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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

230 Reviews
THE BROS
69
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 230
Hads: 657
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.81%
Wants: 19
Gots: 66 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 230 | Hads: 657
Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle batch 2
I poured this one into a snifter glass. It has a nice amber color body with a nice 4 finger head that hangs around a little while and goes to a nice lace. The smell has a nice storng pine/citrus smell with malt in there also. The taste is hop up front with some pine/citrus notes. Also as it warms up a little it also has a sweeter taste to it, almost like toffee. The mouth feel is nice and well carobonated. Overall this is a good beer, and i might go get another bottle to cellar and see what some age will do it. (536 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 650 ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Batch No. 2.

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear copper amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Huge five finger off white head with good retention considering the abv. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A very citrus forward barleywine aroma. Sweet and bready malts with hints of caramel, toffee, and a little butterscotch. Subtle woody oak chips and vanilla. Big citrus smell with good hints of orange marmalade, pineapple, lemon, and white grapes. Also some pine resin and floral hops. Quite an interesting smell.

Taste: Tastes like a very hop forward American Barleywine, almost more like an IPA. Big citrus taste up front with notes of orange marmalade, pineapple, white grape, lemon, and peach. Bready malts with some caramel and toffee. Oak and vanilla flavors are fairly subtle. Some honey and burnt sugars. Also some floral hops and pine. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, chewy, and slick. Alcohol can be tasted but the heat is fairly low considering the abv.

Overall: A pretty good take on the American Barleywine style. It is very American with lots of citrus, but it balances out well. (1,232 characters)

Photo of Vixie
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle says Batch No 2 on it, and the ABV is listed as 10%

Pours a very nice looking copper color with a hint of red. Forms a huge white head that sticks around for a bit.

Fairly strong aroma. Citrus, pine, and fresh mowed grass are present, and I can smell the alcohol as well.

Caramel, toffee, and bit of citrus. Fairly strong hop flavor, the hops seem to be adding both citrus and pine notes.

The feel is fairly solid on this one.

This beer is nearly an IPA, tastes more like one than a barleywine to me. It is an in your face beer, nothing to subtle about it. It is a fairly complex brew, the only thing keeping me from scoring it higher is that I am not a fan of a lot of hops, but if you like IPAs, give this one a try. (734 characters)

Photo of RyanGoodman
4.09/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasting at Krugel's Georgetown Deli

A - Deep golden

S - You can tell this is a big beer. Malty, yet hops in the nose.

T - Delivers everything in the scent and more. Complex flavor layers. Almost as if this beer already had some time on it. Wonder what age would do to it.

M - Luscious as it crosses the palate.

O - Excellent, possibly one of the best beers from the BBC I've had to date. Well done! (403 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 5-27-12
Batch no. 2

Appearance: a clear, golden amber color, with an immense white head that settles to a thin layer of bubbles, leaving thick rings of lacing behind.

Smell: very sweet and buttery, with a bit of piney hops poking through. The hops are subdued and the malt is light, making for a rather boring beer.

Taste: just like the smell, except with a metallic quality at the end that ruins any good points. What is there is sweet and all over the place. Not very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Seems good, but it's hard to gauge against the unpleasant flavors.

Overall: a miss. (591 characters)

Photo of FlemingVSKing
4.7/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew was extremely satisfying and while it is a barley wine and Sam Adams other product, the Imperial White, is witbier, I have the same basic opinion of both.

They are each strong brews with bold fruity notes accented by floral hops that finish clean and refreshing.

Griffin's Bow does pour with a much richer and very satisfying head and it's substantial alchohol content is not as prominent.

While it does have bold flavor it likely would appeal most to fans of wheat beers and hoff weizens. And if you're looking to move toward darker varieties a brew this rich might be a good way to experiment with big bold flavors that are still within your range. (666 characters)

Photo of EkimGram
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Entry from my beer journal dated Feb. 19, 2012

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Colour is a mellow brown with a nice garnet/ruby quality to it. Finger-thick head fades quickly leaving a thin, sticky lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, citrus hops with a nice oaky twinge. Finishes with some bready malts.

Taste: Not as hoppy as I had guessed. It's very sweet in an alcoholic manner with a nice balanced malty-brady character.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, syrupy, silky, and barely any carbonation.

