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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

787 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 787
Reviews: 430
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 40
Gots: 74 | 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: 787 | Reviews: 430 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakon
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

jakon, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of Jedimaster1
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Jedimaster1, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

eatdrinknbmerry, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of RoyalT
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

RoyalT, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of L4t3rg4t3r
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

L4t3rg4t3r, Nov 23, 2007
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.

Vancer, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
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

belgbeerdrinker, Nov 08, 2007
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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 04, 2007
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...

unclederby, Nov 03, 2007
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!

ccrida, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Gusler, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of AndyCapp
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

AndyCapp, Oct 16, 2007
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...

Billolick, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright amber color with a large white head. Looks great!

Aromas are sweet, hard candy like, some citrus hops, and an overall booze quality.

Taste is creamy and sweet. There is an underlying booze like taste, a bit of a whiskey like character. The finish is crisp, with pine like hops, and a warm alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Carbonation is good, full, and think.

Drinkability is good. This is a pretty nice barleywine. Not the best I've had, but it's very solid and well made. Not to mention the price is pretty good at $5 for a bomber.

flexabull, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, served at approximately 50 degrees, to start, 2007 vintage most likely,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a tan head, with good retention for a barleywine, very well carbonated, nice to look at in a brandy snifter.

S: Very dark, dark fruits and figs, very malty in the smell, witha nice piney hop attack.

T: A very hoppy barleywine, your hit with a bunch of piney hop resin in the initial blast of flavour, followed by a dark malt character, full of dark fruits (raisins and figs), some molasses, brown sugar, and toffee. A touch of alcohol flavour is in there as well.

M: Slick, sticky, oily, and resiny, but with some smoothness in the end from the alcohol content.

D: Not bad for a barleywine, though it did take me over 2 hours to finish the whole bottle, one of the better American barleywines that I have had. As an aside, at one point, it felt like I was drinking a weaker version of Sam Adams Triple Bock, the malt sort of has that feel, if you know what I mean. Overall, a very good barleywine from Green Flash, I enjoyed it.

Halcyondays, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of PAYankeeFan
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like the IPA it is very sticky and an appealing barleywine for hop heads. How is this a barleywine as it seems to lack the malty quality and seems more on the Ruination end of things with a heavy Simcoe-like touch here? I tried this one a second time and now sense the malty quality in here which is like a quilt in a tub of hops. The resin and pine needle aspects are especially strong and I suppose the caramel malt backbone here is a bit more pronounced than their IPA. There is some vanilla and molasses there but the hops blow the loudest horns. I would love to blind taste test this with their IPA as their Imperial IPA seems quite mellow compared to the two. Bottle from State Line in Elkton, MD for $4.99.

PAYankeeFan, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice brown/amber color, nice carbonation, nice small one-finger plus creamy tan head, which then leaves some nice creamy sticky lacing then some nice small islands. The nose is malty, hoppy, slightly spicy, good dose of caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, slightly spicy, and some caramel. The finish is slightly dry and bitter. The alcohol is hidden pretty well, with a nice warming effect. Medium body, a well rounded brew. Drinkable, a very nice BW, true to style, recommended.

Wasatch, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first try at a Green Flash beer execpt for a tasting of their nut brown. On to the review...

Pours a deep brown with a two finger head that settles to a smart looking tan colored collar. Smells of a huge hop bomb. I'm a little surprised, but since I can be a hop head depending upon my mood I don't mind. I would have expected more of a malt background (it's there hidden beneath the Northwest hops) given its color, but that goes to show you that the color of a beer rarely predicts its flavor/nose. Tastes of a quick burst of malts than the hops quickly take over and develop into a near puckering bitter finish. The hops hide the alcohol, but it still tastes a bit "hot." Let this one warm up to near room temperature to get a properly balanced taste and the malts and toffee come out. Too cold is too hoppy. Mouthfeel is medium to light with ample carbonation.

While American Barleywines often feature hops this one is a little over the top for me.

