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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 dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle purchased from Gary's in Madison... Sampled a lot of good brews from this company, so I was curious to see what their Barleywine-style offering would include...
A hefty pour resulted in a gigantic foamy and frothy head outlined by a dark-brown, mahogany, ruby-red appearance...
Nice barleywine style smell with the typical barley, caramel, and vanilla essences nicely rounded out by a hint of sweet, candied sugars and toffee...
Aroma strongly complemented the smell, with a nice suggestion of sweet, candied barley, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, malts balanced with a slight suggestion of hops, and honey, syrup and molasses flavors...
Overall, this was an excellent depiction of the style and a truly enjoyable beer without any cloying or overbearing flavors that really managed to assert itself both in the nose and mouth... Another fantastic selection from Green Flash... If you are a fan of barleywines, this one is definitely worth a try...
Good mouthfeel coupled with an equally high level of drinkability make this an all-out outstanding sample and top-notch representation of the style...

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

Cracked at a near-epic beer tasting at the behest of my buddy who hauled this one all the way across the country for our benefit.

A. Clear, red clay. Fat 3cm head, good retention and spotty lacing.

S. Pine resin, thick layered caramel malt, a little alcohol heat, grapefruit. Hints of roasted grains. Fairly simple, but good smelling.

T. Very forward sweet caramel, this is a malt-centric barleywine. Citrus grapefruit hops come in shortly after and provide some much needed oomph and balance. The 10% is pretty well hidden and the whole experience is very smooth and balanced.

M. Slick, middling carbonation, finish is bittersweet. It's really quite easy to drink and deceptively easy to finish a glass.

Green Flash has crafted a pretty malty barleywine here that is one of the more drinkable ones I've had in a while. Recommended as it's simple and tasty.

Photo of boston2bburg
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this 22 ouncer at Bailey's in Portland, consumed in Roanoke, VA. Poured 2+ fingers of creamy light tan head which settle to a thin cover all around over an opaque dark amber body. Leaves a whole lot of sticky lacing on the snifter.

Immediately I'm excited by the smell, which reminds me of the malts used in HOTD Blue Dot, my favorite of the beers I tried in Portland. Very big, creamy caramel malt aroma, with some light citrus and earthy hop undertones. A pleasure to smell.

Taste is pretty well balanced for such a big barleywine. The hops seem to have mellowed, but not knowing the bottling date (or year for that matter), I'm not sure how far along this "Vintage" bottle is in aging. The flavor is of sweet caramel and toffee with a citrus hop base. Bitterness is nice, more noticeable on the finish after the malts do their thing.

The mouthfeel is fairly silky and tangy and thick, but not quite motor oil. Seems less drinkable than other barleywines...the 10% really creeps up during the second pour. A good one to share, or have to have instead of dinner.

Photo of Jettanbass9
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit I am pretty new to the barleywine style, however, I have tried really hoppy ones, and really malty ones... this one is the most balanced of all that I have tried.

A - Dark orange with a slow movement of carbonation.
S - slight hop presence but the malt and alcohol take the forefront here.
T - A balanced hop bite cuts through the caramel malts. The fruity esters of the alcohol are balanced by the smooth malt finish.
M - full and sweet with this one.
D - a really good barleywine but lacks a uniqeness that usually appears in this style. A very straightforward american barleywine.

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

22 oz bomber contributed by biegaman!

Pours a hazed orange/red, thick off white head, tons of lacing, thick layer, looks pretty nice. Smell is sweet, caramel, floral, honey, some yeast, molasses, grapefruit, alcohol, some citrus, not bad. Taste is toffee, grapefruit, floral, alcohol, some brown sugar, citrus, bread, pretty solid balance. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, some warmth but alcohol is well hidden. Kind of like the Old Blarney in that its a middle of the road but solidly drinkable American Barleywine, not off the hook but solid to the core. Thanks a lot Jan!

Photo of brewandbbq
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The bottle states "Vintage" but there is no date..Odd.