Overall: This brew is amazingly balanced. Sweet alcoholic hops are rounded out with bready malts and a nice hearty body. Bravo to Sam Adams! (674 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting beer...an oaked, blonde barleywine...good combination and enjoyable. It's a clear, brazed-golden color with a moderately stable white head. It's an attractive beer for sure. The aroma is of hot alcohol, pale malt, earth. There is a woody, oak-like character as well, but it sits behind the other flavors. Some hops in the aroma, but they're restrained. The taste is quite good, however...powerful, sweet, woody, bitter, and mouth-numbing. It's not subtle, but is balanced and enjoyable. The alcohol is notable, but not distracting. Bitterness begins in the foretaste, and doesn't really end. Full in body and extraordinarily heavy. This beer is more heavy-handed than it's appearance foretells. (706 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
2.7/5  rDev -24.4%
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. (1,173 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch#2 pours an effervescent honey color with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Faint butterscotch, breadyness, oakyness

T: Follows the nose, some booze heat, some honey notes up front, along with some grapefruittyness. Dryness, some piney notes, slight oakyness & whisky notes as this warms, more grapefruit as well. Finishes dry, grapefruitty, & boozey & a little too oaky, some toffee sweetness

MF: Chewy, slightly over carbonated, okay balance

A rough hewn American Barley Wine. This perhaps one of Sammy's weaker offerings, but not horrible by any means (595 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Batch #2. 10% ABV (I'm assuming 11.5% was Batch #1?). Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Appearance: A nice lighter peach and orange color, with a nice semi-frothy white head that leaves moderate lacing and a good 1/2" head above the body of the brew.

Smell: Heavy on the sweetness, with a lot of candied citrus, orange marmalade or citrus-type jam, some sweet toffee notes, and some vanilla and wood aromas from the toasted oak.

Taste: More like a Belgian Strong Pale than a barley wine in my opinion, with a lot of sweetness and some interesting nuance of sweet flavors with the citrus side, the wood and vanilla characteristics, and the marmalade and jam notes going on, along with a dose of honey coming through also, and maybe some candi sugar. I would've been pressed to say it's a BSP without knowing the style, but I'm not disappointed because the beer's doing things that I like -- it's just not your average barley wine.

Mouthfeel: A little heavy, and a little cloying. It's evident, but not really unexpected, and it doesn't detract.

Drinkability: Certainly a sipper at 10%, this probably could've been a little less sweet in the end with more hops or something else to balance it out, but for around $6 it's nice to get a Sam Adams beer that's more adventurous and isn't out of a 12-pack. I enjoyed it and will try and grab the other styles to try most likely that are in the non-standard 22 oz. bottles. (1,444 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
11.5% ABV, "Enjoy now or age it to further develop rich and unique flavors." Batch #1

A - Golden amber in color, this blonde barleywine pours with a pillowy ivory head that's well-retained and decorates the snifter in spotty lacing.

S - Griffin's Bow exudes bold complexity right off the bat. There's exemplary underlying malt sweetness of toasted bread and toffee slivers with bitter, resiny hops laying on top. Great depth and character, but what I keep coming back to is the awkward burnt rubber aroma that lingers throughout the beer. Toasted oak spirals and phenolic alcohol continue the depth nicely; bits of white grape skin finish out.

T - Toasted oak spirals really spring forward throughout this beer! They add great depth to the caramelized sugar and deep malty base. Hops develop low but persistent citrus characteristics that resemble lemon zest and grapefruit emerge. Complexity, thy name is Griffin's Bow.

M - Full, rich-bodied, and very smooth, with a well-carbonated bubble base gives Griffin's Bow a well-balanced finish of lightly dry, citrusy hop bitterness and lingering, warming alcohol.

O - Besides the odd but rubber component to the aroma, this is a very complex, unique Barleywine with great repeat drinkability despite the thin, mildly solvent, phenolic alcohol characteristics of the 11.5%. At a measly $6, it's easily worth grabbing a few of these bottles, one for now, a few for aging. I know I will be! (1,474 characters)

Photo of ejfoerst
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours well from the bottle, a nice coppery color and a thick off-white head that leaves a lot of lace in the glass as it dissipates. At first taste, I got a lot of citrus but it was almost immediately overpowered by the overall sweetness of the beer. One thing I liked about the honeyed flavors of the beer is that it covers up the "hotness" of the 10% alcohol content rather well and makes it pretty smooth to drink.

Overall, I am glad I tried this beer as I am generally not a huge fan of barleywines and I did enjoy drinking it, but I don't see it as something as I would drink on a regular basis. I do have to say it was a tasty change of pace though... (667 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the nose, citrus (orange) comes to mind at first. It was that sharp citrus bite that you get when you squeeze and orange peel and inhale the vapors. There is a sweetness to it too. I would describe the overall aroma as candied orange peel - I wouldn't expect this at all from a barleyine.

A bit lighter in color than expected, but thats alright. It pours a nice amber color, perfectly clear and topped with a wonderfully soft-foamy whit head. Lacing is very attractive on this one.

