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

Not Rated.
Griffin's BowGriffin's Bow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

628 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 628
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 18.47%
Wants: 16
Gots: 59 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 628 | Reviews: 228 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barroomhero1977
4/5  rDev +13.6%

barroomhero1977, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Caterwaul
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Caterwaul, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Beejay
4.45/5  rDev +26.4%

A: Beautifully clear, with an orange kissed amber body. The head is full and barely darker than white.

S: Smells like a very nice American Style Barley wine. Rich dense caramel flavors, wrapped around earthy, piney, and citrus hops. There is a nice tropical fruit note as well. The sweetness of the malts blends really well with the oak notes, creating a wonderful sweet, and woody character with vanilla overshadowing.

T: That is a very nice beer. Bitterness in the form of citrus and pine starts out the flavor, this is followed by caramel, and a slight orange peel type of flavor, or perhaps tropical fruits. The finish is oak maple and caramel. There is a bit of booze in the finish, but it mingles well with the oak.

M: Medium heavy in body. There is definitely a bit of a sticky syrupy feel to it. The carbonation is actually a touch high for me.

O: Overall this may be one of my favorite beers from Sam. It has the bitter kick and hop flavor that I like in American barley wines, the caramel sweetness and balance I like in IPA's and topped off with Oak an Oak finish, that is noticeable, but not overboard. This is one fine beer.

Beejay, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%

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.

UCLABrewN84, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of MrTopher
3/5  rDev -14.8%

MrTopher, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Exiled, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of OregonHopmonster
3/5  rDev -14.8%

OregonHopmonster, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of bpfrush
2/5  rDev -43.2%

bpfrush, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a nice white head that fades to a ring with minimal lacing.

S: The nose is full of vanilla and toasted oak aromas with a good amount of hops. Decent smells coming out of this one which tempt you to take a sip.

T: The taste starts with a nice amount of hops along with the vanilla flavor from the nose and some grainy malt. The oak aging turns what seems to be a mediocre beer into a decent one.

M: The feel is a bit on the thin side for an 11.5% barleywine however the alcohol is nowhere to be seen which is impressive.

O: A decent beer and the oak aging really makes it better rather than overpowering anything.

GregSVT, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4/5  rDev +13.6%

A - Pours light amber/blonde into my snifter with about two fingers of head, moderate retention and lacing.

S - Very nice oak aroma, caramel malts and biscuit, smells fruity but having a hard time picking it our mixed with the oak, spicy and slightly boozy.

T - Malty biscuit sweetness and oak are very prevalent, candied sugar, toffee, wild berries, lemony citrus, spice and some alcohol.

M - Well balanced, thick body and good carbonation.

O - I really think this is very good, oak and booze may be overbearing to some, but I personally enjoy it, looking forward to aging a few of these to see how it develops.

StoneBrewFanatic, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%

This beer pours a light to medium bodied, bright copper in color with a two finger very creamy off white head. The aromas are kind of bland. You get some soft malts, cream, caramel malts, slight butter, and a light hop bitterness. The flavors are again soft and malty. You get smooth maltyness, slight butter (again), with cream, and ever so slight hoppy bitterness. It doesn't sound spectacular but it's solid. It's just really, really smooth and has a great mouthfeel. It's strange for a barleywine but I like it. It's better than I thought it would be. Overall this is a solid beer and I'd recommend trying it. It doesn't rate well but you'll enjoy drinking it.

aasher, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Arvo
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Arvo, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of bladesgolf
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%

I was very excited to find SA producing a BWSA and it was Batch #1. Unfortunately it is disappointing as a Barleywine, but as an overall beer it is not bad. The Oak flavor trends to run through like a roller coaster. Just when you think another earthen flavor or piney sense is about to break through, the oak chips and alcohol come rolling down the track and overpower any tastes or thoughts.

Hopefully this will mellow with time, but if you are a true fan of complex BWSA, then I would steer clear.

bladesgolf, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of capeannbass36
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%

A- Pours a clear, orange copper topped with a huge offwhite head that disappates pretty quickly. Medium light lacing throughout.

