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Great - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
GreatGreat

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

431 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 431
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,171
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: 431 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

08-18-2012 13:18:48 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 16:38:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -11.3%

11-02-2013 20:02:45 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 01:03:54 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 01:21:34 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -16.9%

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

California

4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 19:27:59 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

11-14-2013 01:59:22 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

11-14-2013 02:03:10 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -11.3%

01-12-2013 03:41:04 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev -11.3%

05-20-2013 04:58:38 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 16:16:40 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 21:32:04 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

02-18-2012 19:43:27 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2010 19:23:10 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

5/5  rDev +10.9%

11-14-2011 18:19:43 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 18:28:23 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 21:02:52 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Thorpe's for a blind taste test. Thanks.

Beer is copper with almost no head, but some how leaves some lacing behind. There is a haze to it as well. Looks OK.

This beer has an awesome aroma, it's bourbony but it's not overwhelming, it's mostly sweet and like golden raisins and toffee. Yum.

The lead off for this beer is a medium body of malt sweetness and some bourbon comes into the picture in the early midpalate region. There is a nice caramel / toffee flavors that come from the bourbon and malt complementing each other and the finish is good with a moderate oakiness. The carbonation on the palate is low and the feel of the beer is creamy with a nice finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 21:31:39 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

10-08-2013 21:46:50 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

12-22-2013 05:56:22 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second big Want from Alpine I'm knocking off this week; good stuff. Been wanting to try this one for a long time. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a hazy deep mahogany color with a slight dark red tint, one inch of very light tan head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, caramel malts, toffee, oak, sweet fruity malts, molasses, and raisins. Lots of bourbon and vanilla mixing with toffee/caramel, as well as sweetness. This is an amazing smelling barrel aged barleywine; gotta be up as one of the best I've smelt.

t - Tastes of bourbon, sweet dark fruits, wood/oak, alcohol, molasses, raisins, light chocolate, caramel malts, and toffee. Again, this is an outstanding tasting barleywine. Lots of bourbon and sweetness to it, which I loved. More wood or oak than the nose, and a little bit of chocolate. A slight step down from the nose, but still a great taste; the nose was just perfect.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy and not a ton of alcohol warmth; some, but not as much as I would have thought for 14% ABV.

o - Overall I thought this was an outstanding barrel aged barleywine; definitely up there as one of the best I've had. Amazing nose; up there with MoaS as one of my favorite barrel aged barleywines, and I'd love to get another bottle of it.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 00:34:07 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +10.9%

11-18-2011 20:07:22 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

12-23-2013 17:36:20 | More by mendvicdog
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Great from Alpine Beer Company
99 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.