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Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series)Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

495 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 495
Reviews: 285
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Alaskan Barley Wine is a full bodied ale, deep mahogany in color and brewed with an array of complementing malts to achieve its high original gravity. Multiple hop additions in the boil and dry hopping during fermentation provide contrast to the big malt character resulting in the smooth balance that distinguishes this specialty brew. Like many fine wines, Alaskan Barley Wine may be aged in the bottle and gains deeper malt complexity and smoothness over time.

(Beer added by: johnmichaelsen on 03-18-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 495 | Reviews: 285 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SHODriver


4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2011

A: poured into a snifter to a deep mahogany with some red hues and a finger and a half of dense light tan head that fades to a small pool that leaves some lacing
S: smells of caramel, toffee, and whispers of hops with a slight floral, pine and citrus aroma
T: taste is caramel, toffee, faded citrus and pine from the hops, a bit floral but a lot of sweetness from the malts. swallow is lingering sweetness with caramel, slight chocolate and some citrusy hop flavors.
M: this beer is smooth and full bodied with soft carbonation and a clean finish
O: This beer is fantastic. The hops are pretty faded and the nose I was getting off the pour was just straight aromatic hops but once the beer settled a minute it was almost all gone. This beer has aged very gracefully and there isn't the slightest hint of oxidation.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 04:55:09 | More by SHODriver
Photo of champ103


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazed reddish/brown color. A well formed tightly packed beige head rises to over two finger with good retention. The foam gently recedes in a minute, with plenty of patchy lace left behind.
S: Toasted and caramel malts up front and center. Dark fruits, and a lingering hoppy bitterness. A really well balanced nose.
T: Follows the nose with a great toasted and caramel malt flavor. Caramelized sugars and dark fruits. A bit of bitterness. Again, well balanced and very tasty.
M/D: A full body with moderate carbonation. Just enough viscosity without being over barring. Very smooth. A big beer, but a great enjoyable sipper.

I have always liked this barleywine. One that is great fresh or with some age. A big malty character with enough hoppy bitterness in the finish. Nothing is out of balance, which is a downfall of many American versions. As always, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 19:11:17 | More by champ103
Photo of Unphased


4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very interesting! Was expecting something totally different but was pleasantly surprised. I don't know if this follows strict barley wine guidelines but I thoroughly enjoyed. First taste was of the hops. Then everything else set in. Quite complex. I will look for this beer again. Found it on tap but would like to try in bottles..

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2014 22:26:35 | More by Unphased
Photo of Kuaff


4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I enjoyed this fine specimen of a beer at cellar temperature in my snifter.

This has a great, stunning, pure, deep, dark ruby color that matches the aurora illustrated on the label. The one-finger tan head dissipates to a nice frothy ring with a patch in the middle. Lovely.

It's aroma is a splendid mix of cherries, raisins, vanilla, caramel, and an accent of pine.

The taste is terrific and offers just what I like in an American barley wine: a harmonized balance of sweet caramel-like maltiness and bitter but juicy hoppiness. Some definite dark fruit flavors are there as well. The aftertaste has an awesome leathery, dank hoppiness to it.

As befits a barley wine, the feel is thick and substantial.

This is simply a superbly-brewed barley wine that's robust in all the right places.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:22:13 | More by Kuaff
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
Beer Release: "11/04/13"

Into a chalice:

A: deep dark brown colored body with a slim half fingered white foamy head that tries to dies but maintains a degree of trying to cling its best of clinging to the glass, in other words, there really isn't much lacing and the body is too dark for any carbonation to be seen rising

S: mostly caramel flavored hops with a sort of bubblegum-esque sort of thing going on, I actually like how this combines (call me weird, but if I had a better trained nose, maybe I'd figure out what is really going on here), can I just say very sweet

T: sweet, ok, more than sweet, ok, exceptionally sweet, but still, there's a degree of an oily raisinous flavoring coating the mouth; aftertaste is somewhat of a sweet oily sort of alcohol-ness but coming through in a pretty good manner

M: medium to heavy, not sessionable - this one is a sipper (don't gulp -you're stupid if you do); carbonation actually feels somewhat smooth for the most part

O: wow, what a good American Barleywine that I would have again

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 00:03:13 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Sludgeman

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a chalice. Purchased in October in Minneapolis and shipped home in luggage.

