Great - Alpine Beer Company

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GreatGreat

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

149 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 149
Hads: 559
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 4.11%
Wants: 1,351
Gots: 65 | 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".
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 149 | Hads: 559
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle with gold foil courtesy of KingG, thanks again Joey for this treat, 2007 vintage, poured into my Rader snifter tonight, dark brownish red, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, retention was around ten minutes which was suprising for a two year old barrel aged beer, some lacing at the top of the glass too, aroma consists of bourbon first, sweet malts including toffee and caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, prunes, biscuit, mild citrus, and oak, flavor starts off with a semi sweet vanilla flavor, sweetness along with some almost toasted malts in the middle that were much like the biscuit I could smell, some mild alcohol flavors in the finish but nothing like you would expect from a beer of this strength, also some oak and vanilla lingers in the aftertaste, more whiskey comes out as it warms, it tastes very Jack Daniel's like too, warms up with more malts coming to the surface but never really gets cloying or hot, sweet, warming, and malty mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, taste lingers a long time, this beer is very smooth but almost syrupy, alcohol is hidden well for fourteen percent, it is a bit filling though, drank most of this bottle tonight and did not want anything else, I have wanted to try this beer for years and glad I finally got the chance, it certainly lived up to expectations and I am interested in seeing what the higher alcohol version batch two tastes like in the future, recommended (1,450 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of brother_kenneth
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
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. (859 characters)

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best BW I have ever tasted....amazing! (38 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
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! (406 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Callmecoon
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending me this beer.

Pours murky brown with no head. The aroma is caramel, brown sugar, some alcohol, oak and bourbon. It is very sweet. The flavor is vanilla, maple, alcohol and brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. (254 characters)

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a sampler.

Pours a hazy amber golden color with n head at all. Nose is sweet and malty, a bit oxidized but not too bad.

Taste is a bit oxidized but still sweet and malty. Some diacetyl as well. Slight bitterness and a crisp finish, its quite tasty but a bit good. (289 characters)

Photo of lawsonciv
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rudylaw
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of OStrungT
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a redish orange color. The minimal head is light, almost white. It fades quickly leaving minimal laces.

It has a very strong malty, caramel like aroma. The alcohol content is very present in the aroma. Not much in the way of hops. Just a big malty alcoholic aroma.

This beer has a very sweet taste. The alcohol content is very present in the flavor. It warms on the way down. It has a slight fruity taste to it. It has slight wine like flavors. Also, it tastes ever so slightly like bourbon.

This beer is quite thick. It is not very carbonated. It is full bodied. It leaves a stroms alcoholic, sweet aftertaste.

This beer would make a poor session beer. It is way too high in alcohol to drink all night. Also, it is very aggressive. It would wear thin very quickly. As far as a single glass, this beer lives up to its name. It was great. (865 characters)

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of pwoods
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fred at Beverages4Less. I hope this bottle was taken better care of than the Nelson and Expo Hop that you sold me.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a GLBC Christmas Ale snifter.

A: Pours a murky brown with orangish amber tinting in the light. Pours kind of thin. A rough pour gets about a 1/4 inch of spritzy head that dies immediately... I'd assume this spent plenty of time in the barrel. No lacing but some oily streaks.

S: Healthy dose of bourbon but even more massive is the huge dank barrel presence. Lots of earthy, dank oak. Some vanilla and molasses sweetness, maybe some pure maple syrup notes. Very woody. Listed as an American BW but I get great aged English Barleywine notes. The bourbon becomes even more potent as it warms.

T/M: Yow. Lots going on here. Plenty of bourbon along with some stronger alcohol complexity and a very satisfying warmth. More of the light molasses and maple flavors, some vanilla sweetness, caramel, toffee, dark fruits etc. Some faded hops, but I still don't know about American BW. I get loads of rich, alcohol soaked dark fruits as I swallow. I also get a sharp sweetness after I swallow, which is a minor flaw that is somewhat covered up by everything else that is going on. Body is actually pretty thin, which is my biggest complaint. It's only about medium light, which seems pretty far off the mark. Carbonation is light, which fits the style well, but doesn't do a hole lot with the lighter body. It actually reminds me of sipping a bourbon or scotch.

D: Massive ABV and a bit of a mouthfeel issue. Pretty damn tasty, though. If you're looking for a 'kick you in the teeth' beer, then this fits the bill very nicely. If you're looking for something complex and subtle... well this could still be for you because there is plenty to find, but the mouthfeel issues really hurt what they were trying to do and turn this from what could have been an absolutely stunning beer to a, still respectable, tasty treat. (1,968 characters)

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of JasonFromLA
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Reappropriated
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dawkins
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of jh1982
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

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Great from Alpine Beer Company
96 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.