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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine - Arcadia Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

271 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 271
Hads: 565
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 18.73%
Wants: 40
Gots: 91 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 271 | Hads: 565
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a dark amber color, the head was tan and was a little fizzy. The lacing and retention were minimal. The smell of the beer gives off a boozy sweetness along with some fermented dark fruits in the mix. The taste of the beer was pretty good, a little sweet upfront and then it fades into a dry hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel was a little thick which wasn't too bad. Overall I found this to be a pretty good brew.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a reasonable, but rocky head that winds up as a ringlet but leaves a decent lace pattern

Smell: Fruity fusel alcohol with burnt caramel

Taste: Opens with a rich but somewhat awkward blend of grape and cherry fruit, burnt sugar, fusel alcohol that grows in a bitter metallic direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, it becomes more earthy and leathery, but there is a definite hop bite on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat viscous, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not my favorite barleywine but decent; I am put off by the metallic quality

Thanks, Vancer, for the opportunity

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another tremendous beer from Arcadia. They are hitting home-runs all over the place with their Big Beer Series. The brew opens with a deep, viscous pour of dark mohogany colors, ruby highlights, and a 1" foamstand that lasts the duration of the session. Big, bold aromas of dark, dehydrated fruits and a heafty dosage of molassas and brown sugar. Light fermentables and sweet alcohols wrap up the scent. Tastes very boldly sweet with fruits (raisons, prunes, berries, plumbs, dates) and heavy maltiness that tips on the side of artificail flavors (molassas, brown sugar, maple syrup). All wrapped up in a warming, sweet alcohol flavor. Heavy on the bread, toast flavors but not roasted. Hopped for balance, but not for aroma, and hardly for flavor. Feels heavy and moderately cloying. Very rich and robust throughout. Quite syrupy, but not wort-y; truely malty. Astringenies are light and are only noticalbe going into the aftertaste. Lingers with a brown sugar sweetness and mild astringent bite. Very good brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this one out of the cellar. Probably the Winter 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very hazy moderate brown collar with a thin collar. A few bubbles on the sides of the glass forming a very thin collar. The nose brings a bit of caramel and toffee plus some light bread and malt sweetness. Flavor has some caramel and light cherry plus brown-sugar sweetness. Medium body with low carbonation and a pleasing sweetness in the finish. Pretty good overall.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a nice foamy head. Aroma of caramelized cereal notes with some toffee. Taste is also dominated by some caramelized sugar notes with some toffee and light butter notes. Finish is dryer then I would have expected. Body is full enough for style with good amount of carbonation. Nice beer but I thought it fell a bit short on the drinkability and smoothness.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a tan/mocha colored, one-finger head. Left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of malt, grass, fruit and yeast.

T - Tasted of spice and malt. Also, a good dried fruit taste.

M - It was crisp and very warm. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. Despite the high alcohol content it wasn't too powerful.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich amber color, almost copper in hue with a nice touch of cloudiness to it that really gave it a very thick look, nearly opaque at times. No real head though, and it almost looked flat at first pour, not really encouraged right off the bat. The aroma was rich and sweet. Nice notes of bready malts, hints of almost honey like notes and a nice fruit touch toward the finish. The flavor though really perked me up a bit. Sweet, mellow, with all notes of ABV long gone by the wayside. Lots of biscuit like notes, a touch of faded hops and a load of grain all combined to really give quite a nice show overall. Very impressed here with the way it tasted, especially in the finish, which was again very sweet, and nearly perfectly placed. An easy sipper I almost went through this one too quickly as it had mellowed to the point of being equally rich and subtle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From now on, I will only be buying beers with "Killer" in their titles. To wit, the last three beers I bought were: Pink Killer, Boulder Beer Killer Penguin Barleywine, and this, Arcadia's Cereal Killer Barleywine.

Well, here I am tonight, getting dru- I mean, winding down after the long day, and I realize I hadn't been reviewing barleywines as much as I used to. So I dug out my notes taken recently at a local gathering.

