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Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011) - Mill Street Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011)Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pootz on 12-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oldp0rt
2/5  rDev -44.9%

oldp0rt, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of charlesw
2.4/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty pale, very low carbonation/head but, ah, beautiful and sticky lacing helps make up for some of that. And, hey, this is a really cool bottle - sure it has the flip top (like many others) but also has a little handle you can use to carry it around built in to the flip top mechanism.

Doesn't have that English smell - you know, the sweet prune one? It's more light and grassy. Hints of sweet caramels malts.

Tastes, well, shucks. How could I possibly have had two completely different barleywines from completely different parts of the world - completely random choices - that had the same off flavor? And this, one right after the other. Really really weird. Anyway, tastes to me like T-58 yeast. Like a little strange and a little infected and a little bubblegum, you know? Other than that it is pleasant enough while not being enough of anything to be English or American or whatever.

The alcohol is well-hidden. The mouth is pretty close for the 'merican style but there's no hop backbone. It's kind of close for English style but on the light side and certainly not sweet enough.

I suppose that since I've gone crazy getting and reviewing all of these barleywines, and aside from the Andygator, this is the one I've had that is the least like a barleywine.

charlesw, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of mrnobody
2.63/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2010 vintage. 500ml ceramic swingtop bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear dark ruby with a small white head.

S: Smells of alcohol, figs and cherries.

T: Tastes of alcohol and candied fruit. There is some bitterness in the finish. Overall, this has a cough syrup aftertaste.

M: I'm not well versed in the style of this beer but the mouthfeel is what I'd expect: a little syrupy with fairly low carbonation.

D: This is pretty hot and the aftertaste lowers the drinkability further.

The bottle is pretty unique but sadly what's inside does not measure up. Also much too expensive: $12 for this when Fuller's Vintage Ale is $7? No way.

mrnobody, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Sammy
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2008/2009 blend dry hopped at Cask at Volo Grapefruit colour with soapy head. Very cloying taste, not so drinkable. 50 IBU and there are hops there but not balanced. Mild barleywine aroma. Average mouthfeel. I do not know what blend did, but dry hopping added some hop flavour to an English style.

Sammy, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of Voonder
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours dark orange in colour with thin white head which stayed for a while. Nice sweet and citrusy smell, also yeasty smell is noticable there. You can taste the alcohol, but it doesn't feel out of balance. Mouthfeel is really thick and sticky.
Well, it's my first barley wine, it's really interesting, and I kinda like it, but if you're talking about drinkability, well I'm having troubles finishing that bottle:) It doesn't mean I won't have another one next time.

Voonder, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of tonyf55
3/5  rDev -17.4%

tonyf55, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of jbonapar
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased the 2011 edition 1 year ago.

Poured a copper, clear with a thin head.

Nose is very fruity with a subtle mineral-like aroma. Citrus, pineapple.

Taste...weird. Starts off with a huge belgian yeast flavor, spicey, cloves and then quickly turns into an all out attack of orange and pineapple..too much. Then quickly, a strong hop bitterness takes over and lingers far too long into the next sit. Not as much malt as I was expecting. Very medicinal, i sense a tough of good ol green cough syrup.

I dont like this at all, the tastes just dont work. ITs very odd for the style, The citrus is just far too overpowering and the hops just dont work.

Wow, i'm surprised how bad this is. I'll stick to the American, Belgian and Quebec breweries....

Not a fan,

jbonapar, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Derek
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch No 07-557-560.

A: Wonderful ceramic bottle with a fiip top; Copper-bronze with a white head, no retention, slight leg from the residual sweetness.

S: Earthy-minerals, caramel, toffee & hints of cotton-candy fruity esters. Certainly some alcohol here.

T: Caramel, earthy-orange zest, minerals, toffee; plenty of residual sweetness, but there's some good bitterness for balance. Alcohol is slightly warming.

M: Not very well-attenuated, so it's a little syrupy. Moderate carbonation, slight hop acidity.

