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Cyclops Barleywine - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cyclops BarleywineCyclops Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

78 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 8.29%
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: 78 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattjcrawford
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bmur112
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mabermud
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark amber body. Off white collar for a head. Caramel aroma with fruity undertones. To me, not so attractive. The taste is muddled and not distinct. There is some light caramel with some fruity sour notes. The finish is not so clean and there is a little sourness.

Overall - I would have to be hard pressed to have this again. Not bad, but not good enough to have again.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
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 spycow
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JackNip
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Birdlegs
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer seems to pour virtually flat, which seems odd. A very aggressive pour still produces no head, but only bubbles from an agitated liquid.

The beer is sound. Very much a barleywine. Heavy malts with a mild sweet tone. I like it. Too bad I didn't know to pick more of it up when I had the chance.

Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
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 Basoos1
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of jemarent
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of KlayWey
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jellikit
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
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 hlatimer266
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of draheim
3.74/5  rDev -6%
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 flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
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 piccnd3
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of AndersonGT
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of SeaAle
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Braz
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of artoolemomo
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Cyclops Barleywine from Elysian Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.