1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale 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

534 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 534
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 38
Gots: 79 | FT: 8
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 534 | Reviews: 267
Photo of Metalmonk
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Is it intentional irony or just coincidence that this Cereal Killer hails from Battle Creek, MI? Tony The Tiger better watch his back.

Pours out in a syrupy glaze...deep, slightly hazed burnt copper/sunset color, candy-apple red shading, with a light tan head that is big and bubbly, but doesn't stick around long (no surprise).

Aroma is lots of candy-like sweetness, some graham cracker, sherry-soaked apple/pear, and generous but not overwhelming alcohol.

This is one big and malty barleywine. Drunken liqueur-soaked fruits make up most of the flavor, some taffy-like salty sweetness too. Finish is incredibly sweet, like sucking on a sugar cube. It's too sweet even for my sweet-beer-loving palate.

Mouthfeel is gooey/syrupy, given some zip thanks to just enough carbonation. However, stickiness prevails. And too bad about the cloying sweet finish.

This is okay, just too damn sweet and syrupy...could've used more balance. I like sweet beers, but they need to have more depth than this. Again I'll say: Barleywines are like pizza and sex--even when it's bad, it's good. And Cereal Killer is somewhere between good and bad. Love the name though!

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a reasonable, but rocky head that winds up as a ringlet but leaves a decent lace pattern

Smell: Fruity fusel alcohol with burnt caramel

Taste: Opens with a rich but somewhat awkward blend of grape and cherry fruit, burnt sugar, fusel alcohol that grows in a bitter metallic direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, it becomes more earthy and leathery, but there is a definite hop bite on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat viscous, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not my favorite barleywine but decent; I am put off by the metallic quality

Thanks, Vancer, for the opportunity

Photo of Nipitato
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bomber at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep and dark amber hue. Ringed with a thin off white head.

S: Sweet and boozy strong. Fruity - grapes and a strong tropical fruit (pineapple etc.) aroma. Caramel aroma is also clearly evident. Some cherry notes as well. This a pretty good smelling beer.

T: Sweet malt flavors predominate. Molasses and dark caramel. Some more than faint hop bitterness in the background. I did not find this particularly boozy. Bitterness becomes stronger as beer warms. Has a burnt sugar taste that I don't particularly like.

MF: Thick and chewy as appropriate in style. Highly carbonated for a barleywine. Has a dry mouthfeel. Not much alcohol warming.

D,notes: I wouldn't call this beer particularly drinkable. Decent but not great.

Photo of dsa7783
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Arcadia "Big Beer Series" bottle purchased for $5.99 from Gary's in Madison...
A quick, fast pour resulted in a dark brown, ruby-red colored hue with a minimal frothy and foamy head that soon dissipated, leaving a fair amount of lacing...
Rich, sweet, malt-dominated smell bursting with honey and candied sugars...
Very oily, slick, ultra-sweet and cloying taste, appearing pretty unbalanced and dominated by malts and a cloying, ultra-sweet, sugar-laden taste...
Some of Aracadia's brews are really good, but they didn't do too well on their Barleywine style, which was all over the place, and too unbalanced to be a real contender in the barleywine category...
Ultra-thick and super-sweet mouthfeel led to a poor level of drinkablity....
Wouldn't recommend this one...

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

Pours a cloudy dark brown , decent head , a little lacing.

I smell perfume , not in a bad way. Hops , alcohol and malt combine for an interesting nose.

The malty sweetness jumps out at first taste, followed by a decent but not overwhelming hop bitterness. Sweetness lingers.

Mouthfeel is thick , sweet. Good carbonation.

Overall A very nice BarleyWine I'll enjoy more of.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This feller be drinkin' like an American barley wine except for the little bit of difference in malt profile. The hops here are pretty bold for the style and I'm diggin it! Nicely aged Brooklyn Monster comes to mind... and this particular bottle has been in my possession for at least a year.
Sweet and smooth with raisins speaking up most loudly in the flavor. Something of pipe tobacco comes to mind, but it's distant. Flavors are layered... rum raisin ice cream, fruit cake, flan.... dark fruit, sugar and booze... nicely carbonated.
As a barley wine, I'm enjoying this. As an English barley wine, I'm enjoying it even more. Well worth trying.

