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Cyclops Barleywine - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cyclops BarleywineCyclops Barleywine

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BA SCORE
88
very good

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 14
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.85% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-20-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by Braz:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a no joke American style BW.Poured into an oversized wine glass a lemon tea color with no head to speak of at all,murky and plain lookin.The aromas woke this beer up,fruity and somewhat floral,very juicy and provacitive to say the least.Flavors of sweet cake and dark fruit turns into bigtime citric and piny hop,its a real shot in the face.Alot of brewers could use this as a an American DIPA but the big fruity malt profile makes it a barleywine,a great beer that folks from other countries need to try to see what a true American barleywine is and should be.

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Thick orange in the body with a smallish head. Even watching the ale come out of the bottle before striking the glass, it is exceptionally thick.

Smell – The deep malt aroma holds its own against the big hops. There’s a light citrus sweetness as well.

Taste – This is a real heavy hitter. The malt flavors are thick and strong, and the hop balance is in play as well. The malt sweetness is sharp and complex. There’s also a medicinal alcohol tinge.

Mouthfeel – I would like to have seen a little more smoothness to this one. Otherwise, it felt great in the mouth.

Drinkability – I liked this one. It was fun to drink. This is a seriously big barley wine.

Photo of JasonA
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darktranslucent carmel copper. Some head with lacing. Have to take off .5 for twist top.

Malt and hops ... good start. I prefer more malt than hops for the style. Dark rum raisin, very appealing. Im more than happy that hops is not overpowering this example.

Wow, smooth mellow sweet delicious hops. Faint yet prevelent hops with just enough aroma hops. Maybe some deeper malt, but nothing really to bad to say here.

Sits yummy in the mouth, exactly the reason I love BWs. So smooth for an American. I find they are usually bitter than their English counter parts (as expected), but the hops arent bittering, more aroma, very nicely balanced.

Yes, yes yes. More please. Also, im sure these age well also. Mine is at least 6mo old.

Photo of badbeer
3.18/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber with a white colored head that has decent retention. Pine sap, booze, sweet malt in the nose, though it is a bit watery. Grainy taste with grass, biscuit, and a little bit of earthy hops. Medium body and light carbonation. Drinkability was alright, but I don't know that I'd have too many of these.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this beer. Cracked open to celebrate my Rangers going to the World Series.

The beer pours a brownish-amber color with a small white head. The aroma is very heavy on the brown sugar with some caramel and alcohol notes also mixed in. I also get a little bit of orange from the hops.

The flavor is more of the same. I get some extremely juicy orange citrus notes as well as a lot of brown sugar, toffee and caramel malt. The alcohol is definitely noticeable but the beer is still easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of FrognutUnl
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No idea of the vintage.

Pours deep amber, copper in hue with no discernable head, just bubbles on the edge of the class that hang out for near eternity. The nose is full of malty brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruits. Rich flavors of caramel, molasses, and a nice "piney"-ness are the first things I taste. As it nears room temperature a subtle candied grapefruit flavor comes to the foreground. The alcohol is slightly present in the nice warm finish. Mouthfeel is wonderful and creamy, full bodied indeed. This is certainly a stellar brew and many thanks to thethrone for the taste. This is my first experience with Elysian and I hope the others I have in my fridge live up to the high bar this brew sets.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nicely hopped barleywine, 2007 edition The aroma is rich malts and barley, the appearance is a golden-brown with some white halo head, and spider lacing follows. The hops were magnum, amarillo, and centennial. Ageing lead to a nice mouthfeel, most drinkable, with a citrus undercurrent and finish, however also boozy finish.Overall, bitterness.

