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

Not Rated.
Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series)Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

530 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 530
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 124
Gots: 150 | FT: 10
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: John_M on 03-18-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 530 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Alieniloquium:
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

02-10-2013 02:59:47 | More by Alieniloquium
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%

2009 bottle.Poured into an impy pint glass a cherry infused bronse with a large flufy off white head,it really took its time settling.Fruit cake malt aromas,dark fruit with slight nuttiness,quite toasty.Malt driven cakey flavors,some dark fruit and sweetish dough flavors hide the alcohol in check pretty well.Its chewey but the alcohol is not a monster,a real nice sipper tonight.

12-25-2010 00:57:23 | More by oberon
Photo of don1481
don1481

Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

22oz bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: pours a deep copper with a tan head that rapidly dissipates. Fairly transparent with a good amount of bubbling within.

Smell: lots and lots of hops. Slight amount of booze.

Taste: fairly complex: notes of hops, kind of a caramel hint, some booziness, some brown sugar. Pretty darn nice.

Mouthfeel: sticky. Hoppy aftertaste.

Overall: very happy I picked this up. Really good overall.

06-28-2014 00:43:02 | More by don1481
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%

Appearance - This is molten brown, you can see through it under the light, with an off-white head that came up quickly.

Smell - The malt is deep and intense here. It's not a winey ABW but heavy on the malt aroma. Caramel is prominent along with dark fruits like figs and dates. The sugars are very natural, again like what you'd find in fresh dates, and play well with the malty character.

Taste - It's a little less sugary at the taste. This is a big malt bomb that is lightly toasted. The fruity character gives way to raw sugar and struggles to keep up with the heft of malt.

Mouthfeel - This is nearly full-bodied with a surprising amount of bitterness.

Drinkability - I didn't care for this as much as others. I think it would benefit quite a bit from cellaring as I popped mine fresh and it seemed too tight. I'd like to try a two-year-old bottle one of these days.

03-21-2011 00:05:29 | More by RoyalT
Photo of TCHopCraver
TCHopCraver

Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.4%

I got the last bottle of this at one of the liquor stores in Haines and I was very happy to find it. This is of the 2010 vintage.

The beer emerges from the bottle a dark mahogany color with just a slight medium khaki-colored head. The body is just dark enough to not be able to see through it.

This Barley Wine has a very heavy, musty aroma of caramel, brown sugar, cereal grains, and figs. There is a slightly spicy aroma, maybe a little clove and cinnamon. A little alcoholic heat is present, too, but not overly much.

The taste is heavy on the decadent caramel and brown sugar flavors. Also, a sizzle of booziness is present on the sides of my mouth. Some fruit flavors emerge as the beer warms a bit, some dried cherry and fig. The finish might have a tiny bit of hop dryness, but I might be mistaking that for some acidic booze taste at the end.

A big and rich feel lands on my palate. This is a very coating, full-bodied beer. The feel is a little cloying and might go a little toward the overly sticky at the end of each sip. There is quite a boozy sizzle at the conclusion of the sip, too.

This is a very solid, tasty barley wine. I don't think it's one of the better ones that I've had, but it certainly was worth trying. Another solid Alaskan offering.

11-13-2011 04:31:27 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

With a cry out from their fans, Alaskan Brewing has started bottling their Barley Wine in limited amounts. Look for 22oz bombers in AK, OR and WA this winter.

A thick pillow-top of dense rocky head slowly forms off of a hard pour, the bubbles push through the viscous liquid in slow-motion fashion. Deep but clear brownish chestnut color. Big caramel malt nose with a faint whiff of rum pound cake from the alcohol, brown sugar note and thick malty aroma. The full body is nearly syrupy in thickness, creamy and a little bit smooth as the carbonation tries to break from the liquid. Massive malt backbone never goes too sweet as the alcohol slowly sneaks in with a mildly spicy warmth and the hops drop a balancing hop bitterness that never really cuts through the maltiness all of the way. Dried plums, carob powder, burnt raisins and date sugar come to mind. Finishes sweet with a drawn-out malt complexity and slow alcohol warmth.

