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

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

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very good

93 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
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: 93 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mntlover
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a rich deep copper/amber color with a nice fluffy tan head that falls to clumped foam and leaves some nice lacing around the glass.

Aroma is rich caramel, molasses fruity raisins/figs brown sugars with a decent hops in the background. Smells more like a rich English barley wine then American.

Taste is rich malty caramel, molasses brown sugars running around the mouth with hints of dark fruit. Piney hops imparting flavors and decent bitterness. Nice full flavored treat big on malt and decent hop infusion.

Mouthfeel is medium full big and mellow but enough carbonation to aide the bring the flavors to the front.

Drinkability is good enjoyable treat thats a present surprise to find here in Bristol can see picking more of these up as the weather cools.

mntlover, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of mobyfann
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

Paid $2.09 for a single at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a dark brown, hazy base, with a huge white head, excellent head retention, and artistic lacing on the sides of the glass, brilliant! The aroma is a mix of rich malted barley and a side tone of alcohol.

The taste is pretty dynamic, malted barley, grapes, cinnamon tones but the alcohol tones in the nose and on the tongue distract me little in this stage as well. The beer is very drinkable at a strong 11%, and it feels rather light in the mouth, and very creamy thanks to the head.

Final Thought: If it weren't for the tones of alcohol, this one would be remarkable; instead, it's still a solid brew!

mobyfann, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%

12 oz bottle. This one is solid brown color like a very dark tea with a half-finger of light tan head that falls to a solid coat over top. The clarity is minimal with very irregularly present bubbles in the brew. The aroma is very nice. I get a lot of bready and raisin maltyness, with a distant pine hop that has turned earthy. Taking a big sniff brings in some brown sugary and caramel sweet notes on the finish. There is also a fruityness alongside the raisin that just adds a bit more to it. I think that serving this one a little on the warm side has helped these aromas shine through. The first sip brings a very strong earthy aged hop flavor that melds well into a brown sugar and light raisin malt. There is a moderate bitter on the finish that hits hard enough to let me know it is there but not too strong. This one is very well slanted towards the earthyness, and I like that in my barleywines. It takes some of the harshness off that keeps me from enjoying the style more. Mouthfeel is thick with a light carbonation. I think it works well for the style. This one is very drinkable. The flavors are strong but mix well and keep me wanting more of this one. I like it.

kmpitz2, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of drewbage
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

Bottled on January 2006.

Pours into the glass, deep brown with minimal tan bubbles.

Aroma is rasty brown sugar with a mix of brown sugar and fruit with a spicy hop finish.

Flavor is bright with hops that get quickly overwhelmed by a strong caramel and slighty salty soy twinge to the mid palate toffee note drive the finish.

A little harsh while cold the beer smooths out as the beer warms.

drewbage, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of Crosling
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%

750 mL. Brownish/red leather in color. Powerfully aromatic, with a sensational array of caramel/toffee-like malt and dark fruits. Flavor is juicy and complex, flavorful and well extracted. It’s malt accented and provides me with several enjoyable descriptors, notably caramel, toffee, brown sugar and sweet, dark fruits. This is an excellent beverage, something BBC should be proud of.

Crosling, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.93/5  rDev +4%

Poured a hazy copper orange with a fairly short head, butone that stuck around for the life of the beer. Quite good lacing as well. The smell is fairly light, but there are hints of menthol, alcohol, sweet malt, and a slight spiciness. The taste is a little more pronounced. It's fairly dry with apricots, wax, sweet malt, and cotton candy. Sounds quite sweet, but these flavors are fairly restrained. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and relatively light bodied for the style. Quite drinkable. The alcohol is hidden well, and the brew is smooth, creamy, and delicious.

Georgiabeer, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours a dark copper / rust color, slightly hazy, with a decent sized light tan head. Aroma is sweet citrusy hops, orange sweet tarts, along with some sweet caramel maltiness and hints of prunes. There is another aroma that is hard for me to figure out but is fairly prevalent, almost a lactose / powdered milk aroma, or maybe a little like play-doh. Up front taste is a very nice sweet and rich caramel, a soft sugary candy bubble gum mixes in and also shows hints of an orange citrusy-ness. A decent bitterness in the finish along with a slight hint of the alcohol strength, although for the most part the alcohol is hidden and very well balanced. Very nice sweet maltiness in the soft yet big body. Abv is extremely deceiving and well balanced, very much enjoyed. Thanks Nathan for the opportunity.

