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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BA SCORE
86
very good

547 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 547
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 38
Gots: 84 | 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:
Beer added by: mcallister on 10-26-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 547 | Reviews: 267
Photo of madeofsteel
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2010

A - Poured into a tulip, pours a murky reddish brown, about a finger's worth of head with decent retention and lacing.

S - Now that's pretty. Robust caramel, sweet raisins, dried cherries. Faint booze. I thought the ABV would give this one a stronger alcohol smell. Sort of bready, too.

T - Very overpoweringly sweet. I was not ready. Picking up some licorice in there, which I'm never really wild about. Cherries, alcohol, kind of ugly sour bitter finish. It's a lot to process, and the alcohol seems to mask some of the subtleties.

M - Leaves a lot of leftovers on my tongue and between the cheeks. And then there's the boozy finish.

O - I can see this being a good after-dinner beer or something like that, but it's a lot to handle, personally.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Arcadia's Cereal Killer Barley Wine last month for $3.69 at The Lager Mill. I have passed up this beer many times simple because of the price, but since I have been a fan of all of Arcadia's bigger beers I have tried, I decided to pay the extra money and roll the dice, so lets see how it goes. 2010 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label on this beer is pretty plain and boring, there is just a small picture of a hand holding a spoon like a knife. It poured a nice deep brownish amber color with a quarter of a finger worth of white head that quickly faded to nothing. The color is nice but it has a pretty lack luster head, but that is to be expected from a 10% Barleywine.

S- The aroma of this beer is all about the malts, as it should be. The malts impart a pretty sweet dark fruit aroma with cherrys and raisins sticking out the most, that gives it a slight sherry like aroma. There is also some nice aromas of caramel, vanilla, and candied sugar. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma of this beer.

T- The taste mirrors the aroma nicely and is still all about the malts. It starts off with with loads of sweet bready malts that have a high amount of medium sweetness to them and impart some nice and pretty noticeable dark fruit flavors that is dominated by raisins, there is also some nice toffee, molasses and a slight vanilla flavor. The booze is noticeable but it doesn't taste harsh and it isn't too hot. The finish is pretty smooth and has a light amount of bitterness with a nice raisin and toffee aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth, on the lighter side of being full bodied and a light amount of medium carbonation. On par mouthfeel for an English Barleywine.

Overall I thought that this was a good English Barleywine. It had all tho flavors that you would expect from an English Barleywine, no added tricks like some of the American ones, just a straight forward and malty Barleywine. This beer has pretty good drinkability for a Barleywine, it's not too boozy or too bitter, I should have no problem drinking the rest of this bottle. What I liked most about this beer was the taste, It had all the nice flavors I expect out of a malt forward Barleywine and the raisin flavor really stuck out which I liked, the mouthfeel was pretty good also. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't bad it was just very sweet and somewhat similar to a sweet sherry and the head was pretty lackluster. I would pick up a bottle of this again when in the mood for a good malty Barleywine, but for the price I think I will just get a single bottle and stay away from the four packs, I wish it was a little cheaper. I would recommend this this beer to people who like malt forward Barleywines, it does a good job at showcasing some great malty flavors. I was pretty happy with this beer, it was pretty straight forward and it didn't have any off flavors, it was solid. Arcadia did a good job with this beer and I think it would get even better after another year, I also think this would make a great candidate for barrel aging, I think the flavors of the beer would go great with some bourbon or rum barrels.

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

Found this review in one of my old beer notebooks. It was consumed and reviewed in June 2010.

This beer pours a nice slightly cloudy dark brown color. It has a fluffy 2-finger off-white head resting on top. The head has good retention, and leaves a nice bit of lace behind on the glass. The nose has a nice bit of toasted and caramel malt. There are also some aromas of dark fruit such as plug, fig, raisin, and cherry. There is also quite a bit of booze coming through as well. The taste pretty much follows the nose. The taste pretty much follows the nose. It starts off with some sweet bready maltiness. There is a nice toasty flavor, as well as some caramel and all the dark fruit notes that were present in the nose. There is a good bit of booziness here as well. The finish leaves some lingering sweetness, toasted maltiness, and booziness. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a really smooth feel to it. There is some sweetness and a toasted malt bitterness. The finish leaves some boozy warmth lingering in the mouth and throat. There is good drinkability here. It goes down easy and the flavor is really nice. It is a bit of a sipper, but I could definitely do a few glasses of this in a night. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I think it is a really nice barleywine. I recommend checking this one out. I would buy it again for sure.

