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Old Backus Barleywine - Free State Brewing Co.

Old Backus Barleywine
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

120 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 120
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.11%


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: 120 | Reviews: 67 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by KickInTheChalice:
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KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 64 oz. growler courtesy of kansascitytrader through AgentZero. Thanks for sharing guys!

The beer pours a fairly murky, flat brown color with a ruby miniscus and a small wisp of a tan head.

The aroma is harsh and boozy. The smell is heavy on the dark fruits and lighter on the caramel and brown sugar malt notes. Rum-soaked raisins, plums, and figs, with additional sugar and alcohol presence.

The flavor is not quite so severe. The flavor starts and stays very sweet, with a little bit more balance than I was led to believe existed from the nose. Brown sugar and toffee coat the figs, raisins, and plums, but the bready malt gets lost behind a still-intense booze and oak character. The finish is fairly boozy. It has a harsh flavor, but there could be a good beer hiding behind the rough edges.

Old Backus is very light on the carbonation and the grainy nature of the beer contributes to a fairly rough feel on the palate overall.

I have definitely smelled and tasted barleywines with very rough aromas at first that have mellowed out into beautiful beers. Unfortunately, with only the opportunity to try this one fresh, it has not had any time to develop.

Serving type: growler

02-10-2012 23:56:27 | More by KickInTheChalice
More User Reviews:
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FreeKansas

Kansas

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

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

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

Iowa

4/5  rDev -8%

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

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

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

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

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

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

Illinois

5/5  rDev +14.9%

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

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

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CTJman

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

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

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

11-16-2013 16:47:20 | More by jaydoc
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Oregon

4/5  rDev -8%

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

Kansas

5/5  rDev +14.9%

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

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

10-27-2013 03:29:34 | More by Mikevicgates
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SafeAtFirst

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

08-01-2013 17:07:03 | More by SafeAtFirst
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swaghawk

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

07-01-2013 23:09:32 | More by swaghawk
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JasonFromLA

California

4/5  rDev -8%

03-29-2013 07:07:00 | More by JasonFromLA
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zeledonia

Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage, on-tap at the brewpub. Tasted 22 January 2013, reviewed from notes. My review is lacking a bit of detail, due to in-bar note-taking.

Pours a medium-dark reddish amber. Clear. One finger of off-white head that leaves terraces of lacing.

Smell pops with spice, hops, and smooth whiskey. Loads of spice, and a smooth, warm burn.

Taste has zip, zing, and zap. Brandy, candy, and more and more spice.

Feel is quite good. Medium body, very sticky, lasting and rounded, smoothly rising and drifting back down. More carbonation than many barleywines, and I like that.

A really tasty, spiced-up barrel-aged barleywine. The barrel is really cleanly integrated, with no obvious lines between the beer and the barrel. Happy I got the chance to try this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2013 04:33:31 | More by zeledonia
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jrenn

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

01-26-2013 17:45:34 | More by jrenn
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phishbone23

New York

3/5  rDev -31%

01-23-2013 12:56:47 | More by phishbone23
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starrdogg

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

01-14-2013 14:08:45 | More by starrdogg
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oline73

Maryland

3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the growler into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber with a small amount of off white head that goes away rather quickly.

Smell: This is really sweet and full of caramel and grain. I'm getting a lot of dark fruit along with a mild banana note.

Taste: This is a really sweet barleywine. Lots of caramel like malt. The mild banana shows up here as well. A strong dark fruit note here along with the sweetness. The finish is sweet, but there is a solid hop presence as well.

Mouthfeel: The body is syrupy with a few tingles of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I would say that the main story here is the sweetness. I'd have more if it was offered.

Serving type: growler

01-14-2013 03:49:43 | More by oline73
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Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.