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LongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
LongShot Mile High Barley Wine AleLongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale

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

256 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: smcolw on 04-03-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of homebrew311
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep red with a striking amount of clarity for a high gravity barleywine, a thin creamy looking white head form and retains itself well, leaves splotches of head around the sides of the glass

S: pungent hops and a stiff malt profile dominate the nose, the hops are grassy and dank, the malts are robust with notes of caramel and dark fruits, very aromatic

T: the taste is a bit tamer than the nose suggest, the hops come through on the front much like the aroma but then gives way to the sweetness from the malts- nice toffee and caramel notes along with dark fruits, finishes long with malty sweetness, great balance, this is a unique barley wine

MF: thick body, smooth and velvety texture, low carbonation

D: this is a well executed barleywine, I wonder how different this mass produced version is from the originally entered homebrew (I know there was like a 3-4% abv discrepancy), this shows up every beer in the SA imperial series. Maybe Sam Adams should take note and make a brew like this a year rounder!

homebrew311, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark reddish-amber color beneath a good sized off white head. Slow dying lacing last a while as you drink this longshot winner.

The aroma and taste are very similar with a very light alcohol hint that almost dominates over the hops and malts. Light citrus and light caramel malts combine to form a complex aroma that follows through throughout the drinking process. This is really a beer to be tried, as are all the long shot winners, each has a taste that reminds you of certain tastes or aromas without forcing them on you. I can see this recipe being a staple on somebodies menu or at least it should be, I wonder if these recipes are given to the public so micro and macro brews can explore and expand the beer vocabularies?

Anyway, if you get the chance give this a try, even if 9%+ beers aren't your thing. If you give a beer like this a honest chance you may or may not like it, but you will definitely want to try more and more different kinds and styles of what is widely known as BEER.

LXIXME, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of hosehead83
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Copper/amber in color with a big, fluffy head of foam
Aroma-Big malt, with caramel and subtle citrus notes
Taste-Malty, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, chewy and sweetish, with lots of warming alchohol in the finish. A definite sipper. A bit sweet for my taste but not bad overall.

hosehead83, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of matty
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is dark fruit.Taste is rum,raisins and currants.Very warming and tasty.Like everything from The Boston Beer Company a good brew.I would recommend to try at least once and as for me I would like to try at least a few more times.

matty, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Thick white head that sticks around, high carbonation steadily rises through a burnished brown body. When held to the light it glows a brilliant gem like red.

S: Pine, caramel, flowers, yeast.

T: Floral hops, sugary malt, fruity notes, caramel and doughy yeast with a nice soft finish.

M: Though it feels heavy, like most barley wines, the high carbonation keeps this beer free from any syrupy consistency. The clean smooth finish helps.

D: Totally worth drinking multiple times, however, it does have high alcohol content and it is a heavy beer.

Overall: Wow, I am impressed. This is a very nice barley wine. It has impressive depth, yet it manges to integrate the high alcohol content with ease. Some barley wines can seem sweet because of a long sticky finish. However, this one manges to avoid that problem because its finish is cleaner.

ianjsullivan, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter at about 55 degrees.

Pours with a pretty orange/amber color, and 1F of off-white head, which hangs out forever as a permafilm, with a strong edge. Touch of visible carbonation. Nice lacing.

Aromas of 7-Up, ginger spice, rich fruits - especially cherries, and maple syrup. Very sweet overall, and quite inviting.

Rich mouthfeel, with some nice bittering hops to offset the overall sweet flavors. Barley, maple syrup, allspice, orange peel... there's a lot going on in there - and it is enjoyable. Decent bite in the afterglow. Smooth overall, though, for the style.

I really liked the drinkability on this one. It's not overly harsh or bitter, as many barleywines, and if you're a fan of a little sweeter profile, you'll apppreciate this.

BeerImmediately, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of BMoney575
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 4-25-10
Best before September 2010

Pours a hazy red/amber color with a hint of off-white head. Lacing is a few thin layers that settle quickly.

Smell is big, sweet malt with a grassy hop kick. The alcohol comes in next, and helps the hop aromas hit hard. Very good.

Taste is a lot like the smell, but the malt has a slightly sour quality that I can't quite place. The hops are almost more sweet than bitter, and surprisingly tame.

Mouthfeel is very slick and syrupy, witch adds to the heavy sweetness.

Drinkability is not very good, the sweetness quickly becomes annoying.