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

2010 vintage

brown, head. looks nice

really nice malt nose, caramel, honey, toffee, bread crust, dark fruits.

similar flavors, a hint of alcohol. sweetish in the mouth but actually finishes almost on the dry side.

proper heft. good job with the balance.

beefy english-ish barley wine. i like it

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

Pours a deep amber color. Reminiscent of actual amber. Thing ring of a head.

Dry and sweet. Smell is laden with very sweet wheat and barley. A good barleywine.

Not very fancy. No tricks here. Sweet malt is highlighted. Feels like honey on the tongue, almost scarily like honey. Lots of sugar and honey. I like it. Sits very light and coats the tongue like syrupy hot toddy.

Very well done, Arcadia Ales!

Photo of TMoney2591
3.09/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Nice to see some heavy-hitters on the Bliss docket this week. This one pours a kinda murky amber-brown topped by a half-finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises sweet caramel, acetone, buttery toffee, light biscuit, and light vanilla. I'm sure there could have been more, but the acetone singed my nostrils a bit... The taste holds notes of buttery biscuits, deep caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, nutmeg, booze, dark fruit, and light honey. Yeah, the booze is still pretty strong here, but not as o'erwhelming a force as the one that met my nose. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, this b-wine is something of a challenge to really get into, but it's not all that unenjoyable, surprisingly. I can't really explain it, but I felt generally good about this beer after drinking it despite my general distaste for some of its constituent parts. Odd...

Photo of kawilliams81
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Cloudy dark amber/brown. 1 finger tan head, lacing resides quickly.

S- Sweet malts, dark fruits (cherry), vanilla, cinnamon.

T- Sweet amber malts, tart cherries, vanilla, some hop bitterness at finish.

M- Full body, slightly dry, with medium carbonation.

O- Thought this was a pretty good barleywine, at least better than it's rated.

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

I was pleased to find this pre-aged barleywine. This saves me a year or so. It was quite expensive. So, was it worth it? Yes, this is a much better experience than the usual for the style. It is very well behaved, like many of these can be if you age them a bit.

It seems better balanced than most, and a bit easier to drink. It is boozy tasting. I would buy this again if I were looking for a full fledged barleywine that is ready to drink.

Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a dark amber color, the head was tan and was a little fizzy. The lacing and retention were minimal. The smell of the beer gives off a boozy sweetness along with some fermented dark fruits in the mix. The taste of the beer was pretty good, a little sweet upfront and then it fades into a dry hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel was a little thick which wasn't too bad. Overall I found this to be a pretty good brew.

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

I got this one from a cool beer store in Kentucky. The sun shines bright in my bluegrass state!

A: Dark brown, amber, with a nice 1/4 finger head that settled after a while into a mere froth on top of the brew.

S: Very strong candy sugar and hop profile. This reminded me of Bigfoot due to the fact that I got licorice with a brown ale profile overall.

T: This was a brown ale Barlywine and then some. Very sugary, the hop profile was in the brown sugar area, and somewhat bitter overall.

M: Definitely sugary and bitter, but not totally bad in the slightest. Lots of sugar overall, slightly carbonated, and no lacing whatsoever.

O: I wouldn't pour this in my cereal...

Photo of Rhynes2
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was blown away by this one. Pours a nice hazy red/orange color. not much head aside from a thin layer that quickly dissipated. Flavors come off as having notes of dark fruits and apple with spices blended in subtly. It reminds me of an apple cider more than anything. Hops provide a light bitterness that works with the malts beautifully. I realize that taste is subjective but this is the best barley wine I have ever had. Very impressed and I'll be buying this again.

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

12oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours an orange/brown color. It has a skim of tan head.

S - The aroma is dark fruit including dates and fig along with molasses and brown sugar. I get hints of alcohol.

T - It is definitely sweet. This is a malt bomb. The molasses and fruit come through. It finishes with some a taste of alcohol.

M - Borderline syrupy

O - This is a barleywine to be enjoyed by those who do not like the hoppy American style. Lots of malt with almost zero hop taste.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage into a snifter trying to go to bed. I've been ducking this beer for years.

Cereal Killer pours out a dark shade of red with hazy faded orange with some browns poking in as well. A nice pour yeilded about 3/4th's a inch of kinda firm toffee colored foam with no stickage.

Smell is of malted barley, a whole lot of it, some fusel alcohol and some ripe dark fruits. a small bouquet of earth hops with caramel and toffee with some warming. The English yeast gives off a funky bread scent. Smells sweet.

Up front Im greeted with a big bite of fruit that's backed by caramel, barley and the like. The fruit reminds me of a BSDA but coated with huge barley, malt, toffee, berries and alcohol. The ALC is not so big, but it was probably huge fresh, glad I waited on this for a bit.

