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Bearded Pat's Barleywine - Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Not Rated.
Bearded Pat's BarleywineBearded Pat's Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

77 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 77
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 10
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 03-09-2002

Great American Beer Festival Medal Winner! American style barleywine: so named because of its high, wine-like alcohol content, and the usage of American hops. Deep amber in color and full bodied, with a blend of fruitiness, maltiness and hop bitterness to balance.

89 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 98
Photo of becktone
2.59/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From notes 12-13-08

Eye: Not much to look at. Color is a murky brownish copper, kinda like mud...but with a good dose of iron ore in there to give the mud a reddish tint/color. The color of this brew is the only thing that I'd consider nice. No head formation and as a consequence of that no retention. No lacing either. I've seen beers with much higher alcohol contents that have looked much better.

Nose: Nice big malt aroma in this brew. Sweet malty notes abound. Some faint oakish and spicy notes are just there, in the back, almost hidden, but still just perceivable. Dark fruits abound, raisins especially. Smells pretty good.

Tongue: Overall hard character to describe. To me this beer is a whole lot of nothing. I'll just say that it is too watery, too thin and there's just not enough "barleywineish" character to it. This doesn't have the barleywine character that makes me want to drink a barleywine. The reason I bought this was to have a beer to sip on all night...sure I'll sip on this but it'll feel like I'm sipping on watered down going flat cola. Hops are pretty green, definitely a floral/herbal character to them. Lots of sweetness in here and not enough bite from hops or from alcohol. To me the actual malt and barley character is just too low key, same with alcohol. Its like this one got such a high gravity from corn sugar or something. It reminds me alot of the way unfermented wort tastes...who doesn't sample the beer after they've taken the starting gravity reading....the more I think of it the more it reminds me of it. This beer is unfinished in my mind, with a real green hop character. I mean, its just like the unfermented wort, not disgusting but definitely unfinished and lacking. No depth, this doesn't do it, or come anyawhere close to doing it for me.

Feel and Drinkability: Very light on the palate, carbonation is too low. This beer almost feels flat. Now I'd not have a problem with that were the body a bit heavier and if the beer had some pronounced alcohol and a huge malt flavor, but its really just a bunch of sweetness right up front. I won't have a problem drinking the rest of this, but I don't look forward to it. I'll drink it because I have it. But I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of thaichile
2.62/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a roan color with a thin, off-white head. Nose is raisiny with roasted notes. Flavor was a mixture of hops, caramel, and roasted raisins. The roasted part almost had a burnt quality to it. Maybe this was from the alcohol that was running without cover and causing the acrid tones. The underlying sweetness could not provide enough camoflauge and the hop bitterness seemed to exacerbate the alcohol heat. A beer with potential, but currently somewhat schizophrenic. Thanks to nathan15 for the bottle.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I've never had a beer from this brewery before. Acquired at Ramirez Liquor in Los Angeles.

Served chilled but not quite cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige-khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and excellent (4+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a rather dark hazy caramel-amber. Sweet jesus, there's a shitload of yeast floating around in there - to the point that it's a turnoff. That's entirely too much, especially for a barleywine. How did that much yeast make it into the bottle? I could innoculate a 5 gallon batch of homebrew with this. Seriously. Nontransparent. Non-opaque. No bubble show.

Sm: Caramel, light oxidation, rich heavy malts, biscuity yeast, toffee, a hint of butterscotch, raisin, and maybe vanilla. Rich malts are dominant. Hints of alcohol. An average strength aroma.

T: Rich malts, butterscotch, vanilla, a bit of raisin (which came off oxidized in the aroma and is strange here), biscuity yeast, toffee, and caramel. Simple for the style. Balance is off. The flavour profile just isn't that impressive. Not as complex as it needs to be. Lacks subtlety. I'm not a big fan of this one. A bit of alcohol does come through. Surprisingly bland for a barleywine. Hopping is generic floral and isn't all that expressive.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thick and viscous, approaching syrupy. Also the yeast particles give it an unpleasant texture. Thickens on the finish, a reprehensible effect. Scratchy, making me cough.

Dr: Difficult to drink due to its low quality and strange high quantity of yeast. Hides its ABV alright. Probably best on draught so all the yeast is filtered out. Boy, I wouldn't want to try this again. I'm not starting off on the right foot with this brewery. I think this bottle was $6.00; I definitely wouldn't pay that again.


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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky brown in color with some reddish highlights. Smell is huge malts and some hops. Taste is huge caramel malts. Over the top malts. A little bit of hops again in the back end. Medium body on the mouthfeel. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Pretty good barleywine.

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Photo of clvand0
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer poured out a dark color with a small tan head and little lacing on the glass. The aroma had some fruits and malts, but the alcohol was very prominent. The taste of this one was too strong and the alcohol too prominent.

EDIT: I had this one again in a large 25.4oz bottle that had been aged for near 3 years and it was much better. The alcohol was much more subdued and the other flavors came through a little better. The alcohol was still too strong on the palate, but better than before.

