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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine - Arcadia Brewing Company

Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

460 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 460
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%

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: 460 | Reviews: 262 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 02:44:38 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of schoolboy


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 19:16:36 | More by schoolboy
Photo of Knapp85


3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 02:00:16 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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...

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 03:49:43 | More by Chaney
Photo of Rhynes2


4.8/5  rDev +26%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 15:32:20 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of buschbeer


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 22:18:27 | More by buschbeer
Photo of BARFLYB


3.2/5  rDev -16%
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?

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 06:49:01 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 05:25:06 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of BBP

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 03:20:07 | More by BBP
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 01:27:20 | More by Gushue3
Photo of donkeyrunner


2.4/5  rDev -37%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 00:27:51 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of mcomben


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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'.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 12:45:47 | More by mcomben


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.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 13:29:53 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 01:29:58 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 18:14:25 | More by SpeedwayJim
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 23:34:36 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of woosterbill


3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.


Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 02:06:47 | More by woosterbill
Photo of aasher


2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 03:11:50 | More by aasher
Photo of gaugebozo

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 03:46:42 | More by gaugebozo
Photo of HeavyMetalBrew


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

A: Brownish color. Cloudy. Lacing on top. Signs of carbonation.

S: Apples. Caramel. Scents of alcohol.

T: Huge caramel flavors, a hint of fruit. Roasted malts.

M: Very malty, carbonated, bite of alcohol on finish.

Overall: It's a good barleywine, with the malts and bite of alcohol. However, it's a little heavy for summertime, and would be much better suited during winter.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 21:22:54 | More by HeavyMetalBrew
Photo of plfahey


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle (2010 vintage) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Tawny brown with brilliant red highlights and fantastic clarity. Thin khaki head has moderately good retention.

Aroma-Sweet and rich, it smells of sugar candy, sweet caramel, and toffee. Maple syrup and a hint of molasses. Definite whiff of alcohol.

Flavor-Very sweet up front, with big toffee and caramel flavors fading into a dry alcohol finish. The booze is very present in the aftertaste, which still maintains a bit of the sweetness, but is dried substantially by the alcohol.

Mouthfeel-Moderately full body with low carbonation. Smooth, but not exceptionally so.

A solid barleywine to be sure, I think this would probably benefit from some age. While I definitely think the flavor would become more complex with age, the body is already on the thin end of the barleywine spectrum, so I would worry about it becoming even thinner. Still, I think that 3 to 5 years out this could be a fantastic beverage.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 07:16:29 | More by plfahey
Photo of TheSarge


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours good enough for a finger thick head of light tan, and has a cloudy body that is a orangish ruby red color.

The aroma is dark dried fruit, somewhat fig. Lots of sweet caramel is present with a mild metallic hoppiness.

The taste shares the fig qualities, some vanilla notes, and a mild hops presence of a citrus fruit.

Warming to the palate, full in body, not much carbonation. Very boozy.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 21:11:32 | More by TheSarge
Photo of Beejay


3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A large tan head lays on top, and rapidly becomes a small crust of foam. Medium brown, and hazy with a ruby red glow at the edges when held to a light.

S: Rich malty and caramel come through. There is a nice subtle roasted scent that I am picking up. Raisons, and caramel almost come together to make a sticky bread type smell, with just a slight hint of dark fruit. A touch of alcohol, and very malt dominated.

T: Malty goodness. Malty and sweet with perhaps a touch of oxidation. There is a slight acidic tartness right at the front, that seems a little out of character. There is a solid bitterness and a roasted character in the finish. Good, but a little out of character, and it tastes as if it might have seen better days.

M: Fairly thick on the mouthfeel, although the bitterness almost gives a drying sensation. The carbonation feels a touch high for me.

O: It's not bad, but I don't think that it is a very strong representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 01:30:44 | More by Beejay
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

Rich amber color, almost copper in hue with a nice touch of cloudiness to it that really gave it a very thick look, nearly opaque at times. No real head though, and it almost looked flat at first pour, not really encouraged right off the bat. The aroma was rich and sweet. Nice notes of bready malts, hints of almost honey like notes and a nice fruit touch toward the finish. The flavor though really perked me up a bit. Sweet, mellow, with all notes of ABV long gone by the wayside. Lots of biscuit like notes, a touch of faded hops and a load of grain all combined to really give quite a nice show overall. Very impressed here with the way it tasted, especially in the finish, which was again very sweet, and nearly perfectly placed. An easy sipper I almost went through this one too quickly as it had mellowed to the point of being equally rich and subtle.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 23:13:55 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of kdiggidy


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - dark brownish red in color, small head that doesn't last very long.

S - sugary sweet smell with a touch of alcohol, slightly fruity.

T - amazing, in my opinion. good and sweet with hints of molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit.

M - slightly creamy, not much carbonation, a little hot in the back of the throat,

O - to me, this is a fantastic barleywine. probably a little pricey ($4/bottle - didn't realize it until I was checking out) but I think this will be one I go for again.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 22:00:37 | More by kdiggidy
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.