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Sisyphus - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SisyphusSisyphus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

577 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 577
Reviews: 314
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 41
Gots: 122 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: aracauna on 12-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 577 | Reviews: 314 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by atsprings:
Photo of atsprings
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wagenvolks for the trade of both 2007 and 2008 bottles. Each one is poured into a Brooklyn tulip. '07 pours a quite hazy dark orange with a razor thin off-white head. '08 pours a tad less hazy with a slightly more well-defined head. Aroma is burnt caramel and brown sugar with '07 much more abundant than '08. The taste is loads of brown sugar with sweet fruits and as expected, the '08 possesses a more defined almost cloying sweetness that has greatly subdued in the '07. The beer is medium bodied, with '08 being a bit heavier. This one is a decent Barley Wine, but I have had better.

atsprings, Apr 16, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. $3.50 at Whole Foods Austin. Gorgeous copper body with a steady off white skim. Slightly hazed. Aroma of toffee and oranges. Not particularly boozy. Toffee flavored body with a well hopped spicy/citric finish. Peppery. As it warms rich fruit flavors develop and caramel and biscuit malt flavors become more pronounced. Sweet booze balances well with the hop bitterness. Full bodied. Low carbonation. Smooth and dangerously easy to drink. Mellow for its size. Very good beer.

Review Number 900!

DaPeculierDane, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of tectactoe
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure who brought this one to the tasting, but thanks to whomever it was. 2011 vintage. Murkiness at an all-time high, making the body completely opaque like a solid, gold bar. No head here, just a beige collar, and I'm even hesitant to use the word "collar". So still, menacing, and somnambulant as it just steadily hangs out in the glass, just saying "COME AT ME BRO!"

My expectations for this beer do not exist, mainly because I've never heard of it. That being said, I'm pleasantly surprised as I lean my face in and my nostrils are assaulted by a rush of boozy and tart apples and plums that have been drizzled in warm caramel and rolled in a vat of burnt, brown sugar. Some mild nuttiness in the finish; pretty enjoyable for an "off the radar" barley wine so far.

On the palate, the booze aspect of Sisyphus seems mostly rum-like, but I don't believe this thing has ever been in any kind of barrel, right? So maybe it's just the flavors that have developed over time within the malts. Tart plums, sweet grapes, rum, toffee, brown sugar and molasses, with another touch of nuts in the finish.

Hops are relatively low for an American barley wine / DIPA (see what I did there?) but I'm guessing that can be attributed to the nearly two years of age this bottle has on it. Slight leafy notes hop in and out, but they don't contribute much offsetting bitterness, meaning this big, badass brew is pretty damn sweet. Thick, creamy, heavy, and sticky on the palate with minimal carbonation.

Sometimes, I really enjoy trying a beer that I've never heard of and have no expectations for, because I'm typically a sadistic pessimist and will often go into new, unknown beers thinking they're going to be the worst thing I've ever tasted, and when I try them and find out they're not (usually the case), then it's even more of a treat. Such is the case here - very good brew that I'd have again if it were available to me.

tectactoe, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Schlais, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Tiernan, May 24, 2013
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried a bottle right off the shelf. Being in Austin, I've tried quite a few Real Ale brews and have found them to be inconsistant sometimes. Pours a copper body, off white head, and little carbonation A very vicous pour. Smell is toffee, caramel, hints of fruit and alcohol lurking-hops are understated but have a nice bit of pine/citrus aroma to them. Tastes like the smell-fairly sweet with the toffe and brown sugar and almost being too sweet and then being rescued by some piney hops that finish in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is very full and this beer coats the entire mouth. Fairly drinkable, but maybe a little syrupy to have more than 2. Overall a very good effort by Real Ale.

hopsleeroy, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of GameOfBeers
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%

GameOfBeers, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Kirgi
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%

Kirgi, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours into my glass a deep hazy red/orange with a small off white head on top that falls to a thin layer atop the brew. A bit of a syrupy pour. Aromas start out with roasted malt along with rich nutty scents. Dark fruits, molasses and sweet bread. Lots of caramel and toffee accents as well. Herbal, earthy sort of piney hops sit in the background. A rich, deep aroma for sure.

First sip brings roasted malt upfront that moves into big caramel and toffee flavors. Quite a bit of sweetness upfront as it flows down the nutty, fruity flavors come out more as well. Sweet bread melds into a herbal, piney hop bitterness on the finish with some citrus accents as well. The bitterness can't cut through the sweetness here though unfortunately. Good barleywine, just a bit too sweet/syrupy for my taste.

Mouthfeel is quite thick and viscous with a slight syrupy quality to it as well. This one really takes hold, coats the palate and doesn't hold back. Mellow carbonation works in well. Overall, a tasty barleywine from Texas, albeit a bit on the sweet side Thanks to dmeadows for sending this my way. I wish I had another one to hang onto for a bit.

orbitalr0x, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of ajkelly451
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

ajkelly451, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev +1.5%

SmellsofMahagony, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of warriorsoul
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big props to TxBeer for hooking me up w/ this one...really been looking forward to trying this barleywine.
Pours a cloudy, ruby color w/ a full finger of off-white head...leaves some impressive lacing on the side of the pint glass.
Aroma is real enjoyable...a nice dose of raisins, grapes, cherries and some cotton candy-like sweetness.
The taste is awesome...right where I like them. Sweet flavors with a bitter aftertaste and just the slightest twinge of alcohol to let you know to respect this one. A boatload of hops have been added to this...yet very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is great...a touch syrupy, but not overly so and the carbonation is spot on.
A very refreshing barleywine...definitely American-style. I would have no problem putting back one or two more of these in an evening, but instead I will cellar the other I obtained for a year or so...time will make this offering from Real Ale that much more enjoyable.

warriorsoul, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage sampled 2/8/10.