There should be very little speculating that this barleywine will age well, the hardest part about it is the amount of willpower you can muster while this beer is in your cellar. A sure pick for the barleywine lover or anyone that is into laying down beer.

08-01-2010 13:45:37 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark copper with a creamy off white head that diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet sugary caramel malts, fruit, alcohol and some piney hops.

The flavor is sweet and sugary malts and fruits that are well balanced by some bitter piney hops and alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, a nice barley wine. It's a little on the sweet side for me.

01-19-2009 06:18:23 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Svejk
Svejk

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +18.4%

Wow.

Alaskan Amber was the beer that introduced me to craft beer back in the early 90's. Over the years, I have moved on and very rarely will drink the beer that helped me make the jump. I did try their smoked porter several years ago, but for the most part I didn't drink very much Alaskan beer in recent years.

The other day, I stopped in at Uber in Seattle, and they had this on tap so I decided to give it a try. It pours a dark brown with a good head with reasonable retention considering this is a very big beer. As far as the smell and taste go, it is a sweet beer, and shows it, but it isn't cloying.

This is a really impressive beer. I've recently seen that it is available in bottles, so I'll be enjoying this one at home.

01-17-2008 06:00:21 | More by Svejk
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SmellsofMahagony

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

01-25-2014 23:50:51 | More by SmellsofMahagony
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mverity

Florida

2.96/5  rDev -28.5%

2010 bottle. Pours a rich deep mahogany brown with a cherry hue. Amazing head retention, great lacing, huge thick collar. Aroma is molasses, toffee, leather and earthy wood. Taste is bitter molasses, stale tobacco, vanilla and wet paper. Nice rich body and low carbonation. I believe this beer must have been left on the shelf in a high light area since 2010. It looked great, but the paper and tobacco really ruined the flavor.

05-25-2014 04:11:04 | More by mverity
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Dark amber red color with a beige head. The head receded to a ring leaving a little bit of lacing. Very malty and sweet aromas, not a typical American hopped up version. Aromas of dark fruit, figs, caramel, brown sugar, and a little bit of hops. Sweet caramel flavors, with some citrus hops, brown sugar, figs, and biscuit. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Thanks to pepsican for the sample.

01-03-2009 03:47:37 | More by badbeer
Photo of DoShek
DoShek

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

Appearance - aggressive pour into a snifter offered just under one finger of dark tan head that dissipated quickly, very dark brown that has deep garnet highlights when held up to the light, high viscosity

Aroma - dark fruits, resiny/citrusy hops, very malt forward with hops playing accompaniment, brown sugar or molasses

Taste - big malt at the beginning and hops flare up at the end of the sip, molasses and dark fruits are present, the hops have a resinous dirty flavor/bitterness, balance between malts and hops just barely tips to favor the hops, but just barely, perceptible warmth from the alcohol, as the beer warms the malts really begin to shine

Mouthfeel - heavy and fairly smooth, lower carbonation which is to be expected from a barleywine

Drinkability - definitely a sipper, a 22oz bottle is best shared with a friend, already a great beer, but I think this would shine even brighter with some age on it

01-27-2009 09:40:18 | More by DoShek
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Mora2000

Texas

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

2008 Vintage.

Pours a dark brown color with a cream colored head. The beer pours very clear. A very sweet smelling beer with some piney hops in the aroma as well. Flavor is a mix of dark fruit with some hops and quite a bit of alcohol warming. A big beer that is definitely a sipper. Very drinkable for a beer of its strength, but not something you could have more than one of.

11-09-2009 02:17:40 | More by Mora2000
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Chadster1975


4/5  rDev -3.4%

05-07-2012 03:10:05 | More by Chadster1975
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magictrokini

California

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%

Poured hazy copper with a frothy white head. Thick, sticky lacing that took several swig-washes to break through. Very sweet with caramel and dried figs. Some piney hops, but lighter than say, the Stone Old Guardian I had later. Smooth mouthfeel, kind of sticky. The alcohol is well masked, I barely noticed it until seeing the 10% on the label. Very sweet barleywine; not as much hops as the nose advertised. Loads of caramel, grain, and sugar. Tended to build up in your mouth. Could have used a bit more bitterness. Still, very good.

