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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

95 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13%
Wants: 10
Gots: 2 | 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:
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 added by: UncleJimbo on 03-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown, soapy head and not much lace. Smells of cherry, malt, sweet notes, slight alcohol, not as much alcohol as you would think. I believe this was about 2 years old. Taste is initially sweet, decent malt, cherry, dark fruit, slight medicinal quality, and slight grape tannins are there. Syrupy mouthfeel, thick and quite full, though something felt like it was missing. Pretty good barleywine, great slow sipper for after dinner.

Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This poured clear dark gold, with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like candied oranges, with toffee and wildflower honey and a bit of...chlorine?
T: It tasted like orange and honey and toffee, with a fair amount of alcohol. It had a mellow bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was oily with a bit of carbonation. Nice fully body.
D: This had a great scent and taste, with the exception of that strange hint of chlorine. Solid body too, but it was quite hot so it needed to be sipped. If age could smooth out the alcohol without losing any of the other flavors, this could be exceptional. Fresh, it's just another tasty barleywine.

Photo of Jimmys
3.63/5  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.

Photo of argock
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  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.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via a sweet-ass trade with moejuck. That guy ROCKS! Pours brilliant clear deep copper with thin off white head. The aroma is bright with cherries, raisins, figs, prunes and sweet cherry hard candy followed by just a hint of alcohol heat on the nose. The taste is chewy sweet goodness with cherries, prunes, raisins and some figs pushing over the palate. Behind the rich fruity assault is a thick viscous layer of sweetness accented by mild malts. This is rich sweet goodness. Very tasty English style barleywine. Should be even better with a year or more on it.

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to brentk56 for this brew.

Pours a very nice cloudy amber/brown color, very nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, with some very nice islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, caramel, bready. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly hoppy, with some caramel. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well. Drinkable, this is a very tasty BWSA.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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

750ml bottle, lugged up from south bend, one of many beers cracked during march madness weekend 1

appearance: poured into a stone pint glass, murky/muddy caramel body with pretty much no head or lacing left behind

smell: thick caramel body, sticky pine hops beneath, pretty nice aroma

taste: a little dull around the edges, thick chewy caramel body, a touch of sticky pine hops, light citrus

mouthfeel: a little light and lacking a strong bitterness level

drinkability: good

Photo of becktone
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

Photo of tpd975
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for another wonderful share.

A: Pours an amberish brown hue with an above average head. Okay retention and some lace noted.

S: Nice sweet aromas rush from the glass. Hints of caramel and toffee can be picked out immediately. More subtle notes of brown sugar and resinous pine come through as well.

T: Nice and sweet up front. The brown sugar and caramel make themselves known. Hints of dark fruits, gooey pine, and some green grass round things out.

M: Full bodied, syrupy.

D: Not the most drinkable, but it is a tasty sipper.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft At brewpub.

Poured a clear dark ruby color with an average creamy head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

Good sweet fruit and alcohol aroma.

Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation.

Heavy bittersweet flavor with a long bittersweet alcohol warming finish.

The beer goes well with the pizza and basketball game.

Photo of cnjohn19
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Jim at Maido (Louisville, KY) for tapping this keg he's been saving, circa '06...saddened to hear this barleywine is soon to be discontinued by BBC...enjoyed with the best sushi Louisville has to offer (citrus heat, serendipity, spicy tuna)...

A - poured in a snifter with a thick, half inch head...dark consistency and looked extremely inviting...

S - appeared to have an almost caramel aroma...definitely a hint of sweetness and a certain bitterness which appeared to be produced from an increased hops content...however lacked distinct characteristics and a little tough to decipher the true source of aromas...

T - built extremely well and def. tasted the hint of caramel-like characteristics which probably contributed to the sweet smells...enjoyed the strong hops of this brew...bittersweet comes to mind while tasting this beer...overall, very enjoyable blend of hops and barley and was informed the aging of this beer contributed to its tasteful experience...

M - not sure what exactly is was which did not sit extremely well here, possibly a little coarse...

D - i would def. have another, however sounds as if it may be difficult to find...i think you would enjoy this beer, however i will note i did not rush to have another poured during the same sitting...it struck me as a beer to enjoy one of at a time...

