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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine

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

499 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 38
Gots: 65 | 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: 499 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Zaphog, May 07, 2012
Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, dark citrus, and slight hop. Fits the style of an English Barleywine. Mouth feel is slightly smooth and savory. Average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, dark citrus, hops, slight tartness, and a wood flavor. Overall, good body and blend, with a great mouth feel.

Tone, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%

Received in trade from Fplumbs, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a crystal clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a smallish off white head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Smells of dark brown sugar, raisins, prunes, and plums, and a bit of alcohol. The flavor is filled with lots of dark and brown sugars, a bit of non descript fruit and a healthy dose of ethanol. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Decent barleywine, but a bit on the hot side. I enjoyed this, but I would be curious to see how a little age might affect this brew.

johnnnniee, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +5.3%

THECPJ, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%

22oz bottle, scooped at Binny's on Grand last time i was in Chicago - not sure why madison never seems to get the limited arcadia bombers but whatever

appearance: pours into a snifter - big crimson-garnet body, cola-esque traits, creamy beige head with moderate lace. The Cereal Killer label is pretty on point too, for what thats worth

smell: The cereal killer packs quite the booze-filled nose, booze covered plum, resinous pine hops, lots of thick malt sweetness

taste: This barleywine is a lot boozier than the 9% label would suggest - I note mostly resinous pine hops and a high citrus hop bitterness along with it. There are certainly enough thick caramel malts to go around but this beer kind of falls flat and doesnt balance out well - its too bitter and a bit muddy

mouthfeel: high bitterness, medium body

drinkability: iffy

dirtylou, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

scruffwhor, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%

Bomber poured into a stem glass, Cereal Killer is a murky, dark reddish brown that pours a large khaki head but leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is spicy and malty, sweeter but immature. Far from a turn off, but time would clearly round this out. Nevertheless, it has that rich cherry maltiness that I appreciate and enjoy, but there's no question it's pushing cough syrup.

Taste is super sweet and rich, whoa! This one is a palate buster, think rum soaked fruits, with a very spicy, drier finish, but nevertheless clean. Not bad, but an overly sugary BW, with less emphasis on Cereal and more so Killer! While it's not my taste, it's pretty clean and well done.

Mouthfeel is thicker and syrupy, it went from average to way to thick heavy in a hurry.

Drinkability is OK, this is a tasty, but too overly sweet. A decent take on a English BW, and I'm happy to enjoy it...but not enough to move back to the dirty coast! Not a bad price either, but also something that a non BW drinker would probably call icky - I can't wait to brush my teeth!

ccrida, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -47.4%

chippo33, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

TheSevenDuffs, May 18, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Hopheadjeffery, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5.3%

12 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a murky mahogany brown color with about an inch tan head that sticked around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruit (raisins, plums) and bready malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some sherry and a bit of sweet spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I'd buy this again in the future and probably age it longer next time.

bluejacket74, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Picked up a 2010 vintage for around 4 bucks

A - Deep hazy mahogany amber with an opaque colored head. Lacing is thick yet not very sticky.

S - Simple soft caramels and sherry notes like a fine wine. Sweet the hops have completely aged out.

T - A very fine example of the style. Opens sweet with prunes and sweet sherry wine like goodness. Not very bitter one bit with not noticeable alcohol flavor. Good stuff.

M - Medium bodied to thick.

Overall nothing really to run out again get again (especially since I got this in Ohio) but a very well crafted barleywine.

DrDemento456, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%

22 oz bomber of the 2008 vintage pours a clear red color with a minimalistic beige foam. Spotty lacing and mild retention.

Strong nose with lots of raisiny sweet fruit and hints of oxidation. Sappy hops show some staying power still and smell resinous.

Age has been kind to this one as it comes across as rich and leaning more towards the English side of barleywines. Sweet and doughy, good blend of fruit and finishing bitterness. Nice brew, straightforward and has plenty of flavor.

twiggamortis420, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Pours a deep copper to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, dark fruit, fig, plum, and alcohol. In the taste, raisin, fig, licorice, and a small alcohol presence. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry fig and raisin like aftertaste. Hides alcohol somewhat, nice dry fruit presence and quite smooth.

OWSLEY069, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

The color of this "Killer" is awesome! Deep, dark, and shadowed over in a unpenetrable cast of blood brown. Thin and firm capping of tanned foam. Resides slowly to keep a slivered ring and ghostly strings of lace stick about the glass.

Aroma isn't much unfortunately. Partial cherry and berry, darkish, with a bit of off heat from a alot of malts used and a slow retreat in each wiff mirrors raisin and fig notes.