Feel is a big medium, maybe two steps up. Malty and it is kinda coating on the tounge for a few. Swishing brings out the alcohol more, yet it never seems to cloy. Carbed up to where it should be.

At about over a year since bottled, this has been tamed but the flavors don't jive well for me. Not insanely hot, the English ingredients namely the yeast is what gets in the way. Also, why is this stuff so damn expensive?

Photo of pmarlowe
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a murky dark apple cider color with a ring of sand colored foam. No lacing but decent retention (for the style).

S: Sweet dark fruit (plum, grape, raisin), caramel and bready malt, and like a red wine/grape juice thing.

T: Bready rye-ish malt and some caramel. Slightly off flavor and bitter finish which doesn't mesh well. Off dry, not as sweet as I was expecting from the smell. Somewhat lacking in complexity, and doesn't quite live up to the aroma.

M: Medium carbonation and medium-full body. Slightly sticky. Carbonation is pretty smooth and gives a nice little liveliness. Alcohol is not at all noticeable, not even warming.

O: Overall, pretty good English-style barleywine. Easy to drink but not much complexity.

Photo of BBP
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popped open what I thought was a recent bottle of this, only to find that it's the 2007 vintage. That puts it at around exactly 4 years of age as I drink it. The ABV comes in a 9.4% on this version.

A- Pours an orange chestnut with decent head and lacing.

S- A bit of rum and raisins. Some spicy hop character as well.

T- Fairly mild even for an English Barleywine. Hops exist, but they're minimal and only have a small portion of malt to give balance to. The beginning is fruitier with a more bitter finish.

M- Fairly full in the mouth. Slightly dry finish. Carbonation is still solid after 4 years and does a good job contributing to the mouthfeel.

O- A decent barleywine. I don't know whether this got better from the years, but I'd speculate that it's best fresh. It seemed very tame for a barleywine. On the other hand, the alcohol was far from sight, and it's drinkability was very solid. It drinks quite smooth, but I can't say that's something I personally look for.

Photo of Gushue3
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage

A- 1 finger head thats slightly off white wile the body is very dark and is a deep mahogany red. The head left some small patches of foam and a smaller amount of lacing around the glass. Very dark for a barleywine.

S- gigantic sweet malt catches me upfront along with some strong dark fruits. some caramel and slight vanilla are hanging in the back as well.

T- Big time sweetness follows through out from the front to the end. Fig and dark fruits come through toward the middle along with a small roast and leather . caramelly and smooth to the finish. The finish is has almost a prune taste that lingers for a while.

M- Nice thick and extremely smooth mouthfeel, feels silky and like a fudge brownie. excellent mouthfeel.

O- decent barleywine but nothing really stood out to me.

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.48/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

In accordance with my firm belief that inclement weather necessitates barleywine my girlfriend and I cracked this while weathering Hurricane Irene.

Bone marrow yellowed beige head over a brown brew. Looks good.

Musty aroma like a cardboard box kept in a damp basement for too long. Moldy. Dry merlot like dark fruit and copper. Not what I was expecting but I like the smell of basements just the same.

Vinous dark fruit underlayer and a cognac-like malt character. Not as sweet as I'd like from a barleywine. In fact there's hardly any sweetness at all. Thin.

This bottle was from 2008. I don't think it ages well.

Photo of mcomben
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass. 2010 batch.

A - Pours a deep dark burgandy, almost brown. Limited head with lacing that runs from start to finish. My bottle seemed to have some white particulates floating throughout, but seeing how this bottle was a year old I expected it. With that said, it is difficult to convince yourself that this is okay even if you know it is.

S - Malty with the slight scent of raisins that seems to become more pronounced as the beer warms.

T - Classic barelywine taste. Malty, with the slightest hint of hop. Begins sweet and fruity and almost finishs tart.

M - nothing particularly interesting here. A little syrupy, while still feeling light and effervescent.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. Arcadia does a fine job with their specialty beers just as they do with their 'everyday drinkers'.

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

22oz into a tulip. 2007 vintage. From notes.

A: pours a murky brown body, the tan head retreats very fast, lacing and carbonation are light.

S: The aroma is a rich malty tone of caramel and plum. Raisins and figs seem to find there way in there too. Medium intensity aroma for style.

T/M: The body is thick and syrupy, a very dominate role of malts. Hops have been long gone, but have preserved this beer wonderfully. The mouthfeel is big and has a very nice lingering finish.

O: Overall this is a solid barley wine, one that ages well and is drinking very well right now at about four years in.

