Oak Aged Widdershins - Left Hand Brewing Company

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Oak Aged WiddershinsOak Aged Widdershins

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183 Ratings
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Ratings: 183
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 15.51%
Wants: 9
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 02-09-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 83
Reviews by kindacold:
Photo of kindacold
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like most of Left Hand's brews, I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.

The appearance was light and the head was quick to dissipate.

It smelled like a barleywine, but without the overpowering hops that some other breweries use.

I tasted this beer twice, once a bit above recommended temperature and once at about the right temperature.

When colder, the beer is quite refreshing and tasty. However, when the beer warmed up, the complexity could be truly experienced. Both have advantages. I loved the way the colder beer felt. I could drink it cold all night, and it was great for a hot day. The warmer beer tasted much more complex and interesting, but I could not drink much more than a glass this way.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this over the weekend,a stiff price tag of $12.99.Poured into an imperial nonic a slight hazed aber infused with burnt orange,a nice tight formed one finger white ehad atop that settled very slowly leaving broken globs of lace bhind as it settled slowly.A mix of dark fruit,smoke,and vanilla tinged oak in the nose,definently malt driven.Flavors may be a little to infused with that oak,vanilla tinged with dark fruit,alcohol sweetness seems to become more prominent as it warms,it has a little of the smokiness like the un-oaked beer.Its good but not good for the price tag.

Photo of boston2bburg
4.52/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Union Brewhouse in Weymouth, Ma. Being the only tap offering served in a 10 ounce (tulip) glass, and it being my birthday, I of course had to try this one out.

This beer was fairly light for a barleywine and until looking it up I couldn't tell if it was a barleywine or just a strong ale of some sort.

The aroma was amazing and completely unexpected. The first thing that came to mind was opium; a very dense, floral, perfume scent, with malts providing a candy backbone. Superb.

Taste was similar, floral and malty with a spiciness. I probably could have stuck with these all night, but they would have been peeling me off the bathroom floor. Very intriguing and unique brew, hope to find it again.

Photo of JasonA
4.11/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle Conditioned

Pours a light amber, maybe some reddish hues. Ample carbonation, thin, off white almost beige. Ample lacing, with some thickness. Awesome, pure awesome bottle conditioned appearance.

Medium malt, little booze. Might be some earthiness. Some fruit presence. The caramel malt is very nice. Light hop character, which puts it in the rear. As an English BW lover that would be my choice.

Some bitter, malty goodness with a wicked caramel malt finish. Im getting some tartness here, but its quite subtle.

Explosion in the mouth. Love the carbonation level. Reminds me almost of a Belgian Quad with the temperature and bottle conditioning.

Overall it might be a tad hoppy with the finish. While you will have that with an American BW, it feels just a tad out of balance with the malt.

Photo of Beaver13
2.85/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle dated 2007, caged and corked. Pours a slightly hazy reddish golden with a big pillowy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is pretty subdued - some peppery malts and a little leather and maybe some old metallic fruits.

The flavor is peppery, metallic malts with a little sweet fruitiness and a good sized bitter alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is on the thin side but pretty smooth.

Overall, it's just an odd combination of flavors and doesn't work for me.

Photo of dbossman
3.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Clear, copper hue with a big cream-colored head and okay lacing

S: Lots of oak and citrus and dates; also, a bready, malty backbone

T: Not as complex and intricate as I would've thought from the aromas but this is six years old and I think the age has been pretty good on this beer: so smooth and fruity and woody

F: A touch thin--pretty good mouth feel

O: Like I said, this is a six-year-old bottle, and man, is it smooth and oaky and fruity and malty; I like this a lot more than I did when I tried the fresher version

Photo of aepb1
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Hazy orange body (bright), with a big foamy white head

S- Malty sweet, sugary dark fruits, booze

T- Woody, dark fruits, boozy heat

M- Medium to full-bodied, lots of heat from the alcohol

D- Nothing awesome about this beer but certainly don't turn it down if offered.

Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into 8oz snifter.

Hazy orange-red hue with a thick and fluffy light tan head that slowly settles to a thick rim along the glass. Rings of solid lace are present.

