Lower De Boom Barleywine - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Lower De Boom BarleywineLower De Boom Barleywine

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BA SCORE
85
very good

148 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 658
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 29
Gots: 65 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 09-12-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 658
Photo of Phelps
2.72/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into my little Three Floyds tasting snifter. Canned on date of 2/5/13.

A menacing-looking ale. Dark, murky burgundy pours thick from the can's lip, with nearly no head created upon its entry. A hold to the light gives up some burnt orange hues, but it's still like looking at the sun when at the bottom of a swamp.

Malt has made the aroma very sweet, with caramel and toffee taking the lead over some herbal hops. Maybe a little mint, cilantro.

Eek. Something's amiss here. the tangy, sugared sweetness of the malt isn't balanced by a beefy hop bitterness, but rather does battle with it. Burnt biscuits, caramel, grass, orange peel. All of them are in there and none of them seem to be getting along.

A bit of redemption is found in the body, to which the sugary malt has lent a nice full viscosity. The carbonation, absent from the head, is on full display in here, prickling the tongue with tiny bubbles.

Not a great barleywine, but not undrinkable. (982 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.84/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Canned 03FEB13

Cool little 8 oz can deceptively marketed. Pours a nice brown with a sheet of light tan foam. Smells of malts, some soap, some floral hops and a touch of sugar - nothing special. Flavor is sweet and fruity with lots of esters, hints of bubble gum and banana with a really English yeast flavor. Overly sweet for me. Medium bodied with low carb and a slightly sticky finish. I was hoping this would be really good so I could buy a good bunch for the cellar, but alas, not the truth. (496 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8.4 oz. can poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a honey golden brown into the glass. No head to speak of appears. There's a very, very fine sheen of lace on most of the surface, with a small island of fine bubbles in the middle. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a sunset orange-red and somewhat opaque.

S - Nicely toasted malts sit underneath an ABV-supported, somewhat astringent mix of grassy citrus floral notes, flinty metallic, light fruit juices (apple and pear), and sugary caramels and hard candy. As the beer warms in the glass, the sugars begin to better shape the nose. This may well be a beer that really needs to warm up to present properly.

T - While noticeably more focused on the toasted malts and caramels in the start of the quaff, big hops of equal parts citrus and resin push their way forward and take over. The finish is a dollop of honey, orange, and caramel in the center of the tongue surrounded by herbal bitters along the sides. The ABV is well-masked in the taste profile, but quickly shows up warming the tummy.

M - Creamy, with mouth-filling carbonation. Medium body. Components are nicely integrated. Finish is rather dry and short.

O - Quite hop-forward and somewhat unbalanced for a barleywine. The components of the nose don't really compliment each other, but instead present a hodge-podge that begs to be sorted out. I like to enjoy the nose of a big beer apart from its taste, but I really couldn't do that with this beer - too much conflict. This isn't a barley wine I could recommend unless someone is specifically looking for a pretty bitter IIPA / barleywine mash-up. (1,623 characters)

Photo of gopens44
2.92/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Well I remember this one, and I remember not being a big fan. Not incredibly well balanced, bitterness that didn't correspond with the nose of a hop characteristic that left an odd cloying sweet bitterness behind with a little rubbing alcohol. Just not much I could enjoy with this one. (286 characters)

Photo of Beergelden
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours to a nice Ruby-brown color, a light tan head that disappates quickly but lingers around the edge of the glass and laces the top of the beer. Nice clarity and legs that run down the side of the glass all day! The color in the picture doesn't quite represent the beer, it has a much lighter, more transparent look to it.

Aroma - The alcohol bloodies your nose as soon as you dip into it. Hints of caramel, brown sugar malty sweetness. Orange, citrus and dark cherries round it out.

Flavor - The first taste is of dark fruit, with a big alcohol hotness through out the middle and a mild hop bitterness in the end. Lingering earthy, slight citrus hop bitterness and the taste of bitter orange on the back. There is an ever so small malt flavor that hangs in there too, but the finish of fairly dry overall. The hops are not as forward as I would expect in an American Barley-wine, using Bigfoot by Sierra Nevada as the benchmark for this style.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body as one would expect from a Barley-wine, low carbonation with a biting alcohol hotness that dominates.