Overall, another good candidate for some cellar time.

BMoney575, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is Old Ben Ale on steroids. Very similar (while still being different and distinctive) but a "notch more" of everything.

Pours clear red copper with light tan head.

Nose is very assertive candi fruit, fresh bold plums and big malt with an almost "citric banana" character. Nice nose all around.

Mouthfeel is rich, creamy and filling with nice balance and richness.

Flavors are huge malt character with undertones of bitter hops. Initial flavors are creamy sugared coffee, toffee, carmel and burnt bananas; sweet creamed espresso character that goes to a "sweet bitter" espresso mid palate and finish. The big sweet coffee stays on the palate forever.

A bit surprised that Sam Adams did the Old Ben Ale and the Mile High Barley wine since they are similiar in flavor profiles; both a really nice and have a place in your cellar. I also suspect that both will age nicely for a year or two!

GRG1313, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful magenta red with very wispy head. No lacing.

Smell: Caramel, plum, cherry, alcohol and a nice blast of citrus hops.

Taste: Fairly sweet malts with caramel, plum, dark fruit, citrus and molasses. While there is quite a bit of hoppy citrus flavor, there really is not much hop bitterness - just a twinge of spice and bitterness at the end.

Feel: Low carbonation, full smooth body, quite warming.

Drinkability: Not much bitterness for an American Barleywine, as it seems more like an English Barleywine with a lot of citrus. However, this is possibly the most approachable Barleywine I have had.

bsp77, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LongShot Mile High Barley Wine is like a creamy dark cherry desert.

It was reddish copper with a massive creamy tan head. It was sweet and a little tart, like sweet dark cherries, and extremely smooth and creamy, with a bit of bitterness, and a nice dry finish. There's a lingering acidic aftertaste that seems to be a hallmark of Sam Adams beers.

The 2010 LongShot mix is (mostly) a pleasure. Ben Miller nailed this one and deserves a mile high-five. Mile High is a great sipper on cold and rainy days, or after-dinner any day, and I would happily make it and Old Ben Ale regular staples of my beer stock. As for the Lemon Pepper Saison, I would happily make Mile High and Old Ben Ale regular staples of my beer stock.

MetalHopHead6, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of FickleBeast
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Mad Elf snifter

Pours deep reddish amber with one finger of foam that leaves abundant lacing. Aroma is a little boozy with some sweet plum and faint hop bitterness.

Very malty, with a bit of metallic twang and lingering bitter aftertaste. Quite sweet, but there is some hop flavor buried in the sweetness. I'd prefer the hops to be a little more prevalent. Mouthfeel is viscous, and the sweetness does a good job of masking the alcohol that was evident in the nose. Overall, pretty good, I just prefer a little more hoppiness to my Barleywines.

All in all I'm excited for this year's Longshot lineup... Barleywine, Old Ale, and Saison!? Props to Sam Adams for going outside the norm.

FickleBeast, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of BierFan
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin tan head settles down to just enough foam to cover the beer. Reddish amber body.

Smell: Most American barleywines are dominated by the citrusy hops(not that thats a bad thing). This beer, however, is much more balanced and the smell is skewed more towards the malt. Citrusy hops are still present, though.

Taste: More balanced usage of hops makes the beer more nuanced and complex. It's as if this beer has already been aged for a bit.

BierFan, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of Shaw
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep amber in color with a sticky off-white head that reduces to clumps.

A light aroma of sweet dried fruit with a hint of bread.

The taste isn't as harshly bitter as some American barleywines like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot or Rogue Old Crustacean. This beer is sweeter, with lots of rich malt flavors and a good alcohol flavor and burn.

The hefty body is oily and chewy.

Overall a fine barleywine and one that's a bit more approachable than others of the style. This is another LongShot winner that's a winner.

Shaw, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, goblet, enjoy before September 2010 notched on the mutilated rear label.

Possibly one shade of red darker than the Old Ben's Ale of the Longshot six-pack, and a marginally better head as well.

So they included a beer with a higher hopping rate! Lovely, but it isn't that hoppy. Ladies perfume, a whole sack of caramel malt, and fresh floral citrus in the nose.

Huge caramel sweetness that is pretty well balanced by bitter and flavor hops. Bitter alcohol, bitter oily orange peel, flower petals, a little bread, and either grain husks or oaky vanilla. There are surely is some vanilla lurking. Overall quite a good, straight forward, sweet barleywine with a perfume quality.