Complex aromas and tastes. An intense beer. Every bit a barley wine but one tilted towards the malt without enough hoppiness. Put this one in the cellar and try again later. 3.75

A – Pours beautiful clear amber with a small tan head that dissipates instantaneously to almost nothing. Some alcohol legs. 3.75

S – Malty, dark fruit, prunes, caramel, a whiff of whiskey, a tinch of spiciness, but all other tastes are overwhelmed by the beer’s malty richness. 4.5

T – Malty sweetness, raisins, alcohol (very evident but in a good way), some citrus tang in the finish, medium low bitterness. 3.75

MF – Warming with a touch of creaminess, full bodied with a semi-dry finish. A bit too hot in the finish for me. 3.75

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 02:29:07 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of C20Percent


4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Vintage

Finally broke this out of the cellar, and HOT DAMN is it good.

Looks pretty -- darker than I expected. A dark amber color.

Aromas of dark fruits -- dark cherries -- vanilla.

Flavors of toffee, dark fruits, butter -- wonderful flavors -- beer shines like crazy here. A little smoky.

Feels oily, buttery, velvety.

Not sure that this is the Barley Wine standard, but it's pretty close. Excels at every aspect. Glad I purchased it on a whim -- highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 16:52:05 | More by C20Percent
Photo of KFBR392


4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

Appearance: Pours with a medium bodied thickness and forms a very light head. Dark copper/mahogany color. Above average carbonation active in the glass while drinking. Slight random lacing on the edges of the glass.

Smell: A surprisingly active and bright barley front hits right away. Comes on a little too strong, really overstimulates the nose. Some darker tones pick up on the back end of the beer with some heavy caramel, smoked oak, and honey.

Taste: The front is a honey, caramel, barley sweetness. But the sweetness is kept in check by a full bodied flavor which warms up the palate. Gummy, chewy, sweet barley and malt rides long throughout this brew. The finish is a sweet brightness which lingers for a while on the palate.

Mouthfeel: A great balance of sweet and full bodied flavor.

Overall: A great offering from Alaskan Brewing. They will certainly get a few more looks from me after this one. Drinking incredibly well after a couple years of aging. Hit all the major checkpoints a barley wine should expect maybe for the overpowering barley on the nose. Other then that, no complaints.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 01:33:13 | More by KFBR392
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2007 vintage

A: pours a clear dark ruby with a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: a lovely mix of caramel, malts, vanilla, burnt sugar, and slight oxidation and sweet fruits.

T: similar to the aroma, a lot of caramel with vanilla, oak, oxidized flavors, and dark fruits.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being watery or too sticky sweet.

O: this beer has held up pretty well for 6 years. It smells amazing and is a little oxidized, but still quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 00:44:10 | More by n2185
Photo of phishsihq


4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

The beer pours a murky, reddish-brown with some great ruby highlights around the edges. A tight beige head is well retained and provides a curtain of lacing as the beer is consumed. Lush, rich malt aromas provide the senses with hints of cherries and plums. Piney hop aromas also join in with some caramel and a touch of booze to round out this wonderfully aromatic brew. This Barley Wine ages with beauty and grace! The malt complexity is much more defined, with the dark fruits taking the lead with caramel and toffee sweetness playing an important role as well. Generous hopping has helped to maintain some of the piney profile and cover a bit of the alcohol burn. Medium-full in body, this 5 year-old brew is lower in carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 01:17:45 | More by phishsihq
Photo of nickfl


3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with a small head of off white foam on top of a hazy, amber brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - A complex combination of dark sugar, faded pine hops, and caramel malt.

T - Sweet caramel and molasses up front. Some pine and clove in the middle with a finish of mustardy hops and brown sugar.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, it clearly has some age on it and smells quite nice. The flavor isn't quite as well developed with a sweetness that isn't quite balanced by what reminds of the hops.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 02:46:50 | More by nickfl
Photo of kylehay2004


3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: no head on a murky brown and maroon body. No lacing really.

S: red grapes, red apple, caramel malt, toasted malts

T: breads, oak, caramel, booze are not as strong as I expected but definitely noticeable. Some plum and raisin for dark fruits. Additional notes of milk chocolate, toffee and vanilla.

