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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

779 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 779
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 39
Gots: 73 | 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: 779 | Reviews: 429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orsulacp
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a little hints of orange when held up to the light. There was a small white head that disappeared quickly. I am picking up the smell from about a foot away from the glass, very fruity; apples, oranges, some grapefruit and a little pepper. The biting alcohol dominates the taste, there is some cherry and strong bitterness. There is long lasting bitter solvent like aftertaste. The solvent is really turning me off.

orsulacp, Apr 04, 2007
Photo of matthewfuchs
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at Fatheads in Southside Pittsburgh. Poured a nice bubbly head, and had a light caramel color. Aromoa of frswh hops, very green. Same with the taste, lively hops and malt, could use some aging, if green isn't you. smooth somewhat sweet mouthfeel. Like was said prior, it does make you want to lay down and nap, but hey, that's a good thing sometimes.

matthewfuchs, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nvsblman for send this as part of my ba anniv. package. Appreciate the opportunity.

Pours a very murky dark plum color with a soft looking one finger cream colored froth head. Held up to the light it's a deep dark maroonish red. Excellent retention that holds perfectly. Citrus fruit hop notes are very strong with an excellent spicyness to them. Pine sap and needles get stuck to the face as you inhale. Juicy and resiny. Subtle sweet caramel malt notes.

Starts of with a sticky thickness that almost immediately gets dried up by a bitterness that scorches the palate. Citrus fruits, spicy hops, piney needles and sap. Sweet caramel malt background, but not one that plays a large role. Quite a hoppy barleywine, just as I like 'em. Extra long sticky citrus laden bitterness that finds it's way into the aftertaste. Abv is up there, so one of these is about all for me. A very nice bitter, alcoholic, hop bomb without the huge spicyness that's associated with barleywines. One I would love to get my hands on again.

bjohnson, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of rabsten
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Fatheads, South Side, Pittsburgh PA

Red-brown, rich colored pour into a 12oz wineglass. Thin head due to pour but some lacing.

Sweet malt with hop backup. Slightly smoky, like an Ilse whiskey.

Caramel malt, with good hops in background again. Anise and whiskey notes. complex. Good flavor experience.

Round and heavy mouthfeel. Very soothing.

Drinkability: sleep inducing, soothing, relaxing. You want to go to sleep after one, so drinkability is somewhat limited.

Bottom Line: Great "22oz and go-to-bed beer." Tasty, soothing, sleep-inducing.

rabsten, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep scarlet red tone. Great clarity. Frothy and thick dirty white head. Lace comes in sheets. Aroma has some sweet malts and citric hops. Fairly light nose though. On the palate, the hops are grassy and resinous. Malts produce a nice sweet base. The alcohol is barely noticeable. A little fruit punch feel to it due to the nice fruitiness invloved. Body is about medium or so and the mouthfeel is smooth. Decent enough barleywine, but I like the IPAs from Green Flash better.

Bighuge, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a beautiful deep amber hue with a small off-white head that turned into a small lace. It was crystal clear and gleamed when I held my glass to the light.

The aroma of the beer was immensely malty, caramelly, fruity, and alcoholic. A large amount of hops were there as well.

The flavor of the beer was full of rich caramel malt with burnt toffee notes in the finish. The hops were very assertive on this beer and had nice herbal and citrus flavors. While this barleywine is young, it is certainly one of the more drinkable young barleywines I've had. In comparison, I woulnd't touch Bigfoot before 1-2 years. There were some dried fruit flavors present, but nothing too intense. The finish was nicely alcoholic and warming.

The mouthfeel was pretty thick, but this was still one of the drier barleywines I've had. The carbonation was dialed in just right.

This is a very well balanced barleywine. Definitely a good winter sipper. While I mentioned it's tasty young, I'm sure this one will age well. I'll crack my next bottle in a year.

SacoDeToro, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of asabreed
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Thomas Hardy's snifter.

Appearance: Ruby-colored with some spotty lacing and a slightly off-white head.

Smell: One of the juiciest barley wine aromas I have ever had the pleasure of taking in. It smells like I just ripped to hell a peach, a grapefruit, and an orange, and smashed them together viciously. Transcendently rich and aromatic, this is unreal. Even the pulp is in there somehow. Is there some malt present? Yes. Does it matter? Not as much as maybe it should.