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Photo of winomark
3.07/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with some red hues showing through. Small but persistant light tan head. Lots of sweet malt, hoppy spice and alcohol on the nose. Little bit of band-aid also noticable. Well balanced palate. Hops, malt, and alcohol blend well together. Slightly warming finish. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light. Flavorful, but not as thick as I expected. Short on the finish. A pretty good beer, but nothing special for a barleywine, IMO. Won't try it again.

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Photo of Cresant
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a nonic. The "bottled on" panel was not notched. Two fingers of off-white creamy head slowly faded to a filmy lace clinging to the glass.

Smell was spicy and sweet. Brown sugar over sweet potatoes. Interesting.

Taste was sweet as well but well balanced with a bright hops flavor. Rich. Well hidden alcohol (said to be 11%). Slight cherry flavor. Not my favorite style but interesting.

Mouthfeel was medium to full in body. Hops oils linger in the mouth.

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Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Unfiltered brown,minimal head. smells like a barleywine.taste of mollasses and brown sugar and caramel. Average mouthfeel. Some hops but neither sweet nor bitter. Directionless. Not so drinkable or interesting.A shame with the high abv. Probably best young.Jon's bottle.

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Photo of billab914
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky, dark caramel color color with a frothy white head filling half of the glass. It had some great head retention for the style, as well as lacing.

The aroma has a piny, resiny hop presence mixing with a sweeter, candy like, caramel flavor. I get some citrusy, bitter, grapefruit rind like flavor to it as well.

The first thing I notice in the taste is a chocolate or cocoa like presence. Again, I get a somewhat harsh, bitter, resiny, citrus rind flavor to it throughout the beer. The malty, sweet, caramel flavors are very reserved for the style.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was an interesting take on the style, but not one of the better ones. It felt a little harsh to me at times and the chocolate flavors seemed out of place. Not a bad beer, but probably not one I'd buy again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep amber brown chestnut wow it's deep hued with a big tan caramel head leaving entricate and even lacing, nice. Aroma: Deep bready yeas notes with English malts and alchol shining through with fruity undertones and a hint offness this beer is borderline with stale malts that bring a diacetyl tone about. Taste: Deep herbal hop profile with an offness in the malts pours thick bitterness and stale hops tastes horrible. Mouthfeel: Full bodied chalkiness can't get down with this one blah. Drinkability: Pass on older samples no date on this bottle but old in the malt profies nature with mute hop flavor and strong bitterness.

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Photo of aaronh
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a nice chestnut color, with a deep, almost glowing redness. It is topped by a moderate tan head that quickly fades to a few patches of foam. Wonderfully malty aroma is blended with sweet fruitiness and mild alcohol notes. Then comes the taste. Whoa! This one sends shivers up my spine. Intensely hop bitter up front that is then burned to a crisp by alcohol flames, leaving a charred bitterness behind on the aftetaste. The sweetness tries to come through, but the over-riding bitterness dominates. Mouthfeel is a little syrupy, and drinkability is poor due to strong alcohol and bitterness. I've got abother bottle. Maybe in 2004/2005 it will be better.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured, this brew had large light brown head with small bubbles that mostly diminished. This brew had good lacing to it and a clear body with a brown hue. It had a harsh malty aroma and I also noticed a mild coffee aroma as well. The flavor was bitter tasting from start to finish. I definitely tasted the alcohol in this brew.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Deep ruby red hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a thin rim along the glass.

Sharp piercing hops with some light hard candy in the background.

The hops provide some bitterness, but they aren't as sharp as I would have expected. Mostly a light candy flavor like in the aroma. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is some lingering sweet flavor with a bit of bitterness.

A very sweet barleywine with a weird hard candy flavor that seemed to dominate. Not bad, but I would have liked a little more complexity.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a deep brown body with an amber hue. There is a thin ring of big bubbles around the edge and that is supported by a gentle carbonation of bubbles.

S- There is a very light note of dark sweet malt with a soft fusel alcohol hint that comes through in the finish. There are some soft notes of brown malt and toasted malt coming through as it warms but there were very subtle.

T- This beer has a light flavor in general with notes of dark malt and some notes of dark fruit hints coming out as it warms. There are some light toasted malt hints and a soft white sugar note to it. The soft flavor of green hops has a gentle bitterness and a slight alcohol taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a bit of a watery texture. The alcohol heat was pretty smooth and gentle but nice.

D- This beer has a soft light flavor and smell but the alcohol is a nice heat and not too hot.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It poured with a resemblence of good apple cider. The aroma was wonderful with a sweet hoppy smell. Like most barleywines I have had, it was a little murky with a nice light brown head. I guess that the taste of this beer can be looked at a few different ways. First of all, it was not a strong as many of the other barleywines so it may be a good one to introduce newcomers to. On the other hand, since it lacked the taste I was looking for, I cannot say it was it was anything other than an a less than average barleywine.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Dark amber, near brown, with 1 finger tan head. Almost no lacing.

S- Toasted malts, light smoke, vanilla, some cinnamon.

T- Toasted amber malt, very slight smoke flavor in there. Also, get some dark fruit as well.