Photo of hopdog
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium to deeper and cloudy brownish color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of toffee, nuts, caramel, and citrus. Tastes of caramel, some dark fruits, citrus, chocolate, and brown sugar sweetness. Alcohol content hidden. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 2/14/08

Photo of Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, thanks to Lexx for opening this one. Not sure on the age but I would go with older because of the bottle size.

Pours a lightly hazed orange/reddish, thin white head forms, slowly drops to a thin ring, leaves some spots on the glass. Smell is nice, toffee, floral and fruit, very grapey, wood, citrus, bit of alcohol but well hidden, some brown sugar, classic American barleywine. Taste is great, toffee sweetness, big malts, more grape, almost a concord grape juice flavour, floral, very fruit, grapefruit, alcohol, tannic bitter finish, but very well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with very low carbonation, exceptionally smooth, no way I would have guessed this at 11%. Really enjoyed this one, nice sipper. Thanks Alexa!

Photo of BeerSox
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of Deuane
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 750 ml bottle purchased February 2002 at the brewpub. This one sat and aged for over 5 years before I finally cracked it. I am sure this had a lot to do with the incredible smoothness and wonderful flavours that developed!

A-Clear dark ruby brown with a medium tan head that reduced to a thin ring. Spotty lace left behind.

S-Sweet caramel with notes of leather, dark fruits and tobacco. Faint hints of hops...but note much.

T-Sweet caramel malts lead the way...but not overly so. A bit of hop bitterness sneaks in at the end after a wave of brown sugar, tobacco and leather takes hold of your tounge and dries it out! This is sweet, beefy and yet dry....nice combo. I am sure the aging of this bottle had a lot to do with the development of all these flavours.

M-Medium heavy body and very smooth feel. This is like the equivelent of beer brandy.

D-Very nice, glad I waited to drink this one. A nice sipper. The drying factor becomes a bit much and of course the 11.5% abv will kick your butt too. Overall a very nice barleywine.

Photo of Durge
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine is a rosey mahogany color with a major frothy light tan head and piles of lacing. A strong meaty aroma of deep malt and sharp maple pine. Very curious and enticing. The taste jumps out with candied toast and caramel, some coffee hints. Its a decent mouthfeel but it is fairly aqueous. Very sweet, a little high in octane, medium drinkability at best. Pretty unique, decent.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz received as a very cool want-list extra from Brentk56... cellared since April.... refrigerated for the last week or so.. poured into my New Belgium snifter tonight.

1" tan head dies back slowly leaving rings of lace as I swirl.. an a bunch of splotch bubbles... Brew is fairly clear chestnut brown.

Aroma is thick caramel punctuated by sweet cigar and leather.. hops are there.. but play second or even third fiddle to the malts...

Flavor is again thick all the way around.. caramel and sweet but not cloying maltiness... bitterness may be on the light side.. but I appreciate a good malty barleywine.. spiciness shows up as it warms.. both hops and yeast... there is a pervasive and long finish of pipe tobacco.. tastes like the way a candy shop and a good walk-in humidor would smell if they were in the same room. Flavor is huge... but reminds me much more of a very very big boned English BW... there is a distinct fruitiness as it warms.. cherry essence.. maybe a little bit of plum... smoky.. and some piney hops become more evident as I sit here and it reaches room temperature... definitely some pine in there.... but the malts tend to gobble it up until the absolute finish.

Body is fairly thick with creamy but good carbonation..

I am really digging the Bearded Pat.. I know that there are a couple places that I can order this... I should pick up 12 for the next few years and see how they measure out.. but for now... I am damn.. very damn happy Brent included this brew.. now I just wish I would have had a BA/BW buddy around to share it with.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was thrilled to get this one in a trade recently as I had been wanting to try it, but alas we do not get any of their wonderful offerings around here. I had cellared this one for about six months before opening the 12 ounce bottle last night, just to let it mellow out as it was a fresh 2007 when I
received it. Served at cellar temperature into a snifter, I was thrilled to begin sampling this one. The pour was very nice with a rusty, ruby colored, almost candy like reddish amber color being presented in front of me. There was a touch of haze to it, but not as much as I expected. Some light carbonation could be seen struggling up to reach the surface. There was a decent sized two finger head of white that caressed the top of it and hung out for a good bit before settling down to just a thin crown and leaving behind some scorching side glass lace. Very nice look for a Barley wine,