Photo of ElGordo
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up on my last trip up to Bottleworks. Not sure how much more they have, or if there will ever be any more.
Pours from the 12oz bottle a bright orange color (left the sediment in the bottle). Head is off-white and creamy, subsiding to a rather thick halo after a minute or two. Aroma of tons of sweet caramel malt mixed with dry, grapefruity hops, and more than a little bit of alcohol. Palate is sweet up front, dominated by caramel malt and a touch of roastiness. The hops assert themselves after a few seconds, balancing out the sweetness with a nice level of citrusy bitterness. Finish is fairly clean, with a bit of alcohol warmth that continues to build as the glass gets closer to empty.
The body is thick and more syrupy than chewy, although not too much of either one. A fairly drinkable barleywine. I hope Elysian tries to brew this one again at some point in the future.

Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz, obtained at bottleworks in seattle - brought back via northwest airlines

"04" written in marker on the cap

appearance: poured into my de koninck chalice, very murky mud-amber body, light beige lacing

smell: lots of sweet dark fruit, boozy, dwindling hops, sugary sweet...not a full on blast on the nose, but nice

taste: this one is still pretty hot even 5 years out...big sweet malty core - really really good. this one resembles a number of old ales...fairly strong bourbon/alcohol presence that warms the body. really smooth, spicy and tight

mouthfeel: smooth, sticky hop resin in the finish

drinkability: pretty good

Photo of Kevlee722
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured into tulip glass.

Ok, zero head except from some tightly packed bubbles where the beer meets the glass despite a heavy pour. Copper color, cloudy. Not the prettiest BW, but decent in presentation.

Smell is nice, burnt sugars, caramel and vanilla. Not overly so, but sweet smelling with a hint of citrus.

Taste is sweet without being cloying, once again the burnt sugar and caramel, a hint of spice and some astringency. Hop presence is null with the slight impression of some citrus.

Mouthfeel gets the low marks for almost no carbonation. Storage problem perhaps? Really wanted to like this beer but simply couldn't score it higher. Flat with the tiniest remnants of carbonation. Otherwise medium body with a drier finish.

Would love to try a fresh version and also one with maybe a year on it. Love stuff from Elysian, but this misses the mark a bit IMO.

Photo of jellikit
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: orange. Slightly hazy. Minuscule head.
S: small sweet, molasses, and citrus. Floral.
T: orange and mango. Alcohol. Pine sap. Slightly sweet. Has an odd aftertaste of something I can not explain. Almost slightly metallic.
M: low carbonation. Thick.
O: good barley wine. NW style. Hoppy. Imperial IPA X
2.

Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a slightly hazy deep amber body with a small head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Caramel, brown sugar, apples and pears and some citrus hops.

Taste. Toasty light grains and caramel ...lots of both. Some pine needles, citrus rind and green apples.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Good barleywine without being "over the top". Pretty easy drinking as far as the style goes.

Photo of Gobigvt7
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2011 Vintage, released Winter 2013. From the Hop & Vine PDX, OR

A- Pours a ruddy caramel color with tight little creamy bubbles that form a quick, but thin head. Head dissipates, but still some froth at the edges and lacing. Hazy, but not quite murky.

S - Not a ton in the nose, some oxidative qualities, very faint apple skin, wet malt.

T - A nice, full and developed but melded flavor. Rich caramels quickly give way to a pineapple pine resin note that blends into a smooth toffee finish. Very pineapple juice, but as if bruleed.

M - chewy and full bodied, but the balance brings a serious drinkability to the party. Light carbonation prickles and is just enough to carry this beast over.

O - after the look and nose, I was a tad worried, but this one-eyed wonder came through for me. I don't know if Elysian has made this house-cellaring for two years part of the process or if we just lucked into it (though there appears to be new labels on this aged beer), but it's a great idea and I hope more people start doing it. It's nice and round, pretty much exactly what it should be.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A short vertical of the two most recent years of this local barleywine: 2009 and 2011 (which was released in 2013, probably for brewery aging).
2009
Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark, hazy brownish orange with very little carbonation, no head nor lacing. I was surprised when I popped the top that it was a twist-off, an odd choice for an ageable beer. Rich barleywine aroma of caramel malt, dark dried fruit, especially dates and figs, lighter fresh plums, a hint of hops and hint of oxidation. Flavor is concentrated dried and fresh dark fruit, mixture of biscuit and caramel malt, light grassy hop finish. A mixture of woody and earthy fruit malt in the finish reminiscent of a barreled port. Heavy, almost syrupy body, sadly with very little carbonation, although it is not flat. This has aged nicely and there is no detectable consequences of the screw cap; it kept this well. The flavors have mellowed and melded together in to a pretty tasty dark fruit and malt combo that was quite satisfying.