D: Very approachable, but the sweet booze really limits the intake.

Derek, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Foddz
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage poured into a pint glass

A: Clear, bright caramel with two fingers of creamy head on the pour. Head dies down reasonably fast, leaving some lacing around the rim as it does. The colour reminds me of apple cider.

S: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, with some candied and dried fruit notes. The scent is potent and heady. Hops provide some subtle spiciness - cinnamon and faint floral notes.

T: More caramel, bread, and some earthy tones. Fruit is still present but more subdued than in the nose, prunes and raisins factor more prominently. Hops seem less well balanced on the palate, lacking much of the spicy/floral character from the nose and manifesting as a fairly bland, lingering bitterness. Some lingering alcohol mars the aftertaste as well

M: Nice and smooth at first, before the alcohol and carbonation begin to bite. There's some good substance to the feel. Pleasantly dry, enough to keep the sweet notes from becoming cloying.

O: An interesting brew, and my first experience with barleywine. There's some interesting scents and flavours here, but it presents just a little too unbalanced and harsh on the palate for my preferences. A smoother transition from the warm, sweet malts to the sharp bitterness of the hops would do a world of good for my opinion.

Foddz, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of jrenihan
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage (Batch 10-16-20).

Beer is very dark amber, with two-finger widths of off-white head. Retention is very good.

Smell is very big, jumping out at you during the pour. Full of brown sugar, prune, raisin, caramel malt and alcohol.

Taste is very sweet, and the alcohol is strongly present. The fruits from the nose are there, but with the sweetness and the booze the whole thing tastes remarkably like cough syrup. Alcohol is especially present at the finish, along with a bitter flavour that I cannot quite place that is not particularly pleasant.

Light bodied for the style, moderate carbonation.

The nose had me hoping that this would be quite enjoyable, but the taste is pretty underwhelming. No way I will be able to make it through the whole 500ml bottle. Even a standard bottle would be too much of this one for me.

jrenihan, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of markaberrant
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007

A - light orange, mostly clear, splotchy white bubbles on top

S - malty and boozy, marmalade (but not in a good way like St Ambroise Anniversary or Fullers Vintage, just kinda blah), spicy, cinnamon, hint of berry

T - big improvement over the aroma, smooth, carmel candy malt, much cleaner than the nose, not much depth or complexity, tastes pretty much the same from the tip of the tongue to the aftertaste, finishes reasonably dry despite the low hopping, must be the alcohol doing it

M - creamy, somewhat sticky/syrupy, but ok for style, noticable alcohol, but smooth and warming

D - very one dimensional, not awful, and I'll finish the bottle, but I'm not interested in ever having another.

I avoided buying this beer for a very long time due to the so-so reviews and ridiculous price due to packaging. Then in a moment of weakness (I was flush with cash), I plunked down the $10 and figured I'll make up my own mind about the taste of this beer. But then it sat in my cellar for almost another year, as I just didn't see the need to rush into this. Tonight, I peered into my "drink now" stash, and this guy finally got his turn to show me what he's got.

Not much.

It's actually brewed reasonably well. In my blunt opinion, the recipe sucks. They are clearly going for an english style, but the malt character is just limp. I knew I was in trouble as soon as I poured it and noticed how light in colour it is (their Tankhouse Ale is darker).

Drop the stupid ceramic bottle, and crank up the malt character.

markaberrant, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml swing pop top ceramic bottle poured into tulip 7/7/11

A hazy brownish orange with only a thin film after a angry pour that leaves no lace

S dried plum with some brown sugar, raisin and booze

T not far from the smell but with a boozy brandy caramel flavor and I pick up on earthy hops but I'm not sure why, just a little citrus rind on the finish

M a little syrupy and sticky on the lips, fairly full bodied but the heat's hard to miss

O I expected more form a well aged barley wine but I'd stop well before saying it's bad.