Jmamay22, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours orange/auburn with 4+ fingers of fluffed up sand colored head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Piney & citric hops up front & that's all

T: Caramel that is quickly cut off by piney & grapefruitty hops. A little breadyness and caramel fights through the hop storm as this warms, but only for a while. Bitter chocolate is also present, but mostly loads of grapefruitty hops, plus boozey warmth. Finishes with a whsiper of caramel, bready, intensely bitter & pretty boozey

MF: Chewy/heavy bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks a little slow, could it be the 10% ABV??? Yes, that & the intense hoppyness. Folks that dig big & hoppy will really like this. Me, I require a little more balance. Maybe this needs a year or 3 to mellow out??

russpowell, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of JayQue
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice American Barleywine. if you like Bigfoot, you will like this one too. Really nice looking beer. Ruby / amber color with a big head that hangs in there. Leaves a lot of lacing. Smell a bit less impressive than Bigfoot, but still gives a hint of hops and pine. Taste is very good. Hops bitterness (not quite as rough as fresh Bigfoot) and pine / resin. Absolutely no hint of the 10% abv. Knowing the alcohol level and size of the bottle (man rule: finish what you started), I sipped this one. Tasted just as good at the end as it did up front. The strong taste holds up well (for hop heads) and is never overpowering or "too much". Not a session beer by any means, but 22 oz over an hour or so goes down real well. This one is a winner.

JayQue, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In the glass this is a clear reddish brown colored beer with a tall and strong yellowish tan to light brown colored head.

The scent is sweet and hoppy and strongly pineapple scented. There is a faint soy sauce aroma here, which mixed with the sweetness, and fruit smell is remarkably like the smell of teriyaki sauce. Add some lemon and make ponzu beer.

The flavor begins sweet and malty with a strong oak and caramel flavor. As the glass gets consumed oak and butter flavors become more prominent and this makes it very much like an English style Barleywine. Lesser taste of melon and pineapple this is a rather buttery tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is thick.

An OK Barleywine but far from an outstanding one. The flavor could be more complex and less butter flavored for a start. Worth $5 a bomber to try once but no real reason to seek this out or spend lots of money to obtain.

Zorro, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of BeerManDan
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Barleywine poured a hazy medium brown with very little foam and some lace on the glass. The smell of roasted malts and pine smelling hops filled the nose. The taste of roasted malts and piney hop were very evident. Also, a hint of bitter/sweet coffee and a caramel was there, but, not really anything to write home about.

BeerManDan, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a medium brown/burgundy color ale with a great foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of caramel malt and light dry fruit is offset by some west coast hops. Taste of sweet caramel malt and subtle dry figs is balance with some citrus hops. Body is about average with some great carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Well done and I have to confess that I did enjoy this even though I usually prefer my barleywine with more malt profile then hop profile.

Phyl21ca, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a rich red to brown color with a medium and spongy off-white head that left good lacing. Big rich nose of caramel and fruity hops. Morhtfeel is smooth and hides the alcohol well. Flavors of caramel, fruits, and some bitterness. Good dry bitter finish. Overall a well balanced and delightful barley wine that should only get better with age. I need to get some more of these for the cellar

rkuhnel, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL capped bottle purchased somewhere (Well's or Capone's or State Line).

A: The barleywine is a thick, amber-red color, so dark that it appears a chocolatey brown. The head has consistently poured near 2 fingers and leaves a nice trail in the glass.

S: The nose is full of concentrated malts and a great deal of hops. The malt body is very strong, to the point that it takes on a unique sweetness.

T: This barleywine really strikes a cord. It starts off with a big malt body, thick with grains and dry green grapes and raisins. The flavors are complex and quite deep, showing off some alefruits and a dry medicinal (tylenol-like) finish. Layered on top of the malts are a great deal of bitter, huge hops. They add a citrusy bite that cuts through the thick malts and leave a lasting finish in the back of the mouth.

M: Big hops and strong malts, a very dangerous combination. But also very delicious.

D: The abv is huge, limiting the number of times that you can go to the well with this one. It's a good, big mouthfeel though and easily one of Green Flash's better offerings.

akorsak, Jun 16, 2007
Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 787 ratings.