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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine | Arcadia Brewing Company

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276 Reviews
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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 10-26-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 276 | Ratings: 582
Photo of jmendels
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've been on a journey to try Michigan beers lately. Arcadia Ales is certainly one brand that stands a bit taller and this beer contributes to their stature.It pours a beautiful reddish brown,with only a small amount of lace. The smell is rather complex and should take a couple whiffs to fully appreciate. There are the usual toffee smells, but also subtle hints of cereal. The taste is sublime, having a mellow sweetness balanced with the aged flavor natural to this type of beer. It then finishes with a touch of bittersweet thickness. Good beer and a good example of the Barleywine Style.

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Photo of peensteen
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep murky brown with some ruby at the edges, light ring of off white head at the edges, no lace. Smell is a nice mix of fruit and malts, cherry and darker fruit, some dark sugars as well here, a bit of earthy hops as well as raisin. Taste has big malty flavours, cherry raisin and dark fruit are all present, fruity/earthy hop bill make for a nice restrained bitterness, mild caramel and toffee sweetness, aftertaste of fruit in dark sugar. Lightly carbonated, medium body. A solid and serviceable barleywine, a very enjoyable slow sipper.

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Photo of YCantWeNotBeSober
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark mahogany brown, minimal head retention

S - Malty sweet, cherry, whiskey-like notes,

T - Starts with that sweet pineapple-like flavor unique to barleywines fading to intense piney hop bitterness and a surprising amount of heat from alcohol. Some vanilla or Bourbon notes lie in the background but are dominated by the tannic bitterness. Some smokier malt flavor lingers after the sip.

M - Oily, slick,

O - Being relatively new the style, I could definitely tell it fits the description of barleywine, but Cereal Killer has fallen short of the others I've tried (Founders Bolt Cutter, DFH Olde School). However, the complexity of the style may have me coming back to this one in the future.

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Photo of MickeyBeer
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on cask at Firkin in a snifter glass

A- It pours a dark reddish color with about one finger of head.

S- Smell comes forward with malty sweetness, hops, and barley notes.

T- Taste has a good deal of hops but also a considerable amount of sweetness. Even on cask and at at room temperature this beer is rather tasty.

M- Full bodied and somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

O- I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this beer. I like barleywines, but I have never had one on cask. This beer was very well balanced and the high ABV was hardly noticeable.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep ruby reddish color, a little brownish. a finger of foamy that is tan. fades to a lacing on the sides. very high clarity

Smell: malty and some vanilla, some citrusy hops

Taste: strong malts up front some vanilla, quickly turns to a hop bomb with a strong alcohol quick.

Mouthfeel: syrupy, pretty heavy in body. very bitter aftertaste.

Overall: a very hoppy version of an english. also missing a bit of the depth of malts that I'd look for in the style

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Photo of warnerry
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass for a live review.

A - Rich ruby/mahogany, perfect clarity. Extremely sparse foam, which did not accumulate, with minimal retention along the sides of the glass only. I find the colour alluring, but would have liked to see slightly more head.

S - Fairly faint, probably due to a poor choice of receptacle on my part. A vigorous drag of air yields dark fruit, candy floss, caramel. The aroma is improving as I write this, due in all likelihood to temperature. I wish I had a snifter at my disposal, but I'm not at home.

T - Loads of oak and vanilla, with a pleasant latent bitterness, which lingers on the finish.

M - Thick, viscous and satisfyingly syrupy. Coagulates on the tongue in a luxurious way. I was surprised to detect fairly substantial carbonation in the mouthfeel.

O - Very pleasant beer, a nice example of the genre. I'm impressed with how the sweetness of the initial flavour, which is considerable, is balanced by the bitterness on the end. I bought a single bottle of this with a contingency for a four-pack, and I think I'll have to follow through on it. At 10% abv, I feel this beer would age well.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottles states Handcrafted in 2009.

A - Poured out a dirty opaque murky reddish brown brew. Not much head developed on this on but left a tiny little bubbles on the sides of glass giving way to alcohol legs and lacing that sticks. Looks well carbonated on the edges of the glass. Layer of yeast in the bottom of this one.

S - On this there is a lot of malts that give way to sweet fig, cherry, vanilla, caramel, alcohol in the background with a ever so slight presence on the nose.

T - Wow lots of cherry, fig, a pinch of booze that shows itself and disappears just as fast, and anise overtakes the background and finishes this one. Can not tell this one is 10 % that is for sure.

M - This is medium bodied and lighter then what I was expecting for a barley wine. Carbonation is pretty low in this one also. It is however really soft and pleasant which makes it go down really easy. Mouth gets a film on it after drinking for a while.

O - This one is a pretty decent sipping barley wine which has developed really well since 09. If you can age one this long the alcohol dies off and is not detectable. Worth picking up if you like a sipper that has the typical barley wine malty flavors. Note the hops have died on this one. Cheers!

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a ruddy/silty brown into my Bruery Tulip. Nice copper tinted head that fades fairly quickly, but it leaves a decent amount of lacing dripping away.

