1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Old Backus Barleywine - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Backus BarleywineOld Backus Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

171 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 171
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 178
Gots: 27 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 171 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of csmalley
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of FreeKansas
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of bismarksays
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of PeakedInHighSchool
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of jroberts8811
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of RichH55
5/5  rDev +17.4%

4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of CTJman
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Theogre83
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of jaydoc
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SeatsTaken
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of daisychain
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Mikevicgates
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of swaghawk
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JasonFromLA
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of zeledonia
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of jrenn
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of phishbone23
3/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of starrdogg
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of oline73
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.