Overall - To me, the alcohol was a little overwhelming and it really took control of the flavors and aroma. With some age it would mellow out considerably, i'm sure, but I was hoping for something a little more special from 21st Amendment. This one just falls a little short for me. I have a couple more cans cellaring in the basement and will revisit this one in a year or so, and hopefully get the flavors I was yearning for! (1,516 characters)

Photo of tone77
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big thanks to woodychandler for this beer. Poured from an 8.4 oz. can. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is fruity, some hops as well. Taste is big on alcohol, hops, more alcohol, a touch of fruits. Feels medium bodied and very boozy in the mouth and overall, while not terrible, wasn't really to my liking. (328 characters)

Photo of Mightykingmalard
3.02/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: nice and amber, with a little cloudiness, which is how I view barleywines. Head is eggshell white and burns off pretty quick. 3.5

S: citrusy and a little oak. Not bad. 3.25

T: comparing the taste to other 21st amendment beers, it is pretty comparable. That being said, it isn't superior. Compared to other barleywines, it lacks. A strange aftertaste and far too sweet, with no real hop to it. 2.75

M: leaves a sour taste in my mouth that isn't really desirable. I feel like it should be sipped cooler, but that is contrary to other barleywines. 3.25

O: it isn't too bad, but at about 11 bucks for 4 8oz cans, you are way better suited with something else for your money. 3.0 (681 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from can into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a murky amber color with a hint of red within. Upon pouring there is almost no head on the brew, just some traces of white foam that fade to leave no lace at all. Upon swirling the brew it looks rather thick with some sticky bits of lace left on the side of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big of a bready and biscuit malt smell mixed with lots of fruity aromas. The fruity aromas are of a big mix with aromas of orange, apple, pear, cherry and grape. Along with these smells is a bit of a woody and grassy smell as well as a moderately strong boozy smell, overall producing a rather thick and warming aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with some sweeter fruit flavors of a cherry and apple nature with a decently strong bready and biscuit malt flavor. The fruit flavors dwindle as the flavor advances with the taste drying out a bit. At the same time some herbal hop flavors come to the tongue. Along with the herbal flavors, so too come some flavors of grass and earth as well as some more astringent tastes. Toward the middle and the end a decent amount of a boozy and woody alcohol tastes join the flavor profile giving a rather “hot boozed” taste to the beer. A little bit of a tannin wine like tastes come to the flavor more toward the end of the taste, and when combined with the rest, leaves a slightly off and rather hot and astringent, boozy, and malted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is quite thin for a barley wine of 11.5 % with a carbonation level that is on the higher side for a barleywine. The combination of the higher carbonation and thinner body help hide some of the more astringent flavors of the brew, but are not quite appropriate for the style, so overall I would have to say it is just average.

Overall – Not really a big fan of this barleywine. The feel was a bit off and while a barleywine is expected to be on the boozey side, this one had a bit too much of a astringent and hot boozy flavors to be very enjoyable. Not one I will go to again. (2,081 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.07/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

8.4 oz can into a pint glass, dated 11/7/13.

A: Pours a copper color. The two finger head has a pale yellow shade and nice retention for the style. There's a nice, consistent ring of lacing left as the head fades away.

S: There's an intense fruity component that also seems to be both leathery and alcoholic. I wouldn't call the alcohol 'well hidden', that's for sure. Some slight notes of pine and tobacco indicate some of the hops are still floating around, but playing a lesser song next to the boozy caramel. As expected, the nose improves once this opens up - it gains some brown sugar and even chocolate notes. There's some good aromatic complexity.

T: It starts off with a leafy, tobacco-esque bitterness. Caramel-y malts start to appear after a while, finishing quite boozy. There's a touch of tart fruitiness, must, and leather - again, seemingly alcohol derived. I'm disappointed it isn't more complex considering how forward the booze is (if a beer tastes boozy, that usually means it's also quite deep). Nor am I enamored by its flavor profile.

M: This is a heavy-feeling beer, but seemingly dry and well attenuated. There's still plenty of residual sugars and lingering booze to turn this into a pure sipper. Carbonation isn't really a factor.

O: Wow, 8.4 oz is an absolute perfect size for this beer. I mean, 'cause it's so boozy and hard to drink. I don't know how well this would age - it seems like I'll have to give it another chance fresh (and that's a shame, because even the hoppiest 'Murican-style barleywine can age well...) Right now, it's not horrible, just hard work. (1,598 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

8.4oz can from Hop City (Atlanta, GA) 9.99/ 4 pack. Canned 2/5/13. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours ruby hued brown with a thin wisp of pale head that fades quickly. No lace.

Smells of toffee, piney hops, burnt sugar and alcohol.

A big shot of alcohol up front with other flavors struggling to keep up. Resinous, bitter piney hops, flower petals, grapefruit rinds, toffee, caramel, burnt brown sugar, cherry pits and pepper. The booze flavor is strong and dominant.