M: medium body, clean and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: I like the drinkability, it's flavorful and definitely becomes more drinkable as it is enjoyed. Not too much in the way of hops, with only mild complexity.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 02:44:11 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of zipper8650

New York

4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First ever review, time to start drinking down the cellar and figured Id start reviewing the bottles I was holding on to. This was a 2009-2011 vertical.

A - typical copper/amber color you'd expect on a barleywine. Side by side there was a definite graduation from orange/amber (09) to maple syrup (10) to a burgundy/brown (11). Little to no head on the 09/11, thin yellowish head on the 10 with a lot of carbonation throughout..uh oh...

S - for lack of better description the 09 smelled exactly like you'd expect a really good barley wine to smell, the smell I look forward to! 09 came through with the most citrus/orange and the 11 had more banana/sweet. The 10 was metallic, soapy, not much more going on...this is how my sink is going to smell very soon

T - the 09 was very smooth, it was a very consistent flavor straight through, not overly boozy and hot but par for what to expect. Not much complexity throughout but the consistent flavor is excellent . the 10 was oxidized crap, not much of anything going on, just flat through out. the 11 was the sweetest and most complex of the bunch. The boozy heat only came through on the end

M - all three were a nice heavy mouth feel, again, what you'd expect from a really good example

O - this is my second time with this beer, I loved it then and still do (despite 2010). Given the style I think it is spot on. My overall favorite was the 11.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 22:31:58 | More by zipper8650
Photo of JamesQuaff


4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 batch. Poured from a bomber into two Sam Adams tulip glasses and a small wine glass and shared with my lady and my best beer geek buddy. We all stood around my kitchen and poked, prodded, inspected, inhaled, swished, and discussed the brew for a solid half hour. Good times.

Pours a beautiful deep copper-red with a taut light-mocha colored 1/2" head. Medium carbonation. It looks 'dense' when held up to the light.

The aroma is a constantly shifting palette of goodness as the temperature changes. It smells MASSIVE. The initial cold pour had a generous amount of hops with mild buttery notes, malts, dried fruits. As the beer warmed the hop aromas gave way to raisins, plums, dark berries, grains and lightly browned butter - at one point it smelled like a berry pastry. Then it started to veer well into port wine territory. The ABV is well masked at all points. I think we huffed our glasses a good 5 minutes before anyone took a sip.

Oooh, this beer is nice and big. At first the hop bitterness was rather prevalent, getting right up to the edge of "whoa, too bitter" before leveling off into rich malty sweetness. As the beer warmed the bitterness faded considerably and the flavors became much more balanced and complex. Reminiscent of a good port wine. Dark, rich sweetness with loads of plum and molasses, and a long malty finish with a little reminder kick of bitterness at the end. A bit of warmth from the high ABV but the alcohol is hidden very well in the flavors. A true sipper.

Mouthfeel was very agreeable. Medium-full body, a tad sharp on the carbonation at first but as the beer warmed the carbonation smoothed out and by the halfway point it was just about where my mind thinks "mmm, barleywine". Oily, sticky, tongue-coating goodness.

Overall we were very impressed with the Pilot Series barleywine and completely enjoyed it wire to wire. It was my lady's very first experience with the style and she was completely blown away. My beer geek pal and I are a tad jaded and weren't exactly blown away, but it was still an excellent representation of the style. He and I both recently had our tongues scraped raw by a fresh 2013 Bigfoot and were very pleased to be able to spend some time enjoying a really good barleywine with a bit of age on it. The rest of the 2013 Bigfoots (Bigfeet? Bigs Foot?) have been sequestered in deep storage to avoid any further unpleasantness and to hopefully achieve the blissful state that others report is possible. But this Pilot Series effectively wiped away the memory. Will definitely be seeking out another bottle or two for safe keeping.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 17:31:02 | More by JamesQuaff
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage opened on 3.1.13

A - Pours a verk dark amber-brown with a pretty good dark tan soapy head with good retention.

S - Malty, raisin, carmel, old hops, a touch of alcohol.

T - Subtle toffee, carmel, soft malts, a touch oxidized.

D - Smooth and silky. Decent carbonation and a medium body.

