1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

481 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 481
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 38
Gots: 62 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 481 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of macster


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

Pours a bronze-mahogany color with ruby-red highlights. Creates a firm and thick 1" off-white head with decent retention. A minimal lacing pattern is observed.

Moderately assertive nose of dark dried fruits, dark caramel, roasted malts, molasses and brown sugar come to the forefront backed by a touch of subtle charred wood and hop resin.

Mouthfeel sports a fairly full and creamy texture with the expected subtle carbonation for the style.

Quite rich, sweet and full flavors of dark caramel, figs, raisins, toffee, fresh dark wheat bread and molasses are experienced. The finish is is warm and shows just a touch of spicy hops.

Certainly a English-style BarleyWine, but quite well balanced and enjoyable. Very easy going down.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2007 06:04:44 | More by macster
Photo of lackenhauser


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark in color-very rich and full looking. Nice tight head on top. Good aroma of fried fruits and a mellow sweetness. Thick and malty flavor dominates. More straight malt then anything. Notes of currants and figs. Somewhat musty and dry tasting. Decent body-I was expecting more residual sweetness. Overall a good beer. Theres plenty better out there though I wouldnt sniff at this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 01:26:56 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Wasatch


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Vancer for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tannish head, tons of sticky lacing and islands throughout the drink. The nose is malty, some prunes/figs/raisins, and a good dose of caramel. The tasty is malty, with a good dose of dark fruit and caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. Medium body, a well rounded, complex brew. Very drinkable, a nice english barleywine, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2007 23:21:13 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras


4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Frothy head lasts nicely, with heavy lacing. Aroma is sweet and fruity. Flavor is malty upfront, fruity and tart in the middle, and closes with a shot of hops and lingering warmth. Mouthfeel is very smooth and easy over the tongue, and drinkability is excellent for the style. Worth searching out, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 00:45:36 | More by ppoitras
Photo of BEERchitect


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 13:17:43 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of CortexBomb


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage, consumed in June 2007.

Deep amber pour, with a thick off-white head on top. More carbonation than I would expect for an EBW. Nose is sweet and sugary, definite brown sugar and molasses aspects... some alcohol is also present in the background. Digging it so far.

Starts off sugary sweet, the brown sugar is there in spades, along with soft dark fruit tones and a certain casual maltiness. The alcohol provides warming, particularly on the swallow. Hops are mainly present on the swallow, where they give a bit of a hit on the way by. I wouldn't call this amazing for the style, but it's a good version. Really good EBW's are sugary like this, but tend to have a more pronounced fruity depth.

The mouth is full, thick, all around solid. Drinkability, about average for the style. There is a bit of a strange hop aftertaste that keeps it from good, but this isn't a hard beer to drink.

Overall: I like Arcadia's attempt at the style, and I think my experience with this style of beer might be unfairly penalizing it, as it's up against some of the heavy-weights from Britain in my mind. While it's not up to that level, I do quite enjoy this offering, and I will definitely be purchasing it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2007 00:34:40 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

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

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 03:26:49 | More by Sammy
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

2.53/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep caramel amber color with a thin light tan head that fades fairly quickly. Little lacing observed.

The smell is very fruity, bananas, and cherries, like a breakfast cereal, with alcohol that reminds me of a dentist office.

Medium bodied, the mouth feel is slightly under carbonated.

The flavor is sweet but rather medicinal and there is a bit of a lingering after taste that's not sitting right with me.

Not going to make it to the bottom of this 22oz'er.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 16:46:04 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


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

Appearance - pours like a thin red wine, touched with a speck of brown or orange. A finger+ of tanned cream sets up, then falls back and holds nicely at a thin cover.

Aroma - different smells at different times. Grain, anise, bubblegum, orange Pez, and all aromas come wrapped in a soft, vapory rubbing alcohol booziness. A little on the lighter side for intensity, it does maintain presence via the abv if nothing else.

Taste - lots of grainy depth. Some sweetness is paired with the grain, but I can't attach it to any particular fruit or sugar type. Immediately after the swallow comes hop bitterness, maybe some light citrus, and the expected wave of abv heat. The finish has a moderately raw bitterness and alcohol warming effect. As barleywines go, this is simple but okay.

Mouthfeel - I like the thickness and smoothness. Ramped up carbonation.

