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Holidale - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
HolidaleHolidale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

257 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 257
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.85%
Wants: 29
Gots: 17 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-07-2001)
View: Beers (43) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 257 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by davey101:
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. Opens nearly silent. This is the batch brewed with some rye in the malt bill. Reviewed 01-11-2013

A - Surprisingly gorgeous looking beer. Pours a crystal clear amber/red body with some slow rising carbonation. Frothy three finger light khaki head forms and simmers down a bit but really sticks around. Thick lacing and long retention. Each sip just coats the glass in thick foam. 4.5/5

S - Very one dimensional but rich. Gobs of chewy toffee, sweet candy, marshmallow and butterscotch. A touch of pineapple fruit and brown sugar on the end. Seems to be missing some of the elements of a BW, but it is very unique and inviting. No signs of sherry or wet cardboard. 4.25/5

T - Again pretty one note. Toffee, marshmallow, and brown sugar initially. Finishes with a smooth and noticeable rye spice that works with the tame alcohol. The spice and earthiness tends to escalate if you drink it too quickly. 4.0/5

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation. A bit lacking. 3.5/5

O - This has held up amazingly well, so much so that I prefer it to the 2011 and 2010 that I've had fresh. Zero oxidation, no floating protein bits like in other years, and no off flavors. This was a huge surprise for me. 4.0/5
---
2010 vintage. 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. Opens with a loud pop. Reviewed 01-14-2013

A - Similar to the '09. Clear deep burnt orange body with a super creamy and dense and frothy head. This beer however demonstrates something I've noticed in several vintages of this beer. Floaties. Not sure if its chill hazed or what, but although minimal in this bottle there are bits of suspended protein which hurts the appearance. The final pour had so many floaties it looked hazy. 3.5/5

S - Toffee, marshmallow, and alcohol. A bit of brown sugar and raisins but quite one note. 3.5/5

T - Big toffee, rich malts followed by a sweet marshmallow and brown sugar finish. Feels quite large with a nice balance between the richness and sweetness. 3.75/5

M - Medium bodied and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is a bit on the low side. Booze is noticeable but kept in check. 3.75/5

O - More verification that this beer ages well. Although lacking the great rye spice in '09, it retains that simple but tasty marshmallow sweetness. 3.75/5
---
2011 vintage. 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Opens with a loud pop. Reviewed 01-16-2013

A - Pours a clear dark orange/red body. Two fingers of off-white foam fizzles away like a soda into a thin cap. Excellent lacing and retention. 4.25/5

S - A hint of sweet caramel malts and brown sugar. A touch of raisins and toffee. A bit boozy. Simple, plain, and boring. Not much going on here. 3.5/5

T - Toffee, burnt brown sugar, and skunky malts. Not a very pleasant taste, simple with a long alcohol warmth on the finish. 3.0/5

M - Thin to medium bodied with low carbonation. 3.25/5

O - Perhaps one year is just an awkward phase for this beer. In its current state, its very unimpressive and boring. - 3.25/5
---
2012 vintage. 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. They used local hops this year. Reviewed 01-22-2013.

A - Pours a hazy burnt orange body. Much paler and lighter than the other years. Sits in the glass like an unfiltered IPA. Two fingers of white foam dissolves quickly into a spotty cap with thick edging Just gobs of lacing and retention. 4.5/5

S - Hops initially. They start off piney and grapefruit heavy. When you stop smelling you're left with a subtle but noticeable dankness. An onion presence that points strongly towards Summit hops. Where are the malts? The glorious and decadent marshmallow sweetness of the past? Not even a notion of caramel? This is an IPA god dammit!!! 2.5/5

T - Starts off with grapefruit and pine. Then a light malt sweetness, then some dank hops. Thankfully the onions are not present. That is it. Everything is washed away by the light bitterness of the hops and you are left with nothing. I'm not even sure what I'm drinking at this point. A barleywine? Not even close. Even the Three Floyd's barleywine retain some characteristic of the style while being total hop bombs. Its not that is a hop bomb, its just somewhat hoppy and that's it. I mean its tasty and all, but not even close to style. I don't even see age helping this out as there is no real malt backbone to speak of. 2.5/5

M - Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden. 4.0/5

O - If it weren't for the fact that I've never had a BBC beer feature this hop profile, I'd swear this was mislabeled. What the hell happened? This is not a barleywine. This isn't even an American Barleywine. Its a lightly hopped, slightly dank, average run of the mill IPA. Not even going to include this in my overall score of the beer because I'm just so puzzled. For the love of god, return to your roots in 2013! 2.75/5

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 03:46:14 | More by davey101
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4.25/5  rDev +9%

02-22-2014 20:40:15 | More by garfscores
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01-17-2014 17:41:56 | More by jwps214
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Gonzoillini

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2/5  rDev -48.7%

01-07-2014 02:28:40 | More by Gonzoillini
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sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

2.9/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

2013 vintage

A - dark brown, yet transparent liquid with a thin white head with a bit of staying power. A light source reveals plenty of busy carbonation keeps that head afloat.

S - A whiff is mostly filled with malty goodness and cocoa powder. At the end there is a slight tweak of spice, the bottle blurb mentions cinnamon and that makes sense. Not sure if I could discern which spice without that hint.

T - this is a sharp beer. It's not quite there yet. The hops have not faded and not let the barleywine greatness through. The cocoa powder adds the bitter. The cinnamon-ness is more pronounced in the flavor and is a nice finish.

M&D - as mentioned, sharp and a bit harsh. It needs a year on it. Makes me glad I got two bottles for Christmas. I will hang on to the second one for a year or so and edit this review accordingly.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 20:17:15 | More by sinstaineddemon
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bkwhoppa66

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-27-2013 04:44:51 | More by bkwhoppa66
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MenardMa

Connecticut

2.28/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This really should be broken out into Holidale 2011, 2012, 2013, etc...because last year's and this years have been very different.

I'll start by saying that the 2012 Holidale, if I recall correctly, was a very nice barleywine.

The 2013 one, on the other hand...I could barely choke down. It smelled like weak, watery coffee, it looked like a fairly light brown ale, and it just tasted strange. Like bitter coffee combined with a watery, mediocre beer.

I really like quite a bit of BBC's offerings but this year's Holidale is unimpressive to say the least. Seems like they were going for something very different in a coffee/chocolate barleywine but it just doesn't work here.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2013 17:02:00 | More by MenardMa
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MattGrimley

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-25-2013 21:42:52 | More by MattGrimley
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TheEggCrasher

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9%

12-25-2013 02:39:51 | More by TheEggCrasher
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puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the 650ml. bottle. 2013 batch. Sampled on December 24, 2013

If Beer Advocate would let me do a one word rating my one word would be "Wow!" But I need at least 250 characters, which should be an easy task.

The pour is a foggy dark brown with a lingering tan had that settles on top and stays there. Some lacing as it fades but it never dissipates totally.

The aroma is full of variety with notes of malted barley, cocoa, coffee, fig or plum, and a fascinating woody cellared musk. Hops are minimal but the ones that are there are earthy in nature. No booze.

The body is medium to full and also smooth in texture.

I am drinking this 2013 barleywine in 2013 and one would think that it would have that biting, fresh barleywine maltiness exploding on the palate bu that is not the case. This feels like it has already mellowed with age. Fine malty notes, cinnamon, and spice and coffee grinds. No booze. This one hits the mark.

However, I would respectfully recommend that Beer Advocate set up a new annual listing for this beer. Berkshire acknowledges that the recipe changes every year so someone who reviewed this in 2010 or 2011 is getting an entirely different character in 2013.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 18:45:58 | More by puboflyons
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3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

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scotorum

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homebrew311

Illinois

3.14/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is reddish clear with thin white head. Nose is heavy with cherries, syrup, grenadine, and caramel. Taste is sweet up front with one notes malt sweetness, not enough hops to cut out the fruit. Taste is sweet and oxidized. Out heel is heavy with low carbonation. Overall, not that great. Not really to style.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 00:16:40 | More by homebrew311
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Holidale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.