Appearance: Pours a medium amber, mahogany-esque body with a foamy, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Alright, right away, you'll notice just how boozey the aroma is. Those disdainful of a strong, alcoholic scent might have difficulty progressing much further, but beyond that you'll find plenty of caramel, with minor notes of chocolate, raisins, and even cherries.

Taste: From the start, there's a strong, consuming sweetness with flavors of toffee, fresh-baked bread, burnt sugar. There's some hints of vanilla, cherries, and dark fruits mingling around in there as well. While there is a hop presence to this beer, its just enough to add a bit of bitterness to an ultimately sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with the creamy nature of the brew in addition to the overall soft carbonation helping to elevate it from being merely 'medium'.

Drinkability: While never overly complex, I found it to be quite nice, quite drinkable, and it really delivered when I was looking for a beer with a lil' "kick" to it.

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Photo of jlindros
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours nice 2 finger head with creamy looking foam. Dark woody brown color with very little light shining through.

N: Strong nose with lost of sweet malts and syrup, like a good barleywine should have. Some light brown sugar, some maple, brown sugar, or other syrup like aroma. Lots of bready malts and cereal like aromas, which is very humbling since the name is cereal killer and most barleywines don't have that much cereal malt aromas. Touches of hops add to it.

T: Very sweet. Lots of maple syrup, or something very similar, but I believe it's maple because of the flavor. Hints of bitter hops, mostly some earthy hops and chewy variety. Some nice malt flavors, being dark malts. Perhaps a bit of brown sugar. Some fruity flavors, mostly dark fruits. A touch of spicy warming alcohol. Some light roasted malt flavors as well surprisingly.

M: Semi thick and syrupy with a touch of warming alcohol and decent carbonation.

F: Semi sweet finish with the syrupy taste and feel lingering a bit. Not bad but a little on the sweet side. Also somewhat bitter and earthy. The syrupy maple and brown sugar flavors seem to stick around for a while, and the hops just add a slight touch of bitterness. It almost has a velvety mouth and finish which adds a really nice touch. This is actually better than I thought for a beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Nice to see some heavy-hitters on the Bliss docket this week. This one pours a kinda murky amber-brown topped by a half-finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises sweet caramel, acetone, buttery toffee, light biscuit, and light vanilla. I'm sure there could have been more, but the acetone singed my nostrils a bit... The taste holds notes of buttery biscuits, deep caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, nutmeg, booze, dark fruit, and light honey. Yeah, the booze is still pretty strong here, but not as o'erwhelming a force as the one that met my nose. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, this b-wine is something of a challenge to really get into, but it's not all that unenjoyable, surprisingly. I can't really explain it, but I felt generally good about this beer after drinking it despite my general distaste for some of its constituent parts. Odd...

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, dark fruit, a little bit of alcohol and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of brown sugar, molasses and caramel. Then a mild alcohol sting comes in along with a hearty malt character. The hops presence is subdued but is strong enough to provide some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it might not be the best EBW out there but it's still a very solid beer that is drinking for a while and also worth cellaring for a while.

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Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, drank in April 09 as best I recall:

Pours an orange tinged chestnut with a finger of tan head. Slight oily sheen to this, some lacing & no head retention

S: Plums, apricot, raisins, & boozeyness

T: Plums & jammyness up front. Some booze warmth & leafy hops creep in as this warms, plus dryness * woody hops. Brown sugar in the finish

MF: Rich & chewy, up front, thins as it warms with minimal carbonation

Dranks alright, but flavor profiles are all a bit shallow. Not bad, but not as good as other Arcadia offerings IMO

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter; 3 year cellar aged version released this year, making it a 2010 vintage. Pours lightly hazy dark ruby red color with a small dense cream colored head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, fig, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, sherry, brown sugar, light chocolate, light pepper, and earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt/fruity notes; very sweet, but not offensively so. Taste of raisin, fig, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, sherry, brown sugar, light chocolate, light pepper, and earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, molasses, toast, brown sugar, sherry, light chocolate, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very good balance and complexity of malt and fruity notes; with no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice English Barleywine. All around nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head starts off okay, but settles to a single layer of bubbles. No lace. Extremely cloudy. Light brown color.