02-09-2009 23:19:35 | More by magictrokini
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-27-2011 03:43:21 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear and dark reddish brown. Very thin off-white cap. Some lacing down the glass.

Sweet and somewhat syrupy aroma along with some sweet fruits. Some warm booze as well.

Bitter and sweet, dark caramel along with sweet and dark fruits, perhaps cherries. Intense flavors.

Smooth, even velvetty mouthfeel. Very nice, especially for a beer this big.

A good, relatively simple, and sweet barleywine. A pleasure.

07-15-2011 21:25:43 | More by ehammond1
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice glass. 2011 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brownish mahogany red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Decent two finger off white head fades into a thin patchy layer. Decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma is fairly sweet with some dark fruits including prunes and dark cherry. Hints of citrus grapefruit hops and molasses. I'm even getting a little whiff of apple and banana. Sweet caramel malts round it out. Smells good.

Taste: Like the smells leads, a fruity and sweet taste. Sweet caramel malts with some toffee and dark fruits. Notes of prunes, cherry, apple, and banana. A light taste of citrus hops with some grapefruit ester. Hops are fairly tame and not very bitter. Sweet but not cloyingly sweet. Tame but pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied with a light to medium level of carbonation. Very smooth for the abv. Feels like its already aged a couple years.

Overall: Overall this is a pretty good barleywine. For a fresh bottle it is very smooth with no noticeable alcohol heat. Could of used a little more hop bite, but the fruity flavors are pretty nice.

01-22-2012 07:38:31 | More by MattyG85
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far333

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -7%

Ruddy brown with orange hues. A bright beige head rises up slightly and then settles out to a soapy foam.

Floral aroma, sweet malt, mild hops and ripe fruit.

Rich flavor of overripe pear, honey, caramel, plus some tangy cherry. Semi-sweet maltiness. Hop bitterness emerges midway across the tongue, some subtle grapefruit flavor. ABV doesn't hurt the flavor, but definitely adds some warmth. Cherry tang lingers. Very flavorful.

Even and smooth mouthfeel, moderately carbonated.

Good drinkability for the strength of this one, a good sipper. Many thanks to Sparky27 for sending this along.

04-18-2009 12:44:24 | More by far333
Photo of valkyre65
valkyre65

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

01-01-2014 19:54:40 | More by valkyre65
Photo of rudylaw
rudylaw

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

Looks a delicious copper with a nice off white head that abandons you a few minutes after pour.

Very, very sweet in the nose. Lots of sweet malt, sugar, caramel. I'm not picking out fruit easily but there could be notes of peach and plum.

Lots of the same highlights in the taste. Now I'm picking up grapes and candy as well. This would make a really delicious, after dinner drink I think. Extremely sweet and creamy.

This beer was very light for a barleywine though as I had no problem putting down my half of the 22oz last night. But, this came up a bit short for me considering I have been wanting to try this for a long time. Perhaps it's the way I process barleywines? There's no doubt Alaskan Brewing is a place I want to revisit. Perhaps aging this one is a good call?

02-02-2009 13:18:47 | More by rudylaw
Photo of Oelschlager
Oelschlager

North Dakota

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

03-02-2014 04:02:16 | More by Oelschlager
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daveytheformer

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

04-07-2012 19:19:59 | More by daveytheformer
Photo of kevwcamp
kevwcamp

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-29-2011 06:35:11 | More by kevwcamp
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

(Served in a snifter)
Noticed when I popped it open it is a 2008.
A- This beer has a dense dark brown body with a thin ring of light tan head and a soft carbonation of tiny bubbles that trail to the surface.

S- This beer has notes of cream and caramel with a dry buttery note that grows a bit and some dry toffee note that leads to an earthy phenolic finish.

T- The rich caramel sweetness has some dry grainy flavors underneath with a soft pine hop and alcohol note in the finish. There is a nice bitter pungent hops that linger a bit in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a warm soft alcohol heat.

D- The nice caramel malt sweetness is supported by the alcohol and hop finish that really dries out this beer.

04-07-2011 21:01:55 | More by rhoadsrage
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Alaskan Barley Wine (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.