of character. Too bad they don't really come through on the nose. Alcohol is easily noticeable and has a bit of a warming effect. It finishes sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: No doubt this one's full bodied and features a smooth feel. Carbonation is low, which helps. There's not many bubbles in there at all. But, it's definitely a sipping beer. Drinkability's okay, but not quite good. It's too big, too strong, and too filling to drink more than a bomber. I'm actually struggling with this bomber as it is.

Green Flash did a pretty good job with this Barleywine. It's got a good flavor, but could use a little refining. The nose is good, but could use a little work to bring out more of the flavors it has. Frankly, I love the strong hoppy flavor, but would be very interested in trying this with some age to see how it gels. As it is right now, it's almost a little too hoppy. There's a sentence I never thought I'd say. But, for the style it's true. I suspect it's better with some age. Perhaps even dramatically so.

Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After nearly a 6 month hiatus from reviewing, I'm trying to get back into it a little more. I picked this one up several months back.

Poured into a snifter. Dark in the glass but a vibrant, garnet-cherry red when held to the light. Small quarter inch off-white head on the pour that reduced to a ring around the glass. Nice clarity, fairly low carbonation. Occassional spots of lace.

Alcohol rich cherries, plums and raisins throughout over a faint grainy background. Good dosing of hops as well offer up some grapefruit and citrus. No doubt this is an American barleywine.

Flavor is more malt oriented with a good malty backbone that barely fights through the hops. Some tea and tobacco notes coincide with a faint touch of toffee and dark caramel. Dark stone fruits and some raisin come in just before a lasting piney bitter note. Alcohol is definately noticable.

Low carbonation as expected, medium to medium-thin body, seems some sugar was probably employed, helping reduce the residual sweetness and upping drinkability. A bit of stickiness on the palatte allows the malt and dark fruit flavors to linger with the bitterness.

Overall a pretty good representation of the style, although the alcohol could be a bit tamer. Some additional time on this one wouldn't hurt to possibly smooth things out just a bit.

Photo of ericj551
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Green Flash Barleywine pours a nice copper with a bubbly offwhite head. The aroma is fresh, piney grapefruit PNW hops as advertised. Some malt an ester sneak through, but are mostly hidden by the hops. Bitterness hits right upfront in the flavor, with more piney, cirusy hops. The fruity esters shine more than the malt, which is well hidden. Damn this is a hoppy Barleywine, if you told me it was a DIPA I would believe it.

Photo of JBuff41413
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my third Barley Wine and I am getting addicted to the genre. I saw Green Flash's version and had to give it a try.

A- Vibrant amber color with a foamy 1 1/2 inch light mocha colored head. Retention and lacing are decent.

S- Biscuits with honey, caramel, alcohol.

T- Caramel, molasses, dry, oddly bitter, and small amounts of citrus. Alcohol was vaguely present.

M- Medium mouthfeel low carbonation

D- Not horrible drinkability, but the lowest of the 3 barley wines I've had so far.

I may pick this up again, but I was not that impressed, and with this being my first beer from Green Flash, I might be a little skeptical of trying another.

Photo of GClarkage
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of umtox
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great barleywine aroma and beautiful appearance with lots of retained bubbles for a beer this potent.

It tastes great with the taste of cask curing and a heavy dose of hops.

This is meant to be enjoyed in small quantities and it does numb the palate a bit near the end of the glass. It also seems to get a lot dryer as you proceed in the drinking session.

Photo of DIM
2.76/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

note: The bottle reads, "vintage", but doesn't say which one.

a: This was a clear ruby tinted copper color. it poured with a short lived, sticky off-white head.

s: This was very sweet smelling for a barleywine. The nose is dominated by smoky, mildly acrid brown sugar, molasses, and toffee. There are some very faint dark fruit aromas as well.

t: This tastes like I might be having it at the wrong time. When fresh, I'll bet it was hoppy as hell. Further cellaring might have yielded something better. Right now though, whatever vintage this is, it's a bit of a sugary mess. Acrid molasses flavors with some faint dark fruit notes are blunted somewhat by a faint, piny hop tingle. There is also a long lasting charred toffee after taste. This reminds me of a DIPA that is a bit long in the tooth rather than a barelywine.

m: This has a decent body, but the carbonation is short lived.

d: This was a bit of a mess and difficult to finish. They make a great IPA, but this one isn't for me.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
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..

Photo of BDTyre
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of the most...interesting barleywines I've had. Nice copper-mahogany colour with a fairly dense, off-white head.

Interesting nose on it. Sweet malt, hints of bourbon and yeast and almost a tobacco like essence. I also pick up the smells of brewing...I work near a brewery and I often smell the wort on a worm evening and I pick up the same smell in this. Not terribly appealing.

