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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine - Arcadia Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

508 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 39
Gots: 68 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 10-26-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of homebrew311
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at Sheffields.

A: appears a deep red, slightly murky, translucent, minimal head with some spotty lacing

S: rich malty profile is prevalent on nose, notes of caramel, molasses, earthy notes, spruce, and some spicy hops on the finish

T: the rich malts are there, somewhat sweet, pretty nice balance between malts and hops leaning a little towards the malty end of the spectrum. Finish is spicy with hops and heat from the alcohol

mf: medium body, medium to high carbonation, slightly prickly on tongue, heat at the end

D: nice balance, very malt forward, rich- difficult to make it through a glass. Nothing about this beer really stood out for me.

homebrew311, May 29, 2010
Photo of glazeman
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage. Poured into a chalice.

A: Ruby red mixed with a golden brown around the edges. A vigorous pour yields only a ½ finger head, with poor retention. No lacing or legs. Half of a crown.

S: Maple Syrup, toasted malt, a hint of coffee...smells quite similar to Founder's CBS.

T: Fairly sweet up front with tastes of cherries, tart raspberries, and a little bit of a hoppy/alcohol finish. Slightly medicinal-like

M: A little low on the carbonation and on the sticky/chewy side.

D: Either it became less drinkable as it warmed, or I just started to get tired of it, but by the end of the 12 oz. it was not nearly as good as at the start.

glazeman, May 27, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle via trade at DLD as an extra. From who, I can't tell you, because my memories after about 11:30am that day are foggy at best.

Very nice appearance: deep amber in color with a nice whitish head and good lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel, mild hops, and bubble gum. Not much to it.

Flavor is sweet and not terribly exciting. Caramel malt, toffee, slight fruitiness, and an interesting salty aspect.

Medium-full body with slight booziness.

Overall, this is a pretty average barleywine. Not too much to it. Don't think I'd go for this one again with such better options out there.

nickd717, May 04, 2010
Photo of matjack85
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this served to me in a small brandy snifter at Finnegan's Pub in Plainfield, IL

The beer poured a murky iced tea color that only made a ½ finger of light tan head and it didn't leave much lacing on the glass either.

With its name of cereal killer, I was expecting some cereal grain smells here, and while there is some grain smell to it, this is mainly a hop bomb with plenty of malt, brown sugar, and molasses smells that dominate the nose.

At 70 IBU's, I'm surprised more reviewers haven't commented on the big hop presence in here. That said, it sure doesn't lack in malty sweetness either. Lots of caramel, brown sugar, and dark fruit flavors to balance out the hops quite nicely. Alcohol flavor is also present, especially in the finish where the big hop content is also most noticeable.

This is a fairly full bodied brew with medium carbonation. I can also feel the hop oils on my tongue.

The high 10% abv keeps this from being any kind of a guzzling beer, but I found it quite enjoyable one sip at a time.

matjack85, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat glass that's sort of a hybrid between a snifter and a tulip. Body is murky dark brown with a 1-finger dark khaki/tannish head. No lace.

S: Mainly fruit -- overripe apples, ripe grapes -- and some toffee.

T: First impression: fruit. Ripe berries, cherries, toffee, molasses. Some dark fruit -- figs maybe? Finishes with a slight astringency which, as it warms, seems almost oaky. Heat felt in belly, but alcohol is otherwise well-masked.

M: Medium-to-full (closer to full) in heft. Not a lot of carbonation.

D: Not bad for a beer of this strength (my bottle said 9%, not 10% as is listed here).

Notes: not sure of the vintage of this bottle. My guess is that it's been in my cellar for a couple years, which would make it an '08 or, more likely, an '07. . . . It aged fairly well; a nice sipper. . . .

Kendo, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on a trip to Kalamazoo. 2009 bottle...

A: Deep georgeous ruby red with no head. Leaves a decent lacing on the glass. Good.

S: Caramel malts upfront blended with earthy barley. Banana in the middle blended with booziness and sugars on the backend. Good.