2011
Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a lightly hazy medium orange ambe with a thin white head that dissipates to a thin, patchy film with suprisingly good lacing. Aroma similar to the 2009, with caramel malt and dark dried fruit dominating. Almost the same level of mild oxidation aroma. Flavor is caramel malt, toffee, dark dried fruit with no fresh dark fruit flavors. Considering that this is actually 3 years old (I only aged it one year after purchasing it on release), it is not suprising it has some aged barleywine character. The flavor leans more towards to the caramel malt than the figs and plums, with a little bit of fresh plum juice and light hops in the finish. Medium bodied leaning towards the heavy end; not as thick as the earlier version. Although the flavors are somewhat more subdued than other barleywine, I really liked the caramel orientation of the profile. A nice, mellow slow sipping barleywine that leans towards the English style.

Both versions have well covered ABV and although a bit subdued compared to other barleywines, have good flavor and pretty much everything I want in a barleywine sipper late in the evening. I will get this again when released.

These two vintages are quite different tasting from each other. I had the 2009 version when it came out and neither recorded nor remember my impressions (I think I liked it), so I'm not sure what parts of the difference are due to aging or to batch differences. The 2009 is quite nice with age on it and I also liked the more caramel forward 2011. I have a couple of bottle cellared and look forward to comparing these again if and when Elysian releases this again.

The ratings are an average of the two, and in this case, the ratings are very similar except for appearance, where the low carbonation 2009 looses some points.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9.85% on bottle, no date. Dark chesnut brown pour into my nice little Brooklyn snifter. Off white 1/4 inch and that's about it. Poured strictly to guidelines set forth by Brothers Alstrom. Smells like a cross between a heath bar and butterfinger. Nice and bitter on the nose, popcorn molasses and caramel meets hop tasty. Hoppy for sure, big backbone of caramel stiffness. Good and fumey and hoppy as the best of them...piney with the malt flavor. Hops and dark rye real nutty. Pistachio nuttiness. Dry and bitter mouthfeel, love it. If you want a Barleywine, this is it. Simple and difficult.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well my buddy fish113d had a bottle of this and I said hold onto it I want to try some too! Was not dissapointed I visited the pub when in Seattle years ago but was not in BA at the time. . The bottle has a label that says 2000 cyclops barleywine. Like an envelope label. see fish's review for story.
The beer is sampled at room temp in a tulip glass.
Brew pours a cloudy ruby color with no head whatsoever. Aroma is complex with alcohol present, mixing with red grapes, biscuity yeast, some berry scents and dark ripe fruit like plums. Very appealing.
First sip reveals an average body but syrupy texture, almost no carbonation.
Flavor is fruity with plums and raisins dominant, some red grapes and chocolate as well. Iget a faint hint of earthy hops that were probably more in your face when the beer was fresh.
The brew is very smooth and nice, a bit of warming alcohol on the finish, but I often welcome that trait in a beer.
Definitely a nice barleywine!

Photo of John_M
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried the 2006 version of this beer at the Hard Liver festival at Brower's.

This was the youngest barleywine I tried in my first flight of 5. The lack of age showed, as this beer was much more fruity (from the hops), angular and hoppy then the others I tried. The nose was somewhat muted, but I did get aromas of butter and toffee. The beer was still very sweet and smooth, but with a noticeable hop bite in the finish. While I didn't think the alcohol was too noticeable, it was still very obviously a big beer.

Very well made barley wine... one that will no doubt only improve with a few more years of aging.