Taste is darkly doppelbock-like with a malt carriage and carry of dark fruityness that resembles a bunch of dark cherries, berries, figs and twigs, raisin, prune, and plummy stuff. Moderately paced and sticky/tacky to the tongue with a broad base of length across the finish of malty chewyness lingering with molasses, toffee, and slidings of the fruits. Hops are only skimped in with a bit of oily waxness of candle floral essense and brief pine pricks touching late.

Feel is quite sticky and malty yet clean and full. 'Substantially based in the malts this Barleywine is", as Yoda would maybe say.
Hops are very secondary, if at all grazed upon by the balance cows of the barleywine field in which my cows like to feed. As fore mentioned, much more Doppelbock-like in nature and character then Barleywine. I tend to favor more of the hoppy beasts that fold your tongue and then unfold it to develope tough and rough bites before soothing warmth comes in. This is all malts; dark, brooding, heady, large, and sticky with a long exposure over the finish of toffee and a somewhat dried fruityness.

Ok, so this is not quite the cereal that one might expect to pour in their bowl(glass) for a Barleywine, but as an example of the English style, and not the American, which I favor, this is quite solid. Malty rich and favorable for malt lovers alike. Too bad the aroma did nearly nothing for me.

tavernjef, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

claspada, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of Duff27
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%

2008 Vintage

A- Pours a deep brown with little off white head. Visible effervescence. Some lacing showing.

S- Grapes, raisins.

T- Tastes of rum, raisins. Has a sweetness at the end of the taste.

M- Thick and syrupy. Sticky? Coats the throat. Carbonation is nice.

D/O- Not a bad barleywine. Doesn't hid the the alcohol too great but that's okay. Drinkability suffers per usul with the style. Was actually pleasantly surprised with this offering due to its $5 price. Would buy again at the price point.

Duff27, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of champ103
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%

A: Pours a dark, nearly opaque reddish color. A very minimal white head forms, and recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt up front. Some nondescript hops lingering. Really nothing else that I can find.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of really sweet malt. Pretty much cloying. Some citrus hops linger, but not much else. Pretty bland and neutral.
M/D: A medium t full body. Low on the carbonation. Oily, sticky, and resiny. Lots of alcohol. Along with the cloying sweetness, this is pretty hard to finish.

Just a cloying and sweet mess. Not one of Arcadia's better offerings. Arcadia's Big Dick's Olde Ale is one that is superior in just about every way. I would not recommend this.

champ103, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of Durge
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

A deep copper caramel color, thick and hazy with a decent oatmeal colored head and great lacing. The aroma is nutty red wine and deep malt earthiness, full and a bit sweet. The flavor is a strikingly sweet, thick grapey malt with more nuttiness. Amazingly syrupy sweet, more than I like but still a tastey treat. Full bodied, not a session beer I would say. I pick up some maple and brown sugar. Mellows as it sits but still brings a tart overtone, pretty heavy duty with medium alcohol.

Durge, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +5.3%

It's hard to tell if this is an orange-hued light brown beer or a brown-hued orange beer; the overall affect is a bit of ruby in the light, and a certain bright ruddiness even with no light shining into it. The head, orange-tinted, develops quite well and displays good structure, sitting just under a finger without backing down from that point. It leaves bits of itself behind in patches.
The overall profile is distinctively English, proffering a particular unoffensive tinniness under a malty body. It's lightly fusel in the nose but well restrained, and in the flavor it just warms rather than biting. Breads are big throughout, leaning toasty. The sweetness, both from elements of various dark fruits and of a more sugary variety (caramel, yes, but an added, creamy sort of sweetness), almost syrupy, even, do fortunately stop short of cloying.
While there's a richness to this beer, the body is medium rather than full, and it works. It supports a flowing creaminess.

Brenden, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of aasher
2.85/5  rDev -25%

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.

aasher, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date, just says that it is a 2007 vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick & cloudy mahogany color that produced some gray bubbles.

(S)- Dense raisin & fig with some neutral caramel. Some almond/walnut nuttiness.

(T)- Lots of burnt raisin & fig. A vanilla & caramel sweetness. Finishes dry with a metallic finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Very boozy & hot with a burnt bite & a metallic finish. Definitely showing its age perhaps.

(D)- This is perhaps too old. Nothing is really impressing me about it. At this stage, its just syrupy boozy burnt raisins & figs. I will certainly re-review this when I find one in better condition & fresher.

sweemzander, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

DmanGTR, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of woosterbill
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

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.


woosterbill, Jul 27, 2011
Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.