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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
86
very good

542 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 542
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 38
Gots: 80 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 10-26-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 267
Reviews by Rhynes2:
Photo of Rhynes2
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was blown away by this one. Pours a nice hazy red/orange color. not much head aside from a thin layer that quickly dissipated. Flavors come off as having notes of dark fruits and apple with spices blended in subtly. It reminds me of an apple cider more than anything. Hops provide a light bitterness that works with the malts beautifully. I realize that taste is subjective but this is the best barley wine I have ever had. Very impressed and I'll be buying this again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Fluorescent blood orange that is slightly more blood than orange. What a great color when backlit. Even though crown cracking led to a massive escape of pent-up CO2, foam didn't exit the bottle, the head wasn't massive and very little carbonation can be seen. Odd. The cap melts in attractive fashion and festoons the glass with a decent amount of patchy lace.

If you like big boozy barleywines, then you'll like how Cereal Killer smells. The dominant aroma is ripe fruit (apricots especially) macerated in fruit brandy and melted caramel. Hops play second fiddle, which isn't a problem given the style.

My hopes were less than high after the disappointment that was my last Brew Crew Big Beer from Arcadia (Big Dick's Olde Ale). This one, however, hits the style target pretty close to the bull's eye. It's a little tame, but then aged English barleywines usually are. Time appears to have taken most of the teeth out of the alcohol.

A shortage of malt is the only real negative. The result is a beer that tastes good, but a beer that lacks depth and power. Ease of drinkability is a corresponding positive. CKBW would be a good place to jump into the style, domestically speaking. Just be sure to age your bomber for upwards of two years first.

The flavor profile is reminiscent of Christmas fruitcake coated with toffee sauce and light molasses. Fruits include apricots, oranges, cherries and plums. No malt darker than Munich ensures that the darker fruits (raisins for instance) are nowhere to be found.

The mouthfeel is the only chink in the armor. It's too light for the style and is the reason why the flavor score isn't higher. The relative shortage of bubbles is a good thing... unless you enjoy post-gulp burps.

Cereal Killer Barley Wine (a great name) is surprisingly delicious. Going with the theory that it might have had more power and presence when young, I will try to find a fresh bottle. I have to say, though, it's damn good aged.

Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an impy pint glass a darker shade of brown with some dark orange tint a craterouslight brown one finger head atop that settles quickly into a creamy-like mass.Big caramel notes when the bottle was first popped open fruity esters began to settle in after a bit as well as some engraned brown sugar hops peak thru with a hint of herbalness.A somewhat sharp mouthfeel stings a little at first seems a bit fizzy,the mouthfeel takes away from the flavor a bit in my book its malt tilted no doubt caramel and borwn sugar sweetness dominate the alcohol shows itslf no doubt with a finishing burn honestly I dont pick up alot of hop presence other than a hint of herb in the finish.It started out promising but seed to fizzle out a bit no pun intended still not all bad.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany pour with a thin tan head with
little retention. The carbonation is not
very obvious

S: Sweet malty aroma with a little bit of an
acid pungency, the alcohol?

T: Sweet malt syrup at the sip with the bitter
malt at the swallow. There is a slight
hop presence at the back of the pallet.
Fruitier as the drink continues, grapes and
apples, other dried fruit medleys

M: This sweet brew actually leaves a dry
feeling on the pallet rather than the
expected sugar slick. The carbonation is
really spot on here. I typically find this
style is too lacking in carbonation.

D: This is not my favorite style but this
particular example is one of the best that
I've sampled. Great character with a lack
of emphasis on sugar. Really quite good.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006 from the cellar.

Bomber pours into my glass a deep brown with a brooding hint of red and a half inch of light tan head on top. Bottle foamed up a bit upon opening. Aromas start out with a myriad of dark fruits wrapped in a caramel blanket. Sherry, licorice and an herbaceous touch. Hint of vanilla along with some toffee and a touch of oxidation at this point. Still quite a robust aroma.

First sip brings a mix of dark fruits and caramel chewy malt goodness upfront. Plums, raisins and licorice meander with some sherry and a touch of vanilla. Mild oxidation makes itself known again in the flavor. Flows down with an hit of toffee and herbal bitterness. I didn't find this overly sweet which was nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Good carbonation and not overly heavy or syrupy at all which is nice. This is definitely a malt bomb and fits the English Barleywine category quite well. I think the age has worked nicely on this one too. A tasty, deep fruity barleywine worth checking out.

