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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
Photo of PrimScrewhead
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of bigorange
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of RichWiegand
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of jdhilt
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit and caramel nose and flavor is a good balance of caramel and grapefruit, not much oak and no spicy hotness. Light grapefruit hops at finish. Decent barleywine. High ABV is hidden. $7.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of WhitmansNiece
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of kiki3drt292
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of livingtodie
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of budgood1
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

batch #1. pours out of the 22 ounce bottle a brass colour with a gigantic beige head with some serious staying and sticking power leaving plentiful chunky lace. sugar drizzled grapefruit aroma with accents of pale malt, oak, and flower petals. a sweet candy like flavour greets the tastebuds upon first sip, reminiscent of toffee and caramel drenched apples. it has a burnt vodka/grapefruit juice note it...and i like greyhounds. the oaken notes are up front and provide a warning siren to the massive grain alcohol sting to follow. this barleywine is HOT. a spicy sipper for sure. hard to wrap my tastebuds around the more subtle nuances because of the belly warming boozy blast. there is a generous amount of bitterness present, which does provide a modicum of balance when it comes to the residual sweetness. obvious huge body on this BW...with a mouthfeel that is a bit caustic due to the alcohol/bitterness factor. i'd like to know the IBU's here. sippability is interesting...i found as it warmed a bit it became more interesting...but maybe not better.

overall i would say that this is way too hot to be overly enjoyable at this time. and add in the fact that i don't normally tend to view boozy, high ABV brews with simple, base, pale malts (maibocks, blonde doppelbocks, etc. for example)as overly enjoyable. maybe some age would smooth out the obvious rough edges? worth a try, i guess.

Photo of jsurfs82
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
1.94/5  rDev -44.9%
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.

Photo of Kranders
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with a thin lacy head that doesn't last very long. The nose is absolutely full of booze and oak. Kind of warming but a little uninviting. Very sweet, oak and booze forward taste, that kind of meld together. It doesn't linger on the palate too long, but there's a strange aftertaste that I can't really place. It leaves me a little parched and complexed overall. Not the best, but very interesting.

Photo of BucsNBucks
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of RBlaszak
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JizackFH
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a nice orange copper color that has good clarity. There is a 2-figner off-white head resting on-top. The head has pretty good retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the edges of the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of sweetness to it, and some scents of fruit and even some tropical fruit. There is some caramel, toffee, honey, oak, and vanilla. There is also a pretty nice hop presence, and a bit of booziness.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with some sweet caramel maltiness and some fruit flavors. There are some flavors of toffee, oak, and vanilla. A good amount of hop flavor comes in more towards the back end, but there is just something that seems a bit off about it. I am getting a little bit of an oniony taste. Some booziness is also present. The finish leaves some lingering sweetness, booze, fruit, and a bit of hop bitterness behind on the palate.

M - This has a body that is on the heavier side of medium and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth feel to it. There is some sweetness here, but there is some hop bitterness to try and balance it. Some boozy warmth is present in the finish.

O - This has pretty good drinkability. It goes down very easy for being 11.5%. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good barleywine, especially considering it is Samuel Adams. The only thing I didn't like about this beer was the little bit of off flavor I got in the hop profile. Other than that I quite enjoyed it. It is worth checking out.

Photo of cougarbait
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of ucsbmullet
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of mactrail
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely aroma from the start. Hot popcorn, familiar sweet flowers like gardenias, coconut. Sweet caramel flavors with biscuits. A whiff of smoke and lots of the oaky vanilla. Hints at booze without the usual bourbon barrel taste. This blonde style of Barley Wine is quite interesting. It's like a Tripel met up with a Scotch Ale.

Bright, brassy blonde in the tulip glass with a fair head. Rich and tingly sensation on the tongue. Sweet but not syrupy. Caramel corn with butter keeps coming to mind. But nicely bittered with the hops, which provide a pleasant long tangy hop flavor. Highly sippable and adds a new twist to the Barley Wine style.

Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking deep golden body. Thin head with moderate amounts of lace left behind. Aroma is rich with malt and toasted qualities. Some tropical fruits as well. Flavor is quite smooth and very easy going for an 11.5 beer. Rich malts lay the foundation with heavy toasted oak notes throught. Fruitiness is evident as well with pineapple and tangerine coming to mind. Moderately carbonated and easy to drink. Flavorful. Reminded me of Behemoth to an extent but with a good dose of toasted oak added to the mix.

Photo of Codytucker13
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Bright Golden Color with a light foam, and a light lacing.

S: Bright Citrus, Tropical Fruits, pineapple, and some ginger

T: Very Tropical with some Hoppy Cheesiness. There is some toasted oak, coconut, pineapple, citrus, and some vanilla. Fermented Guava as well on the palate.

M: Rich, Thick with some medium-low carbonation

O: I thought this beer would be a lot better but it was not as good as the Third Voyage. This is beer had a lot of hoppy skunkiness, and cheesiness. Once you get passed the hoppy skunkiness, there is a lot of tropical, citrus, vanilla, and some light pineapple subtleties.

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of mikehblack
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Photo of Soneast
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of kennylopez
2.76/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a bottle into a DFH goblet

Appearance: a clear golden amber with a white head and a huge head and even more lacing.

Smells: a bigger barley note than I anticipated. I do pick up a fruity citrus hop note and a unique smell I cant really describe.

Tastes: this is a off balanced Barleywine from what I am used to. It is super fruity like a lemon zest and strange yeast taste. There is a oak flavor in there especially when it warms up, but its a sweeter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: this is a well carbonated brew with a mild presence from the 11.5%, but the citrus notes are dominating and I don't feel it is in a good way.

Overall: I was interested to try this one. Its a barleywine which I tend to like and its oak flavored which I also think is a great combination for the style, but I don't know what they were aiming at as far as a blond barleywine, but it has citrus indeed. Don't think I will hunt it out again...that's just me, you should give it a shot.

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