S- Caramel Candy-Corn! Damn! Has a nice malt and mineral backround. Light touches of winter spices, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, licorice and just a faint hint of the booze. Almost seems as if it's been BBA'd. Really nice depth as it warms up!

T- Touches of sour raisins and fig, caramel, and burnt brown sugar. Taste doesn't quite match the nose. Some nice licorice/basil notes, but the sourness is throwing off the caramel and sweet candy.

M- Decently thick and oily, better carbonation than expected. Nicely sweet, but the tartness is losing me a little bit.

O- I would of rated this much higher if it weren't for that sour fruit. Nicely spiced, nice oily mouthfeel. I had higher hopes for this. I'd like to have some of this to age and see what becomes of it.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2010 vintage for around 4 bucks

A - Deep hazy mahogany amber with an opaque colored head. Lacing is thick yet not very sticky.

S - Simple soft caramels and sherry notes like a fine wine. Sweet the hops have completely aged out.

T - A very fine example of the style. Opens sweet with prunes and sweet sherry wine like goodness. Not very bitter one bit with not noticeable alcohol flavor. Good stuff.

M - Medium bodied to thick.

Overall nothing really to run out again get again (especially since I got this in Ohio) but a very well crafted barleywine.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a murky mahogany brown color with about an inch tan head that sticked around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruit (raisins, plums) and bready malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some sherry and a bit of sweet spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I'd buy this again in the future and probably age it longer next time.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only date on the label state “2010.” So this beer has aged for about two years before opening.

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass produced about one finger of head that is a darker shade of khaki, very dense, and just a little clumpy. The head proved to be fairly robust and lasted for about half the session. The brew is a mahogany color with a ruby red hue. It was also a little cloudy and just barely translucent.

S: The aroma is a combination of sweet malt and grain, along with some bready yeast and just a touch of cherry and some dark dried fruit.

T: The taste begins with a very sweet malt rush that is quickly joined by a blend of roasted and slightly toasted grains along with plenty of subtle dark dried fruit and a little bit of bready yeast.

M: The beer is heavy, full bodied, and just a little slick; and, it only has a small amount of carbonation and it just the right amount for this style of beer.

O: This is a classic barleywine, and it would make a great first introduction when introducing friends to this style of beer. It does all the things a barleywine should do, and it does them well; and, it also avoids going beyond the style. It focuses squarely on malt flavors of sweetness, toasted grains, and just a bit of dark fruit along with some yeast. Most of all, everything remains subtle and smooth and blends together well. This is a first class barleywine that is definitely in the top tier of selection available in this style.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from Fplumbs, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a crystal clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a smallish off white head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Smells of dark brown sugar, raisins, prunes, and plums, and a bit of alcohol. The flavor is filled with lots of dark and brown sugars, a bit of non descript fruit and a healthy dose of ethanol. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Decent barleywine, but a bit on the hot side. I enjoyed this, but I would be curious to see how a little age might affect this brew.

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Photo of theecaleb
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010, 12oz bottle.

A. Pours good. Good copper in color. One inch creamy redish head, slowly fades away. Minamal lacing.

S. Toffee, barley, fruit.

T. Alcohol, fruit, spice, wine.

M. Warmth of alcohol, good carbonation. Light hints of barley and fruits.

O. Not the best barley wine I've had, but I like it. Very drinkable, I wouldnt mind aging a few in the cellar. I would recommend this beer to a friend.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.
2010 vintage, Aged approximately 2 years

Pours a murky copper with red/brown highlights. Has 1 finger of tan head. Huge globs of yeast (I hope) are suspended in the glass. I don’t know how I feel about that…

Toffee, molasses, notes of prune & fig.

Prune, molasses, candy sugar and fig. Suggestions of dates. This follows through mid-palate with more dried dark fruits and grape skins. Finishes with earth, leather and brown sugar.

Full bodied, silky, smooth, drying and sticky.

Big and sweet with a lot of dark fruit (mostly prune & dates), molasses and leather. The booze is pretty well hidden.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle - 2009 Vintage

2009 Arcadia Cereal Killer Barleywine Ale poured a dark amber color into my snifter. The head was tan; ½ finger, full of bubbles, dissipated very quickly and produced almost no lacing. The aroma was dominated by malt; caramel comes to mind and a little [boozy] alcohol. The flavor starts out with; caramel, brown sugar and toffee then dark fruits are present. Enough hops are present to keep the sweet finish from becoming too sweet. Also, the taste and alcohol builds as one consumes the Ale. Mouthfeel is medium to light full and a little slick/oily.

Cereal Killer is not as complex as some Barleywines I have drunk. If you like your Barleywines with a boozy bite Cereal Killer is for you….I’ll have another.

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Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a nice tan head that fades to no real lacing.

S: Aroma of dark fruit, mostly raisin, some malt sweetness and spice. Hint of alcohol in the background.

T: Taste of dark fruit, especially raisin, malt sweetness and some spice. Mild bitterness in the background with a dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, smooth and creamy texture. Just a tad too sweet.

