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Lower De Boom Barleywine | 21st Amendment Brewery

very good
165 Reviews
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Lower De Boom BarleywineLower De Boom Barleywine

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 09-12-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 748
Photo of smcolw
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dirty copper color. Appears clear. Modest head that leaves a couple of streaks and spots on the glass.

Strong, sweet caramel aroma. Creamy, nutty and toasted notes come through.

At 92 IBUs, one might expect some strong bitterness, but at this level, there's just enough to give a bit of counterpoint to the strong, oily malt base. The malt is borderline chocolate in terms of the darkness, but it remains a solidly caramelized beer. Lots of alcohol warmth and very sweet. The swallow brings up the bitterness, thank God, otherwise this beer would have too much sugar bite. There's enough carbonation to keep the rich body from becoming syrupy. A good entry into this style.

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Photo of DovGibor
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12/17/15 can into snifter. Color is medium-dark amber with light carbonation and a bit of haze. Aroma is tangerine citrus upfront and light sweet malt blended in the back. Unique and enjoyable aroma, but a bit one note for a barleywine.

Taste is rich malt with a solid hop-bitterness balance. There are caramel notes without any sweetness. Lemon and mild citrus notes, but the dry, bitter finish dominates. Mouthfeel is rich but not as thick as some barleywines. The carbonation is light on the palate but noticeable.

I really enjoy barleywines, and I think this is an excellent choice given it's size and price. Does it exemplify the style? Not quite, but it's damn good and comes in a really enjoyable 8.4 oz can. I'm honestly giving it some credit for that fact alone.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 250-ml can (8.4 oz.)
Glass: Clear tumbler glass
From: Bine & Vine in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $3.79
Purchased: Feb. 26, 2016
Consumed: March 12, 2016
Misc.: Canned on Dec. 17, 2015 at 6:03 p.m. PT

Not a huge fan of American Barleywines, so not expecting much from this. Kind of perplexed by the tiny cans, which I’ve seen recently in four-packs. Thinking a 22-oz. bomber would be better (and maybe more affordable).

Poured an auburn, amber, clear color with 1-2 fingers of off-white, fizzy head. Some bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Poor spots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Minima retention. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled toffee, caramel, Citra hops, brown sugar (kind of like Brown Shugga’), apple, slight hints of cinnamon and oak. Not smelling like 11.5 pct. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste pretty much followed the nose. Getting sugary caramel, toffee, toasted brown sugar, oak, Citra zest, woody pine, light grapefruit, hints of vanilla, bitter citrus rind and red apple. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Oily-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, boozy, somewhat oaky finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was pretty good for the style and definitely better than I thought it was going to be. Would have it again for sure. (Overall - 4.00)

3.91 | 88 | B+

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tiny can from 7 eleven in Kittery.
Pours a deep copper color with a decent sized off white head that persists. Big fruity caramel notes with a bit of alcohol presence. Strong tropical especially pineapple notes with lots of resinous pine hops. Sweet almost sticky mouth. Light carbonation. Decent brew.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had that amber and auburn color scheme going for it, thin off white head 1/6". Funny it comes in an energy drink like can. Aroma of heavy caramel malt and alcohol. Hops take a back seat.

Taste did drop hop on ya, lots of bitterness and alcohol. Brown sugar, roasted not burnt malt, booze, bitterness, toffee, dark citrus, dark fruit, a sweetness not unlike harsh rum. For all the flavors, not overly thick or harsh.

Good stuff, nothing groundbreaking.

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Photo of Czarkazm
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned 12/17/2015. The beer has a nice burnt amber, reddish-orange color with a half a finger of light khaki head that disappears quickly. Good amount of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the snifter. The smell is full of sweet caramel and hops. Caramelized brown sugar, toffee, raisins, plums, rum sweetness, candied citrus and tropical fruit, molasses, a rye spiciness. The body is a medium-full, syrupy consistency that is not too overbearingly sweet. In the flavor, I get heavy dark fruit, dark caramel, spicy pine hoppiness, burnt citrus, toasted oak, figs, and slight vanilla. Healthy amount of carbonation makes this one feel crisp and relatively easy drinking for a 11.5% barleywine

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Photo of SawDog505
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16 oz snifter canned on 12/17/15. Pours an attractive almost red, with a 2 inch white head that leaves behind a little lace.

Smell is apricot, brandy, fig, vanilla, oak, burnt toffee, caramel, and alcohol.

Taste follows apricot immediately, brandy, fig, toffee, vanilla, caramel, and warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a creamy medium, moderate carbonation, on the dry side, and a sipper even though it goes down fairly easy.

Overall this is a great Barleywine, that drinks easier than it should, but also a very complex and aggressive beer.