Pours hazy, dark amber, with a inch-plus head of off-white foam.
The dense froth settled slowly leaving a small amount of lacework.
Aromatics are somewhat subdued for what you would expect from an American-style barleywine, letalone a "west coast" version.
Wet cardboard and stale malt up front, with some earthy, peppery notes, dried figs, and grapefruit zest.
The mouthfeel is on the sticky side of medium with some tacky creaminess.
The pallet is malt-forward, with subdued bitterness and an underlying grapefruit base.
Caramelized malts, dusty toffee bits, and the tart citrus twang make for an odd combination.
Finishes with warming alcohol, lingering powdered grapefruit, and wet paper.

Oxidized and lacking in redeeming qualities.

Photo of csmiley
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium brown with a bit of haze. Generous head that stuck around for a while. Lacing was great.

S - Mostly burnt caramel, alcohol, and grapefruit-like fruitiness.

T - The biggest flavor is of caramel with a solid malt base. The background contains bread and fruit. Once these flavors fade a mild bitterness shows up.

M - Full bodied. Carbonation was on target.

D - This beer looked very impressive but fell a little short in other areas. The sweetness really dominated the entire experience. This might be one that I would like to try after a couple years in the cellar.

Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

biegaman was nice enough to bring this one over. thanks jan!

22oz bottle. sampled feb 2/08.

pours a nice deep red with a big fluffy yellow head. the head drops slowly with spotty lace.

aroma is good. lots of great caramel. light alcohol. very fresh. bit of grapefruit. orange. light toffee that gives it a bit of candy apple character. bit of yeast.

taste is good. solid caramel base. bread and biscuit malts. bit of toffee. grapefruit. light orange. bit of alcohol. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is excellent. great balance. a solid american barleywine. i wish this one were available locally.

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

On tap a Beachwood BBQ.

Copper colored with a slight haze, thin off white head.

Aroma of citrusy hops and caramel malt.

Big malty flavor, sweet carmelized sugary flavors with citrus/pine hop flavors, but hop bitterness is reserved. Sweetness to bitterness ratio is similar to some English barleywines, however the hops used are definately of the American variety and the finish is free of diacetyl and esters typical of English styles.

A rich warming beer, full of calories and alchohol.

With a beer this big I prefer either more background bitterness to balance the sweetness or substantial complexity in the malt/fermentation by-products. This beer lacks that balance.

Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red colour with a purple hue, this beer was topped by a solid cap of yellow/beige foam composed of fine bubbles. Good head retention with spotty, sticky lacing. Doughy malt aroma with some toffee, grapefruit pith and a bit of pine resin. Moderate, lingering bitterness. Lots of caramel and toffee flavour, with some dried fruit, grapefruit and pine towards the end, with alcohol in the finish. Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit dry with some warmth. Tasty and quite malty, plenty of hops without overdoing it. Good stuff.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

Body and carbonation were both good. Definetely drinkable.

Photo of ppoitras
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle obtained as part of Secret Santa 07 package from RickSawyer. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" tan head over the slightly cloudy reddish amber brew. Thick head holds on strong, with plenty of thick lace. Aroma is sweet yet citrsy. Taste is candy sweet, also countered by ample citrus hops character. Alcohol taste is hidden, but there's no hiding the warming. Mouthfeel is wow smooth, and drinkability is way too easy. Hella nice BW.

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

22oz bottle with no freshness date to be found.

This beer pours caramel-ruby with a robust tan colored head that displays average retention while leaving behind a solid wash of lacing.

The aroma is just what I was looking for tonight. Hugely malty and hoppy at the same time. Actually reminds me a bit of the latest Alesmith Decadence. Those malts smell like liquid candy. The hops come across as citrusy and floral. Maybe a bit of dandelion in there.

The taste is malt-candy up front, and then gets more and more bitter. Very well balanced brew. The bitterness is a tad aspiriny at the end, but this doesn't detract much from my overall enjoyment of the beer. And those dandelions are in the taste too. The alcohol is out in the open, but doesn't come across too hot like it can in certain other barleywines. Everything is melded pretty well.

Photo of Jedimaster1
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: The brew appeared as a sugary brown with a white had that fades as the brew settles.

S: The scent of sweet malt can be diagnose. Citrus hops also make their presence felt as well.

T: This is where the brew shines. Sweet malt lends itself well. It is definitely at the forefront of this brew. Nonetheless, the bitter hops balance this one out making it enjoyable with each sip. The alcohol is very well hidden also -- a little too well hidden as it makes it easy to drink too fast.

M: The alcohol is well hidden, so it goes down easy.

