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Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
GreatGreat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

425 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 425
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,168
Gots: 69 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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".
Available in limited release at the brewery only

(Beer added by: xlperro on 03-01-2005)
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Ratings: 425 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by davod23:
Photo of davod23
davod23

California

3.93/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip. Thanks, Jason.

As the liquid rushes from the bottle, it appears to be a deep, clear mahogany. A very thin beige cap forms but disappears nearly instantly. 14%, you say? Holding it to the light, it's apparent that the beer is not just brown, but closer to a slightly murky, deep reddish brown. The beer sticks to the inside of the glass when I swirl it. Impressive legs. I wish the head could have stuck around a while longer, and I wish the beer had a bit more clarity. Overall good though.

Smell. The booze stings the nostrils. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla straight up front, with a caramel and sweet malt backing. This smells very sweet - I've had three flies try to divebomb the beer. Very nice, but would be improved with moderation of the booze.

The taste is nice. Boozy, to be sure. This thing could stand to sit a while. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, toffee, and caramel are all present in a sweet conglomeration - honestly, this drinks pretty good, but if it were any sweeter I would have a major problem with it.

Mouthfeel is appropriate. Low level of carbonation, smooth and creamy up front, with a very tannic finish. The finish is actually somewhat bracing.

Drinkability is decent for the style and for the alcohol content. This is a sipping beer, treat it with respect.

I've had this beer on three different occasions. The first was at Stone Oakquinox from a jockey box, and I thought it was the best thing there - I was bowled over by it. The second was both 2005 and 2009 versions at the brewpub, and I was let down - I recall there being a weird smell akin to cat food in the 2005, and the 2009 needed some time to round into form. I'd rate this most recent experience to be in between those prior ones. This is a good beer, but there are a number of other barrel-aged barleywines that are better, IMO. If you can get two bottles of Great, do it, and sit on one of them for about 10 years and see what happens to it.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 01:11:10 | More by davod23
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Great from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 425 ratings.