O: Nice barleywine that is quite drinkable. Worth a try.

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Photo of SebD
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it. It has a nice beige head that dies down moderately and leaves very little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of dark fruit (particularly raisins), sweet caramel, spices, booziness and some breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has alot of dark fruit (raisins, cherries) along with some roasty malts, the caramel isn't as noticible as it was in the aroma but still there and some spices and booze also present.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel. Some bitterness.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Gfhislop
4.73/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First barleywine I had ever tried, 2009 vintage

A- pours thick, deep rich brown color and a thin yellow/tan head

S- lots of booze and sweetness, underlying raisin like notes

T- the raisin flavor takes center stage here, accompanied by a sugary sweetness and other dark fruit essences. Finishes with a hit of biscuit flavor, very little hop presence left. Very rich in flavor and depth.

M- coats the mouth, quite thick compared to other styles, finishes a tad dry and boozy.

O- I've been exploring this style more, but always come back to this. Compared to other barleywines, this one goes on forever in depth. A lot to enjoy in a small bottle, may need to grab a 750ml next time

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.61/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep maroon with a finger of off-white head. A little retention and good lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt and tons of raisins. Almost sickly sweet aroma.

More raisins in the flavor. Almost tastes more like a quad than a barleywine. Overwhelmingly sweet with faint hop presence. Raisins, toffee and brown sugar.

Moderately thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Not really great. Some weird flavors for a barleywine and way too sweet even while cold. After warming became almost cloying. Probably won't be buying this again.

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Photo of n2185
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage

A: pours a murky brown with half a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: loads of caramel malts on the nose with strong raisin aromas as well. There are some oxidation notes as well.

T: caramel malts and raisins dominate hefe, though with moderate oxidation presence. Sticky sweet finish.

M: thick body with low carbonation, this beer is thick and sticky.

O: this beer may not have been stored properly since it's already partially oxidized. It's not very good, though. Not undrinkable, but not appetizing either.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.22/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
2008 vintage

A: Poured with half a finger of brownish head that dissipated quickly and left a big of foam on top. Color is a ruby tinged mahogany.

S: Initial smell is a whiff of nice dark raison bread, but then things start to get overwhelming. I then get a super pungent smell I can only describe as raisons and prunes pureed with some vodka. The huge dark fruit smell combined with the very noticeable alcohol starts to get a little sickening.

T: Raisons, raisons, raisons. Just massive dark fruitiness mostly consisting of raisons. Alcohol shows up pretty big in the middle of the mouth. Flavor is wiped clean off the palate after the swallow.

M: Approaches full, almost syrup-like. Low carbonation.

O: I don't know how this beer is fresh, but this four year old bottle gave me nothing but raisons and booze. If the smell hadn't been so overwhelming it probably would have been easier to drink. As it was, I couldn't finish the bottle. I'll be holding off trying another barleywine for a long time.

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

an extra in a trade with ChefBergo. Thanks Shawn!

vintage 2010.

poured into snifter.

Appearance: mohoganey / ruby bodied beer that has a really nice clarity to it. A ring of white head on top the beer.

Smell: Malty, grainy, spicy, and a little bit boozy. Maybe even a little bit of vinous notes from the nose.

Taste: Malts are grainy and also have a white grapes quality to them. A spiciness with mild boozy notes. Mild bitter finish with the hops maybe just a hint of grapefruit rinds.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Little bit creamy. Little bit boozey thats warming and spicy.

Overall: Solid offering here would like a little more sweetness from the malt profile. That would make this beer really tasty.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this 2010 vintage tucked away at my favorite beer store, so I thought I'd give it a go. It was reviewed and enjoyed on 2/18/2012.

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium tulip. Nice, hazy, reddish-mahogany color with a thin off-white head.
Modest carbonation. Nose has notes of caramel, dried fruit, and some toffee.

Malt flavors dominate up-front and remind me of spicy holiday cookies. At mid-palate a nice, slightly tart cherry taste comes in. Faint touch of alcohol on the finish. Nice warming sensation without being boozy or medicinal. Hops are very tamed, as would be expected from an English-style BW. Still, I would not call this a ``malt bomb" as the spiciness and tart fruit flavors contribute complementary notes to the sweetness. Mouthfeel is firm. The beer has nice body and is slightly creamy.

I'm not sure what this beer tastes like fresh, but it's very enjoyable with 2 years on it.

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Photo of rufusb
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first barleywine, very good, enjoyed it! The taste changed from first opened to finish. As it warmed the complex flavors became more noticeable. The higher alcohol content wasn't prevalent at any time, which surprised me.
A-dark amber in color, pours clean with very little foam, not a lot of carbonation apparent
S-not very pungent, slight hints of fruit and malt
T-warm, fruit flavors, some malt taste as well. The flavors became stronger as I drank it and it warmed. Much smoother than I expected. Does have a pleasant aftertaste, alcohol doesn't take over
M-thick and silky
O- very enjoyable

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.