Photo of gwong
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a brown cola-like color with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. Some lacing remains on the glass when sipping but that too also gone quickly.

S: Sweet and spicy aroma - I can detect molasses, malts and citrus in the scent.

T: Sweet malt flavor with a slight citrus zing. A very sweet, molasses/brown sugar taste remains at the end.

M: Smooth, slightly thick with little carbonation to help ease it on the tongue.

D: You feel the alcohol after just a few sips - it certainly doesn't hide that well. Enough flavor and character to warrant a second pour but that might just be the wintry blast outside making me want it.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with an off white head. Pretty good lacing but not much retention. Has a mahogany color.

Smells of fruits, red licorice, caramel malt and grapefruits (hops).

Tastes similar to the nose (caramel malts, fruits citric hops) with the alcohol coming through to warm my cheeks.

Photo of oelergud
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown glass bottle 1 pint 6oz. Blue label showing a stabbing spoon scene. Label claims 9% ABV.
Opague brownish body letting light through at the edges. Creamy tan buttes head with an airy center. Amazing retention and creamy lace.
Sweet delicious thick scent. Probably just an influence from the label, but the smell brings forth images of maple cinnamon oatmeal. Abit of the alcohol comes through amid the faint hops which grow much stronger with a little warmth.
Very sweet molasses, maple syrup flavor with cinnamon and other spices. Nuts, Spicy hops, sugar cookie and bittersweet chocolate. The aftertaste is of moderate lenght of bittersweet chocolate hops.
Creamy full body, some coating and alot of residual sugars. Dry almost puckering finish.
Highly drinkable. Delicious and warming.


Photo of DIM
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

note: This was the 2006 vintage courtesy of LittleBreeze

a: This barleywine is a lovely ruby color with orange highlights. It pours with a medium sized off white head.

s: This has a big nose! Lots of molasses, brown sugar, cherries, Granny Smith Apples, and alcohol. Also, a hint of flowery, perfumed hops.

t: Starts well, dark fruits like plums and cherries, with just the right amount of molasses and sweet honey. The finish, however, has a sour Granny Smith apple flavor that comes on too strong. The alcohol is well masked.

m: Decent carbonation, but a somewhat watery texture. Some chalkiness at the end.

d: Overall, this is a decent barleywine, but I doubt that I'll seek this out again.

Photo of DavidEddie
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage purchased at Binny's in Plainfield.

Pours a cola brown with an off white head. Aromas of brown sugar/molasses, dark fruits, malt and booze. Tastes as it smells. Picked up flavors of plums, vanilla, unsweetened chocolate, and some citrus. The 10% is hidden well enough. Mouth feel is creamy and coating. Drinkability for this one is, a good cold weather sipper. Recommended!

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

(Served in a snifter glass)

A- This beer has a jet brown body with a caramel tan thick head that has a layer of big bubbles on the top. The body is to dense to see any carbonation.

S- The smell of smooth sweet cream and white caramel has a light brown sugar finish to it. There is a light note of white grape juice coming through as it warms.

T-The big sweet caramel malt flavor by a soft piney hop flavor with a big hop pungency to finish. There are notes of some darker sweet caramel qualities that come through when it is warm.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a soft alcohol heat that enhances the hop bitterness.

D- This is what I think of as an American Barleywine. Big sweet malty flavor, even though it is a bit one dimensional followed by a big pungent hop punch that finishes it. The hops really balance the malt sweetness and the alcohol really supports the hops.

Photo of Mitchster
2.39/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

$6.79 for a 22oz bottle at Merchants. OG=1100, 45 IBU, 9.0% ABV per the website. "2007 Vintage" on the bottle. Brewed with Rahr pilsner, Crisp crystal, and Crisp Munich. Hopped with Northern Brewer and Crystal.

