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Cyclops Barleywine - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cyclops BarleywineCyclops Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 84
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 8.79%
Wants: 14
Gots: 3 | 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: 51 | Hads: 84
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
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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Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body with a full, fluffy, off-white head. Admirable amounts of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Rich scent that brings you aromas of candied fruits garnished with pine needles and/or caramel-covered bread crusts with each sniff.

Taste: Pale malts, oh-so toasty Munich malt, and a sugary caramel sweetness. Hint of sweetened almond paste. Touch of apricot and dried fig fruitiness. Minimal hints of booze. Tangerine and pine (maybe even spicy) hop character with a solid, medium-high bitterness. Bittersweet, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation. Relatively smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Reasonable drinkable for a punchy barleywine. While not the best barleywine, it still was a rather enjoyable one.

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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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.82/5  rDev -4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shaded in peach skin with dashes of orange zest and potter's clay. One source says the grist is nearly all pale malt, with only a touch of crystal and Munich added for colour. It shows, this is very light for a barleywine. Fading glints of ivory make for a thin but insistent crowning.

That pale malt bill permits a dynamic fireworks display of hops. The top of my glass is brimming with a wonderful smell both rich and resiny. Each sniff is eruptive. Notes of candied grapefruit, toffee dipped citrus and fully caramelized whole leaf hops! Elysian apparently uses English Magnum for bittering, and finish with Amarillo and Centennial. Whatever it is they do, it creates the perfect barleywine bouquet.

The taste is jammed with with hops as well: some are sticky and honeyed; some are sharp and citric; some are sweet and candied; and some are just plained saturated in that pine-like resin. Not only does it have an ideal flavour for barleywine, it has all the ideal flavours for barleywines: the taste is flush with fruit, pine, and gooey rich caramel.

There is a harmonious blend of sweetness and bitterness that never steps out of balance. Each sip concludes with a brisk, clipping note of dried hops but the taste of sweet candied fruits and caramelized lupulin ring out. This to me just cries out to be drank all winter long, especially for those cold, dark, stormy nights.

The air around it becomes so dewy sweet you don't even have to sip it. Of course you should, it tastes incredible. It's hard to overstate just how enjoyable a drink this barleywine is. I have no doubt ranks near the top for best barleywines I've tried. Surely we must be put on this Earth to enjoy something like this.

If you're a fan of either Old Crustacean or Bigfoot, then you'd love the Cyclops. I can't be sure of the age on this bottle but sadly, it does appear to have since been retired. This is a true loss for the beer world. If I knew exactly how special this bottle was I might have left a little longer. At least I'll always have the memory of one of the best barleywines ever put to my lips.

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Photo of John_M
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RoryGilmore for this!!! He came through because I have been trying to get my hands on this for a looong time now. Poured a deep orangish with a flat head that kind of took the wind out my sails. However, the nose was sweet, sticky, malty and smelled of caramel and dried fruit. Taste followed suit, dried fruit, caramel malt, earthiness tone too. It was pretty boozy for the ABV. It goes to show you dont need 12ABV to make a good bwine. Mouthfeel was good. Overall, this was just as GREAT as I expected.

1 Aug 2009: Just had the 07 andaAfter two years it was good but peaked for sure.
8 Oct 09: Just had an 08 and she was just right!

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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).
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.

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.

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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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
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

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 release. Pours murky, tan, with 1/4 inch head and moderate carbonation. Taste is caramel, toffee, and light earthy hops. Not as hoppy as other versions of the style, but I am sure this is due to aging. Overall this makes an above average barleywine. This is one that I am glad that I tried that is true to style.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of illidurit
3.82/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of tpd975
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for this gem.

A: Pours a nice light cloudy orange hue with no head. There are a few bubbles rising to the top but for the most part there is no action going on in the glass, fairly flat looking.

S: Nice sweet fruit aromas up front. Hints of cotton candy, light booze, and a smidge of hops round things out. Very inviting.

T: Matches aroma. Big sweet malt up front. Hints of caramel malt, summer fruits, booze, and a light blast of citrus hops.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

D: Very, this was an 03 bottle and boy has it come of age. The flavors have really melded together to create one tasty, smooth brew. I could sit and sip this one for hours on a cool night.

Thanks Dave

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.9/5  rDev -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...

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Photo of Crosling
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange. Typical, expressive, well aged, barley wine aroma with an equal balance between the malt and hops providing hints of apples, fruits, caramel, harsh hops and honey. Sweet, fruity, candy like malts in the flavor with a sharp but balanced hoppiness that gave notes of pine, resin and orange. Damn, this stuff was tasty.

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Cyclops Barleywine from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.