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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

128 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 160
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: 128 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of swaghawk
swaghawk

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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

California

4/5  rDev -7.8%

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

Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
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
Photo of jrenn
jrenn

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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

New York

3/5  rDev -30.9%

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

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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

Maryland

3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
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
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -25.1%

01-13-2013 22:07:46 | More by spycow
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DrAwkward82 for sharing this one at drewone's place.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a semi-sweet finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and a tasty flavor.

Serving type: growler

01-07-2013 02:01:44 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev -7.8%

01-06-2013 21:40:13 | More by drewone
Photo of rfbenavi80
rfbenavi80

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

12-23-2012 16:42:07 | More by rfbenavi80
Photo of DrLaFollette
DrLaFollette

Kansas

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

11-30-2012 14:08:13 | More by DrLaFollette
Photo of Thirstygoat
Thirstygoat

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

11-23-2012 00:38:49 | More by Thirstygoat
Photo of BeerHunter76
BeerHunter76

Texas

4/5  rDev -7.8%

11-12-2012 02:44:03 | More by BeerHunter76
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev -7.8%

11-06-2012 23:12:39 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ryan! The growler fill was from a 2009 keg I believe.

A deep mahogany brown colored beer that is relatively still as it should be in my opinion. I do observe some legs. Aroma is slightly alcoholic with notes of toffee and dry fruit. Not too sweet on the taste with notes of wood and roast. Hop bitterness works well. Vanilla and even bourbon like notes although this is not aged in barrels. Medium body and low carbonation. Tastes good, kicks ass; one of the better American barleywines I have had.

Serving type: growler

10-17-2012 08:29:56 | More by tewaris
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

10-01-2012 00:28:25 | More by t0rin0
Photo of shebby
shebby

Utah

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-17-2012 15:52:44 | More by shebby
Photo of Adidasakh
Adidasakh


5/5  rDev +15.2%

08-15-2012 03:48:33 | More by Adidasakh
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

08-13-2012 01:25:38 | More by bpfrush
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

08-13-2012 00:46:30 | More by Duff27
Photo of Khazadum
Khazadum

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.8%

08-11-2012 18:23:58 | More by Khazadum
Photo of sammo
sammo

Kansas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

06-23-2012 19:28:57 | More by sammo
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kegatron for sharing this one with us all at Stakem's Fish Fry. This growler is over a year old.

A - Pours slightly hazy dark amber with a nice one finger tall light tan head leaving thin strings of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells amazing right off the bat. Lots of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and a bit of dark fruit at the end of each sniff.

T - Starts off with a big dose of sweetness - mostly toffee, caramel, butterscotch and a bit of molasses - slowly giving way to a bit of dark fruits and some dulled hop bitterness. Very little, if any, booze is present but there is definitely a touch of oxidation in this one but, like the booze, it never gets in the way.

M - Big body with a smooth, creamy feel with moderate carbonation. The feel works extremely well with the flavors to create an easy drinking yet potent barleywine.

O - Damn, this is one fine barleywine. I have had some great barleywines in my travels but this one is one of the best. Simply awesome stuff, hope I get to try it again some day.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2012 21:01:19 | More by orangesol
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 64oz growler to Portsmouth glass on 3/29/12
*From notes

-- Thanks, Siege --

Growler filled around Christmas 2011

A: Muddy cider in color. A standard pour yields a creamy one finger off-white head. It lingers for a minute and leaves a thick collar and moderate lacing.

S: Stodgy pine oil. Hints of sliced green apple and a touch of toasted malt.

T: Creamy malt up front. The mid is nothing if not a bit sweet. The hops then jump right in and bite the palate. It's more of a biting pine resin then fruity.

M: Decent. We're talking about a growler that was filled and driven all the way back from Kansas a few months ago, so it's not gonna be crisp. A bit oily and thin as well.

O: A nice take on an American Barleywine. Being as this is non-barrel aged, this instantly is put at a disadvantage, though having said that, this is still a solid beer. I'd recommend drinking it fresh, or waiting quite a while to get into it, as the hops here were a bit stale in my opinion.

Not quite up to the rDev or lofty status, and certainly not worth dumping your cellar for.

Serving type: growler

04-03-2012 18:58:27 | More by Rhettroactive
Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.