Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
GreatGreat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

546 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 546
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.83%
Wants: 1,345
Gots: 64 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 03-01-2005

The base of this beer was available at a couple of festivals as a barleywine named "Good". The remainder of the batch spent several months aging in fresh Jack Daniels barrels and became "Great".
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 546 | Reviews: 153
Photo of Morey
4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Low carbonation affects the appearance and mouthfeel, but this beer smells and tastes absolutely amazing. Big sticky toffee, caramel, bourbon, dates.....etc. Worth seeking out. Up there with the best for sure.

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

No head. Smells earthy, lots of brown sugar, vanilla, woody and alcohol. Yum! So smooth. Dark fruits, brown sugar, toffee, caramel. Getting no alcohol heat. I'd say my only complaint is the mouthfeel. It's just a hair thin for the style.

Photo of Chuck_IPA_Mathus
4.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

seems to have lost something since last time

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful brown coating with a very thin off-white head that dissipates rather quickly into the abyss of fine barleywine. Aroma gives off a phenomenal smell of pure barleywine - wood, sweet figs, and slight alcohol. The flavors replicate the aromatic qualities very well along with toffee and raisins. By grace, this is a delicious beer! This is just a tad below Cigar City's Leon, but a cut above Steel Toe's Lunker - both world-class bourbon barrel barleywines in my book! Very impressive coming out of a brewery that is well known for IPA centric beers.

Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer hits of figs, dark fruit, raisins, dates. Then onto toffee sweetness. There's a touch of hoppiness and woodiness to balance the beer on the back end.

The alcohol is extremely well hidden. Having a '12 and '09 vintage, the fresher bottle was much better. A beer that really does live up to its hype.

Photo of Desp59
2.9/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Leon was better than this to me. Tasted a lot like Aaron.

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.89/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best BW I have ever tasted....amazing!

Photo of JGam115
4.46/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Didn't expect this quality from an IPA powerhouse. Very rich, smooth and lightly toasted vanilla. 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Photo of IrishColonial
4.07/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage

A: very dark brown, almost black like molasses or dark maple syrup; slight creamy head
S: mostly toffee, maple, brown sugar; slight vanilla and bourbon; a bit of raisin and fig; when cold, slight vinegar smell but disappears as it warms; a bit of oxidation underlies everything
T: very sweet and malty; brown sugar and caramel dominate mixed with figs and raisins; not much bourbon flavor but a bit of heat on the back end
M: soft creamy carbonation; decent mouthfeel but a bit thin
O: not sure why this is classified as an American barleywine, seems like an English style through and through; good flavor profile and well balanced but the sweetness is a bit overpowering; starting to oxidize and the bourbon was much less than I expected. A good offering and worth trying but not in my top echelon of King Henry, Cognac Church on a Hill, Sucaba, and Mother of All Storms

Photo of EZEZ
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

a little more on the sweet side for my likes

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Curran last night.

Pours a hazy russet brown color, with no real head, or lacing. Looks really nice.

Smells like toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and breadiness. Smells delicious.

There's a nice dark Belgian chocolate and roastiness to this barleywine that's unexpected, on top of the classic toffee and caramel flavors in perfect unison. There's a bit of bourbon, not a whole lot, and some oak and vanilla. Absolutely delicious.

This barleywine has a body of medium thickness, with a low amount of carbonation. It's a little bit syrupy, not a whole lot, keeping it still very drinkable.

This one seems to fly under the radar a bit, it's amazing, but not a whole lot of people talk about. People should talk about it more.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%

Pour is extremely dark burgundy with a small amount of tight tan head. Nose has some light bourbon notes up front, chocolate maltiness with figs and raisin. Taste is bright and tight, bourbon is subtle but helps balance the malt sweetness. Figs and raisin play a strong role with chocolate and dark malt presence with berry notes, caramel, and brown sugar in back. Full bodied with soft carbonation and a very creamy inviting palate.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.61/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into a teku glass.

dark red pour with a slight head. smell of slight bourbon and dark fruits...quite appealing! taste is smooth as silk with the dark fruits and slight bourbon finish. body isnt even that thick honestly...its really creamy and so smooth. damn tasty. probably the best barrel aged barleywine in existence... definitely worth the hype. so greaT! worth the hype. trade for it NOW!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jwk7324 for this beer.

12oz bottle sealed with pressure cap; vintage 2013.

poured into a SP wine stem.

Appearance: murky and opaque dark brown bodied beer with a thick cap of dirty white head that drops down to thin cap and thin ring around glass that remains the entire time while drinking the entire 12oz pour.(drank this 12 oz pour of beer over the course of 2 hours)

Smell: Very malty and sweet aromas like all "GREAT" barrel aged barleywines. The nose has tons of caramel, bourbon, oak, and dark fruits. Hint of hoppiness. Robust yet balanced and nuanced aromoas from this brew!

