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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

44 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 60
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | 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:
Beer added by: pootz on 12-23-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 60
Photo of Sammy
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 version. Ceramic swing-top bottle that looks good as it sweats when pulled from the fridge to sit for a spell before being cracked...

This beer pours a hazy dark orange-apricot colour, with a single finger of thin foamy light beige head, which dissipates rather quickly, leaving no lace in its wake. It smells initially, from a distance, of alcohol, like fermenting fruit. Up close, essences of candy sugar, dark fruit, caramel malt, and more alcohol are evident. The taste is sweet bready, caramel malt, tangy ripe dark fruit, a bit of woody alcohol, and some floral, earthy hops. The carbonation is quite tame, the body big, chewy, and syrupy, and it finishes warm, just a wee burn amongst the lingering sugary sweetness. A pretty decent hop-restrained malt bomb in the English style.

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Photo of Derek
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
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

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Photo of Viggo
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml ceramic swingtop, you really pay for the bottle for this beer. 2007 edition, batch # 07-557-560.

Pours a clear dark amber/golden orange, mead colour, very thick and tight off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin layer and ring, some lacing sticks to the glass. This looks pretty good. Smell is very sweet and sugar, alcohol fumes come out right away, lots of sweet fruits, raisins, apples, toffee, biscuits, corn syrup, brown sugar, very sweet but pretty rich aroma. Taste is very sweet up front, lots of caramel and brown sugar, toasty malts, fruit, rum raisins, some vanilla comes through, almost oaky, alcohol, weak in the finish, very rich, and the finish really reminds of waffles with butter and syrup. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some alcohol heat going down, very smooth and buttery in the finish. Has some good points and not so good points, but overall an enjoyable barleywine. Flavour is weak, but enough to keep me interested.

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Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

Rich, rounded malt aroma with notes of grain, honey, alcohol and fruit.

Moderately hazy amber colour with a very small off-white head. No head retention.

Very sweet malt, almost sickly, plenty of honey. Nice, big bitterness to balance but it is still very sweet and a little cloying.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

A decent English Barleywine though the execution leaves a little to be desired. The cloyingness is not great.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.

A - Half finger of off white/beige head on a hazy dark orange body. Medium carbonation.

S - Sugar, lot's of dark fruit, booze, boozy fruitcake, and breadiness.

T - Very, very sweet to start. Same boozy fruitcake element, booze, caramel. Lot's of sugar and dark fruits. Sweetness doesn't offend in the finish which is a plus.

M - Minimal carbonation, full bodied, some stickiness from the sweetness.

D - A little too sweet but otherwise a quality barleywine. Good to share but a whole bottle would have been a chore. Nice one but the price is a bit of a downer as well as the packaging size.

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Photo of papat444
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.45/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of kwjd
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Volo on a 12 bars of Christmas pub crawl. Convinced my rugby team to come to Volo since we were walking by to save me from the endless stream of Canadian/Keith's/Bud.

Pours an amber-brown colour with thin white head. Some lacing around the glass, nice head retention. Smells quite sweet of brown sugar, vanilla hops and lots of caramel malt. Alcohol is fairly noticeable in the flavour. Smooth mouthfeel. Nice barleywine.

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Photo of peensteen
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle, 11.5% ABV.

Copper colour, soapy white head, specks of lace. Smell is full of caramel, cherry shows up throughout, toffee, some hop bitterness but its fairly mild, nutty qualities picked up as well. Taste is lightly sweet, caramel and toffee come back, cherry and plum notes, fairly fruity with a light bitterness throughout. Lightly carbonated, full body, syrupy at points, good weight. Overall its a fairly average but still quite serviceable, ABV nowhere to be found, not great but I wouldn't turn it down if offered.

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Photo of bobsy
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My scoring for this is an average of all versions I've had...