T: Boozy barley upfront with caramel malts in the middle and hints of earthy bitter hops on the end.

M: Good balance of carbonation and leaves a nice sticky flavor on your palate. Very good.

D: Goes down super easy. Very good.

All in all, this was a very good brew. Glad I got to try it. Interesting for an English barleywine. Could cross styles with an old ale. Definitely try if you like malty big beers.

steve8robin, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

jlindros, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of semibaked
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a super murky dark brown with a bit on light tan foam on top, nothing to right home about here.

S - The usual suspect here, Roasted malts, caramel, and toast like qualities.

T - Pretty big sweetness with caramel and molasses qualities, then bitterness but not traditional hop bitterness, it is pretty unpleasant.

M - Crap tons of carbonation, a pretty oily consistency too, not good here.

D - Ya I am glad I didn't buy more than a bottle of this, just really different and not in a good way, have no clue what that bitterness is but it sucks. The carbonation is unappealing too.

semibaked, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of WakeandBake
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep dark red color pour with a big lasting fluffy white head leaving lots of sticky lacing , medium carbonation . Aroma of dark caramel , rasins , molasis, spicy hops and maybe cherries. Flavor is of sweet brown shugar , caramel , molasis,spicy floral hops, dates,rasins ,wood ,light alcohaol in the tail end , nice warming effect . Full body with a thick creamy mouthfeel , medium level of bitterness long sweet finish . Quite drinkable and went down good dispite the sweetness . A very good offering from a great brewery Nice .

WakeandBake, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of joshstevens87
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark brown/ruby red with an almost absent light tan almost white head
S-a strong dark fruit and slight grape with a strong breadyness to back it up with no hops and a dose of alcohol in the background
T-more fruit but with a bit more bready maltiness present and a pretty strong alcohol presence not very comlex though i'm going to try an age one for a bit and see what happens
M-a huge body a sturdy carbonation this beer has an enormous feel it just seems a bit lacking in the taste deparment
D-good but not really drikable with its high abv and not very well hidden alcohol presence but i could still have a few of these in a sitting

joshstevens87, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of TommyW
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy brownish gold with a thin, tan head.

S- Lots of malty sweetness, brown sugars, burnt sugars and molasses; quick whiff of alcohol.

T- Pretty sweet overall; nice combo of burnt and brown sugars, dark fruit, molasses and toasted malt. Nice warming alcohol is noted.

M- Nice full feel with an easy carbonation.

D- Nice malty, English barleywine. Great sipping beer to go with a nice blue cheese.

TommyW, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark, slightly hazy, ruby red ale that has a light brown colored head. Decent retention leaving a thick lace on the glass that falls quickly behind the head

S-the nose is big and sweet. Some strong caramel malts and burnt brown sugar come in first with a big dark fruit sweetness in the back. Lots of dark cherries, raisin, some ripe plum.

T-the taste is more sweet than anything, mostly dark fruits playing here. The brown sugar is right up front, slightly burnt, notes of alcohol are present in the middle with the dark fruits taking over after that. Lots of ripe plum, raisin, sweet dark cherries, and a hint of bitterness at the finish

M-very smooth and a nice syrupy texture. It coasts the mouth, nicely carbonated, astringent.

D-doesn't have the complexity I would have like to see; but big bold flavors that are blended very well together. The alcohol is a little too present in the middle; but not overpoweringly so.

cpetrone84, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

To be honest, the beer pour reminds me of dirty river water. Brown with sediment....held up to light you can sort of see through it. Great...I"m about to drink dirty river water.

I smell roasted brown sugar bread.

The taste brings about brown sugary toasted sweetness. Not a lot for an aftertaste other than a mild sugar coating. I feel like I'm drinking oatmeal with brown sugar and molasses blended for hours into a pure liquid drink.

The beer has a clean mouthfeel which is impressive considering its 9% ABV billing.

I could drink the rest of this bomber, then it is time for a milder beer. The sweetness is sure to get to me.