Taste: This beer is loaded with caramel and bourbon which has very strong flavor profile in the front of this beer. Hints of wet oak, coconut, and honey. Lots of dark fruits, brown sugar, and light toffee. The beer finishes fairly sweet with a light bitterness lingering long after each sip.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low carbonation. Rich and mouthcoating. Its a bit boozy even straight out of the fridge before this beer has warmed up. I could also use a a few more bubbles because this is almost has a syrupy mouthfeel and some bubbles would help to break that up developing syrup feel of the beer.

Overall: Alpine Great very much reminds me of Kuhnhenn BA 4D. Great is also reminicent of really fresh Mother of all Storms. I think that Alpine Great is not an American Barleywine; rather it is more of a cross between a barrel aged English Barleywine and a barrel aged Old Ale in my opinion. This beer is huge and flavorful; my recommendation is to split a 12 bottle with a friend because 6oz of Great is enough for one sitting.

Photo of Stevedore
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark caramel brown body, minimal head, a bit of lacing. Looks like a barleywine, to be honest which already isn't a striking style in terms of A.

S- Caramel, toffee, sweet whiskey, oak, cocoa, dark fruit, a touch of citrus and pine. But the hops come nowhere near dominating the malt and whiskey.

F- Complex yet sweet. Caramel and toffee dominate, strong bourbon flavours add complexity and some bitter burnt malt. Hop character is present more as a balancing ingredient to all the sweetness. All flavours have melded very well.

M- Thick, caramelly and almost syrupy but not quite to the point where it would be off-putting. Smooth, sweet and balanced. Zero heat.

O- An American barleywine that drinks more like what an English barleywine does; little American hop flavours come out yet its just enough to make it interesting. Importantly, it balances out the sweet malts that would otherwise make it too cloying. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky brown amber. Small khaki head. Not much going on after a bit.

Smell - Brown sugars. Fruity specialty malts. Bourbon. Raisiny. A hint of hops, maybe?

Taste - Bourbon much stronger. Still very sweet. Brown sugar. Sweet and raisiny. Oaky in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Reminds me of JW Lees. Not a ton of bourbon, but it does allow the base beer to shine.

Photo of zac16125
4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into a snifter
2013 vintage

A big thanks to socalbrewlvr for sending over this long time want in a trade!

A: Pours a very dark brown, with reddish hues when held to light. Tan colored head builds, but not even enough to cover the entire surface, as just a ring is formed around the outer edge. Leaves only a trace patch of lacing.

S: Aroma is heavy bourbon along with sweet dark fruits and caramel. There are some cocoa notes, as well as vanilla and faint oak from the barrel. I also get some boozy ethanol.

T: Incredible right from the first sip. Lots of sweetess, with candied sugar and a huge caramel/toffee presence. There are also some rich dark fruits, like dates. The bourbon notes aren't strong, mostly on the finish, with a bit of oaky-vanilla. There is a subtle hop bitterness, but this certainly drinks more like an English-style BW than an American-style BW (which is a good thing in my book).

M/D: Very smooth, carbonation appropriately low, a bit chewy. It has a whole body warming sensation. Maybe a touch syrupy, but the ABV is non-existent, and drinkability is great.

O: Fantastic beer. One of those rare beers that I take the first sip, and literally say "wow". Easily in the top handful of barleywine's Ive ever had. Well worth the wait. A must try. Thanks again socalbrewlvr!

Photo of Jeffo
4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Vanlingleipa recently and drunk last night while breaking in GTA at Doopie's place. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking white head that quickly recedes to a bubbly ring only. A hazy mahogany red in color with no real carbonation evident. A light ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Wonderful nose. Bourbon, oak, coconut, some caramel and toffee sweetness, with lots of fresh maple syrup over the whole thing. Really decadent.

TASTE: Very flavorful again. Bourbon, oak and lots of maple syrup sweetness the whole way through. A touch of spicy alcohol at the swallow, then a big and lingering finish of bourbon, maple syrup, coconut and caramel sweetness. No heat lingers at all. Could use a little bit of bitterness as balance, but this is decadently sweet and delicious. Desert in a bottle.

PALATE: Fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down great and finishes sticky on the palate. No bite or heat at all; the 14% is nowhere to be found. Impressive.

OVERALL: This was outstanding. Awesomeness in a bottle. The flavor could use a touch of bitterness to help balance the overwhelming sweetness, but in small doses, this isn't an issue at all. I'm also surprised this was just aged in Jack Daniels barrels and there was no use of maple anything in its creation. Wonderfully flavorful and decadent with an impressive, non boozy feel to go with it. A real treat. Thanks again Vanlingleipa. Good times Doopie!

