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 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!

Photo of Viggo
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!

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!

Photo of barleywinebrewer
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.

Photo of rabsten
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.

Photo of oberon
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

A growler filled on 2/17 at Capone's in Norristown, PA.

A: The barleywine is a thick, burgundy ale, dark with some sporadic reddish highlights. The head is fairly small, leaving a small band.

S: The aroma is a thick grainy malt bomb, almost a doppelbock in its strength. The name of the beer lives up to the aroma.

T: The barleywine is subtle and restrained, showing off a big malt body without many hops. The graininess is chewy and thick, very much a cereal killer. Some warming alcohol emerges as the ale warms, creating a thick and strong malty mess. And I am very pleased.

M: The chewy mouthfeel is full of malty goodness. Hops sporadically appear but never overshadow the malts.

D: The alcohol betrays itself but not to the 10% level. I'll have a glass or two tonight but not much more as the malts are not for pounding.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this barleywine pours a dark reddish brown with a thin dark tan head and no visible carbonation, rather mundane in the barleywine world

S - a musty aroma hits my nose first, like an older wheaty-oaty characteristic, behind that lies a dark sugary, molasses type aroma

T - sweeter than i thought it would be after smelling the aroma, dark sweets and a mild breadiness, a decent flavor, however the flavors individually are ok, they arent blended well to my taste

M&D - semi-smooth, not very drinkable, sweet an easy down, but not the easiest, kinda bitter

Photo of jmz62565
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep dark mahogony with a large tan foamy head. A good looking brew with a large head for a b/w. The smell has roasted malt,alcohol,dark fruit, and a "bisquity' aroma,but this isn't all that pungent. The taste is hoppy with dark fruit, alcohol, and bread yeast. This combination works making this a very tasty beer. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing very well. A real nice surprise. I haven't found too many beers by Arcadia that I like,but this is one for the books.

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

Deep brown in color; clumsy off-white head that forms decent, patchy lacing. The nose contains caramel malts, dark fruits and plums; later revealed are some nice biscuity notes and traces of warming alcohol. Big and bold up front with massive flavoring--dark caramel malts, cherries, raisins and raisins. The body quickly forms some thick, chewy malt and oak tastings. Slender, oily hops and hints of honey roasted peanuts; very sweet and sugary as noted in the 10.0 ABV. One of the tastier barley wines out there, perfect on a cold winter evening. Well done.

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

Appearance: Nice dark amber colored beer with some light brown head and a light film.

Smell: Nice caramel malts with some toffee and maybe some butterscotch. Faint nuts and dates are present in the background.

Taste: Caramel and dark fruit flavors overwhelm the palate. The alcohol content is noticeable but doesn't overwhelm the mouth. Hops present in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with very little carbonation. Feels smooth in your mouth.

Drinkability: Very nice drinkability factor. It goes down nice and smooth. I will definitely check this one out again.

Photo of cbl2
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/31/2007 $6.99 22 oz. 10.00% No best by date, though Vintage 2006.


Pours a deep dark brown that glows with an infusion of orange when held to the light.


Biscuity malts speckled with bursts of sweetness and some hot alcohol notes. Big jammy notes of dark fruit are present as well.


Syrupy carmelized sugar flavors are coupled with ripe fig. Notes of chocolate, indicative of a fine port are present in the finish due to the flash of alcohol.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served into a tulip glass from a 22oz. brown bomber,crimped cap

Mirky,mahogany,reddish hue,1" light tan head,decent retention,leaves a ring lace around the top of the glass,with some spotty lacing to follow.

Moderate aromas,very fruity,citrusy,raisiny with sweet candied carmelly maltiness.

Lots of tart flavor,fruity,citrusy,a sweet carmelly taste with candy sweetness.Syrupy with some light boozieness. Finishes bittersweet that feels dry and tart on the palate. Could use a little more hop flavor to balance out the maltiness.

A medium to thick mouthfeel,slightly cloying. Not interesting enough to want to drink more. Not bad overall,but nothing to get excited about.

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

Appears a semi-clouded blood orange juice tone with a nicely formed organic brown egg hued head leaves behind thin scattered specks of lacing. Aroma has a deep tart tone with vinous grapes, raisins, with caramel tinged alcohol notes in there as well. Mild earthy tone hints of brandy with a mild herbal woody hop aroma. Flavor is big and malty like most b-wines not overly sweet with a lot of tartness here big raisin, plum soaked in alcohol notes a bit of earthy bark tones with more herbal hops quite the mellow sipping barleywine. Mouthfeel is in the medium to fuller bodied range with moderate easy going carbonation with a syrupy texture that becomes a bit cloying after a whole bomber. Drinkability is on a I'm one and I'm done basis, I need to move on after one of these big brews.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arcadia Cereal Killer Barleywine
22 oz Bomber
2006 Vintage

Apperance - Reddish brown with a creamy light brown head that quickly disapates.

