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Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

437 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 1,194
Gots: 68 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 437 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by frizzzle:
Photo of frizzzle


4.99/5  rDev +10.4%

Picked this up at the brewery on release date.
Poured into a tulip glass, the smell on this is amazing! Smells hot with sweetness.
Pours a nice dark almost deep burgundy color, little to no carbonation.
Taste is amazing, slightly thick texture, very smooth and nice semi sweet taste. I can't taste 14% alcohol. This is very well balanced. The smell and taste compliment each other. I thought about trading some bottles, but after drinking 2 so far, I've decided to keep the rest. This beer is awesome, best barleywine I've had. Alpine beer company, thank you!

10-13-2013 21:03:01 | More by frizzzle
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe


5/5  rDev +10.6%

03-31-2014 12:46:35 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Callmecoon


3.75/5  rDev -17%

05-23-2013 02:28:12 | More by Callmecoon
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

03-18-2010 05:15:33 | More by Mora2000
Photo of kingcrowing


4.05/5  rDev -10.4%

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.

02-11-2012 17:15:18 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of bpfrush


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-01-2013 03:57:33 | More by bpfrush
Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

03-10-2014 17:19:53 | More by obiwan_k3n00bi
Photo of rudylaw


4.25/5  rDev -6%

08-13-2012 12:18:43 | More by rudylaw
Photo of OStrungT


3.8/5  rDev -15.9%

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.

12-15-2005 06:28:45 | More by OStrungT
Photo of stereosforgeeks


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

11-08-2013 03:24:48 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of pwoods


4.1/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

02-03-2010 06:05:14 | More by pwoods
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -17%

11-02-2013 20:06:12 | More by acurtis
Photo of JasonFromLA


4/5  rDev -11.5%

03-29-2013 07:01:34 | More by JasonFromLA
Photo of Reappropriated


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

10-13-2013 01:36:17 | More by Reappropriated
Photo of Dawkins


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

01-16-2014 04:08:44 | More by Dawkins
Photo of jh1982


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

11-18-2011 15:00:10 | More by jh1982
Photo of DJButters


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-06-2011 21:37:22 | More by DJButters
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.28/5  rDev -5.3%

On tap at the brewery. 09 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: Served with a light layer of fine white head with poor retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy deep brown. Very spotty and sparse lacing with no stick.

S: Nose is very deep and aromatic. Notes of chocolate, booze, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Also some light prunes and crushed raisin in the back. Rich, warming, and delicious.

T: Opens vanilla, prune, brown sugar, caramel, and nuttiness. Booze is apparent in the back. Toffee with a slight rich tartness towards the middle. Caramel comes in smooth at the end. Slight hop resin at the end with a sweet, brown sugar finish that sticks to the palate.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation, slightly abrasive, and rather hot overall. Oily and smooth in the mouth and warming going down. Messy finish with a sticky aftertaste.

D: Again, I'm still not a huge fan of barleywines but this, along with a couple of others are helping me to turn the corner. Infinitely rich and complex with a very enticing nose and feel. A very good representation of the style.

11-14-2010 04:33:57 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of leschkie


3/5  rDev -33.6%

04-15-2012 15:27:01 | More by leschkie
Photo of blabaer


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-15-2013 19:44:55 | More by blabaer
Photo of prototypic


4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

Thanks to JessetheHutt for the bottle.

Great pours a darker, caramel brown color. It's quite hazy, and looks dark copper with backlighting. Carbonation looks to be very light, and produces a head that barely covers the surface. It disappears nearly as fast as it appeared. Lacing was very, very light. The 14% abv obviously killed it.

The nose is damn impressive. Initially, it has a strong dark fruit scent. Raisin, plum, and fig are present in abundance. They're complemented extremely well with a moderately strong whiskey (bourbon?) scent. Smells delicious. The secondary level introduces vanilla, oak, leather, caramel, and even a little tobacco. It's extremely complex and deep. Alcohol is certainly there. At 14%, that should come as no surprise. Go big or go home.

The flavor is every bit as tremendous as the nose! It kicks off with a very nice caramel/toffee flavor. The malt base is strong and sturdy. Dark fruit flavors of raisin, fig, and plum flood the palate and feature a tangy twist. The barrel aging imparts a very nice whiskey or bourbon flavor. It's an extremely nice complement to the dark fruit and caramel malt flavors. Oak, vanilla, tobacco, leather, and even a slight hint of herbal hops take up the secondary level. Alcohol is there and is a little warm. It finishes tangy with a twist of whiskey.

Great has a medium to full body. It feels more substantial with warming. Nice and chewy. Carbonation is very light and restrained. Very creamy and smooth? Yes, it is. Drinkability is good. For a big, barrel aged barleywine, this is quite drinkable. Nonetheless, it is 14% abv. That's damn strong. A 12 oz. bottle is more than plenty.

Great is one hell of a nice beer from Alpine Beer Company. As far as barrel-aged barleywines go, it's among the best. The chinks in its armor are so small that they aren't worth discussing at length. This is a damn fine beer that you should seek out.

As an aside, I saw that this was aged in Jack Daniels barrels, and the label plainly styles this as a bourbon barrel barleywine. I've always been fascinated by the debate about Jack Daniels being Tennessee Whiskey, not bourbon. I digress....

12-11-2010 04:29:00 | More by prototypic
Photo of MASPuros


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

01-03-2012 22:07:57 | More by MASPuros
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -9.3%

A: Dark brown, with some light able to seep through. Mild head forms with a hard pour that is gone befoe i could even blink and no lacing to speak of at all

S: RIch caramel notes upfront along with some biscuits, also a nice coconut and almost note is present and very enjoyable, maybe a little maple syrup as well. can definitely smell the wood and some vanilla and bourbon

T:It starts off very vanilla tasting with hints of oak and then caramel. A big load of biscuits is noticable. As it sits in my mouth I can also detect some toasted nuts. What is strange is some of the sips though are just straight booze which is a bit unpleasant

M: Some heat is present on this one and it could surely use a bit of time in the cellar, there is also a syrupy quality to it

D: I look forward to trying this one again in a year. I split the bottle with someone else and that was fine by me

01-07-2010 23:56:59 | More by mikey711
Photo of Lucho


5/5  rDev +10.6%

12-23-2013 02:22:38 | More by Lucho
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


4.65/5  rDev +2.9%

On tap at stone brewery. 4oz serving says it's %15 and not the 14 here.

Pours a deep red with no head at all and no lacing.

Aroma of lots of dark fruits and caramels with a nice bourbon aroma. This is a sticky one for sure.

Taste is excatly as it smells. Sweet toasted sugars and dark fruits with a very nice strong bourbon flavor. Sooo tasty.

Mouthfeel is good. No complaints.

Overall a GREAT beer. Can't wait to get some bottles of this when it comes out again

05-19-2010 03:00:34 | More by PeprSprYoFace
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Great from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.