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

Served in a snifter, the beer was a red amber color with a medium tan head that provided some lacing. It had a caramel apple aroma. Similar taste: caramel, apple, some hops. The alcohol was well-hidden. Creamy mouthfeel. Not too aggressive, a good example of an English barleywine.

Photo of warnerry
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle into a tulip

A -Pours a somewhat murky mahogany with one finger of head. Head dissipates to a collar fairly quickly, though the collar maintains throughout the glass.

S - Alcohol-infused caramel/tootsie roll, raisin and fig. Also some cherry and quite a bit of malt. A little too boozy in the nose.

T - Caramel with a bit of bitterness. More tart cherry in the taste than the aroma. Also dried fruits like raisin and fig. Alcohol is noticeable but not out of control. Finishes with more bitterness.

M - Medium mouthfeel is slightly sticky sweet initially, followed by some earthy bitterness.

O - Haven't had this fresh, but it is nice with a few years on it. I wish the alcohol were toned down just a bit, but this is tasty English barleywine.

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours a hazy caramel hued body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap with spotty lacing. Aroma is scorched caramel and green apples. Medium body with low carbonation and a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Taste is very malty, with waves of sticky caramel complimented by brown sugar, dark fruits, red apples, and definite alcohol wamth. A hint of grassy hops at the finish. This one would probably be better with a few more months of age.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, purchased @ Good ole New Beer in NYC, 2006, vintage info provided, nice to find on a Bwine, not that I put any beer away for more then a few weeks anyway...Pours murky dark honey, bready nose. This is an easy drinking, smooth BWine, rich and thick, full of malty goodness. Nice notes of wood and rum in the long finish. Pleasant, understated, balanced brew, well worth a try, nice after dinner sipper.

Photo of brewerdrew
2.4/5  rDev -37%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Unfortunately, very disappointeed with this beer given that Arcadia produces some of the best Stouts and Porters I have ever tasted. To add insult to injury, I entered this tasting with high expectations given the recent GABF Gold Medal for Barley Wines that it recently won.

I poured this beer from a bottle into a Ommegang Belgian Beer glass and the appearance was muddy/murky. The smell and taste of alcohol was overwhelmingly the predominant characteristic of this beer. There were some notes of Hops but not what I was hoping for to balance the other characteristics of the beer.

I will not be going back to try this beer again.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served into a tulip glass from a 22oz. brown bomber,crimped cap

Mirky,mahogany,reddish hue,1" light tan head,decent retention,leaves a ring lace around the top of the glass,with some spotty lacing to follow.

Moderate aromas,very fruity,citrusy,raisiny with sweet candied carmelly maltiness.

Lots of tart flavor,fruity,citrusy,a sweet carmelly taste with candy sweetness.Syrupy with some light boozieness. Finishes bittersweet that feels dry and tart on the palate. Could use a little more hop flavor to balance out the maltiness.

A medium to thick mouthfeel,slightly cloying. Not interesting enough to want to drink more. Not bad overall,but nothing to get excited about.

Photo of madeofsteel
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2010

A - Poured into a tulip, pours a murky reddish brown, about a finger's worth of head with decent retention and lacing.

S - Now that's pretty. Robust caramel, sweet raisins, dried cherries. Faint booze. I thought the ABV would give this one a stronger alcohol smell. Sort of bready, too.

T - Very overpoweringly sweet. I was not ready. Picking up some licorice in there, which I'm never really wild about. Cherries, alcohol, kind of ugly sour bitter finish. It's a lot to process, and the alcohol seems to mask some of the subtleties.

M - Leaves a lot of leftovers on my tongue and between the cheeks. And then there's the boozy finish.

O - I can see this being a good after-dinner beer or something like that, but it's a lot to handle, personally.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-clouded blood orange juice tone with a nicely formed organic brown egg hued head leaves behind thin scattered specks of lacing. Aroma has a deep tart tone with vinous grapes, raisins, with caramel tinged alcohol notes in there as well. Mild earthy tone hints of brandy with a mild herbal woody hop aroma. Flavor is big and malty like most b-wines not overly sweet with a lot of tartness here big raisin, plum soaked in alcohol notes a bit of earthy bark tones with more herbal hops quite the mellow sipping barleywine. Mouthfeel is in the medium to fuller bodied range with moderate easy going carbonation with a syrupy texture that becomes a bit cloying after a whole bomber. Drinkability is on a I'm one and I'm done basis, I need to move on after one of these big brews.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice dark amber colored beer with some light brown head and a light film.