Creamy and full on the palate. It's a shame that the Longshot series isn't bottle conditioned. This is a malt monster.

At 9.8% abv and an alcohol ring appearing when I swirl, this isn't an extremely drinkable beer. It is too sweet to be so.

brewerburgundy, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of mfunk9786
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A shockingly great beer from the Samuel Adams LongShot variety pack (worth noting - this was purchased at an amazingly reasonable price from State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD - $7.99 for the sixer!)

A: Lighter than most barleywines, this one is a dark orange with barely a finger of head. Though clearly not completely filtered, it is a lot more see-thru than a lot of Barleywines, and quite the sight to behold. Still, it lacks the rich visual character that a lot of Barleywines have down pat.

S: Smells of malt, malt, malt. There are some hops on the nose, but as I'll explain in more detail later, this beer reminds me more of Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot more than any other American Barleywine - it has a lot of malt character with surprisingly restrained hoppiness, which is (to me) the perfect balance for a Barleywine (without becoming a full-head-of-steam Strong Ale).

T: The taste is of sweet malt with a touch of surprisingly fresh and citrusy hops. I don't mean to use the adverb "surprisingly" so often, as I am someone who has a lot of respect for the Samuel Adams brewery and their ability to balance craft brewing with big business - but it's still refreshing to taste nice fresh hops along with their signature "how do they do that?" malts that take your tongue on a journey that would make even Founders jealous. But on that note - this beer started as a homebrew, and the gentleman behind it must have had more of a malty English Barleywine style in mind. Dark fruit and brown sugar are prominent, followed by a taste that would go perfectly with a bowl of - hey! - Boston baked beans. A great beer that tastes darker than it looks.

M: As described above, the mouthfeel is deceptively dark and mysterious. I also noticed a far lower alcohol burn on the tongue than in the head - this brew is nearly 10% alcohol but certainly doesn't taste it - hell, more than any other Barleywine I've ever sampled, I could see myself mowing the lawn and drinking this - which goes very well with Sam Adams' Macro/Micro motif.

D: Probably the best Drinkability rating I'd give a beer of this style - I could drink two or three bottles of this, it tastes light and malty rather than overly bitter or boozy.

Seek out this year's LongShot pack - this brew may surprise you. I like the Old Ben as I'll explain in a later review - but this beer is better than advertised and certainly the star of the pack, even though Barleywines are part of a crowded marketplace!

mfunk9786, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a clear, well-filtered, amber-brown body with a solid head formation sporting a finger and a half of light beige foam. Tangle of glass-sticking lace on the way down.

Smell: Modest zip of zesty, citrusy hops ahead of the larger, sweet-scented maltiness smelling of toasted bread crusts and dry caramel. Very minor hint of dark fruitiness rolls in late.

Taste: Sweet, chewy maltiness tasting of toast, brown sugar, and dark caramel. Background date fruitiness, maybe a teensy hint of dehydrated sweet cherry in there as well. Citrusy hops with lighter, lesser accents of pith and spice. Medium bitterness, a bit of a surprise and certainly lighter than expected. Dries somewhat as you reach the warming, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. There's a smooth creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Those seeking a bright, boldly hopped barleywine best look elsewhere, as this one's a bit shy in the hop department, leaning instead towards its sweet malt character. For a split second, I wondered if I had accidentally opened up my second Old Ben Ale. Having said that, it was still a pleasant albeit sweet brew.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my DFH snifter.

A - A gorgeous almost ruby red with some orange hues and a nice dense off white head. Very nice almost creamy head is about .75 inches. Recedes to a nice thin mat.

S - Nice vinous and sweet malt aromas come up quick. Nice grape jam and cinnamon aromas are present as well.

T - Very delicious and vinous sweet malty taste. Some caramel and dark fruits like cranberries and some raisins. There is a very nice piney hop flavor that goes down well during the finish and balances well with the boozy sweetness. The citric hops also ad a nice dry finish.

M - Very smooth and delicious with a nice balance of intense malts and strong citric hops. Good barley wine and probably the best of the three Longshots.

JoEBoBpr, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of DoctorDog
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Pours a red / amber color, and clear. A thin cap of tan head, which fades rapidly into a smattering of bubbles. Heavy lacing.

S- Sweet maltiness, and a fair amount of booze. Dark fruits with a piney hopiness.