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Photo of droomyster
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The skinny 8.4 oz can pours a dark brown body with a small tan head with poor retention. The potent abv comes through on the nose, carrying with it the promise of humungously strong and big taste to come. Aromas of dates and figs, molasses, with and holiday spices. Chewy flavors of toffee, brown sugar, tootsie-roll and molasses dominate the front and mid-palate before an oily textured citrusy hop floods the finish. Tastes great! I'll have another please!

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

8.4 oz can. Pours clean deep orange amber, finger off white head fades quickly to a lasting ring, soapy lacing. Sweet bready malt aroma, dark fruit. Malty sweet aste with fruity hops, some citrus, kinda overtaken mid sip by alcohol burn. Finishes dry and bitter. Mouthfeel a little thin. Not bad but was expecting a little more from this BW.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(8.4 oz can, canned on 12/17/15 - poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: crystal-clear, somewhat burgundy colored liquid... very little foam on the pour, and it leaves only a very meager, thin collar... head is appreciated, and this looks rather flat and unappealing due to its absence - its brilliant jewel glow is nice, but little consolation - it just looks industrially processed

S: smells nice!... maybe some floral embellishments via hops, but not very 'hoppy' at all... has a rather familiar set of aromas (for an Amer. example): brown sugar, sweet citrus marmalade, underlying brown bread crust... not much of a boozy scent - pretty impressive for 11.5%... overall intensity moderate

T: very clean, rich crystal-ed malt, citrus rind-y hop resins... the booze becomes well apparent in the finish and aftertaste, almost has a mellow peppery hum combined with the soft neon glow of hop bitterness... bit of tobacco lingering...

F: very little residual slickness... quite a taut medium body, on the lighter side in the finish, but certainly sporting a dense oily texture... one of the more 'wine'-like mouthfeels for the style

O: not at that bad, though nothing particularly memorable about its taste... but its execution is fantastic, if this is in fact 11.5%, which I'm skeptical of (drank on empty stomach, and I don't feel that much more sedated than I did yesterday when I drank a 5% pale ale)... it's servicable, but it doesn't warrant the price tag

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Photo of creepinjeeper
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 02/05/2013
Look is murky rich orange amber. Thin whispy head with no lacing.
Smell is bread soaked in stone fruit juice. Peaches, plums.
Taste is slightly boozy, hops haven't faded much over time. None of the stone fruit that tantalized my nose. Metallic tinge.
Feel is very astringent. Light on the carbonation.
Overall, I have to wonder how this beer would benefit from being in a bottle, especially when it come to aging. Otherwise, it's a decent barleywine.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 8.4 oz. can into snifter. It pours a pretty orange-amber with a thin, ecru colored head and minimal lacing. It smells of malt, caramel, brown sugar, hops, and a whiff of grapefruit. It is very boozy. The caramel is fairly subdued and the taste overall is quite bitter and hoppy. There is a strong alcohol burn and it feels heavier than the 11.5% ABV. It is medium in body and moderate in carbonation but the alcohol burn makes a hard to drink. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy high ABV beers and I really like a good barleywine but in this one the tastes are overwhelmed by the alcohol burn. I don't think I'll be drinking this one again.

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Photo of EMV
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a snifter.

L: Pours a clear medium amber color. 1 finger of off-white head falls rapidly. Attractive lacing.

S: Caramel and malts intermingled with resinous hops and booze.

T/F: Caramel malts up front... brown sugar and faint notes of raisin. Gives way to an almost tart citrusy hop character. Boozy... warming... sticky on the palate. Finishes somewhat drier than expected.

O: An average to slightly above average American style barleywine. A bit harsh and boozy, and a year or two in the cellar may benefit this one. Doesn't come close to my 2 favorite California barleywines... Stone's 'Old Guardian' or Lagunitas' 'Gnarly Wine'. Also not a fan of the 8.5 oz can pour. Who wants 2/3 of a beer?

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Photo of Moose90
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage with a Canned on: 12/17/15 17:17

A — Pours a red tinged coppery amber hue into the glass, a light creamy off white colored head forms and leaves behind some subtly rings of sticky lacing with each sip. Nice.

S — Smell is hoppy, juicy even, piney, resinous, sappy, bitter, caramel, maple syrup.

T — Taste is piney, juicy hop nectar, caramel and vanilla, maple, orange peel, ginger, lemon and citrus, piney and resinous hop assault.

M — Bold and rich, smooth, mellow, very light boozy note on the finish.

O — Very good overall, a piney, resinous hop forward barleywine with little residual sweetness.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.41/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged exactly two years and one day.

Looks murky.

Smells liked bready hopped caramel.

I usually don't care for american barleywines but two years seems to have treated this beer brilliantly. This is how I wish all those wasted bottles of bigfoot would have aged. The hops, although present in the nose, are just a tad there in the flavor. Sweet bread and a vestige of ripe fruit are complimented by the lingering hops.

Mouthfeel is spot on what I like in a barleywine.