Sweet-sour taste, slight oak hints (not sure if this is oak aged). Raisin, bourbon, vanilla, citrus and fresh bread all mingle in the flavour of this. Obvious alcohol burn, although it calms down about as this warms. This lacks the overarching sweet vinous character I tend to associate with the style.

Decent carbonation, but a noticeable alcohol burn and an almost unfinished character in taste and smell (especially smell) really detract from this. Perhaps this would have mellowed out with age.

Photo of stumac
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008 you hoe...

pours up a reddish amber with a decent off-white head. the nose is straight f*cking yeast!MacNasty with cheese! also though, some subtle light fruit like pears. Not that impressed with the aroma. the taste is caramel, wood, crisp hops, and alcohol. full bodied, medium crisp carbo, sweet finish

Photo of opwog
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Now playing: Funkadelic - Can You Get To That

A- Dark mahogany in color and a short beige head
S- Malt and treated wood
T- malt, hint of lemon and pine
M- flattens out quick and quickly turns to malty alchohol water. Very sticky on the lips.
D- There is a load of malt here and if there was more carbonation, maybe it could carry the beer longer. Otherwise, this gets a little monotonous after the first 6 ounces or so.

I love Greenflash, but this is probably my least favorite beer from them.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

Insanely malty with hint of alcohol. Smells like an alcoholic Old Ale. Tart punch of hop, and then deeper roast.

Pours a dirty penny color with mild, creamy head.

Less liquor-like than I expected, it's actually quite mellow and earthy. A good bite of malt upfront and intermittent hop and malt trails leading to the subtle, dry finish. It does have an alcoholic Old Ale vibe, the sweet Whisky-like malt, the vinous qualities suggesting age, and the thickness. Soft yet spicy carbonation adds to the scintillation. Spicy aftertaste has the attack power of ginger or garlic but tastes more nebulous, fruity, peppery, tobacco-like, and perhaps alcoholic. Yes, can't escape the vinous flavor.

Slight amount of yeasty sediment on bottle bottom.

Nice take on Barelywine. I like mine more hoppy than malty, and this is a malt parade. Still, it is indeed full of flavor and interest.

Photo of buffettfan
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this for my birthday! Happy birthday to me!

Poured out of the bomber, into a snifter.

Poured a dark amber, with a pretty think off white kaki head. About 2 fingers worth.

Aroma is sort of a sweet, candy apple smell. Some citrus, and malty notes as well.

Taste had a strong malt flavor, not as much alcohol as a lot beers I've had in this style. A toast bread note comes through after some time.

A very smooth, drinkable barelywine.

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

2008 vintage, poured into a liter mug. The color is medium-dark walnut, rather effervescent with a thick head forming quickly and lasting a long time. Dense caramel aroma wafts up, together with a resin hoppiness. At first taste, it's rather heavy with sweet, syrupy malt, followed quickly by a large blast of bitterness. Hop flavor has a citric edge to it. There's a very light alcoholic touch at the finish.

Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger very light tan head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Burnt molasses nose. Flavor is molasses and caramel with a disappointing bitter finish. $6.80 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Photo of BrewMan13
2.07/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

2008 vintage, poured into a Stone barleywine glass.
Cracked this one last night.
Appearance was excellent, actually. Sort of a dirty orange color with a tan head that is much more substantial then you usually find on a 10% brew.

Aroma was ok...can definitely tell this is gonna be a citrusy brew...which means the beer could go either way with me.

Taste is...wow. And not in a good way. Initially sort of an interplay between some thick caramel malt (probably a lot of 120L) and citrusy hops. Malt then dominates breifly with an unusual quality I find hard to describe. Then the finish is long and is all about a very intense, harsh bitterness. A touch of solvent-like alcohol interspersed as well.
This thing is probably loaded with cascades and centennials. I'm generally not a fan of the more citrusy hops (which can sometimes give a harsh bitterness I dont usually find appealing), but I can appreciate them in a well crafted beer that utilizes them. But I cant imagine the quantity of high-cohumulone hops used in this beer, considering the mountain of malt that it surely took to make it. This is the harshest barleywine I've had since my 1st try of bigfoot (which I now find enjoyable).

I couldnt finish the bottle, I was just not enjoying it at all; it was just hard to drink (and I've had a fair share of american barleywines and DIPA's in my day). Way too much harsh bitterness combined with an unusual malt character lead to a beer I will never touch again.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy this beer. A lot of barleywines get boozy or overly hopped and way too sweet.

This one pours a great head with great retention and nice orange color.

Smell is of big caramel malts and some nice citrusy cascade. It's not overly strong like some barley wines. It leads me to believe that there is going to be a nice balanced flavor.