T- Dark fruits/plum, hints of pine. Moderate bitterness. Alcohol is very present, and has an almost numbing effect. Quite a bit of malty sweetness, with a strong bitter finish. Very interesting array of flavors that seem to improve as consumed.

M- Moderate carbonation. Fairly full body, and slightly creamy. Smooth. Sturdy alcohol warming presence.

D- Good. With a 9+% ABV, I had to remind myself to slow down a bit at times...though I can't see going through too many of these at a time.

Future outlook: A very good addition to this years LongShot sixer.

DoctorDog, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of david131
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear red orange liquid with a thin off-white head that settles to some thin splotches.

S- Pine, caramel, grass, and mint. Complex and subtle.

T- Caramel, raisins, brown sugar, along with some subtle pine and citrus. Malty and well made.

M- Smooth and malty with a lingering sweetness.

D- The alcohol is pretty well hidden and the beer is actually rather enjoyable.

david131, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a snifter this beer was a ruby red color with just a hint of head around the rim. It had a very sweet aroma, mostly sweet fruit, and some caramel. Taste of plums and raisins, caramel, and hops late. My first few sips I thought this was way too sweet, but then the beer recovered and became less cloying and more balanced. Good effort.

lordofthewiens, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of Beejay
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A mahogany red-brown. Nice full head on top, and crystal clear.

S: Malty with caramel notes, and a hint of American hops. Sweet with a touch of molasses.

T: Malty with caramel, and a slightly more than gentle kiss of american hops. Well balanced and mild, especially for the ABV. Sweetness like figs, or dried fruits.. on the verge of a cloying sweetness..

M: Heavy body, but the carbonation seems to lighten it a bit.

D: Fairly well balanced, but a touch on the sweet side. Overall I think it is a very decent brew. Something I would get again, and be proud as hell if I made it.

Beejay, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown ruby red coloring. Slightly off-white head. Beautiful color just like the Old Ben from the longshot pack.

S- Dark fruits, intense syrupy malt sweetness, citrusy hops, a little bit of alcohol. Wonderful aroma!

T- Heavy malt sweetness followed by a hop wallop. Unfortunately, I'm more partial to English style Barleywines, because I feel like the hops are covering up beautiful malt flavors, but for an American Barleywine- it's pretty good. Hop profile is quite nice. Citrusy to compliment the malt sweetness, just a bit high on the hops. Not much of an alcohol bite, but this is lower ABV than your typical barleywine.

M- Viscous like a good barleywine should be.

D- For a barleywine, quite drinkable. For a normal beer, obviously not as drinkable, but c'mon! you knew what you were getting yourself into.

thisisxxmyIPA, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Enjoy before September 2010 notched on the label. Poured a translucent mahogany with a fluffy, two inch off-white head. Head eventually recedes into skim, a dollop and a creamy band around the shoulders. A thick, semi-circular sheet of lacing is revealed on the tilt edge of the glass and exhibits excellent adherence. Nose reveals a blend of hops, raisins, prunes, brown sugar and a hint of booze - but is somewhat muted. Taste consistent with nose, but the flavor profile is much bolder than suggested by the nose. Lots of sweet, malty goodness here - the dark fruit and brown sugar are joined by a touch of molasses. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly chewy, with an active background carbonation - perhaps a little too lively for the style. Nice American Barleywine that is pretty close to its English counterpart. There is a noticeable hops presence here, but not the kick in the teeth that you usually see with American Barleywines. A pretty exceptional Longshot offering.

Jwale73, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of aubuc1
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours an amber brown with a thin but clingy tan head.

Big sweet smell with grapefruit and pineapple with a biscuit malt backbone.

Taste is a little different. Sort of like a fig newton with a bitter sticky finish.

Good mouthfeel, but the finish isn't too drinkable.

aubuc1, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of Blakaeris
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear red-amber with a modest soapy head.

Aroma is caramel malt, alcohol soaked dark fruit, and mild herbal hop.

Taste is heavily toffee laden caramel maltiness. The strong presence of alcohol is apparent throughout with a slight bourbon character. Molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit sweetness. It finishes with a woody, tobacco like herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is slick and syrupy.

Overall a malt bomb with an attitude. Plenty of hot, almost harsh alcohol burn. Malty sweetness is full of brown sugar and dark fruit. Herbal hops don't have a chance of balancing the sweetness, but do bring a pleasantly bitter tongue numbing quality.

Blakaeris, Apr 13, 2010
LongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
87 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.