Pours out to a clear very dark mahogany, forming a tall sticky and soapy tan head with excellent retention and gorgeous sheets of lace. Mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is of chocolate malt balls, rotten cherries, soap and hops. Soapy smell akin to Tommyknocker brews (same yeast?). The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy with a dense body. The taste starts with spicy and herbal hops, followed by a wave of nasty fusels, which is followed by chocolate malt balls, a wierd chemical/grassy bitterness which is kinda nasty, floral liquid hand soap, licorice, a touch of metals towards the finish, and an aftertaste of tobacco. Quite sweet overall.

Ugh. What a mess. Ugly flavors all over. I wasn't impressed with Arcadia the last time I tried their line-up a few years ago, and it seems they still haven't figured out how to brew a good beer since then. I was hoping this 'Big Beer Series' might prove me wrong. It didn't.

Photo of jwc215
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006:

22 oz. bomber, poured into a snifter:

Pours hazed mahogany with a thin tan head that recedes to a ring with a thin patch and some bubbles. Further poured induced a head with better retention.

The smell is of citrus and spruce with dark fruits and caramel.

The taste is of caramel that turns toffeeish and chocolatey as it warms. Juicy citric/earthy/sprucy backing supports the deep maltiness. Some peppery alcohol gives it a spicy warmth without interfering in the malt/hop interaction.

Full-bodied and syrupy without being too sticky.

This is a wonderful American-style interpretation of an English-style barleywine.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hearty, hazey brown/amber/ruby mix with no head and no bubbles to be seen. Looks a little viscous though, I likes it. The nosis heavy on dates, figs, candied peaches, and port.
You can feel the alcohol in the nose. The flavors are pretty warm. Like heated plum port with hints of heavy peaches covere in drambouie.
Thepalate is warm, heavy, with a smallyet perect lingering warmth. Great for sipping on a winter evening.

Photo of beerking1
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice garnet-amber color, with a nice but small white head. Head fades fast. Aroma is sweet malt and hot alcohol. No apparent hops. Flavor is very sweet upfront, followed by more fusel alcohols, coming across as very solvent like. Finish is bitter alcohol and some sweet malt. Body is full and smooth.

Photo of theformula
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #10 in the 366 Days of Beer Quest.
I love this label and since my g/f is studying to become a profiler with the Behavioral Science Unit w/ the FBI, she made me buy it. Good thing.

A: Pours a deep, dark amber body that's nearly opaque at first pour but lightens to a nice garnet shade w/ good clarity. A small brown head recedes pretty quickly. Spotty, soapy lacing is left at the top of the glass.

S: The label may fool you, but this is a subtle, refined BW, definitely of the English variety. Sweet and rich with a light kick of well integrated hops (too soft?) and a stab of boozy alcohol. Dark, ripe sugar-dusted fruits are what this is about, with raisins, dates, prunes and plums, which meld with dark brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. A great black cherry note really comes out once it warms up a bit. Very light hops fit in.

M: Medium-full body w/ low carbonation. Amazingly smooth, thick and creamy, like velvet.

T: More of the aroma, and the hops come out of hiding a bit but are still pretty soft. Great malt depth and a good balance, though. Malts are full of sugary-sweet fruits, subtle chocolate and vanilla notes.

D: A really nice example of a BW, and more of a hybrid "Ameri-Brit" style. Alcohol is well guised, a nice nightcap. The hops were too lax though, and after awhile the sweetness creeps up on you.
Go try it.

*Silver metal for Barleywine Ale at '07 GABF.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 bomber bottle

Dark russet auburn pour into a tulip topped with a khaki spumescent settled head cap.

Toffee nutty nose detected ringwood yeast, Earthy aroma, mineral like with a lactic yogurt like nose.

First swigs: Cocoa and malt present. Yogurt flavors like a cherry vanilla, light fruity, hops pop out a bit with a dryness ending dry. Linger of nutty Earthy aftertaste.

Feel is middle of the road, frothy dry finish.

Last swigs: Cherry vanilla soda like with an Earthy oaky subtleness.

Photo of tpd975
3.62/5  rDev -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
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
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
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
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
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 534 ratings.