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Cyclops Barleywine - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cyclops BarleywineCyclops Barleywine

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BA SCORE
89
very good

50 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 82
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.44%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 82
Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of badbeer
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
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. (304 characters)

Photo of jellikit
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
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. (309 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at the Pike Street location. This brew is a clear amber color with a compact off-white head that recedes steadily. Patches of lacing. Aroma of malt and butterscotch, along with some hops. Rich and sweet mouthfeel with flavors of caramel malt, dark fruit and toffee flavors. Hops are present, as is some alcohol but both are hidden. The finish is sweet at first with some hops becoming more assertive on the back end. Above average overall. (446 characters)

Photo of Donnie2112
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

amber red in appearance nice head that quickly dissipates to a thin film

extremely sweet caramelly, mollasess, toffee smell

a bunch of hops in this, they are mostly very dry and herbal and the sit nicely against the bready mollasses and caramel sweetness in the malt there's also a bit of red hot like alcohol flavor in there, this beer could probably use just a bit more age

warm alcohol full body and medium light carbonation

this is a good solid barleywine, nothing super stand out about it but solid. If I lived in Seattle this would make a decent replacement for my East coast favorites such as Brooklyn Monster Ale and Old Horizontal. (644 characters)

Photo of draheim
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (383 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (344 characters)

Photo of Kevlee722
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (881 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I was first given this bottle from a friend, I was quite interested in it due to the fact that it had NOT a brewery label, but more of a label you would place on an envelope, which seemed to me that this may have been the product of a home brewer. It was explained to me that at the time the beer was brewed and bottled, they were changing labels and the bottle i have is a result of their temporary labels. Anyway, interesting huh?

Well, I poured this 2000 product into my tulip glass. I noticed during the pour that there was no head at all to this beer and a bright reddish-brown color w/ no light getting through at all! Also, I noticed a good bit of yeast sediment floating and after pouring, a lot of sediment sat at the bottom of the bottle.

Smelling it, I got lots of alcohol ticlking my nosehairs, and a bit of rasberries and baked bread due to the yeast. Taking a first sip, the alcohol left a very nice warming feeling w/ a distinct oaken taste and lots of alcohol that kills the palette. I got the taste of some slight earthen hops, and I can express this tasting as the taste of sucking on a wine cork. The feel is very warm and sugary...alcohol, alcohol, alcohol! It did have a mellow smoothness on the finish w/ very little carbonation. This exceeded my expectations! (1,293 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev -6%
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. (734 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange color with a modest but creamy beige head. Mostly caramel sweetness on the nose but with some pruney fruitiness and a bready crusty earthiness. The use of mostly pale malt allows the hops to shine through nicely. Flavor is sweet and sugary, with some stone fruits to go along with the dark fruits of the aroma. Appreciable earthy bitterness. Body is a little light for the style, which helps the drinkability out. (427 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of this at the Capitol Hill Location on June 26th, not sure why it is listed as retired.

A - Deep hazy amber with a thin tan head. A lattice lace pattern develops as the head settles.

S - A toffee-like caramel with hints of wood and slightly grainy aroma. A sweet booziness is experienced in the aroma later on.

M - Rich, dense w/ a warm boozy and candy-like feel. A dry hop quality and full sweet finish is felt.

T - Dry and malty at first, then sweet with a bite in the bitterness dept. Full sweet candied tastes with rye notes and what comes off as brown sugar with noticeable alcohol in the flavor. A nuttiness and piney earthy taste show a tobacco-like dry quality. This strong barleywine doesn't hesitate to show what it's made of. You know as you drink this exactly what caliber of ale you are dealing with.

D - A viscous bite and a bruiser of an ale make it slightly less drinkable than I would like. I enjoy the flavor, don't get me wrong, but it comes off as a bit over the top. Malty and boozy qualities are emphasized here. I would receommend it for cool winter weather. It will definitely warm you up. (1,153 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazey medium golden orange. Small puffy whitish head of foam lasts briefly to keep a bubbly collar and a broken skim. All sorts of lace in spots and short broken strings glare the glass.

Aroma is a bit muddled in ethonalic warmth wrapped in a light caramel blanket with some delicate hints of orange peel zest.

Taste is favorably medium soaked in a nice warming caramel smoothness with a slight orangey grit and bigger malty grainyness. Throaty warmth is a bit over the top nearer the finish where some piney hops and a slight bread doughy fullness makes for a slow seeping end where a mellower stand of caramel and orange candy remain late across the palate.

Bold warmth with a slight edgey grab of texture are fairly full in the body of this beer. Quick to warm and slow to settle as it peaks in the throat and simmers later in the tummy.

This sucker is a big time sipper of a Barleywine. The warmth is a bit too forward, but the flavors are solid and nice to let sink in as the warmth rolls through your soul. (1,024 characters)

Photo of bbothen
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours dark red/brown with a small 1 finger head that dissipates into tiny bubbles around the glass.

Smells of sweet sugar & caramel with some faint citrus hop aroma.

Hop bitterness quickly overwhelmed by a big caramel sweetness. Warming boozy finish.

Medium. Feels smooth & creamy. Moderate carbonation.

10% sipper. Tasty barleywine. Big sweetness. (389 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.87/5  rDev -4%
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. (2,216 characters)

Photo of ElGordo
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (900 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage pours murky orange - brown with thin off white head. The aroma is malty and seemingly wheat or rye along with hints of fruity esters and muted pine hops. The mild carbonation silks in with pretty big blunted pine hop bitterness and coupled with some earthiness, malts and lighter colored fruity esters. Tasting great for an American style barleywine. Still an alcohol sense noted in both the aroma and the taste. Could age even a few more years. (458 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack of 12 oz. bottles at the brewery in Seattle, WA. Single into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper body with a sluggish carbonation level. A thin, gray head retreats to a wispy patch of bubbles...looks just like a Barleywine should. Aroma is rife with deep notes of caramel and toffee, candied sugar, boozy heat, and a hint of resinous hops. I'm liking this one so far.

The flavor is a more muted than the aroma and appearance led on, but still pretty good. (EDIT: Second bottle was much better for some reason) Sugary, candy malts combine with a slight spice and pine from the hop oils. Alcohol warmth greets the back of the palate with a bit of a bitter/sour woodiness. The body is somewhat thin and prickly and, despite the high ABV, surprisingly well-carbonated. Not much of a lasting finish either. Overall, I'm glad I nabbed a sixer of Cyclops, as it's very drinkable for the alcohol level and style. I'm looking forward to the rest... (959 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.91/5  rDev -3%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev -3%
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 (490 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of mabermud
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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. (686 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev -1%
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. (2,844 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 12 oz bottle bought from the fridge at the brewpub in Seattle, a day in my carry-on, a couple of months in my fridge.

Wow. What a strange, hazy, pinkish-orange color. Up top there's a small, off-white, dense head. Thin, filmy lacing. Malt, toffee, sweet creamy chocolate and bread in the nose. Besides that, not much (:-). The front is very sweet: caramel, toffee, candy. A thick, sweet, creamy, malty middle gives up the stage for a sweet, alcoholy finish. There's some nice bitterness in the finish. And licorice aplenty.

I think this is a pretty tasty, sweet American barleywine. (594 characters)

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Cyclops Barleywine from Elysian Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.