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Lower De Boom Barleywine - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Lower De Boom BarleywineLower De Boom Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

150 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 150
Hads: 669
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 24.8%
Wants: 30
Gots: 66 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 150 | Hads: 669
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.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a - poured a 1/2 finger thick tan head into a snifter that left a ring of lace throughout. the body was a dark amber color.
s - big caramel malty aromas with a hint of hoppiness.
t - sweet then citrusy with a spicy finish.
m - medium and coating.
o - solid american barleywine with a good hop profile. i enjoyed it and i liked the slim can for a beer with an ABV this big.

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Photo of greg33027
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, because why not at this point. Just want to say that 21st Amendment has some of the best can designs out there.

Deep, deep amber almost brown color, with an almost nonexistent head. (Probably too cold when poured.)

Have to write this, smells like Juicy Juice fruit drink. Strong but pleasant candied or dried fruit, almost brown sugar/caramel smell. Not as strong as a quad but similar scents.

Sweet, orangey, malty right away gives way to a nice bitter hop finish. A bit of alcohol but the toasty malt backbone and balanced hop flavor all work really well.

Nice pleasant body, a little thinner than the smell would lead you to believe. Then the light carbonation hits and it just dries up from there. Really nice finish and definitely way more drinkable than I thought.

Big thanks to Beer Geeks at CBC Braintree for the recommendation. I have only had one or two barley wines before this so I not too familiar with the style. This beer is great. I don't know if this is a true rep of the style but this is great beer. Good balance between malts and hops and really drinkable.

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Photo of KevBot89
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark mahogany, almost see through when held up to the light. Minimal tan head.
S: a bit stuffed up, couldn't smell much of anything.
T/M: Very hop forward and super smooth. Herbal and woody hops. Some grainy malts. Certainly hoppier than malty. Lots of fruit flavors (mango, pineapple); sweeter than bitter and finishes with nice, mellow alcohol. Lowly carbonated and light body.

Could have warmed a bit. As I drank it some of the grainy flavors were more present and the hop flavors were also more accentuated.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours an intense amber in color with light foaming.

There’s a strong aroma of caramel and candied orange.

I get a malty sweetness balanced by a slight bitterness and some orange notes. Candied sweet, with a long finish. Solid, if not spectacular.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 11/7/13.

Appearance: Poured very clear initially but some sediment at the bottom the the can resulted in a murky crimson brown color with a very thin cap of off-white foam despite an aggressive pour.

Aroma: Big drunken caramel malt with blood orange and dried fruits. This aroma screams American barleywine in every way.

Taste: Starts with bittersweet earth and citrus. The malt is much less present than I was expecting and the aroma actually eclipses the flavor a bit. However, there is a nice sweet caramel that balances out the hops decently. The finish is quite smooth with barely any lasting bitterness in the aftertaste apart from a little pine. Really can't taste any of the 11.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body with nearly tepid carbonation. The mixture of those two elements makes this quite a drinkable beer, which is a little uncommon for the style. It almost drinks more like a whiskey and the smaller portion size reinforces the feeling that this is meant to be enjoyed slowly.

Final Thoughts: So not quite the big beer that I was expecting due to the less-than-robust taste and tepid feel but still a good beer. Would I drink it again? If I'm in the mood for a barleywine.

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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

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Photo of ksimons
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a dark amber with a very thin layer of white head that disappears quickly

S-caramel malt, rum soaked raisins, and a light bitter finish

T-caramel malt backbone with brown sugar, raisins, and a bitter citrus finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-medium to full body, crisp carbonation

Overall a very enjoyable barleywine, a good balance of malt sweetness and bitter hops

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dave for sharing.

The beer is amber orange with a thin beige collar. The aroma offers malt, alcohol,
sweet fruit, furniture cleaner, caramels, butterscotch candies. The flavor is ok. Some metallic notes. Noticeable alcohol throughout. A bold beer. A bit aggressive and slightly harsh on the palate. Not as bad as I made it sound. Middle of the road.

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Photo of jhawth
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from can into snifter. Pours a brownish orange with a thin cap of off-white foam; even an aggressive pour failed to yield a large amount of head.

Aroma: Big malt flavors match up with big hop notes--vanilla, boozy fruits, sharp hoppy bitterness. Slight mustiness, slight isopropyl-like twinge.