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

thanks to CruisaC for the excellent box in the barleywine BIF. poured into duvel taster tulip.

a - nice syrupy mahogany color with a thin head. it has a plum like glow to it. looks pretty classic for an english barleywine.

s - caramel toffee malts. not overly sweet like many others. pretty tame and toned back.

t - nice classic taste. caramel, toffee, with a slightly bitter end. pretty good.

m - not overly thick

o - overall nice example of an english barleywine. pretty even tempered but i like a bit more of a kick and thickness to an english barleywine. pretty non-offensive and nice gateway english barleywine.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. Thanks to Mikesgroove for this aged beauty. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into Lost Abbey stemware.

Pour yields a thin wisp of cream colored head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. Beer is a slightly cloudy muddy brown. Lacing is spotty with little cling. Not the best looking beer here.

Nose is rich toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and some piney and sappy hop characteristics. Moderately aromatic with some subtle booziness still lingering after all these years. Nice and rich.

Beer opens caramel and sweet prunes. Some brown sugar and molasses towards the middle with a tree sap hop presence just peaking slightly. Turns sweet again quickly with toffee and brown sugar dominating. Finish is rich caramel and toffee with a lingering resiny sweetness. Amazing.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily and silky in the mouth and smooth and warm going down. Perfect. An accented spicy finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste.

I've never had cereal killer fresh but aged 4 years, this beer is absolutely perfect. Amazing mouthfeel with one of the most balanced, robust, and pleasantly malty flavor profiles of any barleywine. Really a joy. Thanks again Mike!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this one out of the cellar. Probably the Winter 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very hazy moderate brown collar with a thin collar. A few bubbles on the sides of the glass forming a very thin collar. The nose brings a bit of caramel and toffee plus some light bread and malt sweetness. Flavor has some caramel and light cherry plus brown-sugar sweetness. Medium body with low carbonation and a pleasing sweetness in the finish. Pretty good overall.

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

12oz bottle of the 2010 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear, glowing russet body topped by a full inch of dense, creamy, long-lasting tan foam. If the gorgeous head left slightly better lace, this would be a perfect-looking beer.

S: Very sweet, very fruity, very boozy. The booze is actually the most prevalent feature, but that isn't really an insult in this case - it smells like the charcoal filtering room at the Jack Daniel's distillery, one of my favorite-smelling places in the world. Backing up the richly spicy alcohol are nice aromas of grapes, plums, apple skin, and molasses. Not exactly the best-smelling Barleywine out there, but I really like it.

T: The charm that the nose's alcohol has does not extend to the flavor, unfortunately, and the heat is a bit of a problem here. Still, there's plenty of enjoyable complexity alongside the ethanol: molasses, brown sugar, grapes, apricots, and cherries. Very sweet and fruity, with some of the 70 IBUs finally showing up to lend a touch of bitterness to the long, fruity, boozy finish. I really think this could be a terrific beer with some more time, but for now it's just too hot.

M: Thick, syrupy, and full of creamy carbonation. A bit sticky, but I expect that in a Barleywine; some reviewers have penalized this for being too thin, but thin is the last word I'd use to describe the Cereal Killer to a sketch artist.

O: If I'd been given this beer to taste blind, I would have guess it to be at least in the 12% range - one would have thought its serious maltiness would have masked 10% with ease. That said, it's got a heck of a lot more good stuff going on than your average American-brewed English Barleywine, and I look forward to trying another bottle out of my 4-pack in a year or two.

Cheers!

Photo of aasher
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of wbc. This beer pours a reddish, very cloudy, copper in color with a light off white head. It smells of biscuity malts, molasses, honey, and has a berry sweetness to it. It's odd and too sweet. It tastes of sweet malt, honey, and molasses. It's far too sweet for my liking. It drinks light and isn't overly sticky, which is surprising considering the amount of sugar you get from this beer. Overall, this beer didn't bring anything notable to the table. It was average and overly sweet.

Photo of gaugebozo
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - There's this cloudiness that comes not from yeast or lack of fast cooling wort, but from having a s@#$ ton of malt in your beer. This beer has this cloudiness. No head off the pour, but some very light residual foam. Deep reddish brown.

S - Malty, almost syrupy. Reminds me of a particular French blackberry liquor.

T - Serious malt, 70 IBU's, but so much malt doesn't taste bitter. Lots of carmel malts, don't think any roasted. Something at the end, raisins? Nice warming from the alcohol, but not overpowering for 10%. Surprisingly accessible barley wine. Should get pretty great and mellow with age.

M - Light carb (high for the style, but fits) and super strong body.

O - Really enjoyable. Can't say it's amazing (could use more character, maybe too drinkable), but pretty perfect for winter nights or when you're wishing for them.

Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.