Photo of warmstorage
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rated and reviewed based both on a 12 ounce bottle bought at Elysian Tangletown, and on the two glasses drank on tap at Elysian Tangletown last week. My tasting notes from all three beers are sufficiently similar that I'm combining them, and noting differences, though the immediate glass in front of me is from the bottle.

Medium to deep orange color; poured with a lacy white head, leaves lace film on the glass sides, head dissipated quickly. (On tap, came out with little head, but same lacy whiteness and burnt orange color, so similar impression.)

Noticable carbonation in the glass from the bottle, slightly tingly, remains so even long after finish. Good carbonation for the style: otherwise the sweetness and thick body might be a bit much. Seemed somewhat less carbonated on tap, but still present carbonation.

Aroma is slightly piney, slightly sweet, and hints of vanilla (if you have ever smelled a Jeffrey Pine, it's remarkably similar to that: vanilla but pine but vanilla; sweet, but tangy/sharp, but sweet.) Jeffrey Pine resin, incidentally, is distilled to make nearly pure n-heptane, but in nature is delightful and one of my favorite trees (to smell) nonetheless. Go sniff a tree while looking out at Lake Tahoe, and if it smells like vanilla, it's probably Jeffrey Pine.

Taste is FANTASTIC. Again, Jeffrey Pine: vanilla, citrus piney notes, with a distinct, sharp sweetness to it, and finishes with some hints of honey. Amazing stuff, both on tap and in the bottle (though the tap felt and tasted more mellow to me, but I love both.) This is an excellent blend of the two major styles of barleywines: the first (American, think Bigfoot) being sharp, robust, hoppy, higher carbonated, brews with up front alcohol and (good) harshness); the second (English; think AleSmith Old Numbskull) being sweeter, thicker, more syrupy, more rounded, less harsh, less pronounced hoppy, and _sometimes_ lower alcohol. The Cyclops provides both sets of tastes: distinct, high alpha acid hops, with piney, citrus flavors and aromas obvious, but also a sweet, honey and syrup body and presence. I LOVE THIS BEER. It's about the second best barleywine I've tasted in the last few years, the first being Rogue XS barleywine (also an excellent mix of the styles.)

The mouthfeel is slightly thick and syrupy, but not nearly as much so as some barleywines, and has notable carbonation (see above notes re: difference between bottle and tap.)

The drinkability is EXTREME. I could sit and drink this all damn day. (I should note here that my standard, everyday fridge beer is Sierra Nevada Bigfoot: it's one of the weird hazards of living in Utah.) I'm sure glad I bought a six pack ($12) from Elysian, and I saw it later at Bottleworks in Seattle for $11.

Photo of draheim
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz (2011) into a snifter. Pours a perfectly clear amber w/ a minimal head, nice carbonation. Bonus points for brilliant clarity.

Aroma is floral hops and caramel malt. Fruity but a little subdued.

Taste follows nose. Toffee, bitter floral hops, and a nice warming kiss of 9.9% booze.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and chewy.

Overall a pretty standard, middle-of-the-road barleywine.

Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This has a sourish hint that is quite interesting in a Barley Wine. Not spoiled but showing its age. Now that I see the fine print, this is from 2011. Alcohol taste with some dry malty grain. Bitterish finish.

Murky stuff. Boozy dishwater. I can't say that age has done anything for this stuff. Not that Elysian did much for it to begin with. From the 12 oz bottle purchased in northern Washington.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a about finger's worth of head which has poor retention. The head is an off-white/very light beige/tan while the body is a medium to dark amber which appears as a hazy, medium amber when held up to the light.

Nose- Very interesting with a definite indication that this beer still has hop notes even after 2 years. Lots of caramel at first, followed by apple which gives it a notion of candy apple. A candy-like scent is very dominant on the nose. Some cherry, some citrus from the hops. Mostly orange. Some brown sugar, molasses. I'm guessing this is going to be a very sweet and malty barleywine. Swirling doesn't really add much.

