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Old Backus Barleywine - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Backus Barleywine
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 161
Gots: 6 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bronze Medal Winner, 1997 World Beer Championships - Barleywines.

Old Backus contains just over 2,000 pounds of malt and 55 pounds of hops. The original gravity is 25.6 P/1092 which contributes to an alcohol content of 10.5% by volume. This is a tremendously complex beer that should be savoured slowly and in moderation. It will continue to change with age as it is served unfiltered.

This barleywine is named after Richard Backus, an old friend to the Brewery.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nuggetnectar01
nuggetnectar01

California

4.97/5  rDev +14.5%

Had this on tap and taken from notes

Served in a snifter

Pours a dark amber color with an eggshell color head. Good head retention and lacing. Aroma is dominating of dark fruit and malts. Plums, figs, toffe, caramel, vanilla, dates, and cherries. Taste is of caranel and toffee, dark fruits with cherries, plums, dates. Bit of bitterness pursues with a sweet finish and aftertaste. Full bodied with good carbonation. Excellent beer and definitely the best barleywine I have tasted.

03-01-2011 01:36:12 | More by nuggetnectar01
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-13-2014 09:32:41 | More by zestar
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

4/5  rDev -7.8%

07-07-2014 01:47:12 | More by KAF
Photo of DemoniChris
DemoniChris

Nebraska

5/5  rDev +15.2%

Poured on tap into a tulip

A - One of the most beautiful beers I've seen. Dark red-brown color with the ruby tones looking absolutely stunning when held up to the light. About a finger of off white head, moderate lacing.

S - Tobacco, leather, vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, toffee, dark fruits such as cherries, plums and raisins. Even getting some barrel like bourbon qualities even though this beer has not been barrel aged... Astounding!

T - Big sweetness. All of the aromas are extending through the flavor but in a bigger way. Caramelized burnt sugar, brown sugar, butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, bourbon, chocolate, tobacco. A slight herbal hop flavor comes through beneath the flavors but it works really nicely. It adds a nice underlying citrus quality that really ups the complexity of this beer. The bitterness is hard to detect, but it does linger a bit. It's also hard to detect any alcohol in this beer. In my eyes this is perfect.

M - This is how a barleywine should feel. Super rich sticky medium to full bodied mouthfeel. So velvety and slick. It finishes quite dry as well, leaving the imbiber wanting more. Carbonation is perfect, and the first sip is just as good as the last.

O - This is far and beyond the best barleywine I've ever had. The only one that would come close is Double DBA and maybe BCBBW, but that was an English style barleywine, although, Old Backus drinks more like an English style barleywine rather than an American one. Mostly because the hops felt more in the background rather than obviously prevalent in the forefront. It is crafted with such impervious balance, it's impossible to believe it's 10.5%. This might be the most delicious and rewarding beer I've ever put my lips around. Go try this if you can!

05-31-2014 08:01:04 | More by DemoniChris
Photo of 22Blue
22Blue

Kansas

4/5  rDev -7.8%

05-31-2014 00:36:26 | More by 22Blue
Photo of acslatersbtb
acslatersbtb

Colorado

4/5  rDev -7.8%

05-02-2014 00:17:03 | More by acslatersbtb
Photo of Bosoxfan20
Bosoxfan20

Missouri

4/5  rDev -7.8%

04-27-2014 01:08:04 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of AmyfaceNYC
AmyfaceNYC

New York

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Very strong and malty, delicious barleywine. Pours a dark, rich color. Tastes like smooth and delicious liquor--only the alcohol is not particularly noticeable. I didn't notice much sweetness or hoppiness. Beer was medium- to full-bodied, with moderate carbonation. This not the most complex beer I've had, but there were lots of different flavors going on--lots to enjoy!

04-26-2014 22:46:02 | More by AmyfaceNYC
Photo of csmalley
csmalley

Kansas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

04-19-2014 15:26:20 | More by csmalley
Photo of FreeKansas
FreeKansas

Kansas

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

04-16-2014 20:28:05 | More by FreeKansas
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

04-07-2014 02:14:40 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of bismarksays
bismarksays

Iowa

4/5  rDev -7.8%

04-01-2014 03:38:16 | More by bismarksays
Photo of PeakedInHighSchool
PeakedInHighSchool

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

03-28-2014 19:29:12 | More by PeakedInHighSchool
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
alienlifeforcecube

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

03-06-2014 01:28:52 | More by alienlifeforcecube
Photo of jroberts8811
jroberts8811

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

02-18-2014 00:19:24 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of RichH55
RichH55

Illinois

5/5  rDev +15.2%

01-22-2014 22:43:24 | More by RichH55
Photo of IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
IMSPEAKNOENGLISH

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

01-20-2014 17:35:37 | More by IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
Photo of CTJman
CTJman

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

01-13-2014 23:55:18 | More by CTJman
Photo of Theogre83
Theogre83

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

12-25-2013 19:10:12 | More by Theogre83
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

12-01-2013 03:42:45 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

11-16-2013 16:47:20 | More by jaydoc
Photo of SeatsTaken
SeatsTaken

Oregon

4/5  rDev -7.8%

11-16-2013 05:07:13 | More by SeatsTaken
Photo of daisychain
daisychain

Kansas

5/5  rDev +15.2%

11-07-2013 22:17:00 | More by daisychain
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

10-28-2013 20:26:35 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of Mikevicgates
Mikevicgates

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

10-27-2013 03:29:34 | More by Mikevicgates
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Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.