Photo of brother_kenneth
3.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bottle, poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours a typical dark brown with little to no head at all. In fact, it is almost still. Nose is predominantly bourbon, with some nice dark dried fruit and caramel. Not quite as impressive on the aroma as I had expected. Taste is a follow-through on the nose. Had high hopes for this one, and it is good, but not King Henry good. The mouth feel is essentially flat and thin. Fairly standard, if mild, flavors for the style - bourbon, wood, caramel, figs, etc. Super sweet, with some hints of oxidation. Ultimately, it is lacking all the way around when compared to some of it's peers. Don't get me wrong, I like this beer, but considering the hype, there are far better examples of the style out there (King Henry, Blendiculous, etc). Drink 'em if you got 'em, because this one probably won't age well.

Photo of errantnight
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber with just a smidge of head.

A ton of toast and malt with warm, vanilla toffee on the nose.

Huge, rich, full. Flavors of candy caramel with light vanilla and coconut. Hints of cherry and mincemeat, rum and sherry.

Unctuous. Stands out among the very best barrel aged barleywines, or barrel aged beers, I've had.

Photo of BullBearHawk
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. 2013 batch drank on 11/22/13.

Smells incredibly sweet with the dark fruits, (raisins, prunes, figs) caramel, toffee, oak, malt and a slight boozy scent. Taste is a lot of malty, whiskey barrel and oak up front with caramel, toffee being prevalent and a slight taste of sweet dried fruits. Appearance was very dark brown with very little head that faded away quickly.

Overall a very good barleywine from Alpine that is sweeter than most and best enjoyed as a sipper to relish in all that flavor. Very sweet at first but this beer gets better sip by sip and is definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of jegross2
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Great, an English-style barleywine from Alpine Beer Company out of Alpine, California.

Score: 95

October 2013 vintage bottle served in a Ballast point snifter and enjoyed on 02/11/2014. Thank you Brandon for sharing this delectable treat while letting us crash at your place Darkness Day weekend!

Appearance: Pours a chestnut brown color with a few wisps of tan head that quickly settle to a ring around the glass. 4/5

Smell: Ton of rich, fruity, and desserty aromas present: brown sugar, toffee, dates, sweet dark fruit, caramel, whiskey, vanilla cake, and light oak notes too. Smells more like a quad a la Westy 12, rather than a barleywine. There is a very faint aged hops smell present too, a la an aged IPA. 4.5/5

Taste: Candied dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. More dark fruit-forward than nose. Molasses and a hint of soda syrup underlie as well, lingering past the finish. A little alcohol warmth on the finish too. Malty, rich flavor profile. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation level. Malty sweet and rich, but not cloying. No alcohol astringency, while possessing a robust warmth. 4.5/5

Overall: Smells and drinks more like a quad than a barrel aged barleywine, which makes this unique. Seek this one out with confidence.

Cost: $10.99 for a 12 oz bottle.

Photo of kevanb
4.22/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, generously shared by Eorwar at our Barleywine tasting, poured into a Hair of the Dog Tasting glass.

The beer pours a deep amber color, hues of caramel brown, fairly sludgy, with no head or lace to speak of. The aroma is of heavy brown sugar, caramel malt, toffee, stone fruit and fig, with some light vanilla and just a touch of woodiness. The barrel is very light on the nose, and the base beer is very prevalent. The flavors are much more dynamic, lots of brown sugar and molasses dominate the tongue at first before a lovely charred presence from the barrel swoops in bringing out vanilla, oak, bourbon, toffee, stone fruit with some lingering caramel flavor. It's quite the experience, beautifully melded with no signs of alcohol heat at all. The body is slick and oily, almost no carbonation but it certainly doesn't read as flat, it coats the mouth decently and finishes richly and sweetly.

Verdict: A very delicious Barrel Aged Barleywine from Alpine and certainly the first non IPA I've found to be a home run from them. The alcohol is hidden expertly well and the flavors are quite sensational, a beer that lives up to its name.

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.8/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My other bottle I brought to a tasting event last night. This has been burning a hole in my cellar for the last month and I am so glad I finally get to crack this puppy open.

The only other amazing English Barleywine I have had is King Henry, and it was 2 years old and probably one of my top 5 favorite beers. This beer just vaulted itself into that category.

Holy fuck does this hit you in the aroma. 14% my ass, this smells like liquid raisins soaked in high end whiskey. Figs, Plums, prunes and raisins all mesh together to give this beer such a rich aroma. I could not tear my nose away form the glass. One of the best nose I have ever experienced. Would have loved a little more chocolate or coffee to compliment and offset all the juicy dried fruit, but I am not complaining.

Lol, you have to be kidding me with this flavor. How is a beer this smooth? And when I say smooth, I mean in the sense that it glides over your tongue like a sip of cream. Coats every inch of your palate in rich, syrupy sticky goodness. In my opinion never got too cloying, but definitely rich and viscous.

Honestly, one of the best beer of the year for me and top 10 all time. So damn good. I am very happy I traded for this puppy.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.27/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee syrup and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a really smooth bourbon presence in the flavor that makes this one very easy to drink.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Great from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.