Drinkability - an above average beer in the world of beers, but not so much in the barleywine category. Maybe some age would help this one blossom.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 16:20:04 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 03:04:59 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to say that this is possibly the best name I have seen for a beer!

Pours a rich dark amber color with a thick white head.

Aromas of brown sugar, malt, some hops. It really smells good.

Taste is excellent. Quite rich. Very malty and on the sweet side. Alcohol is there, lingering in the background. What I would expect from a good English Style Barleywine.

Mouthfeel is rich and warming. No doubt that this is a strong beer, but it goes down very easily.

Overall one of the best barleywines I have tried. I prefer the English style to the American style, and this beer didn't disappoint. I wish I could find this beer closer to home. I would definitely get more!

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 15:55:51 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of sulldaddy


4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle of this brew, poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear rich mahogany color with 1 inch of creamy beige head foaming up and receding slowly to a sturdy surface layer.
Aroma is all malt with brown sugar and molasses mixing with a bit of dark fruit and hints of cocoa powder. Dominated by brown sugar sweetness though.
First sip reveals an average body with slight syrupy texture and very fine gentle carbonation. Flavor is as expected from nose. All sweet malt with brown sugar, molasses, red grape and raisins mixing nicely. No hint of booze or hops to be found. I like this malt lovers brew and find it extremely drinkable for the 10%. Quite a nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 04:35:26 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of zeff80


4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2007 01:14:34 | More by zeff80
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Printed as a 2006 Vintage, part of "the Brew Crew Big Beer Series"
650ml bomber, very neat label. Pours a sludgy bright ruby in colour. Good head, ample and sturdy, majority of which stays. Aroma of amber malts with a candy like note. Almost vinous in some ways. Aggressive carbonation leaves a slight sting. An unusual fruity malt. A lot of cherry! Alcohol not in the taste, but certainly holds some presence. The only thing they couldn't do is capture right the barley-wine equation: that is to say its strength far outweighs its depth. Not what I expected and definitely distinct in it's own right.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 01:02:39 | More by biegaman
Photo of BMoney575


2.05/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Sampled on 4-11-07
2006 Vintage

Pours a deep blood red, with a small head and absolutely no retention.

Smell is fruity, notes of cranberry, with a strong alcohol aroma.

Taste is dominated by vodka-like alcohol. Starts with some malt sweetness...but then, absolute horror.

Mouthfeel is hard to gauge, hard to keep it in your mouth for more than a few seconds.

Drinkability is terrible. This beer would be better suited to a shot glass. A total swing-and-a-miss. I can't believe someone at Arcadia green-lighted this beer, any positive characteristics are totally destroyed by the ridiculous alcohol flavor. Back to the drawing board.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 04:56:01 | More by BMoney575
Photo of DrJay


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

Clear chestnut with deep red highlights topped by a very thin head that settled into a ring. Fine, spotty lacing. Interesting flavour and aroma, very fruity, vinous notes with a really distinct maltiness. Fairly mild bitterness, caramel, citrus, floral hops, plenty of fruity esters in the finish. Medium/full bodied with lowish carbonation. Quite a smooth, pleasant, easy drinking barleywine that hides its alcohol well. Beware!

Thanks for sharing this biegaman!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 00:06:58 | More by DrJay
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to biegaman for hooking us up with this!

Pours a clear red/brown, thick tan head, very nice looking, decent lacing. Smell is sweet, very fruity, yeasty, grapey wine, bread, very malty, bit of citrus. Taste is malty, some caramel, very fruity again, citrus/floral hops, figs, more fruit in the finish, bit of bread and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carb. Nice sipper, doesn't really project the 10% ABV. Thanks Jan!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2007 04:42:57 | More by Viggo
Photo of terrabyte


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red-brown with a medium-sized, dark cream-colored head.

Aroma isn't too strong, what I could smell was some dark fruits, barley, and alcohol.

Flavor nails the type of barley wines I enjoy and expect to taste. Sweet dark fruits, and a nice bite of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is slightly sticky and foamy, as expected.

Drinkability is high if you enjoy barley wines. I do.

This is similar to a local brewer's barley wine (J.T. Whitney's) but not quite as tasty or strong. Well put together, but not very bold. Price was right, and the bottle was big!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 00:06:50 | More by terrabyte
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not sure if it makes a difference, but this bottle says 10th anniversary on it.