Taste: The citrus is here to the point where I'm having a problem commenting on it. Where's the hops that should be so present? Or is this all hops minus the bitterness and all flavor? Usually I'm anticipating something insanely bitter, but this is maybe the freshest, most drinkable barley wine I've ever encountered. And as it warms the citrus and slight berries start to emerge, with the finish insanely long, rich, fruity and complex.

Mouthfeel: Juicy, luscious, somewhat creamy, full-bodied, and coating.

Drinkability: Honestly, I'm not sure what kind of a beast this barley wine is, but I love it. The ABV is extremely hidden, the taste is balanced beyond belief in its green state. I think this may actually be detrimental to lay down (as it's fantastic fresh), but alas, I'm very interested to see what will happen, and I'll definitely be buying another bottle or two to see what happens in the future.

asabreed, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a De Ranke glass. Basically a long stemmed snifter/tulip thing.

A - Very, very deep translucent ruby red color, approaching plum colored with a two finger tan head. Looks very nice in the glass.

S - Smells sugary sweet with alcohol aromas.

T - Lots of alcohol in this brew along with some caramel and toffee flavors. The hop bitterness comes through, mainly toward the end.

M - A nice feel, not a huge body but fairly full.

D - Definitely a nice barleywine, some good flavors to chew on and goes down smooth on each sip.

Notes: This is a pleasant surprise. Definitely a nice sipper here. I'll definitely pick up a couple of bottles to age as it is fairly harsh alcohol-wise. Still a nice Barleywine fresh, let's see what a year or so does to it.

EStreet20, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle of San Diego Barleywine, I hope its good. This one has a decent head on it and a dark reddish brown body. The taste is slightly fruity, alcoholic, and delicious. As it warms up, it begins to smell a little like caramel (and maybe chocolate), which is nice. I can definitely taste the hops in this. I also taste a faint hint of chocolate. The first glass went a little too fast but it just keeps getting better the more it warms up. The alcohol will catch up with you if you aren't careful. Maybe you are smart enough to share this bottle with a friend, but I wasn't. I was a little afraid after my experience with the Imperial IPA but this one was well worth the purchase price. I am definitely buying more to see what another six months to a year will do.

-update 11/14/07 2006 vintage

So I decided to crack one of these since it is almost been a year since I purchased these bottles. The first smell is perfume and hops, weird and reminds me of an aged Ruffian I had a couple weeks ago. The flavors are like a bitter orange rind. The more I think about it this beer seems like a Ruffian copycat and it would be interesting to have a blind taste-off. This is different than it was fresh and I am not sure i like it aged. I still have five more bottles so maybe this one will improve in the next year or so.

-05/03/08 2006 vintage

Dark, ruby red, almost brown, with a thin but soap-like head. Subtle smells of citrus and toffee, chocolates, a little alcohol. More citrus in the flavor followed by a cereal-like barley flavor and flowery notes with a little bitterness. The only complaint I have is that it gets too easy to drink as it warms.

ArrogantB, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Crosling for this bottle. Bottle is not dated so its age is unknown. It pours a little foamy but settles quckly. Darker in color than most barleys. Smells sweet and a bit hoppy. Taste is dominated by piney hops with some malt. Easy to drink for a 10% ABV. Solid barleywine but not spectacular.


SkinnyElvis, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of rallison
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark ruby red/brown with a wonderful 3 finger off-white head that persists.

S: Sweetness mainly - toffee and malt.

T: Very rich. Nice caramel toffee sweetness followed by a nice piney hop bitterness. Figs too - this does have a very fig-like sweetness. Alcohol is apparent and does make itself known toward the end of the sip. Talk about a malt bomb, this is one!

M: At first, this was a little too thick. As I get used to it though, it's enjoyable. Very full-bodied, with a nice little carbonation kick.

D: Really a bit too rich and slightly on the sweet side to be too drinkable. Splitting a bomber? Just the right amount. A whole one to yourself? Ehh, not the best idea in the world. Although, not the worst either.

A nice attempt at a barleywine by Green Flash. This is a good solid example, if a little on the heavy side. Could use more balance and a little less sweetness in my opinion. Also, aging could help smooth this out.


rallison, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of cbl2
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/30/2007 $5.25 22 oz. 10.00% No best by date.