TCgoalie, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of Frosty80
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: sits a clear amber

Smell: rich and strong malt character with caramel, dark fruits and vinous character. alcohol is obvious but not overwhelming. low background note of UK hops.

Taste: flavor is a bit lacking. malt profile doesnt seem that deep or obvious. some bready/cereal notes with caramel and dark fruit. hop flavor is just enough to balance. finish is faintly sweet and bready with warm alcohol lingering

Mouthfeel: rich, low-full body with medium carbonation

Notes: the aroma is very enticing but the flavor seemed to lack a little even for an English style. still decent though

Frosty80, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date, just says that it is a 2007 vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick & cloudy mahogany color that produced some gray bubbles.

(S)- Dense raisin & fig with some neutral caramel. Some almond/walnut nuttiness.

(T)- Lots of burnt raisin & fig. A vanilla & caramel sweetness. Finishes dry with a metallic finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Very boozy & hot with a burnt bite & a metallic finish. Definitely showing its age perhaps.

(D)- This is perhaps too old. Nothing is really impressing me about it. At this stage, its just syrupy boozy burnt raisins & figs. I will certainly re-review this when I find one in better condition & fresher.

sweemzander, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of techfed87
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber is of the 2007 vintage.

Pours a huge, bronze-colored head. Smell is of sweet grapes, almost like that of a jelly or preserve.

Color is dark bronze, with ultra-fine particulate hanging suspended. Taste is sharp and more bitter than what I would expect from a Barleywine. It's a sharp type of bitter, combined with a rich malt flavor, that differentiates this from other barleywines that are available. In short, it's a maltier, with a densely sour core.

Mouthful is pleasant, and the body has a flavorful alcohol presence without being completely overbearing. For being 9%, I would place this as a moderate-range barleywine, and it feels the part as such.

Overall, this is a different take to a barleywine than what I had become acquainted with. It's maltier, more bitter, and has a much sharper, more pointed aftertaste. A definite try, but not one of my most favorites in the category.

techfed87, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of UA8
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy and dark garnet/ brown with a one finger tall frothy brown head.

S- Raisins, bready malts, alcohol.

T- Sweet toffee malts, candied dried oranges and pineapple chunks, hint of medicinal flavor and herbal hop notes on the finish as well as just a hint of booze.

M- A bit thin for a barleywine but not so thin as to really take away from the beer. The light level of carbonation saves the body by making it come of more viscous than it is.

D- Sooo happy that this isn't nearly the disappointment I thought it would be based on others reviews. It works OK for the style. I would definitely say it's a slightly better than passable English barleywine.

UA8, Dec 25, 2009
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.

orbitalr0x, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of colts9016
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this beer from a PSYCOHOPS and I am glad to try this beer. This is the first English Barleywine that I will try. The bottle is an 07 date so it has some age on it. Poured into a pint glass at 47 degrees. T

Appearance: A one finger tan head that is creamy with an okay retention. The color of the beer is a mahogany color with reddish copper hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with garnet highlights. There are some effervescence bubbles in the beer.

Nose: A very rich malty aroma that is yeasty, toasted, and hints of caramel. There is aromas of honey, toffee, floral esters, orange, grapefruit, and wood. The alcohol is bright with some phenols.

Taste: A deep toasted, bread, yeast, caramel, toffee, honey, floral esters, orange, grapefruit, light pine and some phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel is warming, smooth, and chewy. The body of the beer is thick and the finish is medium. This beer is awesome. The age on it gave away to fantastic tasting barleywine. The flavor profiles are complex but simple. The alcohol is warming and not harsh this beer is wonderful.

colts9016, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of jsh420
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

pours murky apple cider brown with a 1 finger head that left some lacing

smells supper sweet and malty some roast

taste - yet another very sweet BW - sour candy carmel apples dark fruits figs

mouthfeel is medium body well carbonated

drinkability - not good BW#2 drain pour of the night

jsh420, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top with AWESOME label; 2007 vintage