Smells - Malts without any hint of hops. Perhaps some brown sugar and/or hints of toffee.

Taste - Malts are clearly evident with hints of dried fruit (date maybe?) and more evidence of toffee finishing with a taste of alcohol. Lightly carbonated.

Mouthfeel - Smooth then finishing dry and medium bodied.

Drinkability - The bomber was enough for me.

Comments - Could be evened out a bit more with hops, although I do enjoy sweeter barley wines. Its worth a try, but not something to go out of your way to find.

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

This beer has a very dark mahogany hue to it. Nice big head that eventually fades a lot, but little laces are still present. Big huge predominant fruity nose. Taste is of once again a huge fruit attack (grapes, plums, apples), with a bit of alcohol and a smige of hops at the end. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. I think this beer is alright, but its too in your face fruit action going on...I wanted some more caramel to come through...possibly with some aging this beer can improve. But as for right now I most likely won't pick this up again in the near future.

Photo of peabody
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish brown tea color with so much suds that it came out the top of the pint glass.Nice brown/white suds that stay with beer for quite some time. Nice lacing here too.
Smell if fruity like grapes with a malty sweet aroma.
Taste is like a fresh grape juice with some alcohol added.
I taste black cherry and peach. The hops are hidden in the back.
Very little bitterness. The malt is the king here. Malty caramel sweets with a fruity bitterness that ends up with the alcohol burn that makes this offering a wonderful journey.
Couldn't drink a bunch of this, but it would be fun to try.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed murky crimson hue, slim white head.

Sweetness in the nose, dark fruits aplenty, rich and redolent with many types of decadence. Ripe plums, apples, grape, very plump in flavor, even on just sniffing...I'm liking this smell, though...

Taste: mmm, big, bursting dark fruit flavors, juicy berry and cherry, dripping wet, very vibrant, some plum and lavender still at large. Rich burgundy feel. Very lively in the mouth, quite a precocious brew, to revive a maligned wine term.

Much better than the Olde Ale I had from them the other night (thanks again, trbeer!) Ripe flavor from the malt, some kick from hops, and alcohol slowly steps in...nice, a well-rounded barleywine.

Aracadia once again makes a beer I can like, but won't necessarily go crazy for...and I do like my nicely roasted, very hoppy, and bursting with fruitiness barleywines. Mmm-mmm-mmm-mm-mmm...

btw, the name is too cute, and the label art interesting..hmmm, the spoon as weapon, gotcha...scratched out Fruit Loops, very funny...but I have to say, it reeks as trying too hard. Maybe too much cleverness is a bad thing. That's my experience, I've got the scars to prove it...

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

Cereal Killer is an excellent barleywine, it is pricy, but you do get what yo pay for. Pours a hazy deep dark amber with reddish streaks shinning through from the light striking through. the aroma is very malty, carmelized malt, slight hint of alcohol. the flavor is very rich and malty, carmelized malt, hopsack, spicy, mineral after-taste. this is a great beer, give it a try.

Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good appearance. Bloodied mahogany. Thick beige head dissipates quickly and leaves little lace behind. Nice aroma of plums, dates, pineapple, caramel malts, and other tropical fruits. Nice viscous feel in the mouth. Full bodied and adequately carbonated. First impressions are of rich malts, fruits and alcohol. Really a pretty nice combo overall. Tropical sensations mix with caramel malts. One of the better Arcadia brews I've had.

Photo of Ego
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know labels don't have anything to do with anything BUT... this one is hilarious. The photos of scratched out cereal.. classic.

1 full finger of nice frothy head that retains very well (ample carbonation). Glowing ruby tone throughout, pretty clear and light looking for a barley wine.

dry grainy malt odor, a little sourness in the back, pretty mild and tame.

taste etc...
pretty light in the mouth, the carbonation is subtle and well executed (like sadam), nice deep grain flavor with a malty sweet finish, the alcohol runs into the bourbon type of area but is rather easy on the palette, very smooth and easy drinking all around

a nice smooth easy drinking Bwine, nothing overly special but worth checking out if you see it.

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