M- Full body, but not very thick. 11% hidden very well. Has a slightly dry finish.

O- Good barleywine, not great. Seems more like a English barleywine to me. Not a lot of hop presence in this beer, and has that dry finish to it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a reddish, brown color - redder than any barleywine that I've ever seen. It had a thin, tan head of foam that left no lace.

S - It smelled very sweet and malty. It had a boozy nose with touches of bourbon and oak.

T - It was a very sweet caramel malt tasting beer with a spicy hop heat. The alcohol flavor comes through on this one.

M - It was soft and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A full-bodied ale.

D - This is an okay barleywine. A little too sweet for my taste. Hopefully, it mellows with age.

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Photo of argock
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.90.

A: Sawdust amber brown with copious 3-finger beige big-bubbled head with good retention and lacing.

S: Very bland and muted aroma, mostly leathery dark malt with some fusel alcohols. Hoppiness is herbal for what is there.

T: Flavor is also middle of the road with dusty dark maltiness, herbal-floral hoppiness in the finish, and alcohol pushing through with progress through the glass.

M: Medium-full body with low carbonation and a slick feel overall.

D: Not a bad beer but there are a lot of others that represent this style with more originality, aroma, and flavor.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle, notched "Dec 06" on the label. Thanks to Jeff (Metalmonk) for sending this back in February; I've held out long enough. Poured to a small goblet.

A: Beautiful ruby/amber with a tinge of floating sediment, giving a hazy complexion. Faintly yellow head of tight bubbles, slow to recede. Very pretty lace, sticking to the sides of the glass in creamy sheets.

S: Smells of burnt caramel, heavy malt (syrupy) and spice. Finishes with floral and a powdered sugar sweetness.

T: Likable, full of caramel and thick, juicy hops. Has a strong resinous pine quality and an effervescent raw tea-like/herbal quality. Sweetness finishes more raw/undeveloped; chalky with soapy bitterness in finish lets me know this could use even more time to mellow.

M: Has a harsh alcohol burn and a lingering bitterness toward the back of the tongue. Fusel alcohol level is still quite warm and balance seems unrefined.

D: Looks nice, smells nice. Still (after 6+ months) seems young. There's a harsh burn in the mouth that hasn't mellowed yet. I'd like to try this beer again; I'm guessing at least a year of age is needed before it's really ready to drink.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled at the 1st annual mad fox barleywine festival.

a hazy brownish-red, with an off-white creamy head. smells super sweet, tangy, candied figs and plums. great complexity on the palate. sweetness all over the place. ranging from caramel, toffee, brown sugar, rum, to your sweet fruits. slight pine hop bitterness, but mostly sweet flavors shine through. alcohol is well hidden. a big american barleywine, but had more of a malty/sweetness of an english. a good barleywine, but like i said reminded me more of an english style rather than an american.

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Photo of drseamus
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber reddish body but very little head at all, even with an aggressive pour. The head that was there looked like soda head. The smell is very malty but balanced with a touch of hop bitterness. The flavor is very sweet and malty, almost like an old ale. It has a touch of hop bitterness to keep it balanced but definitely skews toward the malt end of the spectrum. There is a good amount of caramel also. The body is fairly light for a barleywine, but not too thin. Overall, a very drinkable barleywine, although it doesn't stand out very well.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deeper amber color with a small dirty white head. Nose is dried fruits, sweet like brown sugar. Taste is rather thin bodied with hints of dried fruits, caramel and cocoa on the end. Mouthfeel is thin, not to complex but good. Average to good bwine. This beer only comes alive at room temp.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad barleywine. Just consumed a January 2002 vintage at Chalkies in Indy. It has a strong sweetness to start things out, though it is a bit on the syrupy side, with some fruit. A caramel flavor also makes itself known. The hops have persevered over the last couple years to provide a pleasant piney bitterness which doesn't quite offset the sweetness as much as it should, but still does the job. A bit too simple for my tastes. Nice and thick/creamy though.

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Photo of SheepNutz
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a murky brownish-red color with three fingers of light tan head. There are lace rings left all down the side of the glass. The smell is full of both malt and hops. A little bit more on the hoppy side, with a small hint of alcohol. The taste starts a with a good malt base, but get sharp on hops really fast. It's a little green, and can use some aging. There is some alcohol on the finish, underneath layers and layers of green hops. I'll have to agree with wvbeergeek on this one, the mouthfeel does indeed have a chalkiness to it. The drinkability is just a little low due to the need for mellowing out. Probably a good beer to cellar.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a snifter

This beer poured a hazy copper color with a ton of yeast swimming around in it. A massive head and high carbonation. There is a good bit of dark fruit in this beer but Raisins are the flavor that most sticks out. Smells a little like malt extract, you home brewers know what Im talking about. A hoppy barley wine, the hop presence has faded a bit and has taken on some aged hop flavors. This is a bitter beer. Drinks fairly easy for a barley wine if you can get past the bitterness. Overall its a decent barleywine.

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Bearded Pat's Barleywine from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
85 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.