hoppymeal, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

msubulldog25, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +5.8%

12 oz bottle pours a cloudy amber chestnut body with a small beige head that quickly falls into skim and sheet lacing. Aroma has a bold maltiness of caramel and molasses with citrusy hop notes in the background. Medium body with an apt medium low carbonation. Taste is scorched caramel and pine and citrus hop bitterness. Fruity notes of apples and oranges add an interesting dimension. Pine hop bitterness becomes assertive midway through and stay to the finish. Finishes with a pine cone hops bitterness. Well done!

merlin48, May 26, 2007
Photo of thaichile
2.6/5  rDev -31.2%

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.

thaichile, May 01, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4/5  rDev +5.8%

From a 12oz bottle into a snifter. I had this brew on tap at the BBC in Louisville and found it to be much more complex than in bottle.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights and a nice creamy tan head that leaves fantastic lacing.

Smells of hops with some subtle mint as well.

Taste is very hoppy. This is still a very young barleywine as it was bottled in Dec. 06. Chocolate in the front with a minty finish.

Slight bitterness in the aftertaste. This is a good beer that will probably get better with some time. I did find the on tap version to be far more complex and enjoyable.

bluegrassbrew, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of John1985
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

Ale pours a dark amber with white head that clings all over the mug as it goes down. Malty, sweet aromatic reminiscent of ripe fruit. malt dominates flavor but just enough hops in the middle and end to balance and keep it from cloying. Rich malty taste, almost like eating a fruitcake. Mildly bitter aftertaste. Very luxurious, a perfect ale for a damp, cool night (like tonight). Mouthfeel and drinkablilty is appropriate for a barleywine.

I would guess the ABV is around 8%. A very well made barleywine from a fine Southern brewer. My tastes normally run on the hoppier side (Bigfoot) but this style is very enjoyable.

John1985, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Vintage '06, on-tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08:

Even with a year + age, the beer still has an over-bearing hop character that cannot be overlooked. Even with the hop / malt conflict, it's difficult to dismiss this beer. It's full of dried fruit flavors, intense sweetness, and tons of hop flavor. Maybe additional time will help the beer meld.

December 12, 2007:

and then I ask myself, "Self, why have you not reviewed this beer before?" Self really didn't have an answer, but here we are anyway. When I first got into craft brew, this is one of the beer that totally kicked my ass. Over the years, I have found a great fondness for the rich, smooth malt flavors and the heavity agressive hop additions. However that first sip always knocks me back a bit. The aromas are of an overmalted IPA, or at least that is the impressions that the sharp hops give. An underlying campfire aroma adds to the intrigue. The flavors are a hop dominated, malty concoction with tons of fruits (fruitcake), citrus rinds, peat moss, dates, nuts, raisons, rum and pine flavored hops. A serious bitterness (hops) sets the feel, accompanied by a rich full body with a light fusal and astringent feel. The beer is very agressively flavored, which hurts the drinkability, but is sure to age-out, if I could ever sit on one long enough. Surely worth a try--at least twice.

BEERchitect, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

A pretty young barleywine, with a bottling date of Dec. '06.

Pours a deep ruby color with a creamy head that slaps sticky lace onto the glass with only slight tilting. Bubbles slowly slide their way up. If looks are anything to go by, it's already a winner.

One very fruity-smelling barleywine, this gives off strong hits of sour green apple and grapefruit at first, with time and some warming letting maple syrup, alcohol and cherry Jolly Ranchers through.

More green apple in the flavor, like it was soaked in sherry and rum and dunked in molasses. More tangy fruitiness in the middle, lots of freshly-cut wood, and a slight bit of vanilla peeking through. Bitter assault of grassy astringency (or grapefruit rind) in the finish, indicating this sucker needs some cellaring.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, a bit lighter than many other barleywines.

Really good, but definitely young tasting with all that green-apple/hoppy bitterness flying around. Aging will probably do this beer all kinds of good.

Metalmonk, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of kirok1999
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours like a barleywine should, dark gold slightly cloudy, nice white head that doesn't linger.
Smells of sweet hops jumping out of the glass.
Tastes just the same, massive hops typical of an American Barleywine. Spicy hops jump on the tongue and don't let up till the bitter aftertaste kicks in. There is enough malt there to keep this from leaping into IPA country. Very nicely done.
Drinkability suffers a little from the massive hops, but all in all a very nice rendition of the style.

kirok1999, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%

(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.

rhoadsrage, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a tight head that dots the glass

Smell: Rich aromatic caramel with piney hops; fusel alcohol, too

Taste: Starts out with a rich, chewy caramel flavor that is quickly joined by a blast of piney bitterness; after the swallow, the fruit becomes more prominent with a very nice pear flavor that has a woody element to it

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation; considerable warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: A very nice effort from a brewery I would like to become more familiar with; these guys can brew some high gravity beers

brentk56, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of Cresant
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%

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.