Pours a murky brown with a hint of orange sneaking through when exposed to the light. Has a thin film of tan head that settles rapidly.


Dark jammy fruit overtones with a robust hot alcohol aroma.


Nice chewy mouthfeel kicks off this barleywine, that improves as it warms, developing a rich chocolate flavor that is cut by some hot alcohol. Dark, ripe fig essence battles with a floral hop bitterness in the finish.

cbl2, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this via trade! definitely a mixed story with this one. One quibble which has nothing to do with the taste - love the Vintage tag but what year??? Apparently its current but if you're going to go to the trouble of printing the word vintage and leaving space above it for a date, put a date in. Ok, off the soap box now

A - Brilliant colors on this one. Deep burgandy color with a light tan head that billows and hand out forever!
S - Strong citrus and pine hops dominate with an underlying malty caramel/toffe aroma.
T - similar to the smell. Odd but the initial sips came across as wet hops. Haven't really had that happen before. a quarter into the bottle and the malts begin to climb up to the hops and create a pleasant mix of flavors.
M - medium to full bodied. a tale of two halves on this one.
D - hides the ABV well, takes your taste buds on a back and forth trip. A slow evening drinking beer.

I have one more in the cellar which I will come back to in about 6 months or so. Curious to see what happens with this one. All told I'd lean towards enjoy it fresh versus aging.

barleywinebrewer, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of Gavage
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown color with a a spotty surface head. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel sweetness and hints of bitterness.

Taste: caramel, raisins, hint of chocolate, alcohol, and a bit of piney bitterness. Some citrus tones lingering around here too and feeling a bit out of place. A touch of dryness hits at the end.

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied. Smooth throughout. Slightly dry at the finish. Relatively short aftertaste.

Drinkability: decent barleywine. Worth giving this a shot.

Gavage, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Vintage" label 22 oz'er that explains: "...three hour boil to intensify the caramel malts and enormous PacNW hop charge..." 10.0% ABV. Label displays a notch middle left bottom? Hmmm...

Pours with a clear yet mahagony hued pour topped with a beige sandy deflated splotchy dense head cap leaving some drippy lace in the glass.

Nose is robust with a spice cake and orange peel zest that is rather citrus over malts. A boozy hint peeks out with a butterscotch toffee.

First swigs: Chalky citrus orange start. Pastry sweet bready with a peach schnapps suggestion. Middle of spice wafer cookie and dried apricot floral yet grainy chewy bite. Bubble gum and floral aspects. Finish is a lingering dryness with fig and cherry notes.

Full bodied thick syrupy offering. Soft carbonation that blends with a lingering lemon peel sweetness.

Last swigs: Toes the line between 2IPA and barleywine American style. Balance leans 70/30 towards hop citrus. Hidden 10% ABV leads to some easy drinkability. Leaving this one rest in the hole might balance it out, but this seems to be at its peak fresh. Almost could pass as a highly hopped Stone offering.

Beer is good. Happy big beering.

blitheringidiot, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of Bitterbill
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle a clear amber gold with a small head of foam that shrinks quickly but still leaves a fine layer right down to the last taste and....it has plenty of nice lacing.

The smell is a fairly strong mix of hops and malt with some sourish notes.

The taste on first sip has a huge caramel malt presense that is supported by good citrus hops and none of the sourness that I mentioned in the nose. Yum. The more sips I take, the more balanced the flavours become to my palate and it makes for some great drinkabilty despite the 10%abv which, btw, is surprisingly well hidden. I'm liking this one and I'll be sure to seek it out again when I next visit Colorado.

Bottom line: This is one solid BWSA that I have no qualms about recommending!

Bitterbill, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of Matthew
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. 2006 vintage. Pours a ruby brown color with a tannish good inch of head that settles slowly to leave a decently sized covering.
Malty caramel tones wrapped in alcohol and big potent grassy and earthy hops. The hoppy aroma also contains some citrusy tones as well.
Malty sweet caramel and biscuity backbone tries to stand up against a big incoming wave of bitter hop flavor. The hop profile has some piny and grassy flavors in it and starts to fade to warming alcohol in the tail end of each sip. There are some very slight wood tones that I can pick up and might be more perceivable in this beer after 6 months to a year in the basement. Maybe I'm imagining this.
The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a medium level of carbonation.
The 10%abv is more perceivable in this beer more so than in some other American Barley wines I've had but I don't really think it takes away from a good level of drinkability in this beer. Nice well proportioned amount of sweet biscuity malt to try to balance out the big hop profile in this west coast American Barley Wine.