Oily, slick, medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Alcohol and bitter hops linger in the finish.

Yikes. I wouldn't have guessed that 21st Amendment would make such a hot mess. I think there is potential here but for my tastes, it needs more body, more sweetnees in the back bone and dial back the booze. The hops are nice but they don't make it worth drinking the other 3 before this has spent at least 18 more months in my cellar, hopefully calming down. (942 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can poured into a teku
Nice mahogany with no head despite fast pour considering 8oz can size
Smells nice of toffee, brown sugar, raisins
Taste a bit off the mark too boozy up front with a stickiness in the back
Overall it's ok but missed the mark for me with limited complexity. Too boozy, sticky but hard to distinguish flavor profile (336 characters)

Photo of AndyP612
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On tap at Pizza Luce St. Paul in tulip.

A- Dark amber not overly inviting, no head to speak of.

S- Sweet nose with slight hop present.

T- Earthy with a hint of biscuit, caramel. Big heavy malt with a kiss of hops to finish. Feels like the diesel most barleywines carry yet I would not have expected the abv so high just on taste alone.

M- Medium heavy semi malt syrupy.

O- Nice hop touch. I had my doubts after the small sample the bartender insisted I tried and I was right but I didn't want to be annoying and turn down the sample and the full pour. I may order this again to give it another go. I just need to develop more of a taste for barleywines. Cheers. (667 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep ruby/amber color with super thin lacing and no carbonation.

S - Overly delicate nose and have to dig deep in my glass to get anything from it. Light toffee, caramel, and citrus.

T - Taste is a little more vibrant than the aroma, but not by much. Citrus/lemon, toasted caramel and toffee, alcohol, and light dark fruit.

M - Thick and full bodied and slick.

O - Nose and flavor are too delicate for a barley. (428 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the 2004 Pizza Port Strong Ale Fest. Medium orange color. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is orange, malt and sweet. A medium bodied barley wine. Malts are fruity and sweet, touch of orange and citrus. Hops are grapefruity and floral. Nice balance. Slightly bitter. Nice clean finish. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. (387 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- pours a murky dark brown with a small fizzy white head that reduces quickly leaving nothing behind

S- spicy and peppery nose, notes of sweet dark fruit and grape skin, earthy and herbal hops, faint caramel malt and lots of booze

T- 9 months of age has let some of the malty characteristics to kick in, lots of sweet dark fruit with some caramel, Forrest floor, herbal hop, peppery, sweet and boozy finish

M- viscous body with a sudsy mouthfeel from medium carbonation , foamy finish with lots of warming alcohol

O- some nice sweet malty notes have begin to kick in but other than that, this ones pretty average. The booze is not hidden at all and actually burns going down at times (692 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Single picked up from Julio's a month or so ago. Canned on date is 2/5/13.

Big ol barleywine in a little can, cute. Pour into a snifter a dark amber beer with some haziness, with a small off-white head that forms a partial cap and thick ring. Some good lace left.

Scent is malty and fruity but really quite tame, there definitely should be more strength here considering the beer. Buttery caramel, raisin, earthiness.

Taste improves but really doesn't offer much for a barleywine, could use more flavor and complexity. All malts are of the sweet variety; butter and toffee mostly, lots of earthy and piny hops present, it's much hoppier overall than the nose hints towards. Some brown sugar. Not much alcohol.

Pretty good mouthfeel, it's a little higher on the carbonation than average for the style, could use a bit of a bigger/maltier feel I think.

For a pretty fresh, 92 IBU, 11.5% ABV barleywine, this just doesn't really pack much of a punch. Nothing super remarkable about this one. (994 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at 21A. Chestnut brown in the glass, clear save for a light haze, with a creamy off-white head atop. The nose is a beautiful mélange of toffee malt, fruitcake, tropical fruit, toast, piney hops and a hint of alcohol. Sweetness and esters are pleasantly restrained. The taste doesn't live up to the excellent aroma, exhibiting somewhat harsh solvents alongside flavors of burnt toast, fruitcake, bitter grapefruit peel and pine. Bitter and especally dry for the style, this is an American-style barleywine through-and-through, a style I've never been able to fully embrace. A toasty and rich mid-palate leads way to a solventy, moderately harsh and overly bitter, sappy finish. Not bad, not great. Bigfoot fans may enjoy this. (733 characters)

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 8.4FL oz into a tulip glass.

A: Pours dark ruby in color with an off-white , one-finger head that stays around for nearly the entire drink. Some very light bubble streams give it an appearance that is not quite still.

S: Very sweet and fruity aroma up front. A toasted malt backbone finishes off the aroma.