Although it is not a sweet smell, there is still the aroma of molasses. Biscuity and toasty--I detect animal crackers. Alcohol is also present in the background.

Sweeter than the smell indicates, although the finish is dry. Playing second fiddle is the light hop and mild alcohol warmth. The body is similar to a typical barleywine.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed murky crimson hue, slim white head.

Sweetness in the nose, dark fruits aplenty, rich and redolent with many types of decadence. Ripe plums, apples, grape, very plump in flavor, even on just sniffing...I'm liking this smell, though...

Taste: mmm, big, bursting dark fruit flavors, juicy berry and cherry, dripping wet, very vibrant, some plum and lavender still at large. Rich burgundy feel. Very lively in the mouth, quite a precocious brew, to revive a maligned wine term.

Much better than the Olde Ale I had from them the other night (thanks again, trbeer!) Ripe flavor from the malt, some kick from hops, and alcohol slowly steps in...nice, a well-rounded barleywine.

Aracadia once again makes a beer I can like, but won't necessarily go crazy for...and I do like my nicely roasted, very hoppy, and bursting with fruitiness barleywines. Mmm-mmm-mmm-mm-mmm...

btw, the name is too cute, and the label art interesting..hmmm, the spoon as weapon, gotcha...scratched out Fruit Loops, very funny...but I have to say, it reeks as trying too hard. Maybe too much cleverness is a bad thing. That's my experience, I've got the scars to prove it...

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Photo of jwc215
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006:

22 oz. bomber, poured into a snifter:

Pours hazed mahogany with a thin tan head that recedes to a ring with a thin patch and some bubbles. Further poured induced a head with better retention.

The smell is of citrus and spruce with dark fruits and caramel.

The taste is of caramel that turns toffeeish and chocolatey as it warms. Juicy citric/earthy/sprucy backing supports the deep maltiness. Some peppery alcohol gives it a spicy warmth without interfering in the malt/hop interaction.

Full-bodied and syrupy without being too sticky.

This is a wonderful American-style interpretation of an English-style barleywine.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a warm, burnt toffee scent that boasts of pale and caramel malts boiled down to darken the color and intensify the malt character. The taste is good. It has a very rich, malty flavor that screams burnt toffee and low hops. It's slow going down with a nice warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is good as well. It is a FULL bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a powerful beer with loads of flavor. I'm a big fan of the malt content. Burnt toffee is like mothers milk.

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Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown in color with a paper thin head. A spot or two of lacing developed during the session.

Smell: sweet malt and a bit of ripe fruit sweetness is very mild.

Taste: loads of sweet malt, prunes, black plums, red grapes, alcohol, and a hint of nuts. Very mellow bitterness level.

Mouthfeel: smooth at the start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Aftertaste is surprisingly short. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: so-so. This brew is a bit on the sweet side and needs a bit more bitterness to balance it out. Alcohol sticks out too.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage into a snifter trying to go to bed. I've been ducking this beer for years.

Cereal Killer pours out a dark shade of red with hazy faded orange with some browns poking in as well. A nice pour yeilded about 3/4th's a inch of kinda firm toffee colored foam with no stickage.

Smell is of malted barley, a whole lot of it, some fusel alcohol and some ripe dark fruits. a small bouquet of earth hops with caramel and toffee with some warming. The English yeast gives off a funky bread scent. Smells sweet.

Up front Im greeted with a big bite of fruit that's backed by caramel, barley and the like. The fruit reminds me of a BSDA but coated with huge barley, malt, toffee, berries and alcohol. The ALC is not so big, but it was probably huge fresh, glad I waited on this for a bit.

Feel is a big medium, maybe two steps up. Malty and it is kinda coating on the tounge for a few. Swishing brings out the alcohol more, yet it never seems to cloy. Carbed up to where it should be.

At about over a year since bottled, this has been tamed but the flavors don't jive well for me. Not insanely hot, the English ingredients namely the yeast is what gets in the way. Also, why is this stuff so damn expensive?

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.