I'd say some aging would mellow it out a bit but its already been 3 years, waaayyy over priced at 14$ a bottle here in Alberta I don't see myself aging another, I'd take a bottle of Alley Kat's Olde Duet and 10$ buck change any day over this one

wordemupg, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of beerhunter13
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

beerhunter13, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of jsnoek
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

jsnoek, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of grub
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml ceramic swingtop bottle. batch no 07-557-560. sampled dec 24/07.

pours crystal clear orangey amber colour with a small dense white head. no lace.

aroma is nice. light caramel and toffee. alcohol. bread and cracker malt. light earthy and floral hops.

taste is good. alcohol. bread and cracker malt. drying floral hop character. hint of grapefruit. light caramel. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is ok. medium-low carbonation level. medium body with a fairly dry finish.

drinkability is nice, but not nearly as good as the 2005 vintage i sampled before it. this one is mostly balanced, with the hops a bit low and the alcohol a bit warm. a bit one-dimensional right now, but it will be nice to check out with age.

grub, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of TheBeeraholic
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

TheBeeraholic, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

WeissBoy, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

schopenhauerale, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of jhall00
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Edition

A- The beer pours a dark amber with a bright white generous head.

S- Fruit and sweet malty with under lying alcohol

T- Tastes of caramelized fruits overpowering the caramel maltiness with a large alcohol finish. This beer definitely needs to bottle age.

M- A full bodies beer with continuing fruity sweetness

D- Not very complex...mostly sweet fruity alcohol.

I will be interested to see how this beer bottle ages.

jhall00, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of papat444
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

***2009 Vintage (Batch 09-669-673)***

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. swingtop ceramic bottle.

Appearance: Only 1 thick finger of foam above an apple cider colored body. A bit of swirling reveals some lacing.

Smell: Strong caramel, malt, peaches and/or nectarines, specifically the pits.

Taste: Overripe pitted fruit mixed with a sweet touch of caramel, some sugar and a good dose of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Sweet bite but lacks a lot of fullness in the middle through the end.

Overall: Expected a richer texture for the style and ABV. The taste is good but overall i don't think i'll revisit.

papat444, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of korguy123
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500ml ceramic swing top slightly chilled (out of fridge for 20 minutes)
2011 Vintage into snifter. Alcohol on bottle is 11.5% abv.

The first time I tried this I didn't like it at all. I chose not to review it. Almost two years have passed and I'm willing to give it another try with a better understanding of my palate and the styles.

A- Chill hazed rich amber/caramel pour. Finger width of soapy off white head that quickly disappears leaving a thin ring with thin wisps all across the top. Lacing is spotty, alcohol sticks around for quite a while.

S- Cinnamon, strawberries, light floral and citrus hops. There is a sweet malt and brown sugar note in the back end. Alcohol is slight and medicinal but nowhere would you guess 11.5%

T- Cinnamon and a slight pepper spice. Brown sugar with a floral hop. Sweetness translates but comes after the alcohol warmth. This could warm up more. Possibly almost room temp.

M- Surprisingly thin but it works. Alcohol is warming, carbonation is spot on. Aftertaste is surprisingly quick.

O- Much better experience than I remembered. Palate has definitely changed. Could benefit from a couple years to mellow out the alcohol IMO. Just wish the price was more appealing (almost $12 a bottle)

korguy123, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of StarshipPoopers
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep ruby colour with decent transparency. Head is quite minimal while being poured and dissipates quickly into a ring. Quite a bit of carbonation.

S - Sweet. The main flavours to show through are apple and other fruits with caramel coming through afterward. Slight hint of booziness without much of anything in the way of bitterness.

T - Mirrors the smell. The initial flavour is of apples and other fruits, then the caramel malts and a very faint trace of alcohol and bitterness from the hops finishes it.

In my opinion this drink gets a lot better at room temperature. The flavours get thicker and the bitterness and booziness comes through a lot more pronounced at this temperature, the sweetness dies down a bit. Still though, this is a sweet drink with a fairly solid malt backbone and the bitterness and alcohol are very contained.