T: Not nearly as fruity or sweet as the aroma leads you to believe. It also has a bigger alcoholic finish that isn't as prevalent in the aroma.

M: Medium bodied, and lightly carbonated. There is a significant burning effect from the big alcohol finish.

O: This offering didn't really impress me too much. I'm convinced the majority of their offerings are much better on tap at the brewery than out of their cans and this one confirms my theory. This beer left a lot to be desired, not much better than an average barleywine. (852 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer review notes from 8/31/13: (can) pours clear amber reddish color with a 2 finger foamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving decent lacing.

Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, booze like a strong dark rum, caramel, molasses, and some herbs; sweet and boozy sums up the nose.

Tastes of booze up front like a strong dark rum or even bourbon, then followed by citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel, molasses, toasted grains, brown sugar, red wine and some herbs or a potpourri-like essence; each sip brings heat and warms the belly but it's not offensive and comes back to the basic taste elements of booze and malt.

Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and smooth, but the heavy, thick viscous feel is so boozy that it is a slow sipper and borders on rough to drink.

Overall it is OK, not so easy to drink, but not bad either; you can feel and taste the booze but there are enough flavors to make this tolerable. Above average, but just a notch or two. (969 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken 8-29-13.

I poured aggressively and got no head. The body was an orangey brown amber.

The nose on this was rather good. I got caramel and raisin with malt, toffee and booze.

The taste was coarse and mainly generic bitter. It was uber boozy with no balance. The nose got me rather excited, then the flavors did not follow up.

Medium bodied. (369 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled at Toronado 2009 Barleywine Festival.
Pours deep clear copper with gold edges and persistent thin tan head. The aroma has a decidedly sugar roast malt character with dark fruity esters in the back. I also get a mild chemical alcohol note that is only slightly distracting. The flavor has an initial pulse of lightly roast malts mixing with a sugary sweet maltiness before the dark fruity esters join in. It has a pretty smooth flavor but struggles to hide the alcohol and makes for a bit of a rough finish. (514 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a snifter glass.

A faint tan head barley manages to get a finger tall on the pour. Settles to a nice simple collar with a thin puck, with some soapy character. Body is a bit of a cloudy dull copper red amber with brown.

Nose is a bit muted. Sweet malts and sense of pickle brine, matching a little bit of faint toasty brown sugar. Quite muted, not much going on here, but a little bit.

Palate leaves a little bit of faint hop and resin, mixing with a little bit of sweet malt. Lingering nice pine and grapefruit bitterness, but with a dominating astringent character that warms and takes over. Palate is a little bit wet but nothing terribly.

Overall I am not getting much out of this or having a desire to return to it. It's drinkable and perfectly fine, but not my thing compared to other barleywines. (832 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - amber iced tea color, thin head with little lacing.

Aroma - mostly pine, a bit of mango. Some estery notes as well.

Taste - nice chewy malts. Some sweet but kind of indistinguishable fruitiness along with licorice notes. The bitterness is in check at 92 IBUs but still with a slight element of harshness. It has the bite but not the scrape. A nice balance. I'm not altogether on board with the dry, almost medicinal finish. A slight more edge to the malty side would be preferable. Ends dry and with a bite.

Mouthfeel - weighty, good for the style. Plenty of carbonation. Has some of the slickness I like in a barleywine but could use more.

Overall - I'll have to salt away a can or two for an aged sampling, but these are pretty decent as is. That said, the abv is not hidden at all and belies a potent little kicker of a can. (844 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a cloudy dark copper with some tan head.
S: It smelled like rusty copper hops and alcohol, with some orange and caramel and raisin.
T: It tasted like copper hops and earthy caramel, with some orange and raisin. The aftertaste was somewhat clean and bittersweet, with alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with a little carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was an ok brew, but the scent and taste weren't that great. The body was good, but the finish was harsh, so it wasn't that easy to drink. Not recommended. (528 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Dark amber in the Old Fashioned glass with minimal foam. Mouthfeel is quite sudsy, the stuff seems to erupt when you take a sip.

A little woodsy, cedar taste Quite dry. This is even less sweet than the typical double IPA. Very alcohol tasting. Hot and astringent. Quite bitter aftertaste. I don't taste any of the advertised "citrusy" hops, unless they mean a slash of grapefruit pith. This delivers the booze, but it is so un-malty it's a rocky road down the throat.

Great packaging, like what the English would call a "nip." From the 8.4 oz can purchased in the four-pack purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle. (612 characters)

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Lower De Boom Barleywine from 21st Amendment Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.