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Griffin's Bow - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Griffin's BowGriffin's Bow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

607 Ratings
THE BROS
68
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 607
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 18.47%


Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
From the aroma and notes of sweet honeysuckle, pineapple, and grapefruit, to richer hints of burnt sugar, and toffee, this intriguing brew is full of complex flavors. The distinct character of toasted oak adds depth and contrasts the light fruit sweetness. This unique take on a barley wine ale surprises with its smoothness and balance of fruit, hop citrus, and warmth.

Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Zeus
Malts: Two-Row Harrington, Metcalfe, Copeland Pale, Paul’s Caramalt
Aged on toasted oak

(Beer added by: sommersb on 10-28-2011)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 607 | Reviews: 227 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

1.3/5  rDev -63.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very light amber color, slightly hazy but still very clear with a thin lace of head that diminishes quickly. Smells like a ton of oak, earthy hops, toast, and a pinch of alcohol.

Lots of flavors, all of which taste as though they've been smoked with oak wood: vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, pine, citrus. Moderate in body and carbonation, slight warming sensation from the high abv. Aftertaste is malty and oaky, but it doesnt linger around too long which is nice. Malt presence is big but is balanced well by the hops which unfortunately to me don't play into to the flavor too much.

flavors are all there but really unbalanced and all over the place, almost couldnt finish it.

drinkable if you're really into the wood flavored things. Definitely far too much oak going on here unfortunately. decent attempt but not something I'd buy another of (except for the one extra I'm going to buy to age).

Speaking of which, does anyone think this beer would benefit from some aging? Would that overpowering oak flavor die down?

but as of right now, this beer is good for nothing but it's high alcohol content

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 04:50:21 | More by jtierney89
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

1.9/5  rDev -46%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Sticking to their adage that beer must be clear, this one pours perfectly clear, even when cold. The color of shiny new pennies. Lacks some of the deeper red tones...but that must be the whole blonde thing happening. Head is bright-white, smooth, and thin.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, oak, and booze. Some toasted notes when cold gradually expand as the beer warms. It's like toasted booze. Lots of booze. Very rough. Touch of biscuit and minerality. Aromas don't really meld, they just assault and then back off making room for the next out of whack aroma. Hits on the English side of things with a big toffee compliment. Also, pears.

Taste: Vanilla, toast and caramel. Toffee and old bread crust. Booze, so much booze and sweetness. Very rough. It's like a shot of oaked vodka with a toasted piece of booze soaked toasted oak thrown in for good measure. Toast your booze son! Toffee struggles to break through. Aggressively full of citrus rind. Tastes like white Life Savers. Is that pineapple and coconut sneaking out?

Mouthfeel: Thin side of medium. Dry on the aftertaste from the harsh ABV. Drinks like bad college vodka.

Overall: This was almost a drainpour. The toasted element sounded nice in theory but what a tragedy it became. No balance and any complexity it may have had was lost when the flavors refused to work together.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 03:35:40 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

1.93/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Highly highly disappointing beer. Wanted to try it since I hadn't seen this one on the shelves in PA yet. The sample was poured at the EBF night session. The beer looked good with a nice head on top and golden colored body. The smell wasn't too bad, it smelled sweet and appealing. The taste was awful to me. I don't understand why or how but it was terrible. I had a friend take a sip also and they agreed with me. I didn't even finish the sample of this one. The mouthfeel was decent but nothing too special. Overall just not thrilled with this beer really. I really don't know what happened here.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 04:58:40 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

1.95/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a Budweiser pilsener glass (not a word out of any of you)

A: Pours a brilliantly clear golden color with effervescent carbonation. The head is shockingly good, it's a slightly offwhite color with fantastic retention and lacing.

S: There's a distinct scent of pineapple from the Nelson Sauvin hops (possibly?) and some caramel notes, but otherwise it's surprisingly subdued. Not that boozy on the nose.

T: Uh oh. It starts off nicely enough, with some subtle hints of pineapple, caramel, and toffee...until the finish comes, loaded with buttery diacetyl and candy-coated metallic notes. It's a sickeningly sweet, cloying mess on the back end, and it completely ruins what could have been a semi-decent barleywine. I can't give it a 1, though, because of how well the alcohol is hidden. Still, it's pretty bad.