Overall I wish I had more to see how it would be in three and four years.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The nose is a little off--a touch sour, with a bit of acetone maybe--but still contains some dates and raisins, along with a decent toffee note. Tastes better than it smells as the initial caramel sweetness is quickly suppressed by a ridiculous amount of citrus bitterness. This beer is two years old and the hop bite is still very pronounced. Boozy and a bit harsh, I can't imagine what this would have been like fresh. Oh well, it was dirt cheap.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-07-29 in Charlotte, NC from a can.

Smells of caramel, toffee, hop resin. Carries into the flavor with the addition of lots of pine, cherry, fig, and toasted dark bread. Thick feel and low carbonation. Alcohol is well disguised.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 2/13 dated can that appears to be 8 to 10 oz. Doesn't say anywhere, but my New Belgium snifter has a 16 oz. line (technically .47l so not quite) and it seems to be about halfway??

Anyway, it is a beautiful looking deep reddish -orange/ copper/mahogany color. Murky with a significant off white to tan head that stays around the entire time as a film toward the end.

This thing does not smell good at all. Astringent alcohol, sour, musty.

Tastes much better than it smells. Some orange and pineapple sweet and sour up front, followed by candied sugar, bread, caramel, some dark sour fruit, and green hops and alcohol at the end.

Medium body. Pretty drying.

Probably not optimal to review a 2 1/2 year old American Barleywine from a can, so I took that into consideration with my scores. As in I thought it smelled worse than it taste. Still decent hop profile, but it just drinks pretty boozy and a little harsh at times. I have been a fan of many of 21st's beers, but I dont think I will seek this one out again.

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Photo of gopens44
2.92/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of Harvest06
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've got to say I love these cans. They're the perfect serving size for the style. Great for camping. This is very hot fresh and cellaring in cans isn't practical.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Canned on: 11/7/13.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, pineapple juice, and candied citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, caramel, and candied citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is still quite hoppy and bitter even at almost a year old.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of barleybutt
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured aggressively in a pint glass.

A: Little to no head even after an aggressive pour. A nice cloudy copper color with little sign of carbonation.
S: Toasted malts up front. Strong baked bread with prunes and orange coming shortly after. You can smell the 11.5 ABV.
T: Not nearly as bitter as expected. The assortment of flavors were unexpected. First thing tasted was the malt that remained boring until the pleasant fruity bitterness blended properly. The alcohol added to the experience and did not overwhelm.
M: medium/light. Surprisingly light with no carbonation.
O: Very tasty. This was expensive treat, but I did enjoy it. A solid release, but not one of the best barleywines I have tasted.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Had on tap at the Pig & Fiddle, Minneapolis
Nose: rich winey large pitted dark fruit esters, hop citrus.
Pours a deep brilliant rich garnet under a thin head. Has some legs, very thin lace.
Rich complex malts blend with large pitted fruits - mainly plum, possible cherry, and slowly give way to citrus rind hop bitterness that dries on the finish with a touch of hop astringency.
Sweetness up front is balanced by the alcohol and hops.
Chewy, oily, medium low carbonation.
A solid sit by the fireplace and watch the snow fall beer.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%

8 oz. can, 2013 version, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, deep, dark, amber/mahogany color, speckled with orange and reddish highlights, and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty and hoppy. There are strong notes of toasted malt, imparting bready aromas of freshly baked sourdough bread, immediately followed by lots of floral, piney hops and a touch of alcohol. I also get notes of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and dates, as well as some candied sugar and toffee. Very nice aroma.

Taste: Delicious! Malty and hoppy at the same time! Strong flavors of bready, earthy toasted malt up front, imparting flavors of French brioche and sweet Hawaiian bread. There’s also lots of brown sugar-like sweetness which helps balance the strong flavors of floral, piney hops, but very little bitterness. Finally, I get strong flavors of toffee, dried stone fruit, such as dates, figs, raisins and prunes. It’s a delicious beer!

Mouth feel: Slightly chewy, a touch viscous and very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 11.5%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a brilliant, fantastic barleywine! I can’t wait to see what it is like with some more age on it. Barleywine fans should really like this!

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Photo of utopiajane
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%

This poured a hazed honey orange with golden hues and a honey brown tint. Lovely with a fat enough head of tan foam that fell off and left a film on top. Noe i hops. Bright grapefruit and some leafy herbal. A big malt with brown sugar and honey and soft bread. The taste is sumptuous. It's sweet but not cloying. It has grapefruit that is tart and pithy and has the peel. The hops are leafy and wide. The soft bread and brown sugar all come together for a malt that is sweet and delectable with a bit of sitckiness to it. Earthiness gives way in this to a firm herbal and a bit of alcohol that grazes the back palate. The finish is dry and there is an ample bitter to leave you with a bit of resiny coating on the mouth and time to taste all those tremendous flavors again while a bit of spice lingers at the back palate.

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Lower De Boom Barleywine from 21st Amendment Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.