Appearance: Really pretty dark garnet brew with some super fine sediment and medium-high carbonation. This has a thick, dense dark tan cap with great retention

Smell: Dark toasted caramel, dark fruity alcohol, some mild dried cherries and rum raisin

Taste: Lots of dark dried fruit, plums and cherries, with some sweet toasty caramel, and mild warming alcohol. There's a really nice balance of flavors; nothing's overpowering. There's not much in the way of hops, just enough bitterness on the finish to keep this from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: Big, creamy, and soft; just a BIT heavier would be nice, but this is good

Drinkability: High for the abv/style, but a 22oz split two ways was perfect

Conclusion: This is definitely one of the better English-style Barleywines I've had (which I generally prefer to their American-style counterparts). This is wonderfully balanced, rich, and makes a great cold weather, late-night beer. Split with the Old Man after cellaring for a year or so.

BedetheVenerable, Nov 22, 2009
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.

brewerdrew, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of StoutSlayer
2.45/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Break out the bottle of Asti-Spumante, pop off the top and rock with my posse..."

These words from the beloved early 90's rapper Candyman best describe my feelings about this beer. Yhea, it tastes like the beer version of cheap champagne, but god dammit it's a party and we're gonna get krunk.

This beer is sweet with a dry finish, and somehow syrupy as well. Honestly reminds me of my home brew when i used all extract. Like cheap champ this beer has its time and place. Like Candyman it's forgettable.

StoutSlayer, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of jamie2dope
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I go through trends of sticking to certain styles depending on the time of year, and in this case, it has all been about hoppy beers and Barleywines. This one I poured in to a weiss glass (not the right style, but whatever). Color is definitely good, it is a light cherry toward the bottom, and gets darker towards the top of the glass. Almost immediately upon pouring I could smell it from a few feet away. Dark fruits such as cherry and berry strike me first, along with some chocolate and alcohol. Honey manages to creep its way in as well....reminds me a bit of a cherry cordial. Taste is very sweet, and not afraid to flex it's alcohol strength. I get some honey and fruit nectar, and a tiny amount of molasses or caramel in the finish. Body is big, viscous and in your face. Drinkability is nice, however be warned that this is a sipping beer for sure that should probably be paired with food. I have only had four or five sips from my glass, and can already feel the strength of this beer. I like this Barleywine. Not one of the best I have ever tried, but I would certainly recommend it to anybody who sees it in their area. Cheers

jamie2dope, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Telix
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 2008 vintage from a 22oz bottle into a DFH Chalice.

A: Pours a nice deep brown-red that is a gorgeous garnet when held to the light. A thick, tightly beaded beige head is formed that slowly falls. No lacing was evident. The thick solution allowed a steady amount of carbonation to surface and patterns of bubbles to form on the surface. A beautiful beer.

S: Slightly sour funk, slightly sweet, I'm seriously getting a very mild fried pickle with some buttery notes. Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds, but definitely interesting.

T: Syrupy sweet maltiness coats the tongue with some bright carbonation following it, and as it dries on the tongue some sweet-sour cherries and fresh apples take over. The finish reveals the hop bitterness hiding underneath the fruit sweetness, but it's a bit too late.

M: Thick, chewy, mouth-coating. I really enjoy beers like this, to be honest, so I'll admit that many would find this a bit syrupy and cloying.

D: Definitely not a sessionable ale, but I don't think many brewers sit down and design a 9% barleywine to be. I took care of a bomber a bit too quickly, so it's drinkable for me, but as I always say - any beer I like is drinkable.

Ultimately, I'm not completely sold on this. It's just a little too thick and sweet and feels unbalanced, with the hops too far in the background to really integrate with the flavors. It's definitely delicious and lip-smacking, and would be a great beer to share with others on a cool evening. I think it would match spectacularly with some warm bread and cheese - which, unfortunately, I didn't have on hand.

Telix, Sep 29, 2009
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.