M: Heavy, but not excessively so. This would be pretty drinkable if not for the lousy flavors, honestly. Has a long, lingering finish (bad news given how it tastes) and mild carbonation.

O: I only had a pilsener glass full - and I could only finish half of it before dumping the rest out. There are some nice hints here and there, but this is an otherwise terrible barleywine that's far too experimental for it's own good. Avoid.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 22:27:20 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

2.13/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review adapted from notes taken 11/12/11

Appearance: Golden orange, absurdly clear, starts off with a nice white head, fades to a minimal ring

Smell: Not good - pure alcohol, pears, other light fruits, straight-up sugar - tons and tons of wood, with more wood

Taste: A rather unpleasant amount of wood with a side of remarkably cloying sweetness - lemon and orange rind - on top of the sweetness, there is a cloying bitterness - with a whole lot of alcohol - totally lacking malt - as it warms, some weirder flavors emerge, like artificial pineapple, coconut, and white Life Saver candies

Mouthfeel: Medium, sticky, cloying

Overall: This kind of tastes like a cleaning product gone bad

This beer tastes like overly bitter citrus rind, alcohol, and wood. I would rather use it to clean my kitchen floor than drink it again. Maybe it will become drinkable in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 07:03:14 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.17/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch No.1 (Oct, 2011?)

A: Light amber with three fingers of whipped whites which falls slowly to a quilt of the same. Excellent clarity and near cobweb lace.
S: Vanilla, caramel, oak, plastic, nice hints of grapefruit and honeydew melon. Interesting nose.
T: Sweet as fuck. Wow, for such a fresh BW, this is one sugary beast, and the yeast is reminiscent of a dunkelweiss yeast. Sweet and has a ton of cereal (corn pop) flavors for me.
M: Almost too thin and flat for satisfaction. Body like a pils that's been sitting for too long...
O: Not a very good attempt IMO at a fresh BW. Needs some hops for a blonde/american BW.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 09:08:16 | More by harrymel
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

2.2/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Geez... it looks like the Bros really hated this beer.

Served in a Duck Rabbitt snifter.

A: Definitely on the blonde side of the BW spectrum, with an apple juice-like appearance, a clear disposition, and a slight white head that was a least a bit foamy.

S: Very flat in the aroma department which was very disappointing. I got a tinge of oak that made the beer smell off, bordering on skunky.

T: I got something that resembled thyme on the front part of this, followed by semi-sweet wood that I wouldn't even describe as oak. As I got into it, it got worse and worse.

M: Some carbonation, but I really started to not even care after the taste debacle. I personally thought it was a bit too thin and could have stood for more syrupy decadence, considering this style and ABV. The lacing was moderate, but as bad as this was, nothing really lingered.

O: I'm not really sure what to make of this. To my mind, this is one of the worst so far in 2012.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2012 22:04:07 | More by Chaney
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

2.23/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent copper color with a pretty thin two finger, off-white head. Retention is ok, but forgivable given the high ABV.

S - Overwhelming perfumy hops, ethanol and heavy caramel dominate the nose. Light oak and and a strange plum note are present as well. Smells incredibly imbalanced.

T - The alcohol is so overbearing that it takes away from any other notes present. Strange hops notes, plum and caramel are haphazardly placed. Muddy, strangely built and the alcohol is an entirely too big player.

M - Thick, medium bodied, and wet. Probably ideal for an average barleywine, but doesn't work here.

D - Might be much better with some age on it (probably years), but pretty much sucks as is.It's hardly even drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 02:50:41 | More by blakelive784
Photo of wowbagger
wowbagger

Virginia

2.25/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Very nice orange color with foamy head that sticks around for a while.

Smells of hop and spring, with some spice and banana.

The taste is... odd at first. Some of the spice I smelled but mostly just caramel. It's not sweet, just has the sticky/burnt flavor of hard caramel or maybe brittle candy. The only positive thing I can say about the flavor is that I didn't notice any alcohol at all, and finishing off the bomber didn't help my perception of it at all.