The sweetness is overwhelming the beer at first, it's all you fast and it's cloying sweet. Then, a few seconds later, the booze hits you like a freight train. I get a little citrus mixed with a bit of chocolate and caramel. It's so hard to over-look the sweetness of this beer.

Carbonation is low with a big thick body. Cloyingly sweet (as said before) and defiantly a sipper. I likely won't be buying this again, it's just too hard for me to drink.. albeit it is tasty. (958 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting contrast between the Bros. and the general public on this beer. I bought it in part because I was sold on the description the Boston Beer Co. put on the back - go marketing! Now for the real test:

A: This is a surprisingly heady brew, given the alcohol content. I had to slow down when pouring my glass and allow it to form. Retention is good, falling back into some rolling hills... no hurry to go away on this one. The beer itself is a nice, clear golden, with just the occasional bubble rising to join the head on top. One of the 'prettier' beers I've seen in a while.

S: Certainly a sweet scent, one I certainly detect some of the citrus and tropical aromas that they describe (grapefruit zest, pineapple, and such). Some floral notes, as well, with a little bit of a harsh alcohol nose on the back.

T + M: A little bit of bite on the tip of the tongue, opening up into some sweet, fruity flavors with a touch of citrus zest toward the middle. This spreads over the sides of the tongue with a hop balancing act, some vanilla and sugary notes from the oak, and a touch of acrid alcohol that turns it down a bit. At this point, things become a little unpleasant, and it follows through on the way down making for a weak finish.

D: A good start with a somewhat disappointing end... maybe some time would do this well, but I do almost taste a bit of buttery notes that could come through a little more with age, as well. I suppose it would be a good candidate for aging, if only to see what happens, but it's probably not one that I'd be quick to pick up again. (1,579 characters)

Photo of optimistictour
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this one captures that amber-hazy ideal with intricate lacing after the luxurious head has receded. It's got body, with room to breathe. It looks serious ut eager.

Smells seriously sweet/fruit/malt with this cutting swipe of bitter grapefruit I'm kind of in love with.

Tastes almost as the nose describes, with the sweetness amped up alongside a gentle hop profile - matching the perfect carbonation with sour/bitter sting. It sounds weird to describe it this way but the flavor list alone can't help us.

Mouthfeel is tops as far as barleywines go in my book. Seriously, even the best would have a hard time keeping up with this bad boy. (643 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oaked blonde barleywine. Batch #2.

A: A 2 finger eggshell creamy head lies atop a pale coppery-orange colored body that showed a light to medium rise of effervesce. Head retention was strong, the lacing thick and lustrious on the vessel.

S: Tropical fruitiness on the nose of pineapple-orange, sweet grapefruit and pine. Sweet toasty caramel, and dry toasty oak all of good strength.

T: The flavor was of toasted oak upfront, with a support of toasted grain sweetness. Dry oranges, sweet pine, grapefruit and a dried tropical fruitiness. The toasty oak really comes through and is fairly well balanced that makes its presence known without distracting or taking away from the other subtle complexities of the hops and malt when chilled. Some bright green moments of fresh hops with a bit of pineapple-orange alcohol fade on the finish that is soft and pleasing while on the lower end of the drinking spectrum but becomes a bit less tolerable as it warms up to true barleywine temperature.

M: Medium full body, syrupy feel with a small presence of carbonation upfront that quickly diminishes.

O: Overall a intriguing idea, a blonde barleywine with an oaked aged touch. Best enjoyed at the lower end of the drinking temperature spectrum, doesn’t really drink well at typical barleywine recommended range. When cooler the hop complexity shows more and is like a chilly tropical drink, at warmer temperatures the alcohol takes over and smoothers the tropical fruitiness of the hops and becomes less tolerable at times (and im no slouch that stays away from high abv beers). Just saying it distracts from the flavor to much. I found this intriguing the first half, but it somehow gets muddled on the finish and doesn’t end as sharp, pronounced and fruity as it began, so I would recommend a bomber split to keep things fresh, short and pronounced without getting tiresome. (1,881 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch No. 1

Sidenote: 11.5% ABV

A= Pours a nice deep amber color with a thick off white head on it that rises to a nice two and a half fingers and holds great retention and lacing.

S= The smell is typical barleywine but I would say a step up from most SA offerings. A nice mix of caramal malty sweetness and lively grapefruit hop notes. A bit of an oaky woodiness adds a layer of complexity to it. There isn't much blatant alcohol in the nose but you can tell it's in there a little intermingling with the hop aroma.

