Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

269 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 269
Hads: 563
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 269 | Hads: 563
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

 1,246 characters

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 939 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 568 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 601 characters

Photo of Beer_Runner
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

 1,474 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 596 characters

Photo of theecaleb
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 419 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.34/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 667 characters

Photo of bushbeer75
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 752 characters

Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 446 characters

Photo of SebD
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 678 characters

Photo of Gfhislop
4.73/5  rDev +25.1%
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

 684 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
2.61/5  rDev -31%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of n2185
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

 561 characters

Photo of CMUbrew
3.22/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

 1,047 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 734 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 920 characters

Photo of rufusb
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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

 598 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear garnet with internal carbonation and a modest off-white head. Each swirl leaves a dense film on the Dogfish Head Tulip glass.

Smells fruity with tart cherries and cranberries followed by plums and grapes. This barley wine is very fresh and akin to a faint Flanders Red.

Opens with sharp bitterness and a malt background. Cherries and plums are present. Bitteness diminishes with warmth while light burgundy develops. The finish is long with a slight bitter edge.

A smooth texture and full body, this one is almost velvety with a fizzy carbonation. Dry and clear, the alcohol is well controlled. Heavy, sticky residue is left on the lips.

A nice sipping beer that improves dramatically with warmth. This one aged two years in the cellar.

 752 characters

Photo of filmguy
4.84/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Read the other reviews for a taste profile. On tap this was a perfect beer for me. Went out while vacationing in Detroit (!) and bought a 6 pack to bring back the goodness to Florida. Not nearly as good from the bottle. Much more hops. Quite bitter (which is fine for hop heads) but for me it was a bit less balanced than when it was on tap. Still good, but a notch down from great.

 382 characters

Photo of gustogasmic
4.51/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as expected- thick beer with very little head, which quickly disappears. Lacing is thick; the beer has long legs and the micro-bubbles match the cloudy deep ruby/amber of the liquid.

There isn't much pungency, it almost smells like the malts rather than fruity, etc.

A taste opens up the complexity that isn't immediately sniffable- so much plum, dark cherry, and a beautiful warmth that grows at a perfect medium/slow rate, with an aftertaste of light berry, red licorice. The intensity of flavor and booze is tempered by a red licorice-like candy note that persists from sip to swallow.

The mouthfeel nests the taste impeccably, a misleading initial wateriness that quickly fizzes out, malty and smooth. The beer goes down the gullet lighter than it hits the lips. Try swishing it for half of one second- the barleywine turns into complete light foam, lining the mouth and hitting you with perceptible amounts of the many fruits and spices hidden deep in this beer.

Hadn't had a barleywine since a Bell's Old Third Coast like, a year ago! What the hell was I thinking... time to dive back in.

 1,108 characters

Photo of Infamous7100
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark orange to ruby color with little to no head and no lacing to speak of.
S: Dark fruits and malts steal the show. A bit of booze peaks though too.
T: Follows the nose impeccably. Hit with the sweetness up front, and the figs/grapes toward the back. Hops and alcohol are hidden well, though there is a slight burn on the throat.
M: Nothing remarkable. Silky and coats the tongue well. Nice, pleasant hang.
O: A might fine barley wine. Its a heavy hitter at 10%, but drinks better than that. Enjoy this one. Its worth a try.

 536 characters

Photo of Retail1LO
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, poured into a Firestone Walker tuplip.

Pours a ruddy reddish/brown, almost garnet color with a nice finger and half worth of foamy head which dissipates quickly with marginal lacing/adhesion to the side of the glass. The smell is rich in caramel and dark fruit. Raisins, figs, dried cherries...all present. However, I find it a bit of an odd scent for this style. Maybe it's just me, but I find it to be unique in a little bit of an offputting fashion. The taste resonates with the nose, following quickly in it's footsteps. More raisins (lots), figs, even dates. This is a strange bird. Perhaps when you've been drinking the likes of Abacus, Commander, King Henry, and Bligh's recently, this is destined to seem a bit more ordinary. This is a decent enough beer, however, and I really need to revisit it when I haven't been on a binge of big barley wines. The mouthfeel is on the sweet side. Real sweet. All of those fruits are like...candy. There's a slight tinge of booziness in the finish towards the back of your throat, but all in all the ABV is hidden pretty masterfully. This is a good barleywine. On the grand scheme of things, I consider it average only because of what else I've had. However, if you've never had Patron Anejo, then I can see where 1800 comes across as a decent enough tequila. I'd like to revisit this when I'm not as biased towards some of the premium offerings.

 1,406 characters

Photo of beenitty
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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

 572 characters

Photo of EK33
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage consumed dec 2011

A-Copper that is translucent with some light passing through. Low carbonation and poured into a glass producing minimal head that disappears entirely throughout drinking.

S-Minor Fruit and sweetness to nose, very blaise/balanced on these notes.

T-Smooth beginning with caramel with minor hints of fruits that follow. Finishes sweet without much bitterness at all. Hops really take a back seat in this brew.

M-Fairly similar to most ales, quite light for a barley-wine.

Overall an adequate Barley-Wine. Carbonation is very light (2010 vintage contributing to this?). Flavor is balanced, but have some cellared to try at 5 and 10 years to see how it develops.

**As a follow up consumed later at a room temperature and vastly improved overall drinking experience moving overall up to 3.5 and taste to 4. In future, will drink Barley Wines at 50' to 65'.

 888 characters

Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.