M/D - Heavy mouthfeel that leaves a sweet coating for a long time after. Going down the smoothness becomes a little harsh from the alcohol and hops which is a welcome change from the otherwise uniformity of the mouthfeel.

All around it's a pretty good barleywine. The taste could have been more complex and it's a little sweet for my taste, but it's still a good drink.

That being said, it's too much money for what you get. The packaging is nice but unnecessary, and the flavour doesn't justify an $11 price tag.

StarshipPoopers, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of crwills
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on New Years Eve. Poured from a very cool ceramic swing-top bottle into an oversized wine glass. Orangish-brown with a small, bubbly head. Faint aroma of malt, caramel, and a hint of black coffee maybe. Flavour is quite sweet up front, with toffee, caramel and dark fruits. However, there's a definite hop bite to this which actually becomes more prominent as it warms up a bit. Spicy, peppery hops in the aftertaste. Not bad, and I'm saving another couple of bottles for a year or two more (still got some 2005s around to try them with).

crwills, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of Kartoffeln
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage, fresh.

A: Pours a hazy, coppery russet with a scanty head of fizzy, off-white foam that dissipates to little patches of froth without leaving any lacing.

S: Mild and slightly bready caramel malts with a huge dark fruit character, plenty of plums, black cherries, raisins, and candied figs, and a hint of brown spice combine as a sweet Christmas pudding aroma. Clover honey and buttery toffee aromas throughout.

T: Sweet caramel malts with a molasses character segue into fruity tastes of plums, raisins, and faint black cherries. Bread, mild booziness, and toasted grain notes come through towards the finish along with floral and increasingly resiny, citric hops with an orange zest note.

M: Full-bodied with mild carbonation providing initial crispness, and a smooth, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. The hoppy finish balances the sweet palate well, but the resiny, citric note ends up dominating the finish and linger into a long-lasting aftertaste that clashes with the palate. More fortunately, the alcohol is well-concealed and comes through as pleasantly warm.

D: It's tasty enough once it warms up, but it isn't very complex and faces two problems. Firstly, I found that the Nugget hops' resiny, citric aftertaste was unfitting and clashed with the flavour profile instead of complementing it; this may change with their 2012 vintage. What doesn't seem likely to change is the consistently brutal pricetag: it's somewhat justified by the neat stoneware bottle, but as other reviewers have pointed out, you can experience better barleywines for much cheaper. Still, it's a quality brew and worth checking out if your wallet survived Christmas.

Kartoffeln, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 edition from the lovely earthenware swing-top bottle. Poured into an over-sized wine glass, and shared with my wife (the giver of this particular Christmas present!)

Pours a clear, caramel colour, looking every inch like a glass of very dark honey. Leaves a decent head for a barleywine - a bit of lacing, and a thin ring survive the pour.

Nose is caramel, booze, a bit of toffee, strawberry, sugar and mild leafy hops.

This was my first barleywine a few years ago (2008 I think) and I couldn't stand it then, but after a few years of palate-strengthening, barleywines have become one of my favorite styles. With this in mind, I have to say I have a much greater respect for what the Mill Street folks have done here. This is an enjoyable barleywine, slightly above average for the style, and worth trying - though at 12 bucks, one should be sufficient. Nice caramel sweetness at the front, a bit of fruit and earth, followed by a leafy hop finish that is dry on the palate. Decent carbonation keeps the dangerous cloying effect at bay. Not as remarkable as some of the other great barleywines I've had recently, but still quite nice. Booze could be checked a little better - were the price a little lower I'd have a bottle to age for next Christmas.

My suggestion to Mill Street - bring down the price a little! If it means offering this in bottled form outside of the earthenware jug, so be it. Or better yet, offer both the stylish jug (for gifts and keepsakes, etc.) and a regular glass bomber for those of us who are looking for some in the cellar without killing our wallets!

JohnnyBarman, Dec 29, 2011
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Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011) from Mill Street Brew Pub
82 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.