Pours reddish orange with a nice tan head. The beer is somewhat murky. The aroma is sweet malt, alcohol and some fruit, possibly grapes and apples/ The flavor is caramel, toffee, assorted fruit and alcohol. The beer is slightly boozy and the alcohol is warming. The finish is some slightly bitter hops. Medium mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of Intrik
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass with a finger and a half of head that left super lacing along the side of the glass as it receded. Alcohol legs still show as it settles further while typing this.

A: Lighter orange/amber compared to what I was expecting with a barley wine, but still very sexy looking. Gives me quick memories of some home brew mead with the golden highlights in the light. Head was great and it stuck to the glass the whole time with a great film.

S: An overpowering fruity sweetness right off the bat. The hops are present, but its a very string citrusy sweet fruit hop presence that gives way to a more caramel/toffee sweetness right away. You can almost get a sense of the mouthfeel when you smell this beer.

T: Hops right in the front that give off a slight piney-ness then move straight into all the sweet fruits and toffee from the smell. Smooths out on the end with a hint of maltiness.

M: Straight coats your mouth in a syrupy thickness. My lips are sticky like I just ate cotton candy. But the sweet fruits linger in all the stickniess and make you want more.

O: Wonderful beer. I'd love to grab a few more of these to age and compare. Most definitely gonna get another pack for celebrations this year.

Intrik, May 03, 2012
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to AKSmokedPorter for sharing this.

Color is a cloudy-ish copper in color. Barely any off-white head to speak of. Lacing? Nada. Aromas are almost overwhelmed by the distinct medicinal alcohol fumes that boil up. ETOH-soaked fruits and cotton candy abound, with some caramel squares left behind. Flavor, as was the nose, is laced with alcohol. Not a raging inferno, but certainly noted on the palate. A little much. Lots of sweetness in the taste as well. Surprisingly dry and abrupt finish. Full-figured and slick on the palate. Alcohol notes more noticeable as it warmed. Certainly a bottle to share...the small serving size was just right.

OldFrothingSlosh, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Cynic-ale, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of Dello
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Dello, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Seattle_Suds
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Seattle_Suds, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of whoneeds8
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle poured into Chimay glass.

Pours out ruby red with very little head. Smells very fruity. Taste is very smooth fruit flavor. The lacing from the minimal head disipates rather quickly, much like the head. Good balance of carbonation, the feel is very thick, not quite syrup like, just thick.

Overall, this is a very good example of a specialty beer from the little Real Ale brewery. They've definatly got a good one here.

whoneeds8, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev +1.5%

valkyre65, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. I can’t recall the vintage but the label was green (2009?).

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a light tan head leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of fig and pear aromas. Also present are slight hints of butterscotch and leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet caramel malts up front with booze-soaked pear flavors. Hints of toffee come into play near the end of the sip. The ending is mildly bitter. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I think this was closer to an English barleywine due to the pronounced sweetness and fruity notes, but even so it wasn’t near the top of the style. A solid beer but one not worth seeking.

glid02, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of pwoods
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for the nice extra.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a tangerine copper with some clarity but mostly glowing. Nice head on the pour with lots of retention and lacing.

S: Sweet strong malts with a nice touch of alcohol. Lots of fruitiness... some from the hops and a bit from the malts and yeast character. Body is about full and is pretty chewy. Carbonation is about average or a touch higher.

D: Tasty brew and a solid barleywine. A nice sipper.

pwoods, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of jbphoto88
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle pours into a glass hazy and orange. The color is a cross between terra-cotta and fired copper. The head is tan but doesn't stick around long. It's only evidence that it ever existed is a thin constellation of bubbles floating around the surface of the beer.

MMmmmm, this beer has a solid nose. It's fruity and more then hints at the bitterness and ABV contained within. The fruitiness ranges from citrus orange to white grapes.

The taste is fantastic. The grain profile is very dominate upfront and gently transitions to a hop monster. Sweet, golden, toasted malts that pinch that sugar sensitive spot behind my molars. The hops beat down the sweetness and makes a healthy bittered brew. Light touches of apricot and orange peak in and out of the taste.

Mouthfeel is soft and creamy despite the pucker from the bitterness. I also enjoy the full bodied feel and the balance between the sweet and bitter. Very complimentary.

I have to deduct points off the drinkability scale because the beer is all around weak for what I expected. Not only that but the flavors get old fast. Pair that with a heavy ABV and it kind of gets to be a chore to drink. Definitely worth checking out but I would only enjoy one every once in a while. Not a bad thing for a good beer that will age very well.

jbphoto88, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of cisteve
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

cisteve, Apr 07, 2012
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Sisyphus from Real Ale Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 577 ratings.