D: This brew, like I said, is too easy to drink. But with the ABV of 10%, one of these bombers is plenty.

I look forward to getting another one of these. A great barely wine and a good example of the West Coast style. Recommended.

Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

H: good 2-finger head that stuck to my glass.... firm lace. maybe even FROZEN lace?

A: dark dark cherry brown color

S: like dark-chocolate cherries

T: slight brandy taste to it. it whirls you around in enjoyment. at least for me.

M: man that is absolutely suavíssimo. (super smooth)

D: this is a solid beer that initially takes some self-endurance... but after you get over the 'hump'... this beer is a true coaster that will keep you reguessing its flavors/taste.

Photo of RoyalT
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This poured a nice light brown with orangish hues and a decent head considering the high alcohol content and the style.

Smell – This is more malty than winey. The malts are toasted and complimented with a light sweet ‘n sour smell. I’m not getting the big hop aroma like you do with some ABWs, so this one should be more balanced.

Taste – Oh, yeah, this is big on the malts. There’s actually a touch of woodiness to this one, but it’s the stiff brown malt and snappy booze that give this its signature. That light sweetness from the nose lost the sour and came out just right. Nice.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied and smooth enough. There’s no mistaking the high alcohol content though.

Drinkability – I thought the booze was a bit too strong for an ale that seemed to want to impress with its balance, but otherwise this was a good drinker.

Photo of L4t3rg4t3r
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium brown with a pillowy head that is slow to dissipate and leaves a thin lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet and Nutty with Cherry and Dark Chocolate notes.

Taste: Sweet, those cherry and dark chocolate notes really come through, there is a prickle at the end with a slight alcohol tinge.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full with a nice weight. The prickle at the end adds to the overall flavor and intrigue of the beer.

Drinkability: I have been on a Barleywine kick as of late and I think that this is one of the best that I have had. It is a very nice balance of weight, alcohol, and drinkability.

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

Just looky at that caramel brown pour, capped with a great tan head, great lacing.

Surprising hop pop in the aroma, mingling with the caramel and BW malts. And again in the quaff, citrus hops actually dominate over the malty sweetness. Guess that’s why this is an American BW – duh. But this needs more of a malt kick to make it a good BW.

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: clear amber color, huge foaming head that slowly settles to 2 fingers thickness, lots of lacing
s: sweet caramel malts and dark fruits like raisins
t: sweet caramel malts hit right away and gives was to black licorice flavor, then moderate hops bitterness and heavy alcohol punch at the end
m: heavy body with carbonation making an appearance near the end
d: this heavy barleywine had decent hops but could use more carbonation. a good one nonetheless

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

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

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

A vigorous pour into my large Duvel tulip yielded a dark amber brew upon which rested a frothy two-finger beige cap. The head didn't stay around for long though...

Upon agitation, my nose detected ripe plums and cherries, raisins and a hefty dose of molasses. Noticeably missing was even the faintest hop bouquet. This was a bit surprising, given my experience with the Green Flash IPA. I expected an American style, hop-heavy barleywine, but all indictions point to this leaning more towards an English style BW.

Indeed, the flavours are a revelation; English style it is, with just a bit of an American flair. While i do get a mild dose of hops on this finish, the taste mostly just echoes the ales bouquet, accented perhaps, by a little bit of vanilla. The alcohol, save the overall sweetness and this headiness that i'm starting to feel halfway through, is hardly detectable. It's tasty enough i guess, just not really what i expected...

Mouthfeel is oily and mildly viscous, with good carbonation.

As far as drinkabilty, it's easy enough on the palate that's for sure but 10% is heady stuff so this is a sleeptime primer... this is one to end the night on.

This didn't live up to my expectations but to be fair, i was expecting something in the mold of Great Divide's Hercules and i got something more akin to Young's Old Nick. Don't let that stop you from trying it...

Photo of ccrida
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Hommel snifter, Green Flash's barelywine is a clear garnet with a fluffy, 2 finger, light khaki head that is pretty thick mildly long lingering, leaving sheets of foamy lace. Served at slightly below cellar temp. I have to point out how lame it is that the label cites this as a "vintage" BW, yet there's not date to know what vintage it is!!! I assume mine is this years...still, the beer itself look fantastic, further underscoring my assumption of freshness.

