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Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

452 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 1,217
Gots: 66 | FT: 5
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: 452 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nathanjohnson
2/5  rDev -55.8%

nathanjohnson, May 11, 2012
Photo of DogFood11
2.93/5  rDev -35.2%

No head to speak of and lacing is minimal. Dark brown with some reddish hue around the edges. Carbonation is very subdued.

Huge alcohol aroma combined with a bold oak and slightly smoked aroma.

This will put hair on your back. Whooooaaa this is like drinking a watered down bourbon whiskey. Add some oak barrel taste and you've got the great. mouthfeel was full and loaded with stinging alcohol. I love a good strong brew but this was a whiskey bomb at best.

DogFood11, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of jamex
2.95/5  rDev -34.7%

Served on draft at the brewery. This was "Great '05."

Wow. I ordered a 5oz taster of this and thank God I did. Alpine made no attempt to hide the alcohol in this big guy.

S - Scotch, bourbon and whiskey. You pick up a bit of oak but the alcohol is overpowering.

T - This is a strong barleywine. At 14% you really taste it. Tastes of bourbon, whiskey, oak and mild spice.

M - Buttery and whiskey-like.

D - There is no way I would be able to put back a 12oz. Not impressed with this. That being said, the rest of the Alpine arsenal is delicious.

EDIT, 2011: Though for some reason this beer keeps popping in my head. Perhaps I was too "new" to the style and reviewed it low die to my inexperience. Must try on my next visit to the brewery (if I can find it).

jamex, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of leschkie
3/5  rDev -33.6%

leschkie, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of Danimal25
3/5  rDev -33.6%

Danimal25, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of StoutFest
3/5  rDev -33.6%

StoutFest, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
3.3/5  rDev -27%

Thanks to Steve for this... Pours an ugly murky dark brown, a light tan watery head forms a ring, but that’s it... really wonderful dr pepper malts, reminds me of a Kuhnhenn bbbw... taste is not as successful as the nose, lots of dark fruits, raisins, but it finishes with lots of bourbon but its too hot and the bourbon tastes cheap... the feel is a touch to thin and little hot... wanted to love this but its a bit overrated

jrallen34, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of Mrpickles
3.5/5  rDev -22.6%

Mrpickles, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of BreweryRun
3.5/5  rDev -22.6%

BreweryRun, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of CityofBals
3.5/5  rDev -22.6%

CityofBals, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of MastaShonuf
3.5/5  rDev -22.6%

MastaShonuf, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of OlieIPA
3.63/5  rDev -19.7%

Purchased from the source and shared with the very lovely Aimstatus; poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass at 52 degrees.

A: An opaque brown body that exhibited absolutely no head or lace-like qualities. I contribute this to the high alcohol by volume, but still, not quite what I had anticipated for this beer.

S: Tons of bourbon/whiskey, brown sugar, and molasses seem to be the main components along with a strong alcohol presence. In many ways, the barrel aroma coming off this beer reminded of Lost Abbey's Bourbon Angel Share.

T: Bourbon sweetness, brown sugar, molasses, and perhaps some vanilla from the barrel. The beer also comes off as being a bit "green"; hints of green apple/acetaldehyde characteristics. The alcohol is hidden very well.

M: You can feel some of the sugars sit on the palate, which I guess in some ways adds some body...but overall...a bit dry and thin throughout most parts.

D: Even though I enjoyed the many flavors this beer possessed, I found myself only able to finish my 6-8 oz. pour.

Overall: If cellared correctly, this beer could age beautifully. A try it beer. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of dmsohyea
3.68/5  rDev -18.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle kindly shared at O'Brien's.

A super hard pour comes out almost completely flat. A super thin amount of head around the rim. The color is almost a pinkish brown. Very interesting coloring, but the flat pour kills it for me.

Smells pretty good. Bourbon is the main scent with a good amount of brown sugar and little chocolate lingering.

Tastes like chocolate and whiskey with a strong brown sugar backbone. A touch of fruity sourness comes in somewhere in the back. Maybe cherries or grapes, can't quite nail down the flavor. Finishes with a good alcohol kick, but for 14% this is not super boozy.

Mouthfeel isn't too great considering it has almost zero carbonation and is moderately alcoholic. The body is surprisingly light for such a big beer. I would have been pretty impressed if it was more carbonated.

Overall, about 4 oz of this beer is plenty enough for me. For a barleywine I was impressed, even flat. Probably won't put too much effort to find this again unless it's on tap.

dmsohyea, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Callmecoon
3.75/5  rDev -17%

Callmecoon, May 23, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -17%

acurtis, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of BGsWo22
3.75/5  rDev -17%

BGsWo22, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Jerriko
3.75/5  rDev -17%

Jerriko, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of Quackus
3.75/5  rDev -17%

Quackus, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -17%

GraduatedCashew, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of caaam
3.75/5  rDev -17%

caaam, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of miadw3
3.75/5  rDev -17%

miadw3, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of mrkun
3.78/5  rDev -16.4%

Had this on tap at the brewery.

A: Dark brown without head or lacing. Looks more like a barrel aged liquor than a beer.

S: The smell is of overwhelming maple syrup and soy sauce.

T: The taste follows the nose with lots of maple syrup and soy sauce with wood notes additionally.

M: Chewy and silky with minimal carbonation, very thick.

O: A very interesting barleywine. I highly recommend it if you're a fan of this style.

mrkun, Jun 16, 2011
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.

OStrungT, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.8/5  rDev -15.9%

Poured into a snifter. Thanks to mikedashg for this one. 12 oz. bottle, 2010 vintage (I think).

3.5 A: A ruddy dark brown color. One eighth inch frothy head falls almost as soon as it is poured and leaves no lacing. Not really that surprising given the beastly ABV.

4.5 S: Rich caramel and toffee dominate. The bourbon and associated components aren't even close to the magnitude of the malts, which makes sense given the amount of malt packed into this bottle, and that's just the way I like it. Anyway, you can pick up moderate amounts of bourbon, leather, and oak. Some vanilla in there as well. Prune and raisin fruitiness with a port-like vinous component. A touch of herbal hops. Booze is pretty well hidden, but is still somewhat noticeable.

3.5 T: The caramel and toffee are still pretty strong, but not as much so as the nose suggested. Prune, raisin, fig, nuts, oak, molasses, and vanilla are next. The bourbon character is bittersweet in the taste. Bourbon, leather, and vanilla work well, but there is definitely a noticeable tannic astringency.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. I was expecting (and looking forward to) a heavy ass body. Still, it's thick enough. This could use a bit more carbonation and could be creamier as well. Otherwise, smooth.

4.0 D: This is a good beer, but it isn't nearly as good as the average score suggests. This doesn't hold a handle to 08 BA Old Ruffian or any vintage of CWBBBW. I'll put it on a similar level to Weyerbacher Insanity in terms of quality, with this being a hell of a lot bigger. I gave this a 4.0 to elevate the overall score a bit since I think the taste is right on the 3.5/4.0 border.

DavoleBomb, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.8/5  rDev -15.9%

2009 vintage 12 oz. bottle served in a snifter.

L - clouded reddish brown liquid with no head at all.

S - bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, and a hint of alcohol.

T - toffee and vanilla upfront with vanilla and bourbon on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a slick feel.

O - a decent example of the style but maybe a bit too much abv.

JoeyBeerBelly, Dec 15, 2011
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Great from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.