Taste- Starts off with light caramel with strong citrus in the background. Lots of orange with moves into even deeper candy flavors. This is very sweet just as I had expected from the nose. Some bitterness starts to show itself in the form of grapefruit and some woody qualities. Definitely some pine and resin but not as boisterous as I find with younger American barleywines. A bit of spice and a little bit of heat on the finish. Some earwax on the finish as well. Some notes of toffee and vanilla. Tiny bit of oak. It's very fortunate that the bitter aspects of the hops persist as it really balances a sweetness that could easily become cloying. Good to really good beer, but closer to good. A nice change after the young American barleywines I've had. Good presence, good complexity, balance, and integration. A very solid beer that lacks that extra little something to make it a really good beer. Still quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- A little less than medium bodied with lots of syrup to the texture and light carbonation really makes this seem like a lollipop or a piece of hard candy.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing due to its juiciness but also has a little bit of heat so it's not too lethal. Around 5 bucks a bottle (if I remember correctly), so fair as far as price goes.

Overall- Pretty much a good, solid beer with aspirations of being a really good beer. I appreciate the fact that the brewer has chosen to age this American barleywine and therefore distinguish it from just another DIPA. Worth a try, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

Photo of GClarkage
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09/19/07- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with an '07 written in ink on the bottle cap. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Ruby-caramel in color. About a 3/4 inch head on the pour. A very light rim remains after it settles. Light traces of lace remain.

Smell- An equal caramel malt sweetness in the nose as well as a nice grapefruit pine aroma.

Taste- Good amount of caramel malt, but not quite the sweetness that was expected by the aroma. It doesn't quite round out the beer as good as it should because it has a very large, and fortunately smooth hop profile. Mostly some intense pine needle flavors.

Mouthfeel- Medium, maybe a touch higher carbonation. Tastes a tad thin because the malt sweetness isn't as large.

Drinkability- Still a pretty tasty barleywine on the lines of Bigfoot without the balance.

Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is the 2011 Cyclops.

Appearance: rich tawny-amber hue with a relatively heavy haze and a light effervescence. Head poured a thin layer of tan foam and slowly receded to a light film. A nice looking beer; quite appropriate for the style.

Smell: sweet and quite bready with relatively light hopping. There's also a little fruity alcoholic complexity, which is nice. Not too bad.

Taste: rich and sweet up front with lots of doughy breadiness. Bitterness is moderate for the style, although hop flavor is minimal (earthy, if anything). Not too bad, but it lacks in complexity.

Mouthfeel: rich in body with a nice creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a tasty, if somewhat simple, barleywine.

Photo of jletts
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 Cyclops Barley Wine

Appeared light orange-amber with a thin head and smelled of sour pear, dates, alcohol, plums, champagne grape, a little coconut and even (stay with me here) some summer melon and occasional light sweet floral notes. Figs and cloves filled out the flavor, along with peppery alcohol, light toasted coconut, and hops lingering around at the end. This beer was gentle and smooth but the hops were still quite fresh tasting. Truly delicious. I just love this barley wine and it seems to age nicely. Strangely I enjoyed the taste of the 2007 version just a little more. Can't wait to taste that one in a couple of years.

2008 Cyclops Barley Wine, 10 months cellar time

Smelled of sugar cane and molasses, layered with notes of prunes and some lingering stringency. Flavors of molasses and raisins emerged up front, finishing hoppy, though quickly turning peppery and very neat with a clean alcohol vapor on exhale. A silky smoothness and a sugary thickness finished up a fantastic drinking experience.

Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'06 Bottling on tap at the Hard Liver Barleywine Fest #7 (3rd place)

Appearance: Arrives with a light amber color and a nice head that laces beautifully

Smell: Toffee and leafy hops

Taste: After the toffee flavored opening, the earthy English style hop flavors emerge to provide a nice balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This was a decent barleywine, but it would not have ribboned in my book; a bit too light and lacking in complexity, for my palate

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Cyclops Barleywine from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.