A - Amazingly deep red color with a thick tan head.

S - Rich malts dominate - light toffee, dark fruits with a hint of floral hops.

T - A classic! Rich malts swirl and combine with a touch of hops and alchohol for a real treat. Definitely english style but not sweet like a JW Lees.

M - full bodied.

D - one is an evening. a great evening at that!

12-12-07 update - I stand behind how good this one tastes. This is more a cellaring update. I had 2 more bottles in the cellar for future enjoyment. One developed an infection on par with leaving an open bottle with beer on the counter for a week or two. Disgusting and apparently not necessarily an isolated occurance. I drank my other bottle last night and it was perfect. The moral of this update - cellar at your own risk. Drink recent from the store and check the bottles before you buy.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 13:38:03 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of rabsten

West Virginia

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From D's Six Pack n' Dogz. Red-amber into a wine glass, thick head; no lacing..

Tons of alcohol over strong malt. Whisky notes. George Dickel Tennessee sour mash whiskey, to be precise.

Note as overwhelmingly malty as the smell would have you believe, with some nice, hops in the finish to give some balance. Much maltier as it warms. Chill to restore balance. The whisky is present in the flavor, too.

Thick yet somewhat crisp at times. S'ok.

Pretty good drinkability. Which, for a malt-bomb barleywine, means a hophead like me can finish a whole bomber in one night.

I prefer Arcadia's Hopmouth DIPA over this. Still, it's a decent choice for a barleywine. You could really do worse, yet you can do much better, too.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 03:22:27 | More by rabsten
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 21:38:59 | More by oberon
Photo of neonbrown82


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

This is a decent barleywine. The beer pours a dark brownish amber color. Nice tall off-white head with a nice retention and a decent lacing.

The smell is of sweet English malts with a nice backing of hops. Caramel malt with some nice ripe fruits and berries, such as grapes and fig. Fairly grainy. The hops seem to be a good blend of American and European.

The taste is quite good. Sweet up front with the same flavor profile as was found in the nose. The hops are a little more apparent in the flavor as well. Tastes distinctly English but with some American hops. Not too bitter, but some great flavoring.

The body is not as full as I would expect. Nice light carbonation. Not too sticky sweet, but a perfect balance of bitter. One of the more easily drinkable barleywines I've had. Definitely the best "English" barleywine I've had, though I would hesitate to label it as either British or American, but rather a good balance between the two.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 07:36:36 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of weeare138


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

Thanks to akorsak for breaking open this growler...
Appears a semi transparent, dark amber with a small, foamy, beige head that slowly fades out into a floating cap. Mild CO2 streams float up to the top. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of malty, caramel sweetness with candy esters all over the place. A big, chewy yeastiness is also found among the earthy, raisin, spicy, sugar infused, roasted barley.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with caramel sweetness and spices being the standout in this brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, sweet, with fruit, and caramel breadiness running along the palate.

Serving type: growler

02-26-2007 17:02:42 | More by weeare138
Photo of Vancer


4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

June 07 Well, tied another as it was recommended as improved and umm, yeah, this is what a BW is all about. VERY nice caramel and hops, yummy. I'm upgrading the taste from 3.5 to 4.5

Clear and dark amber starts this one off, a smallish ivory head caps it. I’m a bit bummed by the aroma – only weak caramel malts pop up. None of the classic BW aromas. Taste also lets me down, with the sharp hoppy finish, reminds me more of an IPA than BW. Medium bodied brew, I don’t think I’ll seek out another bomber – too many better BWs out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 21:32:24 | More by Vancer
Photo of Phatz


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to akorsak for sharing a growler of this beer.

Appearance: Pours a ruddy red bronze color with a creamy tan head.

Smell: Sweet dark biscuity malts, Dark fruits, plums and raisins maybe, and some grains, hops are sweet like pineapple.

Taste: This big malty beer is a meal it itself. It is heavy full rich and complex. Multi grain bread comes to mind. The hops are restrained but warming alcohol serves as a balance for this beer.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth thick rich and chewy.

Drinkability: this beer is a monster. Take your time and take it easy.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: growler

02-21-2007 07:26:12 | More by Phatz
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.