Cresant, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of phisig137
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours a nice deep amber copper color, with a one finger head. Decent retention, but leaves little behind.

Aroma is mostly hoppy, but with some malt shining through as well. Hops are piney and citrusy, and the malt shows a bit of caramel.

Flavor is fairly malty up front, with a strong bitter hoppy finish. Pure grapefruit tongue searing bitterness makes me think that this will age pretty well. Mouthfeel is full and well carbonated. Drinkability is decent.

This is another decent beer from BBC. Not thier best, but by no means is it bad. I'd buy it again, and I'll be curious to see how this changes over time.

phisig137, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%

On tap at the brewpub, January 5, 2007. Just submitted an update on the following info:

ABV 11.0%
IBU's 81

Rich red amber ruby color under a minimal off-white head.

Smell is Juicy-Fruit gum, crystal malt, cherries.

Taste is a huge sweet malt base with a fascinating sour-mash accompaniment that tastes like sour-cream on sweet cherries. Long hoppy bitter dry finish.

Sticky, thick, chewy round mouthfeel.

Alcohol is fairly well hidden on the tastebuds, but warms nicely in the throat.

ColoradoBobs, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of PatYoda
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

PatYoda, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of KroMagnon
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

Remarkable head for a barley wine - a really glowing yellow-tan color on top of a brownish read beer. The aroma has a strong dose of malt and alcohol, with a slight hint of rich chocolate and a faint something (licorice-like?). The flavor is very powerful, with flavor hops strong on the front, followed by a rich alcohol maltiness and finishing with a strong bitterness. There are also some faint hints of toasted malt and some stronger caramel / toffee character. The mouthfeel is good. Overall this beer is good but seems to have a hint of harshness that is a little distracting. However I bet this brew will only improve with age (I believe this is the 2001 I am sampling).

KroMagnon, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of winomark
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%

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.

winomark, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4/5  rDev +5.8%

SheepNutz suggested I wait a year before I try this. I think I came close! ;-)

Hazy (almost murky) tawny-brown in hue with a slight coppery highlight. The head reached a half finger in height and then the beige foam subsided to a soapy cap. Subsequent lacing was spotty and it held fairly well. It is a good-looking beer. The nose has very lovely malt depth. It is rich, ample, fairly toasty but widely sweet. There is a caramel backdrop and even further at the back is a hint of char. The hops play a supporting role and don’t really offer any clear aromas. The potency is modest. I found the beer to be inviting; the malt qualities alone make me want to take a sip. The palate is flavorful and surprisingly well balanced. Both the malt and hops are big, which provides a good one-two punch. The malt supplies some sweetness in the form of caramel. I even get a trace hint of chocolate and some roast. There are clearly some toasty qualities that allow some dark fruitiness to show. Nice. Then the hops enter, ideal bitterness IMO. The hops are firm and fairly flavorful, kind of piney and flowery. However the hops yield to the malt by the finish. Tasty. I found the palate to be well constructed. Nicely done. I will say there is a little rawness to it but I like how it adds a layer of complexity. It reminds me of an aged Bigfoot in some respects. Medium in body, if not just a tickle bigger, the carbonation is modest but fitting, pleasant mouthfeel. The aftertaste is perfect for the style; it says, “Give me cheese!” Bearded Pat’s is bold and tasty, simple but unrefined, still it comes off well constructed. It is worthy of sipping and savoring. Thanks SheepNutz, this was a dandy!

bditty187, Sep 19, 2004
Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%

The Beard is a deep, dark, opaque, flat brown color. Head is finely bubbled and thinly covers the bier, leaving average lacing. It possesses a verrry malty nose, reminding me a bit of Old Horizontal. It has some toffee and is rich and suggests potency. Mmmm! Body was medium-plus, and it traversed the tongue in a creamy smooth manner. Taste is malty, rich and chocolatey, like a milk-shake. There's that toffee again, too, which really sticks in the nooks and crannies of the mouth. Some floral hoppiness makes a late cameo on top of things. Found it more like a UK barley than American, but I enjoyed it thoroughly nonetheless!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


Bierman9, Sep 03, 2004
Bearded Pat's Barleywine from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
85 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.