The aroma was very pleasing, with loads of sugar coming at me almost at once. There was some very complex aromas mingling around in here for sure. Some tobacco was clearly evident, giving it a musky sort of aroma, light hints of alcohol, candied sugar and apples coming through. As it warmed some hints of an oaky sort came out. The flavor was really well done I have to admit. Super smooth, with just the lightest of carbonation, it struggled not to tip too far into the syrup side of things, but
may have in fact landed there in the end. Very sweet, with hardly any alcohol being noticed in here, I was quite impressed. Rich candied apple notes were abound in here, with hints of caramel and honey as well. Some light floral notes in the finish, and that musky tobacco like taste, that I could almost construe to be a weird type of spice to be honest. As it warmed any trace of the alcohol was gone, and it became a syrup laden sweet candied treat. I was sipping along on this for a good long while mainly due to the complex flavors, but it surely would not be a session ale. This was a very nice way for me
to wrap up my evening as I would have loved to have had another one right after it.

Overall this was easily my favorite I have had from them so far. It is a very solid offering for sure, and one of the better barley wines I have had lately. Very sweet with a nice hidden quality to it. This definitely falls into the must try category.

Photo of drseamus
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of kurtissellen
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Emptied into a pint glass looks an opaque muddy copper with just under a finger of head. Lacing all down the glass by the time I finished. A few small particals at bottom of glass. Nice sweet nose like molasses and tastes similar to the smell with molasses at first then a smokey finish. This beer has a more hearty taste than some other barleywines I've tried.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candy apple red with a soft coral glow when backlit. This is one of the prettiest American barleywines that I've ever seen. The pastel gold crown is thick and rich and creamy and is laying down fine sheets of intricate lace all over the upper portion of the snifter. Bearded Pat's is a looker!

The aroma gets it done too. First, it smells like 15 months in the bottle was time well spent. The alcohol, even at such a lofty ABV, is hardly noticed. Each sniff delivers cherries and berries swimming in caramel and earthy-citric hops. This should be good beer.

BPB is definitely good, but unless something changes by the final few ounces, it isn't damn good. The flavor profile features steely caramel, unsweetened chocolate and earthy pipe tobacco. I'm not sure if more age would soften things, but I have a feeling that it would.

On the positive side of the ledger are some of the same things that can be appreciated in the nose. Primarily, black cherries, blackberries, bitter orange peel... and maybe even a dab of raisin paste. Warming allows the various flavors to coalesce into a more uniform whole and allows the taste score to be increased with no hesitation whatsoever.

The final pour turns the beer from tropical sunset coral to murky dark caramel brown. It looks like plenty of yeast was hiding in the bottom of the bottle. The appearance is still great. The flavor is bolder and slightly more chocolate-like, but is otherwise unchanged. Come to think of it, the flavor profile and the mouthfeel (no more than medium for the style) are more along the lines of an English barleywine than an American one.

My first four Bluegrass Brewing Company beers were terrific (American Pale Ale, Dark Star Porter, Altbier and Hell For Certain). The next three weren't so wonderful (Mephistopheles Metamorphosis, Horse Piss Beer and Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout). Bearded Pat's Barleywine belongs in the first group and is a lovely little sipper once it approaches room temperature.

Photo of blakesell
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh yes, 2006 vintage on the tap at Gravity Head in New Albany, IN. Poured into a 10oz. glass.

Appearance- Pours a clear orange with a thin finger of foam across the top. Tiny bubbles rise from the bottom. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Hoppy and gluey grapefruit hops on the nose with hints of plum, dates, fig, raisin, scotch smoked malts, peat, and pine tips. What a great nose on a great beer.

Taste- Mmm.. Fruity, malty, sweet and delicious. Grapefruit hops give way to oak, tobacco, brown sugar, tiny hints of oxidation, but not overly oxidized. Nutty sherry flavours persist.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and sweet. Well carbonated and thick. Somewhat warming. The flavour hides the alcohol well.

Drinkability- This beer hides its power and could be drank into a stupor. Delicious!

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Bearded Pat's Barleywine from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
85 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.