I have a lot of faith in this brewery, but this is the second of their special lines I have found thoroughly un-enjoyable. Overall, this was like drinking a cream soda with hops, not good.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 13:39:49 | More by wowbagger
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

2.28/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Figured it was time to try this before it's gone from stores, especially since I've been on a bit of a barrel aged barleywine kick as of late.

Special note: this beer's name is hilarious. "Griffin's Bow"? What the fuck? The youtube video with Jim Koch explains that they were impressed with the power of the old timey mythical animal, the griffin... but what about the bow??

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch head that dissipates slowly, leaving thick but ultimately not lasting lacing. Pours a clear orange and leaves a few small spots of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: yup, Nelson Sauvin hops as advertised. Smells a lot like Anchor Humming Ale, a similarly Nelson Sauvin-forward beer (and an excellent one). In the glass: Same thing. Pungent peach and pineapple. All hops.

Taste: Lots of alcohol, some fruit flavors, and lots of sickly sweetness. Amazingly too hot, too bitter, and too sweet at the same time. Don't find that every day.

Each sip starts with a lot of tropical fruity hop flavor, moving to a blast of bitterness, then ending with unrelenting, overwhelming sweetness (and a building, chest-consuming alcohol heat). The oak is not very present in the flavor, though it eventually comes out to impart some sponge cake character onto the disgusting sweetness (it fails to save the day though).

This beer reminds me that Nelson Sauvin can impart a sort of musty / funky flavor like the smell of molding fruit. Somehow the alcohol and mild oak influence are accentuating this aspect, which is unfortunate.

There's a fair amount of flavor underneath the dialed up bitterness, heat, and awful sweetness... but it's not worth suffering through the shit. Summary: like eating overly sugared dried pineapple dipped in honey, but bitter.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Creamy, sugary, hot. Wish they pulled some Utopias magic and fermented off a lot more of this sugar.

Overall: I love a good barleywine, English or American. I'm considering pouring the rest of this beer into the toilet.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 01:55:53 | More by Pahn
Photo of bilyboy65
bilyboy65

Colorado

2.28/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It's like a person that just can't make up their mind as what to do with their lives and just floats around the world. There is to much going on in terms of the oak caskness, hops, malts, attempt to make it a barley wine. Just nothing seems to work with together to make a smooth taste. Everything seems to be fitting for the most attention.

It looks nice, but smells and tastes of alcohol. It sits well on the pallet being a medium body beer. Would not recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 03:22:43 | More by bilyboy65
Photo of DannyDan
DannyDan

Michigan

2.35/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out a copper color hue with a thin whitehead that has decent retention and some lacing. The aroma has some hints of burnt sugar, toffee, oak and some fruitiness. The taste starts out with pineapple, grapefruit, and a couple other fruits and some burnt sugar and toffee come into the taste and finishes off with an oak taste. The aftertaste is a very bad taste since none of the tastes seem to balance very well and also the alcohol taste is throughout it giving it bad taste. The mouthfeel is a sticky, chalky feel and overall this was a rather disappointing "experiment" from Sam Adams that does not work out very well. Even though Sam Adam's usually makes some very good beers this is one of the few that did not work out.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 05:23:59 | More by DannyDan
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch # 1.

Pours a clear apple juice color with a 2 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a small cap. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Off the bat, the smell is pretty suspect with some weird vegetal and rotten pineapple aromas. There is some malt and brown sugar too but they don't do anything to help out the overall smell. Taste is exactly like the smell along with some vanilla and oak flavors. There is a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, I really don't care for this barleywine. The veggie aroma and taste pretty much kills this one for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 01:50:40 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of YouSkeete
YouSkeete