The taste is of sweet caramel malts and a nice balancing hop bitterness to balance. The caramel malts are thick and awesome and sweet and there the hop bitterness is equally balanced to match.

The malts are smooth and cling well to the palate with just a hint of carbonation to crisp it up a little bit.

This is a really nicely balanced ipa that I will buy again. It's very nicely balanced. I have a 2008 vintage and don't want to age it at all. It's good as is.

I may age one to see how it would smooth out, but I'd be too tempted to try it too soon.

I think one could drink now or age it, but I like it fresh.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

7oz. goblet, at Hop Devil Grill.

A: Poured a 1.5 finger white puffy head, cloudy light coco on the top and light golden towards the bottom. Few spotches of lace but not much beyond that and average retention.

S: My nose got slippery pine, herbs and lots of wooden overtones. Estery seconds seemed to be peels of grapefruit, overally tarty.

T: Very hoppy, nearing on a bomb initially. Followed the nose in a burnt/charcoal aspect from the hops or perhaps coffee beans. Not very bitter in nature. Malts were second and not providing as much counterbalance to the grapefruit and tart fruit taste. ABV is very subdued.

M: Light to moderate body with a mild citric acidity, softly crisp and creamy but turning to a unimpressive sour at the end.

D: Nothing special to write home about. I had just tried the Rogue Crustacean prior and felt it was almost a different style of beer in body and flavors.

Photo of ballewblake
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First drink of the night and eager to try this one. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Dark amber with a one finger off white head that reduces fairly quick with mild lacing on the glass. Smell is roasted malt with some hops in the background. First taste is all bittering hops with a light sweet malt background. Thought I was getting some sweetness in there but this brew is overloaded with bittering hops to an extreme. Not very forgiving on the palette. Trying to get into this but not much like a barelywine in this one, just a super west coast hopped brew. Drinkability is actually kind of hard, perfume in the taste, alcohol is present with the brew lingering on the tongue. Would probably pass on this one next time.

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

A - Dark amber with small off white head

S - Malts and bread with a good alcohol presence

T - Citrus and malts come through good with a little hop bitterness

M - Light to medium body and light carbonation

D - Good for one bottle which I guess is good for a barely wine

Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. From bomber into big-@$$ Red Oak mug-fits the whole deal in there...

Beautiful deep dark cider/cherrywood body with compact, sourdough rye bread head with a nice seam.Looks formidable.

Silky, sweet DRY caramel apple scent. Copious malt cooled with mellow hop bitterness. Alcohol sweetness is well-balanced.

Dry strong malt presence. Coolness and dry alcohol burn cuts through sweetness. Malt toastiness becomes more apparent with warmth.

Hop pucker mixes with alcohol presence to create cool tinge all over the palate. Hop heaviness emerges with warmth.

This one is extremely powerful in all ways. Slight coolness for a barleywine. Fine stuff that benefits from warmth-opened in the 3rd of the All-Star game and was quite cool at first but definitely benefitted from warmth-picked it up again around end of 10th and the character really emerged then.

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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

Vintage 2008, I was torn... and apparently the impatient side of me won.

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass, beer is a very deep red color with a huge, frothy tan head that leaves nice webs of lacing on the glass. Would have been a 5, but the head was just too huge for a BW. Smell is as I expected, an excellent boquet of west coast hops. Piney, citrusy, resinous hops! The taste has a wonderful carmely sweet malt start mingled with dark fruits that transitions into a warming alcohol flavor and a nice hop bite to finish it. Well balanced, yet hop forward. The mouthfeel is full bodied and the carbonation has a chewy yet smooth feel. Drinkablilty only suffers due to the high ABV and immaturity of the brew. I think that this is an excellent American BW and I wish I had bought a second to cellar!

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

2007 vintage.

Pours an attractive deep garnet-burgundy color producing a thick, creamy tan beige head with superb retention throughout the entire snifter. Thin streaks and rings of lacing mark each sip.

Nose is very well balanced presenting assertive notes of chocolate covered malt balls, caramel candy, toasted bread, herbs and citrus/pine hop resin.

Palate is pleasantly full, round, thick and creamy with just a touch of resiny oiliness in the swallow.

The extremely well done balanced flavor is this BW's great acheivement to me. Almost a 50/50 hybrid between an English and U.S. West Coast style with the sweet malts and crisp, bitter hops equally making their stand. The sweet brown sugar, fig, raisin and caramel flavors initally coat the tongue. This is immediately followed up by the pine needle and cirtrus rind hop contributions. Finish is long and bittersweet with some subtle warming alcohol to tame the sweetness a bit.

Wish we could get this in FL, I'd be a regular consumer. Well done!

Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 799 ratings.