T= The taste is a nice mix of flavors. Actually pretty impressive for a SA offering. A nice vanilla and oak flavor hit my right up front. Boom! It's unlike anything SA has ever done. Then a caramelly malt sweetness comes through with a touch of grapefruit and citrus hop bitterness so cut the sweetness before finishing with a long sweetness to it. Most impressive I must say.

M= Medium body and a decent carbonation.

O= I can't say I've had too many beers from SA that are better. This beer is well done with the oaking and the barleywine is also well made. Check this out and I would like to set one down to see how she does with some age. It's a bit harsh now and I can see a few years really smoothing it out to a nice mellow drink. (1,261 characters)

Photo of DannyDan
2.41/5  rDev -32.5%
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. (730 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.32/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a Batch #1 bottle that has been stored in my cellar since last fall. Sampled on May 4, 2012. It pours an attractive looking copper-amber with a long-lasting, foamy beige head and good clarity. The aroma is mellow for a Barleywine and balanced with malts, grapefruit, pineapple, sugar, and oak wood. On the palate I get a fuller body. The taste is delightfully sweet and malted with a powerful hopped bitterness creeping up behind and leaving a reminder long after. Alcohol is very well integrated. This is easy to drink and enjoy. (535 characters)

Photo of prototypic
2.83/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch #2

Griffin’s Bow pours a gold color. It’s very clear. Looks slightly copper with backlighting. A really nice vanilla colored head tops it off. It stands over two and a half fingers tall and is very slow to dissipate. Waves of sticky lace cling to the sides as it descends. Looks pretty good.

The nose is rather average. It’s not very aromatic. Needs more strength. It kicks off with a sweet caramel/toffee scent. It’s followed by an interesting pineapple and grapefruit combo. Those could be attributable to hops, but it’s tough to tell. Honey is definitely noted. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t seem overwhelming. Eh. It doesn’t smell bad, but it’s not exactly good either.

The flavor is below average. Not very impressive. The malt base is definitely sweet caramel…and it’s here in abundance. Oak is rather strong in flavor. It seems to be at odds with the strong caramel malt base. It’s just not a good mix. Fruit flavors of grapefruit and pineapple are okay, but don’t improve things much. Neither does the honey. It’s all just a very convoluted, confused mix of flavors. None of it works together to produce something worthwhile. Alcohol is actually blended pretty well. It ‘s a little noticeable in flavor, but isn’t warm or hot. Finishes sweet and fruity.

Griffin’s Bow has a medium body. Carbonation is light and restrained. Honestly, it feels smooth. Mouthfeel is its strongest attribute. As good as the feel is, it’s a slow sipper. The flavor really slows you down. Finishing off an entire bottle will be challenging.

Griffin’s Bow is not one of Boston Beer Company’s finer moments. It’s a jumbled mix of flavors that never really materializes. It really needs a good bit of work to materially improve it. Until the recipe gets reworked, I’d suggest skipping this one. (1,832 characters)

Photo of Chaney
2.22/5  rDev -37.8%
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. (952 characters)

Photo of Treebs
2.71/5  rDev -24.1%
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. (1,119 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Griffin's Bow
22 oz brown bottle
Batch No. 2
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a golden amber color with a nice sized head. The head is bubbly and frothy leaving some trails of sticky lace.

Whiffs of toasted malts and sweet fruits.

A grainy malt backbone, which is interesting because I typically associate this style with a rich, caramel malt flavor. There is a good amount of honey sweetness here. Many flavors of light fruit too, like pear or mellon.

The finish has a decent hop snap with a touch of citrus and pine notes. My only criticism would be that this beer is too syrupy sweet during some sips.

I bought this beer over a month ago and let it sit in the back of my fridge. I finally got around to reviewing it this evening. Overall, a nicely balanced and different Barleywine with a 10% ABV that is well hidden. (830 characters)

Photo of abraxel
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a sample of this at EBF, but couldn't really remember what I thought so I picked up a bottle to try properly.

A - Absolutely crystal clear orangey-amber, with only a few raggedy-looking bubbles of carbonation working their way to the top. Nice, persistent head, with great lacing.

S - Rather sweet and nutty, with a prominent bit of char and ash. A decent amount of oak.

T - Dat ash sticks out more than I'd like it... the more I drink the more obvious it is. I just checked the bottle closely and see "Aged on Toasted Oak" -- so that explains it. It's not an unpleasant flavor, but it's masking the malt (though from what I can taste of the malt backbone, it's not stunning).

M - Kinda thin for a barleywine, but sticky enough to convince me it is one. Very little hint of alcohol.

Overall, I'm somewhat ambivalent. The ashy toasted oak flavor isn't bad, but it's not quite up my alley. I could see someone else liking it more, but it's not my favorite. (965 characters)

Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 230 ratings.