This is a very aromatic beer with plenty of light fruit notes swirling around. Some coffee and a little bit of chocolate are in there, along with hints of vanilla and alcohol.

The malts are tame but sweet, mostly allowing the hops to come though. They aren't as bitter as expected, mostly because of the blending with the aged version of the beer, so you get a good mix of flavorful hops with fresh bitter flavors. There is a touch of vanilla in there. The alcohol is somewhat well perceived. Thick and smooth in the mouth with a mild amount of carbonation. The hops linger for a while after each sip.

These barleywine blends are interesting because you get the sharp hops that develop up front along with the duller hops that have been around for a while. This isn't a vanilla bomb since it's a blend. Some of the more complex notes you find in an aged beer are in there as well. It's a pretty solid and interesting beer. Recommended.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. "2007 Bottle conditioned."

Thanks to Wisconsinality for busting this bottle out at our Russian River tasting!

A - Totally murky mud water amber pours from the bottle with a massive cream head. Low retention with a little lace left over.

S - Heavy sweet caramel maltiness overpowers in the nose with a fairly strong sweet alcohol booziness. Lots of raw honey and lightly toasted amber malts. This smells like one potent beer that's close to void of any hops. Scratch that, a little bit of floral citrus on the finish.

T - Light caramel malts, lightly toasted with a thin malt profile and a powerful hop flavor full of floral notes and a citrus bitterness. Where is the barrel aging?

M - Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated with a bitter finish and a touch of alcohol. Smooth but not very great.

D - When a beer becomes a chore to drink, it isn't all that good. Not very good drinkability at all in fact. It's not much of a barleywine, honestly, and it's not much of a barrel aged beer.

Photo of charlesw
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 bottle. Glad I got it with a few years on it - I bet this is really harsh when young given how much bitterness and hop flavor is left after 5 years!

It's too pale in color and has no head. Bummer. Still, there is carbonation - the cork shot right off! Kind of weird that there's no head AT ALL.

Smells like old foghorn - underattenuated extract homebrew. And, wtf, is that right? Is this 8% ABV? GTFOOH! Barleywine? At 8%? No, I don't think so.

The taste is pretty good. Sweet, a bit of citrus and a lot of citrus bitterness. Prolly a decent I2PA. Actually, OKish, at this point, as an American bwine but... But the color and smell are just so wrong.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A two year vertical of a 2007 cork and caged Widdershins, properly cellared all these many years and a brand new 2013 crown capped bomber.

2007: Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a slightly hazy medium coppery amber with a fine one finger ivory head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma is classic barleywine; fresh and dried dark stone fruit, caramel malt and moderate cardboard from aging. Flavor follows with caramel malt, fresh and dried plums, a bit of butterscotch and butter, and the expected moderate cardboard, although the latter is covered pretty well by the flavors. Flavor drops off fairly quickly to a slightly over the hill caramel malt and cork flavor, but an unexpected lingering hop bitterness. I probably aged this one a bit too long, but it held up pretty well. Not the best balanced or well preserved barleywine I've aged, but still a quite satisfactory, warming aged ale with good barleywine character. Would have liked a bit more oak than the light butteriness, but enjoying it as it is.

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a clear medium coppery amber with a thin film of ivory head dissipates to a ring around the glass and light lacing. . Aroma is fresh caramel malt; fresh dark and light stone fruit, slightly sweet and floral; a hint of oak. Flavor is caramel malt, toffee, dark dried fruit, particularly figs and dates, a nice balance of fruit and caramel. Flavor drops off a bit in the finish, exposing a moderate lingering floral hop finish and bitterness. Medium bodied with mild creaminess. This is more of an English barleywine profile to my taste, but the hoppy finish is definitely American. I liked the balanced malt and fruit flavor of this much more than I expected and will get this barleywine again. The oak is almost undetectable in this, which is the only element that was less than expected.

