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Old Backus Barleywine - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Backus BarleywineOld Backus Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

181 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 178
Gots: 28 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-29-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KCBeerNerd
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of --Dom--
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

A complete home run for Free State. Just an amazing example of the style. A little less heat/carbonation than some other offerings in this category. But jam-packed with character, complexity and flavor. Too many nuances to list. It's sweet that's for sure, but never off-putting. I wish I had the self control to save a few of these for the cellar but there's no chance of that... Don't miss out on this one. I'd even recommend this to folks looking to get into the style... look out though, they might just be ruined afterwards.....

Photo of KShophead
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of kellensmith15
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Jeffrey2310
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of dradair
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mikeincharleston
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.84/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Unreadable dating code, but it is a recently released Barley Wine, so I'm sure if anything, it's too young...

Pours an effervescent Auburn/chestnut color with a thin sand colored head. Middling head retention & lacing

S: Rich cakeyness, plums & taffy

T: Follows the nose, some woody hops, a bit of booze & grape taffy up front. Toffee comes through as this warms, dryness, woody/oak stave notes, a bit of masked boozeyness & even a hint of apricot as well. Finisihes dry, malty as hell with slight boozeyness & a touch of apricot or Pear Brandy, good complexity

MF: Chewy, moderate carbonation

Drinks a touch slow, a ponderous sipper here on display. Not sure it lives up to it draft/growler credentials, but I bet you this will age fantastic; straddles the American/English BW line with some aplomb. Get some!

Photo of pjbfromkc
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Can_has_beer
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of IpeeA
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Kahlerbock
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of KZane
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Hophead717
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Beestin
3.6/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Punisher
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of BradBuchanan
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Ivan52
3.32/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Hohnbaum
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ToddSoonerFan
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: The body is a thick, syrupy-looking ruby mahogany color. The head is tan and recedes to a cirrus cloud wisp. Surprisingly good lacing coats the glass.

Aroma: Massive malt notes, bourbon, faint honey.

Taste: Very medicinal tasting up front with bourbon and a heavy malt bill. Somewhere in the middle, a touch of honey-like sweetness roams around. Bitter hops come in the finish offering a tangy, bitter balance.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, syrupy.

Overall: I've never had a beer that resembled cough syrup so much. I'm not sure if that's an insult or a compliment.

Photo of TGanyone
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of HawkeyeNation
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of JavaNoire
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of tykechandler
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.