Smell: Nice caramel malts with some toffee and maybe some butterscotch. Faint nuts and dates are present in the background.

Taste: Caramel and dark fruit flavors overwhelm the palate. The alcohol content is noticeable but doesn't overwhelm the mouth. Hops present in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with very little carbonation. Feels smooth in your mouth.

Drinkability: Very nice drinkability factor. It goes down nice and smooth. I will definitely check this one out again.

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

Stumbled upon a 2007 bomber of this one in Brooklyn Beer and Soda, never had it fresh but heard good things

A: Pours dense copper with sizeable tan head. Nice lacing as well.

S: Barley, Caramel, Dark Fruits and booze. Good stuff.

T: Follows the nose, good sweetness that I like in a barleywine.

M: Creamy smooth. Borderline acidity

D: Moderate, I chose to split this one with my bro but could have downed this bomber with no issues.

The age on this one was probably a few months past its best as the acidity was a bit noticeable in the finish.

Overall a nice treat

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter glass)

A- This beer has a jet brown body with a caramel tan thick head that has a layer of big bubbles on the top. The body is to dense to see any carbonation.

S- The smell of smooth sweet cream and white caramel has a light brown sugar finish to it. There is a light note of white grape juice coming through as it warms.

T-The big sweet caramel malt flavor by a soft piney hop flavor with a big hop pungency to finish. There are notes of some darker sweet caramel qualities that come through when it is warm.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a soft alcohol heat that enhances the hop bitterness.

D- This is what I think of as an American Barleywine. Big sweet malty flavor, even though it is a bit one dimensional followed by a big pungent hop punch that finishes it. The hops really balance the malt sweetness and the alcohol really supports the hops.

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

It's hard to tell if this is an orange-hued light brown beer or a brown-hued orange beer; the overall affect is a bit of ruby in the light, and a certain bright ruddiness even with no light shining into it. The head, orange-tinted, develops quite well and displays good structure, sitting just under a finger without backing down from that point. It leaves bits of itself behind in patches.
The overall profile is distinctively English, proffering a particular unoffensive tinniness under a malty body. It's lightly fusel in the nose but well restrained, and in the flavor it just warms rather than biting. Breads are big throughout, leaning toasty. The sweetness, both from elements of various dark fruits and of a more sugary variety (caramel, yes, but an added, creamy sort of sweetness), almost syrupy, even, do fortunately stop short of cloying.
While there's a richness to this beer, the body is medium rather than full, and it works. It supports a flowing creaminess.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. This was an older bottle, but I neglected to write down the year. I want to say it was 2006 or 2007 possibly.

A: Pours a dark brown with a small off-white head that fades quickly and does not leave behind much lacing.

S: Heavy caramelized sugar, some brown sugar, dark fruits, mostly raisins and figs. Light booze aroma.

T: On the sweet side. Some nice caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Very light hops, definitely a malty beer.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth, the aging has certainly helped with that.

O: Pretty good, not overly thick and easy drinking for 10%. Have not had it fresh, but certainly a beer that ages well.

Photo of jmz62565
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep dark mahogony with a large tan foamy head. A good looking brew with a large head for a b/w. The smell has roasted malt,alcohol,dark fruit, and a "bisquity' aroma,but this isn't all that pungent. The taste is hoppy with dark fruit, alcohol, and bread yeast. This combination works making this a very tasty beer. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well. A real nice surprise. I haven't found too many beers by Arcadia that I like,but this is one for the books.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Is it intentional irony or just coincidence that this Cereal Killer hails from Battle Creek, MI? Tony The Tiger better watch his back.

Pours out in a syrupy glaze...deep, slightly hazed burnt copper/sunset color, candy-apple red shading, with a light tan head that is big and bubbly, but doesn't stick around long (no surprise).

Aroma is lots of candy-like sweetness, some graham cracker, sherry-soaked apple/pear, and generous but not overwhelming alcohol.