Aroma is in classic American BW, gingerbread and brown-sugar caramel malts with a big charge of citrusy hops that come across like succulent jonagold apple - I can almost feel the juice dripping down my chin! Still, it's not as aggressive as some, which I appreciate, although theres not question it's boozy.

Taste is nice and more balanced then I expected. I brought this home from Bailey's Tap Room, and the owner said it was actually closer to an English style then American, but being from Green Flash, I was skeptical...while the hop aromas are distinctly American, the taste is pleasantly subdued, not the bitter, palate buster that you find with, say a first year Old Crustacean...so kind of a mix in my mind, which I love. Wow, I'm really digging this! While I can taste the alcohol, I wouldn't have guessed 10%...it's certainly rich, but with a fairly clean finish. I don't know what it is about San Diego and barleywines, but they kill it...up there with Old Guardian as my all time favorite, although this is only my first bomber, so I'll have to have a few more before I declare that.

Mouthfeel is creamy and only medium bodied for the style.

This is really up there on my list of drinkable barelywines. Paired fantastically with tonights BBQ chicken (nothing but Sweet Baby Ray's). Luckily it's readily available in my market, because I only picked up one, and that won't cut it! I'm sure it won't cellar poorly, but this is really so fantastic right now, I'm not sure I'd bother...might have to pick up a case for snowboard season if my home-brewed BWs for this year don't turn out as good, which I can't imagine they will!

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a somewhat misty mahogany brown with a portly off white creamy head that settles slowly, leaving the lace to coat the glass. Nose has a nut like sweetness, malt and caramel back it up with a hint of the hop flowers, start is quite sweet, nice malt feel, and a bit of alcohol bitterness, top is moderate in feel. Finish continues the sweetness, the alcohol evident and the hops provides a nice spiciness, a tummy warmer for sure, somewhat dry aftertaste with a lingering sweetness, a decent barleywine, and worthy of a sample.

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

This BW comes in a 22oz bomber. Fine for sharing, but, I'd certainly like to see this in a 12oz bottle. Then again, if you do have an evening to enjoy one of these... it works.

The carbonation might surprise you with a very thick head of foam if you are not careful. The color of this BW ale was somewhere between a dark mahogany and a maroon; with a nice cream colored head of foam. The foam dissipated rather faster than I like, leaving a good lace against the glassware. However, with the ale left to breath, and warm, for a while, the head lasted a little longer later on in the hour, or so, I spent savoring this BW.

The aroma... OK one word... Hops. Given a little time to breathe, you can get those malt scents coming through. With a little more time, you can detect a certain fruity undercurrent to the overall mix in the smell of this BW.

To be fair, the drink initially is far too hoppy for my taste. This mellowed out as the drink breathed a little. And, as it went from chilled to cool the impact from the hops reduced somewhat. It is a pleasant enough taste and I am sure hop-heads will absolutely delight in this BW. The next bottle I'll try will be cool rather than chill, plus I'll let it sit a while to breathe. Possibly leaving it to age a little longer will "fix" this BW for me too.

At chill and fresh opened, this BW just a little to lively and crisp. By the end of the session it had seriously mellowed out to a nice quiet pour with a good head that lasted longer and became very creamy on the tongue. I'm not sure if it was the BW mellowing, or my senses... ermm.... well... you know .... :)

In terms of drinkability, for me, I've had more enjoyment from other types of BW. Mostly because of the hop bitterness being a little strong. I will try this BW again. Certainly a more aged bottle, less cold to start. Because of it's bomber size, perhaps smaller bottles would be nice; so as to avoid feeling a little "forced" to finish off the bottle.

Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love a bomber of barley wine for $3.99. remember what those tiny bottles of Old Crustacean used to cost?!? This one pours dark almond amber into an oversized DFH snifter, under a nice looking deep tan head that is initially puffy, then simmers slowly to a thick and mottled bubbly foam, leaving respectable, fine lacing behind on the glass. Nose is the expected wiff of sweet malts, doughy bread and some alcohol. Sweet, nutty, pleasant,heady and malty brew. Quite smooth, as the malts flow over the tongue, warming alcohol present, and snarling in all its glory. Bottom line....should have bought a case of this stuff instead of just one shimmering and tasty bottle...oh well...

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