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

Not Rated.
Griffin's BowGriffin's Bow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

650 Ratings

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Ratings: 650
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 17
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: sommersb on 10-28-2011

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 650 | Reviews: 230
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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of jsanford
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy dark gold with a dense white head that settles to a thick cap, leaving lots of soapy lacing. Resinous aromas of sweet caramel malt, tangerine, honey, white wine, and a touch of oak. Taste is really nice, more flavors of honey malt, citrus and tropical hops, with a fairly sticky mouthfeel, medium-full body, and lowish carbonation. Pretty tasty Barleywine, a very unusual interpretation of the style but I like it.

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3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

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3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle review from notes.

Typical barleywine amber appearance, light head and mild lacing, medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation, somewhat clingy and toothsome in texture but not terribly so.

Smells of honey, taffee, toffee, light amounts of toasted oak, and medium levels of tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya, wild flowers). The flavor is a lot more woody than the aroma, and also includes a surprise coconut-vanilla cream pie to the face with a sidebar of rye whiskey burn... Pineapple with charred edges pops out around the mid sip and transforms into a typical pine resin / juicy grapefruit combo by the time the finish rolls out an added spectrum of both leafy herbal raw *and* dried tobacco in equal measure.

Nice, but far too hot and wooden for my preferences fresh. The most memorable aspects of this barleywine are the high level of grilled pineapple and French Vanilla in in the flavor relative to other barleywines, but it fights with the rye booze levels as it is. I'm really intrigued by the tobacco elements, though. In my experience, beers that show nuances of tobacco when fresh often tend to develop additional complexity when aged.

I see this one as another great potential cellaring candidate; to see what can be built out of carefully controlled reduction of the hot booze and hopping levels, and to develop that tobacco stub. I'll probably be getting another one or two bombers at the store for further cellar experimentation, and the price point for this barleywine is more than reasonable enough for this to be an affordable adventure... (My 22oz bomber cost $7 in WI)

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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of DRyan
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought two bottles in Feb 12. Wasn't using ASTMD back in Feb...

Pours golden-copper with a thick white head that sticks around for a while, and laces nicely. Oak flavor is very noticeable in the forefront, fruity notes in the middle, and alcohol bite on the latter. Good amount of hop flavor to balance what would otherwise be a very sweet, malty beer. Slightly reminiscent of barleywine, but unlike any barleywine I’ve had before.

Poured in a Ranger Creek Tulip glass
A: Golden copper with a very frothy white head of big thick bubbles that recedes slowly and leaves some decent lacing
S: Sweet caramel and malt, some toffee and vanilla
T: Oak is milder now, the alcohol actually seems stronger in the front of the taste now. The hops bitterness still comes in the end, though there is very little of the hops in the aroma anymore. Much less overly sweet. Really doesn’t taste too much like a barleywine though.
M: Smooth and rich, with a little zing in the carbonation.
D: The alcohol is certainly noticeable, and would keep this from being too quick of a drinker. Overall the beer is pretty easy to drink (slowly), but the bite at the end – a mix of hops and alcohol bitterness – keeps it from being too quickly imbibed.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single finger head with little retention of decent lacing on a hazy amber with orange hues body. Aroma is a bit bland with some caramel and candied fruit, little else. Flavor follows the aroma with some wood, caramel, maple syrup and candied dark fruit notes and is nice and mellow. The body is a little chewy, with medium body and moderate carbonation. The booze however are better hidden than expected. This one is certainly drinkable for the style and ABV with nice fruity notes to be flavorful.

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, dark golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves excellent lace on the glass.

S - Vanilla, honey, clove, and assorted other spicy notes.

T - Sugary malt up front with a bit of honey and cloves. Some spicy pepper notes in th middle with a finish of honey, red apple, and clove.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Reasonably well balanced with lots of honey and spices. I feel like it could use some age to really come to together, but there is potential for what is a good beer to become something better here.

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Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.