Matthew, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Slightly hazy ruby brown with a large head (huge by barley wine standards) that lingers for minutes and leaves big rings of lacing all over the glass.

S - Pure hop resin. Pine and apricot over a strong rose aroma. This smells a lot like Pliny the Elder. I absolutely love it. Abv undetectable.

T - Awesome. A resiny pine hop dominates the foretaste, almost no bitterness. The aftertaste has a linging pine and grapefruit bitterness, but it is subdued with a biscuity overtone. The malt profile is subdued. That is the only drawback. The outstanding hop kick makes you forget all about the lack of malt until the end of the beer though.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, very refreshing too.

D - I would have guessed this was a Double IPA, in the hoppy vein of Pliny or Hop Wallop, and not a barleywine. But I love it either way. I like it more than almost any double IPA or barleywine to date. In fact this is one of the best beers I can remember having. This is so easy to drink and tastes great. The smell is enchanting. I love this beer. If you love hops, seek it out.

mrasskicktastic, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Big tan head on a clear deep amber body with hues of brown in it. Nice lacing that sticks to side of glass.
S- Hops slam the nose immediately. Big citrus and pine hops with grapefruit also. Pine hops beat out the citrus. Smells more like a really big hopped DIPA. Very light malt in there too. Almost like they put pine straw in the fermentation tank. The pine straw just seems to effect the smell not so much the taste.
T- Follows the taste with the big piney hops. They come through right away. Malt backbone. Light alcohol also. Dry aftertaste with a bit of pine in it also. Bitterness is left tingling on the tongue. Doesn't taste much like a barley wine as it does a big DIPA with a tiny bit more malt than usual (also a darker color). As warms the caramel malts come through a bit more as warms.
M- Full body with medium to high carbonation (more on the high side especially for this style).
D- It would be alright if I wasn't in the mood for a barleywine (like I am now). The smell of the pine is overwhelming every time you go to take a sip.

BlindPig, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 Oz bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA for $4.99 in December 2006, tasted in January 2007.

I'll admit up front I'm not a big barleywine fan. Too big, too rich, too much. "Too many notes" as they say in Amadeus. But having said so, I've been really happy with my recent Green Flash purchases, so I thought I would give this baby a go.

Appearance: Big dark (but translucent) mahogany stained wood with a pretty off-white (almost tan) head that had great retention.

Aroma: Rich, rich malts, hard to describe besides rich. Roasty, caramel, toffee, but also organic (not lambic organic, but vegetable matter) hops.

Flavor: Rich toffee and roasty malts. Very slight sweetness. Some chocolate-covered espresso beans (sweet and bitter). Some hops to offset the malts.

Mouthfeel: Huge syrupy full mouthfeel, somewhat chewy, alcohol heat increases as the glass empties. Actually quite hot by the end of the session.

Drinkability: Too drinkable for a 10% beer. It of course this keeps it from being top marks, but "YES" as the Brain would say (sorry, been watching a lot of Pinky and the Brain lately).

This is a good beer. Too much for me to enjoy on any sort of regular basis, but it's good stuff nonetheless.

Dukeofearl, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of warriorsoul
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Scored a pair of these at Stateline Liquors in Elkton, MD.
Chestnut, almost auburn colored with a finger and a half of creamy, light tan head...leaving behind some very attractive lacing as it fades.
Not sold on the nose...some inviting aromas filled with rum raisins, oak, cherries but has something in there that strikes me as odd...almost perfume-like.
Good thing the taste makes up for the scent. Magnificent malt to hop ratio, keeping the sweetness in check and bittering it up enough to stick with America's interpretation of the style.
Flavors of green apple, bubble gum, citrus, burnt brown sugar and an earthy quality to finish it off. A slight amount of heat, but not distracting.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied...carbonation is a touch high and could be sneaky if the abv goes un-noticed.
Looking forward to sitting on the other bottle for six months or so...could benefit from a bit more sweetness for me.

warriorsoul, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage

Pours a clear ruby brown color with a nice thick tan head. Lots of lacing coats the glass. The head tries to stick around a while.