O - Smooth and subdued. A touch oxidized, but still very pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 16:47:34 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of draheim


4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz (2010) into a snifter. Pours a crystal clear amber w/ a 1-finger beige head that settles to a nice layer of sea foam.

Aroma is nicely mellow; fruity malts and herbal hops. Caramel, brown sugar, toffee, maybe butterscotch. Smells exactly like a barleywine should.

Taste is warm and sweet, surprisingly hoppy and bitter for a 2+ year old barleywine.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with just enough carbonation to tickle the tongue. Finishes smooth and semi-dry.

Overall a really superb barleywine, but maybe lacking complexity. Still, a good one to introduce someone to the style. Very drinkable and approachable for such a traditionally big, heavy beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 05:47:21 | More by draheim
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep amber with burgundy notes. Small white head.

Smell - Grapefruit hop. Toffee with a touch of oxidation. Weird for such a young barleywine.

Taste - Less intense on the hops. Much more intense caramel with accompanying sweetness. Light raisin fruitiness. Hardly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation. Sweet, but the hops balance it.

Overall - Very nice if unspectacular. Nice flavors that would probably get better with age.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:59:47 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of tut2528


3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage
thanks to fatbeats18 for this one! I greatly appreciate it man!

A: pours a deep ruby red with a nice fingers worth of thick bubbly, off-white head formation. lacing is very nice and when held up to the light the ruby color is pure beauty

S: toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits (raisins, some figs), wet hops, slight alcohol note, mild citrus.

T: sweet molasses and toffee, brown sugar, alcohol soaked dark fruits, with just a slight hint of hops to create some dryness. But this dryness is immediately blasted away by a huge creamy finish which fits with this brew. In fact, it saves this brew in regards to its balance. I even get a slight flat root beer taste that comes through right before the finish.

M: its medium bodied, but it also has a lightness too it and it goes down rather quick. Minimal carbonation. Unfortunately, it doesnt leave much on the palate as far as taste goes. There is a slight hop bitterness but I feel that I'm reaching for it.

O: I've been looking to try this one out for a while, and glad to finally have had it. Its a nice Barleywine, but it doesn't do much to differentiate itself from other Barleywines. In fact, as I keep drinking this, I find this one resembling Moylans (just not as hop forward, and just a bit more balanced)

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 02:57:50 | More by tut2528
Photo of sukwonee


4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

A: reddish dark brown body with half a finger head.

S: surprisingly I smell piney hops. Dark fruits, caramel, orange zest, alcohol.

T: It really follows the nose. Surprisingly hops are still there. also booziness as well. I had a chance to try this beer fresh last year and I didn't enjoy it much. so i would say it aged well. to add further, i think it could benefit from a few more years.

M: Carbonation is still good. Chewy syrupy thick. slight alcohol burn

O: It's quite good. Like most aged barley wines, this one was quite sweet but it still had some hop bite and heat from alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 02:42:49 | More by sukwonee
Photo of tobelerone


4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

Nice English barleywine, maybe not the top of the heap in terms of complexity, but still quite enjoyable. Lightly hazed burnt orange color, modest cream colored head that settles slowly to a thin band on top and leaves decent lacing. Straightforward aroma of honey, caramel, toffee, faint booze, dark fruits, toasted bread.

Flavor follows nose; sweet but not cloying; honey and toffee, caramel, big bready malt character that’s highly satisfying; distant traces of faded citrus hops lending the slightest bitterness; light fruity notes, mellow but present alcohol. Medium-full body, medium carbonation, nicely smooth and somewhat sticky feel. Made for an excellent night-cap on a cold and rainy winter’s evening.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 02:58:56 | More by tobelerone
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just got my hands on a 2010 Vintage bottle, yee, two years on this beast!

Pours out almost plum with some amber highlights. Started with a half inch of head, dots of lace hang on to the end.

The smell is fruity and full of boozy warmth. Some pine is there followed by a cherry finish. Not bad.

Caramel and fruit start the taste, mild pine and grassy hops follow. I taste a bit of vanilla and minerals as well. The boozy heat shows up around the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. Warm, but not overwhelming. It has a nice medium body, not too syrupy.