Massachusetts

2.43/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice full copper/amber colored body with a thick, foamy off-white head. Grapefruit, pineapple, oak, barley, oats and some hints of caramel and honey on the aroma. Lots of complex smoky flavors as well. Honeysuckle, toasted oats and sugared fruits on the initial sip. Big, boozy, oak flavored kick follows quickly. On the high side of complexity with a mish-mash of flavors embodying the overall organization of the brew. I can find everything from apples, pineapple, grapefruit to things like limes and carrots. Pale malts and malted barley with a smooth, rich bready texture. Flat, pale aftertaste. Coming from someone with a soft-spot for Sam brews, this is not very impressive whatsoever.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 01:31:01 | More by YouSkeete
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So i drank this from a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass, i know, its not a proper Barleywine glass, but it was in front of me at my computer so it happened. Same brewery at least.
now, when you pour this you will see why they put blonde in the name, it is a lot lighter in color then you are expecting for an american barleywine, looks about like an IPA, a shade darker. Some lasting head shows up top and gives a good impression.
The aroma really shows some oak notes, it is a clean aroma of oak, there is not a lot of malt or hops getting in the way really, just some clean biscuit notes otherwise.
The flavors and mouthfeel are smooth. Oak once again is in charge, some toasted grains, not really getting a lot of hops for an "american barleywine", there are some damped earthy hops with a citrus tinge but not enough for the American tag, or what i normally expect from them.

I have a 2nd bottle i bought at the same time, ill drink it at some point soon, well see when, not in a rush but i don't think this one will age well for more then a year at all, not enough body to keep it up with time.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:49:12 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Would love to know the story behind this name... Anyway, it pours a mostly clear golden straw topped by a very lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises fake banana (think Runts all the way here, folks), sweet flowers, powdered sugar, sweet caramel, light oak, vanilla bean, and light sweetgrass. Things are overtly sweet here. The taste holds notes of sweet flowers, light caramel, strong vanilla bean, moldy oak, and a bit of toasted white bread. Man, the toast and the dank wood really hang around for a while... The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluffy feel. Overall, this beer just didn't do it for me. The oak seems to be primary culprit, I think, sending everything else to hell with it. Yuck.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 05:56:01 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this one up at the COOP tonight... shared a bit with inflatablechair... but unfortunately, I am getting the lion's share... screw you Sam.

Poured into my Corsendonk tulip... good head and nice lacing atop an orange brew.

Aromas are sharp fusel alcohol and fruity hops.. tons of oak and some burning nail polish remover.

The flavor shows pale malts and tropical fruit hops... odd antiseptic alcohol.. the oak is overpowering and overbearing.. too much of everything bad.

Body is medium with decent carbonation that is made very slippery with the tons of EtOH... I think my breath may be flammable.

Sam said it was like sucking on an oak dowel soaked in rocket fuel...

Jesus... It has been a long time since I've dumped a beer, but this one is going down the drain... Not good at all. No where close to anything resembling a barleywine... just a huge woody and incredibly boozy mess.

4/2/2.5/3/2.5

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 05:10:53 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

2.58/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of bmanning. Served in a small pint.

Pours a mostly clear light golden color with a good, frothy white head that persists for a good time and leaves a bit of lacing behind. The nose brings forward very light oak and just a touch of grain. Very, very tame without really anything going on. The flavor is just a tad bit better with a smidge more oak and a faint hop presence. Light bitterness in the finish is refreshing; no noticeable alcohol, which was impressive. Just blah overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 13:58:12 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness

New York

2.6/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a crystal clear honey/amber into my DFH glass. Tons of carbonation, nice fluffy white head that fades fairly rapidly and leaves a touch of sticky lacing.

S- HUGE piney, grapefruity Nelson hop punch in the nose! That's pretty much it. It's like a one note guitar solo. All im picking up is the hops... no oak, malted barley, vanilla or anything else. Kinda dissapointed with the smell.

T- Bright, fruity hops right up front. Somewhat bitter before the sweetness starts creeping in. I'm not getting Barleywine at all... malty IIPA, yes indeed. Just way to hop forward for a BW. I wonder if the hops will mellow with some time. It doesnt taste bad, but they shouldn't have called this a BW IMHO.

M- Bitter and citrusy up front. A nice sweetness comes in but gets overpowered by the hops and alcohol. Kinda creamy and oily on the tongue, but then it gets ripped apart by the pine and hops.

