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Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

517 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 517
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 1,301
Gots: 67 | 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:
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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Ratings: 517 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -11.7%

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.

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4/5  rDev -11.7%

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4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

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4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.69/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Azurelimits for breaking this out at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a fairly-bright dirty copper with a tiny whisp of a tan head.

S: Very rich bourbon alongside some caramel, toffee, sweet malts, and alcohol (although not nearly as much as would be expected from a brew of this alcohol level).

T: Lots going on with the bourbon beautifully complementing the sweet maltiness of the base beer. Some nice woodiness as well as loads of caramel.

M: Medium body with a low level of carbonation and moderate booziness.

D: Very delicious. Not extremely complex, but just done so incredibly well.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to jzeilinger for opening this one with me. This poured out as a nice hazy brown color. The head comes and goes rather quickly. No real retention or lacing on this one. The beer smells sweet like caramel with a bit of barrel aging on the nose. The hops are a bit hidden on this. The taste of the beer is also sweet with a subtle bitterness in the finish, flavors of caramel and toffee in there with a minimal bitterness. I was hoping to get more of the JD barrel flavors from this but wasn't able too. The mouthfeel is smooth, very dangerous because it's easy to drink. Overall it's a good brew, really happy I got to try it.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jesus this was good. I had been wanting to try this one forever, and many thanks for getting it in the white whale BIF. Served chilled and poured into a 6oz snifter, this one was enjoyed on 1/16/2010.

The pour was deep, dark brown, with no light penetrating it at all. Small head forms on top, just thin bubbles really before it settles back down and just lightly rings the outside of the glass throughout the rest of the session.

Aroma is the most intense thing i have come across. Rich butterscotch and toffee notes, huge buttery sweetness just rolling and tumbling through the air. Sublime. Warming brings out nice notes of vanilla and wood that seem to subtly filter through the air. The delicate butterscotch flavor seemed to be neverending. Sweet nectar of the gods here. Smooth, delicous perfection, this is nailed beyond what I could have imagined. simply sublime.

Overall this is better then I could have hoped for. A superb version of a barrel aged barleywine. The vanilla and toffee notes from the barrel are perfect, mellow and subdued are the orginal hops from the beer, instead a sultry, sweet, and superb flavor have come forward. If every barrel aged beer I have is like this I would be a happy man.

Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes

A: The pour is a deep, dark amber color with some nice ruby highlights and no head.

S: An amazing nose to this beer: plenty of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and whiskey. All the things you'd expect from some quality -bal aging.

T: The flavor is just as enjoyable as the aroma. Lots of sweetness in the form of caramel and brown sugar with a hint of butterscotch and molasses. The vanilla and whiskey come through nicely here, providing a bit of warmth as well.

M: The body is quite full with very low carbonation and a definite warming sensation.

D: This beer has indeed earned it's name. Quite a *great* beer that I'd love to have again. Yes, I know it was an awful joke.

Photo of largadeer
4.84/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage on tap at Alpine. Caramel coloered with a small head that recedes to a thin crown. Aroma is amazing, rich caramelized malts wrapped in bourbon, oak and vanilla. Wonderfully oxidized, sherry like with a hint of savoriness. The palate is massively malty and rich. Flavors of butterscotch and bourbon are balanced by tannic oak. Oxidation lends notes of sherry and faint soy sauce. Full, almost syrupy body, yet this is surprisingly easy to drink and very balanced. This was very good from the bottle, but it's outstanding on tap. There's virtually no trace of alcohol, and the balance between beer and barrel is impeccable.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.37/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

Don'tcha just love the modest beers? This one pours a very lightly murky ruby-amber topped by a half-finger of dirty off-white foam. The nose comprises toffee, graham crackers, light walnut, butterscotch, and a vague sense of alcohol. The taste brings in more of the tasty same, though the butterscotch and alcohol come through a bit more pronounced than before. The body is a stolid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a syrupy feel. Overall, a very nice, very tasty b-wine. My only real criticism was that the barrels really didn't impart as much bourbon character as I'd hoped. Despite this, though, this comes through as one damn fine barleywine, straight up.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.37/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter. Big thanks to srandycarter for a bottle of this in trade.

Pours a deep amber/near brown color, with a finger of light tan foamy head. This fizzles down pretty readily, with just a thin looking retention around the edges, but this still leaves a decent little amount of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. Yeah, I would say that the Bourbon and Barleywine have married each other quite nicely in the aroma. I'm getting caramel, butterscotch, burnt molasses, a little bit of plum and fig, and sweet, sweet, notes of vanilla. This is mostly sticky sweet in the nose but I'm also picking up some underlying roast, smoke, and even a touch of char from the barrel. Some lighter but still bright smelling green tannic character hangs on the edges of this, actually helping balance out some of the sweeter tones. There is some beefy warmth present as well but it mostly serves to add some thickness to the flavors.

The taste is pretty much on the same page as the aroma. Notes of caramel, toffee, smoky molasses, some dark cherries and plums (which REALLY emerges as this warms), and an underpinning of char and roast all at the forefront here. Some hops do tickle the rear of the profile but what absolutely makes this; is the silky sweet flush of butterscotch and vanilla flavors across the backend, where in mingles with some deep woody dryness. The mouthfeel is full, thick, chewy, and viscous, just coating the tongue and lips with warm sticky liquid. Speaking of the warmth, that is exactly the way that this stays. Warm but never overly hot, which is very hard to believe with a 14% ABV on this. Pretty spectacular feel, with this coming off much more like it's in the 10% range.

This was some pretty impressive stuff. Wonderful melding of flavors here between the beer & barrel; and the feel and drinkibility on this were pretty awesome for the size. I'd love to tuck a few more of these away for cellaring, as this is one that's only going to get even better with time.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of oline73
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of MasterSki
4.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris (Spycow) for sharing this one. Served in a Bruery tulip. This was the more recent batch in 12oz bottles.

A - Thin, quick-dissolving off-white foam settles to a thin collar and not much else - minimal lace and no cap, wisps, etc. Murky dark orange-brown body.

S - This is a very fruity barleywine, with lots of cherry and other dark fruits. Caramels, treacle, toffee, tobacco, and plenty of oak and bourbon character. Mild complimentary oxidation that adds fruity port-like flavors. I don't think this batch was aged in Jack Daniels, was it?

T - Again, the taste is heavy with traditional barleywine flavors and only a moderate bourbon influence. Caramel, treacle, brown sugar, toffee, cherries, mild oxidation.

M - Medium bodied, with minimal alcohol warmth. Drinks like a lighter beer than 14% - I could have stood for a bit more viscosity and stickiness. Carbonation is unsurprisingly low. Not particularly oaky - very neutral here.

D - A very good barrel-aged barleywine that doesn't quite crack the top tier for me. I'll revisit this when I drink my own bottle (generously sent by ArthurPendragon before his untimely demise). Alcohol is shockingly well-hidden, which makes this a very dangerous brew.

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Great from Alpine Beer Company
100 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.