Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine - Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine

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very good

516 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 516
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 39
Gots: 73 | 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: 516 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tpd975
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the Legendary BeerTruth.

A: Pours a dark blood plasma red color with a pretty wimpy head. What little head there is dies down and leaves behind no lacing.

S: I really like the aromas from this one. Nice sweet malt aromas with hints of cereal grains, kind of reminded me of honey nut cheerios in a very nice sort of way.

T: Nice tasting Barley wine that is different than most. Pretty sweet right from the start. A nice bready maltiness with tons of dark fruits. Black cherries and plums with notes of raisin and fig as well all dunked in rum. There is a boozy quality to this one without being over the top.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

D: Finished the bomber, but as typical of the barley wine this one is to be sipped and enjoyed.

Overall: Like the name and reference to its hometown roots. It does a have cereal quality in both nose and taste which is interesting. It's not the best Barley wine in the world, but it's New Years Eve and I am enjoying the hell out of this one.

Photo of Dansting
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured a cloudy purplish-brown color with a medium almond head. Strong lacing. Aroma is really sweet with a caramel and fruit scent to it, with a bit of hops. Nice mouthfeel. Flavor is disappointing. Too sweet for my liking. Very fruity and not hoppy enough for my liking. Very sugary. Probably my least favorite of the Arcadia "big beers."

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

Good name to pick for a Battle Creek beer. This beer poured a clear deep red color and formed a light tan bubbly head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and dark fruit. The flavor is of malt, dark fruit with a hint of the alcohol present. It has a medium body with a slightly astrigent, yet bittersweet finish. It would probably improve with some aging.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two tulip glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Vintage 2006

A: Pours a deep chestnut color. Very cloudy. Khaki colored head that leaves a lot of lace.

S: Smells like caramel apples. Nice.

T: Tart apples awash in caramel, spicey molassas, bartlett pears, and chocolate covered cherries.

M: Smooth and sweet. Perhaps a tad too sweet.

D: Quite drinkable given the strength. Best beer I've had from them in years.

Photo of chefboy812
2.7/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I started out pouring this one pretty agressively into a balloon goblet. even at cellar temperature it lazily makes a beige head that only rises a finger or so. It quickly falls to a meager edge that barely marks sip points. a chocolate brown color with red highlights with a little haze is very appealing.

The aroma of this beer reminds me heavily of apple wine. the alcohol is very pronounced, with little malt preasence. more of a molassas and fig scent with english treacle.

extreamly interesting but a little disapointing in reguards to flavor. very sticky and sugary. no true charachter of malt or anything like that. the most profound flavor is apple that repeats itself. not as a cidery falt; just the flavor that is most notable. the finish is a bit caramely and madiera like. it does hang with a pleasant roasty finish. actually the most enjoyable part of the flavor profile.

the mouthe feel is quite abit thinner than exspected with a beer of this strength. so the sickenly sweet charachter is made transparent by the lack of texture.

In reguards of drinkability; I actually didn't finish the beer as it warmed it got a little too cloying.

all in all I am glad that I tried it to realy know what an english style barlywine is like, but I much prefer an american style barley like Avery's Hog Heaven.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006

Pours chestnut mahogany with crimson tinging, murky and opaque.
A thick, sticky head of beige froth worked up to a half-finger, and floated happily for several minutes.
After retention subsided the glass had some streaks of lace, and the brew was left with a ring of foam on the edge and a few whisps on the surface.
Aromatics are decidely english, with plenty of toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit, and gypsum.
Rich caramel and ripe figs with traces of wet leather and nougat.
Mouthfeel is chewy and dextrinous. Extremely creamy and soft, with a sticky cling.
The pallet is laden with rich malt, dark caramel, cookie dough, and brown sugar.
Ripe fruit adds a nice complexity and the alcohol is warming, but very well hidden.
Bitterness is minimal, and balancing at best.
Finishes with lingering caramelized sugars and sweet malt.

Pretty tasty, but too sweet.

Photo of Onibubba
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A dark brown carmel kissed body, with negligable head and spotty lacing. Smells kind of heady, with alcohol and molassas predominate. Taste is all malt and sugar. Way too sweet for me. Mouthfeel is smooth, but borderline watery and thin. I had a glass, but that's it. The alcohol and the sugar make this one a sipper, and a fairly unenjoyable one at that. Perhaps I've just been spoiled by Old Ruffian and Old Guardian. I've not had many barleywines that can stand up to them.

Photo of Amalak
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Blood red, very fitting for the name of the beer.

S: Thick oatmeal kind of scent.

T: Kind of fruitish. Not justified by the pricetag.

M: Easy, but leaves a strong aftertaste.

D: Smooth. I do like it, but it is a strange kind of fruity and leafy kind of taste.

I am not 100 percent sure how I feel about this beer. I think I will have to try it again some time in the future.

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours a hazy caramel hued body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap with spotty lacing. Aroma is scorched caramel and green apples. Medium body with low carbonation and a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Taste is very malty, with waves of sticky caramel complimented by brown sugar, dark fruits, red apples, and definite alcohol wamth. A hint of grassy hops at the finish. This one would probably be better with a few more months of age.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky amber with a small head, bits of lacing, strong visible carbonation.

S - Rye whiskey, faint moss, vanilla and alcohol. Really works for me.

T - Boozy, a bit of malt, a dry earthy hop, a bit of forest floor presence and a hint of rye.

M - Smooth, thick, refreshing.

D - Pretty good. A very earthy, mossy, whiskey flavor. I might have this again. It is a very interesting barleywine for sure.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Sammy
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

Photo of jjayjaye
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.

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.

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.

Photo of doppelmeup
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!

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.

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.

Photo of biegaman
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.

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.

Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.