2007 version (drank fresh) - 500 ml ceramic bottle from the LCBO. Pours a nice copper colour with a big rocky head. It really looks the part, and glows nicely - top marks. Sweet aroma, with strong caramel hints, and a waft of alcohol. Lots of caramel and ripe fruit in the flavour, with a faint bitter finish and warming alcohol notes. Kinda reminds me of a rich marmalade. Chewy mouthfeel with a restrained carbonation is par for the style. A great beer now, but I think it will improve drastically with a year or two behind it.

2008/2009 blend - dry hopped and cask conditioned for Volo's 5th Annual Cask Days. This barleywine has a significantly different appearance from the cask. Now its more of a murky orange, and there's no head at all, which is somewhat expected. The aroma has amped up the citrus and downplayed the alcohol (despite a rise in ABV to 11%). Caramel and juicy citrus in the flavour - orange, grapefruit and tangerine. Considering there's very limited carbonation, the alcohol is skillfully hidden. Chewy mouthfeel. The higher hopping and more pronounce citrus edges this version more towards the American than English category.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice packaging on this one, a 500 ml rustic cream coloured ceramic flip top bottle. 2007 edition, batch #07-557-560 (geez, pretty much got one of the last ones here).

Pours out a hazy bright marmalade hue, tall puffy cream coloured head (it actually matches the colour of the ceramic bottle quite well, I have them sitting side-by-side at the moment!).

A good dose of citrus, as well as butterscotch malt on the nose, light spices, as well as a sharp dose of yeast.

Hope you brought your drinkin' cap, because this one delivers and will take a while to work through. Mouthfeel is thick and full, sticky and chewy. Both yeast and bready caramel malt greets the palate upon first sip. Doughy texture, with almost a peanut brittle-like flavour building up in the middle, and the alcohol also ascends with a warming presence. Alcohol builds in the finish, the grassy and herbal hops can do nothing to overpower or block out the strong savoury current of the malt, they just get swept up and washed away with it all, blending in but not really leaving much of a trace. The aftertaste slowly subsides with the warming of the alcohol and mild spice, with lingering traces of butterscotch sticking to the palate long afterwards.

Sampled at the beginning of March '08 this still seems fairly young, yet enjoyable in its present incarnation all the same. A good year or two to refine and I feel everything will smooth and even out all the more. The bottle is gone, yet I'm still enjoying that lingering butterscotch stuck to my palate. Diacetyls anyone? Mmmm, utilized properly in this case.

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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.

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Photo of pootz
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brand new recipe in the 2007 release.

Impressive 500ml ceramic swing top bottle....numbered...this sample came from "batch" #7-557 of 560

Dark golden, small white sticky cap goes to a surface lace and laces up the glass sides ( rare for a Barley wine this strong)

Aromas of ripe succulent fruit, musty-honey and some wet hay..a bit of fusel alcohol.

The cara-pils malt in this is so decocted it imparts a tart honey-like sweetness just verging on cloying when mingled with the considerable hops used...the yeast used leaves significant fruity esters ( which I wonder will survive longer aging) but the hop mixture is significant and sits just below the honey-malt sweetness leaving me to hope the sweetness dissipates with age and the hops come up

For its young age this is quite drinkable now but I suspect a year or so in the cellar will do the best for this ale rather than longer aging.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a decent head of white foam. Kinda slow pouring out of this bottle. Very sticky lacing head. Starts clouding up on the second pour.

S - Soy sauce comes to mind first off. Very malty with a candy-like sweetness. Notes of apple, toffee and alcohol.

T - Apples come on strong, but fade quickly into a complex alcohol/malt/fruit middle. Hops finish this off with an assertive, but shortlived bitterness. Very boozy, but doesn't detract from the overall experience. Hint of pine in the finish.

M - Very heavy, slick and syrupy.