S- Only faintly resembles a barleywine ale.
Getting tropical fruits...pineapple, etc.

T- Again tropical fruits...think tropical fruit lifesaver candy...more than anything else.
A blind taste test would have me guessing somewhere other than barleywine. Only a slight hint of the typical barleywine style taste. Odd aftertaste that I cannot figure out.

M- Medium light carbonation. Odd sticky coating to mouth. Cannot identify??

O- Being a barleywine addict...this one simply does not cut it( as in "wow" me). May purchase one for storing.

capeannbass36, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev +13.6%

codynevels, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of goalie33
4/5  rDev +13.6%

goalie33, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of gawnphishin
3/5  rDev -14.8%

gawnphishin, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of jtierney89
1.3/5  rDev -63.1%

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

jtierney89, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of lackenhauser
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%

On the pale side of amber. Nice head and lacing. Nice floral hoppiness in the aroma but a good dose of malty sweetness as well. Sticky caramel flavor with enough hop bite to be a US version-comes off more of a UK in the long run. Strong piney flavor. Lingering harsh bitterness in the finsih. Still has a huge underlying malty flavor. Great mouthfeel-caramel and toffee. Not a trace of the high abv. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Need to get another bottle to age a bit.

lackenhauser, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%

This is an intriguing sounding brew from Samuel Adams. Let's see how they execute. Poured into CBS snifter.

A: as the name implies, this brew pours very blond for the style with a great deal of clarity, thin white head forms with some retention and some lacing.

S: nose featues big notes of toasted fresh oak along with citrus Nelson hops. At 11.5%, I am shocked at how mellow this aroma is. No noticeable signs of booziness. Biscuit and caramel malts come through as well as well as dashes of pineapple.

T: taste starts off with huge wave of malty sweetness, notes of candied fruit and maple syrup come through, the hops provide a citrus lemon zest like quality with minimal bitterness. The finish is quite sweet, but again, the ABV is well hidden.

MF: the body has a thick feel in the mouth, low carbonation

O: this is a pretty impressive brew from Sam Adams. I have been underwhelmed at their high gravity offerings in the past, but this one is well executed. It is a bit on the sweet side, but all things considered, this is a very successful brew.

homebrew311, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of JimboHD2005
4/5  rDev +13.6%

JimboHD2005, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of richbrew
3/5  rDev -14.8%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +42%

HopStoopid120, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%

amber color coming through very clearly on this one. Nice head of white foam reached about an inch before settling down into a thin veil that covered the rest of the glass.

Very nice sugary sweet, candy malt type aroma, your classic nicely aged barleywine. Nice notes of a caramel and a dulled hoppy flare to it still. Light bready malts are coming through nicely now as well. The flavor was very rich. Almost a syrup like feel to it as it rolled across the tonque. Thick with a nice coating feeling to it. The flavor was very sweet, lots of candy flaored malts and a nice and thick pine resin like flavor that was still nicely displayed here. Very mellow with almost no alcohol at all present here. Smooth and again very mellow finis

mikesgroove, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%

Picked this one up at Rick's 2 weeks ago. $5.99 for a bomber. Batch 1, poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hayz dark orange color with high carbonation evident and one finger of white head. Some spotty lacing on the glass and one inch of retention throughout drinking it. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of pineapples, tropical fruits, citrus hops, oak, and toasted malts. Very fruity; was very surprised how much the torpical fruit comes out in the nose. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of pineapples, tropical fruits, bready malts, caramel malts, toasted malts, oak, citrus hops, and alcohol. Nice. though the alcohol is definitely there. Not quite as fruity as the nose, and a tiny step down in my opinion.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Again, another new Sam Adams beer with low carbonation, though here I thought it helped a bit.

o - Overall a nice, interesting beer I enjoyed quite a bit, though it didn't remind me of a barleywine. I found it very fruity and hoppy, and there was a ton of tropical fruit here. Worth checking out, would have it again.

mdfb79, Nov 15, 2011
Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 628 ratings.