This is one big and malty barleywine. Drunken liqueur-soaked fruits make up most of the flavor, some taffy-like salty sweetness too. Finish is incredibly sweet, like sucking on a sugar cube. It's too sweet even for my sweet-beer-loving palate.

Mouthfeel is gooey/syrupy, given some zip thanks to just enough carbonation. However, stickiness prevails. And too bad about the cloying sweet finish.

This is okay, just too damn sweet and syrupy...could've used more balance. I like sweet beers, but they need to have more depth than this. Again I'll say: Barleywines are like pizza and sex--even when it's bad, it's good. And Cereal Killer is somewhere between good and bad. Love the name though!

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a bit of white head. Roast in aroma with various oatmeal, barley, complex aroma. Medium mouthfeel that was nicely malted adding to drinkability. Some licorice and mollasses and chocolate malt.An enjoyable barleywine that had depth and taste and one I would not hesitate to ahve again.. Malts: Rahr Pilsner, Crisp Crystal, Crisp Munich. Hops: Northern Brewer and Crystal

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

22oz into a tulip. 2007 vintage. From notes.

A: pours a murky brown body, the tan head retreats very fast, lacing and carbonation are light.

S: The aroma is a rich malty tone of caramel and plum. Raisins and figs seem to find there way in there too. Medium intensity aroma for style.

T/M: The body is thick and syrupy, a very dominate role of malts. Hops have been long gone, but have preserved this beer wonderfully. The mouthfeel is big and has a very nice lingering finish.

O: Overall this is a solid barley wine, one that ages well and is drinking very well right now at about four years in.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. Thanks to Mikesgroove for this aged beauty. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into Lost Abbey stemware.

Pour yields a thin wisp of cream colored head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. Beer is a slightly cloudy muddy brown. Lacing is spotty with little cling. Not the best looking beer here.

Nose is rich toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and some piney and sappy hop characteristics. Moderately aromatic with some subtle booziness still lingering after all these years. Nice and rich.

Beer opens caramel and sweet prunes. Some brown sugar and molasses towards the middle with a tree sap hop presence just peaking slightly. Turns sweet again quickly with toffee and brown sugar dominating. Finish is rich caramel and toffee with a lingering resiny sweetness. Amazing.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily and silky in the mouth and smooth and warm going down. Perfect. An accented spicy finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste.

I've never had cereal killer fresh but aged 4 years, this beer is absolutely perfect. Amazing mouthfeel with one of the most balanced, robust, and pleasantly malty flavor profiles of any barleywine. Really a joy. Thanks again Mike!

Photo of dirtylou
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, scooped at Binny's on Grand last time i was in Chicago - not sure why madison never seems to get the limited arcadia bombers but whatever

appearance: pours into a snifter - big crimson-garnet body, cola-esque traits, creamy beige head with moderate lace. The Cereal Killer label is pretty on point too, for what thats worth

smell: The cereal killer packs quite the booze-filled nose, booze covered plum, resinous pine hops, lots of thick malt sweetness

taste: This barleywine is a lot boozier than the 9% label would suggest - I note mostly resinous pine hops and a high citrus hop bitterness along with it. There are certainly enough thick caramel malts to go around but this beer kind of falls flat and doesnt balance out well - its too bitter and a bit muddy

mouthfeel: high bitterness, medium body

drinkability: iffy

Photo of plfahey
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle (2010 vintage) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Tawny brown with brilliant red highlights and fantastic clarity. Thin khaki head has moderately good retention.

Aroma-Sweet and rich, it smells of sugar candy, sweet caramel, and toffee. Maple syrup and a hint of molasses. Definite whiff of alcohol.

Flavor-Very sweet up front, with big toffee and caramel flavors fading into a dry alcohol finish. The booze is very present in the aftertaste, which still maintains a bit of the sweetness, but is dried substantially by the alcohol.

Mouthfeel-Moderately full body with low carbonation. Smooth, but not exceptionally so.

A solid barleywine to be sure, I think this would probably benefit from some age. While I definitely think the flavor would become more complex with age, the body is already on the thin end of the barleywine spectrum, so I would worry about it becoming even thinner. Still, I think that 3 to 5 years out this could be a fantastic beverage.

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.