D - Solid offering in my books. Big, delicious barleywine with fairly clean flavours that maybe doesn't stand out, but is more than acceptable.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the cool earthenware bottle a hazy marmalade color with a big sticky, rocky cap. The glass is literally coated with eggshell colored foam on the way down. Malt dominates the nose; raw cookie dough, apple pie, berries, a caramel latte and a bit of alcohol heat. The taste is also malt-centric, with toasted rasin bread and burnt toffee mixing with a whole bunch of sweetish fruit flavors. Lemon drops and a bit of earthy hop leaf shows in the background. Booze spiciness is prominent throughout. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy in texture. Minimal bitterness and a good dollup of malt sweetness and booze make up the weighty finish.

A good barleywine, covers all the bases for an english take on the style. Loads of malt. My only complaint is the alcohol is strong for the ABV.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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!

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a fluffy head, good retention and lacing. Looks good in my snifter. Has a light brownish color.

This barleywine is pretty much all malt in the nose and taste. Nothing wrong with that, its good switch things up. The nose has lots of caramel/toffee, alcohol, licorice and a bit metallic.

Tastes of caramel malt, shy herbal hops, faint fruitiness and a warming alcohol to ward of those cold winter nights. A little time wont hurt this one.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2009 vintage poured from a 500mL ceramic bottle sealed with a flip top. Labeled 11% ABV on the bottle instead of the 10% listed here.

Appearance: Brownish orage in color without an haze. Pours a one finger white to beige head that receded quickly into a nice thin lacing.

Aroma: Tart green apple and sweet apple cider notes hit first. The malt shows with biscuit and bread notes. A little hop bitterness is present around the end. Strong aromas and some nice complexity here.

Taste: Tart apple and apple cider sweetness offer a nice sweet hit upfront. Warming booze and nice biscuity sweetness from the malt come in strong next. Hop bitterness hits near the end. The hops are a lot stronger here than in the aroma. Finish is bitter pine notes fron the hops, with a little malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and syrupy. znot much carbonation. Very smooth. Goes down easy for such a strong barleywine.

Drinkability: The ABV doesn't feel as strong as it is. The flavors also aren't overpowering and are well balanced. Very drinkble overall.

Overall, a great English barleywine. Very good balance and a light mouthfeel for the style make it enjoyable and drinkable. The tart apple flavor profile really ties this brew together.

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Photo of korguy123
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
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)

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Photo of elricorico
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange brown in colour, with a thin beige head that leaves a little lacing. Hazy, with visible carbonation.

Candy sweetness and mandarin orange come to mind from the smell. A fairly fresh aroma, with the alcohol notable but not harsh to the nose.

This is a very sweet barleywine. Sweet fruitiness and a bit of molasses. Something makes me think of orange marmalade. Hops almost absent to the taste, alcohol makes up the bulk of the finish.

The beer is syrupy, with a dull carbonation. Not bad but not great in the mouthfeel department.

While I like the sweeter barleywines, this one could do with a little more balance. Worth checking out for fans of the style.

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Photo of Shadman
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good bonus marks given for packaging...the pot stopper bottle, old style fake ceramic, etc.

Very bright copper in color, clear with decent head and lacing.

Yeasty, with dried fruit malt and floral hop. Bit of of booziness as well.

Sweet malt, very much like butterscotch cany or caramel with a good dose of yeasty breadinees for good measure. I found the 50 IBU hops to be noticeable and in decent balance and provided a nice, dryer finish to the obvious sweetness.

Over all, thick, sweet, and chewy...so in my limited Barley Wine experieince...par for the course.

Expensive, but I will try and cellar a bottle to try in the winter of 2012.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky medium copper color with amber tint, small off white to cream head recedes to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Aroma is some sweet fruitiness, a strong white grape scent, also some sweet pruniness, a bit of breadiness, and a hint of coconut along with a whiff of alcohol. Taste follows with a caramel, grape and prune sweeteness dominating, some of the coconut comes thru as well, and breadiness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body, rich and sugary like a barleywine, but not overly so. Nice fine, soft carbonation adds to the pleasant texture of this one. A bit of alcohol warmth in the throat in the finish. Overall a really good barleywine, very tastey and a great feel to it. Thanks to Eric for the opportunity to try this one.

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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).

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Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011) from Mill Street Brew Pub
82 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.