A great aged Barley Wine. I've had it fresh but certainly prefer a year or two in the cellar. Pick one up if you haven't.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 03:51:48 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of Treebs


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a FW tulip. 2011 vintage. Big thanks to mfavoino for sending this to me a while back.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color with a light khaki head forming on the pour. It dissipates to thick ringing leaving behind tons of sticky lace. Beautiful looking beer.

S: There's a lot going on here. Some bitter green hops are still present up front with an underlying fig scent with some caramel malts. Brown sugar and raisins as well. Malty sweetness. There is a little alcohol present in the nose.

T: Some bitter hops and sweet caramel and biscuit malts. Raisins and toffee with a definite grilled fig fruitiness. As it warms there are some leathery notes that come out. A little booze as well. The finish is sweet.

M: Medium bodied with a little chew to it. Medium low carbonation with a slick and oily mouthfeel.

O: Very delicious barleywine that has aged nicely. Still a little hop bite to it from the dry hopping, but the dark fruit and malts really steal the show. Wish I had another to age...

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 00:58:42 | More by Treebs
Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage
Beer Release: January 2011

Poured from a bomber to a sam adams cup

A- Deep brown body (second glass was full of floaty goodness) 2" fluffy khaki head

S- Banana, bubblegum, grapes, raisins, leather, alchohol twang

T- Raisins, grapes, burnt sugar, apple cider, vanilla, toffee, booze, bitter after taste

M- Oily, low carbonation

O- This is my first vintage brew! The first thing that hit me as i poored it into my glass was banana/bubblegum. As i searched deeper, i found this beer to be complex and full of layers. A variety of awesome dark fruits, leather, vanilla, apple cider, and warming booze, that had me checking the bottle to make sure it's not BA (...it's not.) As it warms, sweet malts become more apparent and apple cider begins to take over for the dark fruits. Hop presence is really only apparent in burps, but you get a faint grapefruit bitterness only after the beer has warmed to almost room temp, I'm glad i waited to review this until after the second glass, it's full of glorious floaties and so much more complex flavors have shown themselves, allowing me to write a full review. My local liquor store still has about 8 bottles of this and i plan on grabbing atleast 2 more to see how this brew turns out 1-2 years from now.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 01:25:39 | More by Chris_Cali_2o9
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage courtesy of mtrutlin. It was allowed to warm a bit before being poured into my Bruery tulip.

Alaskan Barleywine pours a very deep brown, with a decent amount of ruby highlights. Just under two fingers of light tan foam rise up and crown the beer. Head retention is decent, and there's just a little bit of lacing. The nose is nice, with aromas of caramel, fruity esters, and grapefruit all swimming out of the glass. The malt presence that first greets me with each sip is a well defined toffee flavor. Some dried figs and apricots swim through mid palate. The finish features a potent hop bite and a dank, grapefruit peel hoppiness. The hops are holding up fairly well so far, keeping this firmly on the American, rather than English half of the barleywine spectrum. The body, while sturdy, isn't as full and syrupy as some others. While part of me likes that in a barleywine, this does help a lot with drinkability. Carbonation is suitably understated. Alaskan Barleywine is drinking really nicely right now. I think it may be heading towards an awkward phase as it transitions from hop forward to malt forward, but I just find myself wishing I had another bottle to see what this brew's like after it has finished that transition.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 05:51:36 | More by axeman9182
Photo of billab914


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a darker brown color with a thin, sticky head to it. Decent amount of lacing on the glass for the small amount of head though. Nice looking color for the style as well.

The aroma shows some very nice and rich malty flavors to it. Dark fruits with some notes of cherry come out along with some rich caramel and toffee flavors. I get a touch of chocolate to it as well. I get some residual resiny hop bitterness, but most of the hop flavors have faded. Really nice aroma to it overall for the style.

The taste follows with more of the dark cherry fruits to it throughout. The finish is where more of the caramel and slight chocolate come out. Enough hop bitterness is there to help give it some balance but the hop flavors have pretty much faded at this point. It really comes together well and I think it aged wonderfully.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a little below average. Overall, it was a really good beer. It had a lot of rich and bold flavors to it but managed to stay pretty well balanced for the style. I really liked the way it aged as well. Great beer to sip on this evening.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 00:09:38 | More by billab914
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Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.