O- I was really looking forward to this, but it's really kind of dissapointing as a Barleywine. If they called it a IIPA, I would have scored it much higher. Not a bad beer, but it's so hopped up that nothing else shines thru. Maybe a year or 3 in the cellar will help this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 01:22:41 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

2.65/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Val Dieu chalice, this is an aged-brandy colored beer with a creamy half-inch head, and bubbles streaming up from the bottom. The nose... well, an initial hit of hops was promising, but then it was overwhelmed with harsh fusel alcohols--not too promising. The flavor offers incredibly cloying toffeeish sweetness, a lot of oakiness, more alcohol... actually it is so sweet I'm not sure I can bear a second taste.

Ok, I tried a second mouthful. Ugh. Undrinkable. A very unpleasant tasting beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 17:41:01 | More by allengarvin
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer at the release party at the Boston brewery. Served in a sample glass.

Gold body and a decent white head. Nice fruit smell and some alcohol. Taste is fruity and light malt. Kind of heavy carbonation. I am not sure this is a true barleywine. I think of barleywines as being a double hit of hops and malt. I just am not feeling the malt part. Still not a bad offering. Name is kind of lame since it's such a departure from what they usually do.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 14:02:18 | More by jneiswender
Photo of mikehblack
mikehblack

California

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber. Pretty big white head.

Smells super fruity and sweet like the description says. There is some oak character in there which feels out of place.

The taste is really sweet with a strange oak tannin after taste. Some fusel alcohol notes. Yeasty malt character. Leaving a less than pleasant taste in my mouth.

I really don't know what is going on with this beer. It is all over the place and is quite hot. Will not be buying this again, not sure if I'll finish all 22oz.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 03:37:10 | More by mikehblack
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle served in Bell's tulip. Batch #1.

A: Pours a semi hazy amber color with a two finger light yellow head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to bubbly film and it leaves some sticky webbing behind.

S: Big hops are present right up front. Resinous and piney with a touch of citrus. The malt bill is very sweet on the nose. The toasted oak in the nose slightly shows itself.

T: Boozy and cloyingly sweet. The hop profile takes a back seat to the booze and the toasted oak flavor sort of take over. The woody taste almost feels artificial and the beer seems very imbalanced. Some resin hop flavors pop up every now and then, but I get none of the citrus I smelled in the nose. The malt bill sort of gets lost in all this.

M: This seems slightly thin for a barleywine of this ABV. It's sort of sticky so I guess that's accurate, but the presence of the alcohol flavors really make it hard to take anything more in than just a small sip at a time.

O: Pretty disappointed. The flavors just seemed artificial, especially the toasted oak and there really wasn't a malt bill to hold up to the hops and booze.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 23:32:48 | More by Treebs
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

served on-tap @ The Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL into a tasting glass

Pours way, way lighter than I would expect a Barleywine to pour. It's a translucent, honey-gold color. Lager blonde. It's crazy how light this beer's color is. So much clarity too! It's sort of a trip. a decent, one-finger sized off-white head sits on top (also to my surprise).

Whoo. There's some... aromas here to deal with. It's quite boozy, for starters. Quite. Beyond that alcohol, I pick up on honey, dense biscuits, and white grapeskin. Those white grapeskin notes are a tell-tale for New Zealand hops.

The taste follows the nose pretty well. Lots of booze; it spreads all over my tongue and makes me literally frown. Some beers hide their alcohol; this beer embraces it. Honeycomb and grape flavors. Then there is the oak. It's soggy tasting, like it was soaked in grain alcohol until that natural vanilla flavor was just a ghost of what it could be. A lot of awkward and disjointed sips. Unpleasant.

It's slick and heavy on the mouth, and does little but exacerbate the beer's problem with perceptible alcohol. Overall, this is not a good take on the Barleywine style. Too boozy and too awkward.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2012 05:31:51 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Hazy light amber color and thin tan head with poor retention. Sharp, acidic earthy floral aroma. Barley sweetness with hints of vanilla and toffee ending in a dry oak finish. Slick biting feel and overly dry.

Interesting and oddly bold for Samuel Adams. The bottle described the aroma as honeysuckle which I would agree with, which is why I really didn’t care for it. Virtually no warming which is shocking for 11.5% abv. Toffee / burnt sugar is the dominant flavor and the mouthfeel is distracting. Overall, it has a unique flavor but needs some tweaking.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 22:51:53 | More by Bfarr
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Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.