I think the 2007 is over the hill, but I do think the 2013 could well improve well with a few years on it. It drinks quite well right now. An unexpectedly enjoyable barleywine. Review rating is for the fresh Widdershins; the aged one would grade about a half point lower on taste because of the thin finish and effects of oxidation. The appearance gets a few decimals extra because the aged one has such a creamy, good looking head.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Left Hand Oak Aged Widdershins purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
appearance - amber with a slight head.
smell - spicy, oaky...aromas I like individually, but something's not working for me.
taste - I really thought I was gonna love this but it's not up to expectations. Not bad by any means but I love barleywine and oakaged...I expected to be better

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is relatively clear orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving only delicate lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted oak are present in the nose along with notes of smoked malts and hints of alcohol.
T: The taste has flavors of smoky peat malts along with notes of caramel malts and some toasted oak from the barrel aging. Unlike the smell, no flavors of alcohol are noticeable. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a bit of warming from the alcohol.
O: I found this beer to be very drinkable considering its strength as it hides its alcohol very well. There is also just enough in the way of malts to help cut through the maltiness, somewhat lightening up the mouthfeel and preventing any stickiness.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of ThickNStout
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 7.99. 2013 vintage, best by 12/3/18- bottled 12/3/13? Served in a Microbrasserie Charlevoix goblet.

Pours a nice garnet russet hue with about one finger of pale head. A thin cap remains and leaves a decent bit of lace.

Smells of alcohol, burnt caramel, a vague spice nite and malted barley.

The booze hits early and unabashedly followed by burnt caramel, vanilla tinged oak, cheap toffee, bitter berries, a little pine, cereal grains and some soft floral notes. Tastes strong but disjointed. Every now and then I'd start to get some nice oaky or caramel notes but the unblended alcohol and ocassional off notes quickly lead the flavors in a different direction. Lacking the hop bite of an American barleywine and the rich toffee of an English barleywine, this comes across more like some kind of vague high octane strong ale.

Syrupy full body with fairly mild carbonation. Burnt sugar, malted barley and fusel alcohol finish.

Oak Aged Widdershins isn't bad at all but doesn't quite come together. I'm surprised by how harsh the alcohol seems given that I drink stronger brews on a regular basis. Perhaps some age would do this good but I didn't detect enough of what I look for in either American or English barleywines to spend any more money here.

Photo of auxiliary
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance -Medium brown with a nice tan head.

smell - Smells of fruit, oak, and some hops here.

taste - Roasted malts, some vanilla snd oak present here. Plus some hops at the end. Seemed like a barleywine up front and then some hops are the end. Was well balanced though.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Not a bad tasting beer, interesting taste I think.

Photo of Etan
3.39/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25


A: Pours a clear amber with a small off-white head.

S: Aroma brings light maple and peach characteristics. Somewhat hoppy.

T: Taste brings heavy peated malt, somewhat spicy oak, a hint of tannic vanilla, earthy grain, remnant citrus hop notes, a little maple.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: While this isn't horrible, the proportion of peated malt is much too high and obscures the other elements of the beer.

Photo of stumac
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this baby for free, fools. I work for a distributor out of Texas.

Pours up very little head but maintains a thin layer. Very copper in color.

Aromatics are hops for sure. Not insane but apparent. Notes of vanilla and a bit spicy oak. Very subtle fruit notes. Light citrus if any.

Taste is subtle hops. Definate roasty malt character. Almost smokey. Reminds me of a light porter. Vanilla and oak are there. Subtle fruity notes. Lighter fruits though.

Medium to full bodied mouth-feel. Long lasting lingering taste. Who needs breath mints when kissing the ladies. Just take a couple swills of this beer and you'll be on your way to a rollercoaster of love. Plus split the bottle with her and you will probably get laid. Knowing how most chicks arent used to high alcoholic beers, she'll get drunk easier. That is if she even likes the intense roasty flavor. Always have a six pack of Smirnoff Ice in the fridge for backup.

Overall, not a beer I would buy twice but definately a beer I would drink for free twice. A very exceptional brew.


Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.31/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thanks to beerbeagle for the chance to try this great oak aged beer. 2004 vintage

A - crystal clear golden amber brown beer with a nice white head.
S - honey biscuit sweet malt notes with a light hint of oak
T - light caramel sweet malts, honey, biscuit malts, oak and a muted citric hop flavor and light residual hop bite.
M - medium full bodied, smooth carbonation, light sipping with a slight bitter note and a warm mouthfeel.
D - golden warmth. smooth sipping, mellow and sublime. This is a great example of what an aged barleywine can be!

Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist.

Vintage 2007

A: Pours a lovely looking opaque, burnt-orange/copper color with a meringue-like light-orange colored head. Lots of droopy rings of lace left behind.

S: Big nose of caramel, tart apple, fruit laced tobacco, oak, cocoa, toasted malt, citrus, and a touch of alcohol.

T: Spicy oak, tart fruit, and sweet juicy caramel are the big players here. Also noticed were tobacco, cherry, lemon, charred wood, vanilla, alcohol, and prickly hops. Toasted malt and fruit loom large in the finish.

M: Big, sweet, and sticky with an interesting bit of earthy dryness/bitterness. Perhaps due to the massive oakiness?

D: i expected this to be a chore to drink but was rewarded with a smooth and easy drinking barleywine that's big on flavor. The alcohol flavor, while noticable, was relatively well contained.

Photo of Craigory
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle, 2013 release, poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass.

A: Pours a fairly clear, golden-orange body, forming barely a bit of beige head. Not much to look at.

S: A bit of citrusy hops, a hint of caramel malt, and alcohol. Not much to speak of.

T: Alcohol, orange juice, grapefruit, toffee, alcohol, maybe a bit of vanillin. There's not much to the flavor, really. Certainly not much of an oak character, and closer overall to an English Strong Ale than I would expect from an American Barleywine.

M: The beer comes and goes pretty quickly--thin for the style.

O: There's just not a lot to the beer on any level, except for the high alcohol content. This would be a decent beer for drinking with a heavy meal--an "easy drinking" barleywine, if you will.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Hazy burnt copper body. A quickly receding cream colored head. A wisp of film left over with no lacing.

Aroma: A bit thin, but the oaky, woody bourbon notes come through. Also, sweet buttered bread.

Taste: Just like the aroma, only more of a cinnamon spice presence. A very alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thin for a 10.7% beer.

Overall: Not really into this style of beer, but this was good. That little but of cinnamon in the taste profile made a huge difference.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.49/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderate copper color with a very thin off-white head and not much in the way of lacing. The nose carries oak, oak, and more oak. As it warms, I get a bit more oak. Other than that, a touch of semi-sweet malt. It's not terrible, just horribly one-dimensional. Other than the oak, there was a touch of caramel and sweetness. I'd rather not have this again.

Photo of AgentZero
1.6/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Didn't look like a barley wine, looked flatish, and very light colored and watery. Dead as pond water.

S - Smells artificial, maybe a little like ammonia as well. This is truly horrible. I strained my nose to pick out something, well, I got some malt notes, I think.

T - Tastes is right there with the smell, watered down with a chemically bite that is plain disgusting. This beer is just gross, I hope this was just a bad keg or something. A little light hops I think, or maybe that's just more chemicals.

M - Little flat and watery, mediumish bodied.

D - Can't drink this, it tastes horrible.

Photo of Wisconsinality
2.97/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Leave it to me to bring the dud to a tasting.

Bomber poured into Bruery tulip. 2007 vintage.

A- Pours a very deep burnt orange. Hazy because of the yeast I shook up at the bottom of the bottle. A big two finger's worth of head that takes a while to recede and leaves nice lacing.

S- A big malt presence and a decent barrel presence. The booze is still pretty prevalent even for being a 2007. Just a little bit of spice in there as well.

T- The wood is almost overpowering in the taste. Everything just kind of falls by the wayside. A little dark fruit. The booze comes into full effect as well. It took me a while to pick up an off flavor and that flavor was bandaids. Not good.

M- Medium bodied that has the carbonation that is really lacking. A little heat from the alcohol and that is about it.

D- This was split four ways and the small amount we each had to drink was hard. Each person had trouble finishing this with two of the people sending it down the drain. Enough said.

Photo of csiewert
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange amber color with a finger if off white head with a bit of lacing and decent head retention. The aroma is amazing... Big bits of matly caramel and some earthy hops are apparent. The taste is slighty off however... It starts with some roasted malt and strong caramel and then hits you strong with cardboard. The mouthfeel is velvety and slightly carbonated and finishes smooth. Overall worth a try and it has a Tom of potential.

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Oak Aged Widdershins from Left Hand Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.