Fresh hop aroma. Spicy pine, floral, and grass with a nice sweet malt scent gaining strength as it warms.

Flavor is right in stride with the smell. Blast of green hops with some citrus not really noticed in the smell coming through. Malts are there, but not as prominant as I am expecting them to be since this is a barleywine. I really like how this one tastes...but it seems more like a DIPA to me. Either way, it's damn good.

Thick, full body goes down nice and smooth. I really like this one, even if they are pushing the boundaries of a barleywine. I wish I had another one here now. Drinkability is up there for me, but if you're looking for a chewy malty barleywine I would suggest you let this one sit for a while or grab the next one down the shelf.

Imstillthegman, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of Foxman
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy sunburst of amber, ruby, and cola brown. Two fingers of light tan head slink slowly to a puffy mousse film. Cascades of lacing fall down the inside of the glass.

The aroma wafts a stout strain of citrus and pine hops, zesty and slightly spicy. Underneath is a malty sweetness toting caramel and earthy raisins. A touch of chocolate joins a ventilated column of alcohol.

Upon sipping, in slides a heavy duty syrupy sweetness of toasted malt, uniting toffee and a general fruitiness. The hops center more on citrus here, with exceptionally dry grapefruit leading the way, but a touch of evergreen spice peeks through as well. Alcohol brings a sweet vinous note to the table. A biscuity bit of malt is crisped into submission by an almost oppressive, biting bitterness that lingers rather heavily. The flavor is thick, sweet, and California-hoppy, but it finishes perilously close to acrid.

Full bodied, it's viscous and chewy, with a bitter glow that blinds the taste buds for a while.

It's fundamental, basic, and quite good, though I do wrestle with the exceedingly bitter finish, which borders on gratuitous. In the end, it's just a minor distraction, not a disqualification. the ABV is well-incorporated, flexing smoothly and with a soothing warmth. So, the wince-inducing finish be damned, it's a hoppin' sweet good time.

Foxman, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of phisig137
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh 2006 bomber pours a brilliantly clear ruby mahogany color, with a two finger head. Good retention slowly falls, leaving behind a huge amount of lacing.

Aroma is deliciously hoppy. Extreme piney and floral aroma fill the glass, with only a slight hint of alcohol in the back. So piney, it almost smells like a christmas tree.

The flavor is incredible. Very hoppy all around, with just enough malt to back it up. The hop flavor is the most piney grassy hop that I have ever experienced, is very much in your face, yet is incredibly balanced. Malty caramel notes a present in the middle. The finish is fairly dry and bitter, but not harsh at all. Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth.... great carbonation on this one. Drinkability is quite good. Each sip begs for another.

I am convinced that this beer either has to be late hopped, or west coast has a secret stash of hops with outrageously low cohumulone. This beer is intensely hoppy, both from an aroma and flavor aspect, but is not harsh or overly bitter whatsoever. Very well balanced for a barleywine, although this is another beer that treads the line between barleywine and IIPA. I'll be curious to see how this one ages. Highly recommended beer from a brewery that does a pretty damn good job all around!

EDIT: The more I drink of this, the more DIPA-ish it becomes. I would just like more malt character from a barleywine. I'm starting to think this won't age all that well, but I'll hold onto a bottle nonetheless. This is great in the way that Stone 10th is great... but for a barleywine, I'm not quite sure yet. Perhaps a second bottle will answer my questions.

phisig137, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of ElGordo
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is reddish brown with ruby highlights, topped by a HUGE creamy head that leaves tons of nice sticky lacing on the glass. Aroma is an initial blast of sharp, spicy hops, with notes of grass and grapefruit. As it warms the hops become a bit more subtle, yielding a touch to a light caramel malt sweetness.
Palate is well-balanced between sturdy caramel malt and a ton of grassy, floral hops. A sweet raisin character emerges mid-palate, then is overwhelmed by a building alcohol presence that continues to grow long after the swallow. The body is surprisingly and disappointingly thin for such an otherwise huge beer. Nevertheless, this is a pleasure to drink. Watch yourself, though; while it's unlikely this could ever "sneak up" on you, it is pretty powerful stuff. Plan ahead - this should probably be your only beer of the evening.

ElGordo, Dec 13, 2006
Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.