Taste: Slight hop bitterness up front, then rich malt notes of vanilla and candied fruits, then citrusy hop notes with alcoholic bite. Relatively 'hot', alcohol-wise.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, light carbonation.

Overall: Nice American barleywine. Big citrus notes, pretty big alcohol presence. I'm interested to see how both will mellow as it ages.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This may give you an indication of the depth of the backlog of The CANQuest (TM): the bottom of the CAN is dtd 05 Feb 2013! It almost made it to its birthday, Wow!

From the (Slimline) CAN: "Ameri[CAN]-Style Barleywine Ale Packed With Citrusy Hops"; "92 IBUs".

I am guessing that, given its age, there may be some lees in the bottom of the CAN, thus requiring a gentle Glug. The Crack! was magnifique and it reeked of booze. How hot was this mo fo originally? I managed to produce a server's head - a finger of light-tan head produced by swirling the glass. The server's trick is to swirl a straw in the beer just before serving it to the customer. Color was a button-bright deep-copper (SRM = > 17, < 22) and once more, I was CANtemplating selling it to Full Circle Recycling as liquid copper. Nose was like a CANtact drunk. If you know of a CANtact high, in which you CAN get high without smoking just by being in a room pungent with weed, this was the same CANcept. I inhaled a LOT of booze on this bad boy! Along with the heat was a caramel/nutty maltiness, leather and dried dark fruits. Mouthfeel was big, not quite thick, but on the approach and it sat on my tongue like a dollop of whipped cream. I kid you not about the heat! Initially, all I could taste was booze until it subsided, then I got the dry mustiness of old leather. Whew! Man, this is a big beer, not to be tackled by amateurs. Finish was extremely dry, to the point that I was actually craving some water by the end of the mere 11.2 fluid ounces.


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Photo of KFBR392
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Color is a ruby/amber red color. Above average active carbonation in the glass while drinking. Light head on the pour and present on the edges of the glass.

Smell: Citrus hop jump out right away. Solid piney bitter base. Sweet/juicy barley body really peaks this aroma. Little bit of a boozy bite which just adds some depth more then anything else.

Taste: Rounded barley mixes well with the citrusy hop tones on the front. A richer barley presence warms up on the body. Bitter hops pop up on the back end. Tad boozy on the finish but it's well kept. Nice transitions between flavors in this brew.

Mouthfeel: The barley provides some nice layers on the palate but could stick around for a while longer. Carbonation is pretty low on the mouthfeel.

Overall: This is how American barleywine should be. Big, lots of barley, bitter hops, and some boozy tingle. Reminds me a lot of Old Guardian from Stone which is a personal favorite of mine. Highly recommended!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque, though not reallly hazy, plum color with a short, creamy, tan head.

S: Orange, tangerine, mango, tropical fruit in the nose.

T: Orange, grapefruit peel, tangerine, then sweeter fruits like mango, pineapple, tropical fruit, then it gets a bit tart with lemon, some malt, some grass, some floral notes, pine and papaya.

M: Full bodied, pretty smooth, some alcohol sharpness and a tiny bit of alcohol astringency.

O: Definitely an America-style barelywine (in my experience akin to a double IPA, but with a higher ABV). It's hoppy, tropical in taste and smell, has a pretty good mouthfeel, and it's delicious.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Semi-cloudy amber colored brew with a head that is thing in strength, maybe 1/10" initially off the pour dropping to nada after a few seconds of waiting.

Smell: Bland scotch scent, Lightt caramel notes but not much to how with.

Taste: Not as complex as I thought it was going to be and just to let you know I paired this well with food. strong alcohol taste with a hit of a woody rum feel. Heavy barley but it's bland just like the scent.

Mouth: Light to medium body, smooth for a barleywine but I would take the roughness over how light the after taste is.

Overall: It's good considering of what it is, I personally after spending a chunk of money here can think of better choices. It's still worth your time...split the four pack with a friend. Salud!

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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.

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Photo of portia99
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

8.4oz can (canned 2/5/13) poured into a Throwback snifter.

A - Pours a medium depth coppery amber color with excellent clarity. A faint attempt at forming a head fails quickly and leaves only a small collar of white bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - Smooth alcoholic boozy aroma up front, plenty of hop aroma - bright and citrusy orange and grapefruit, rather grassy as well. Smooth, sweet malty base, a bit doughy and grainy - nice balance to the hops here.

T - Hops up front, firm bitterness with lots of citrusy hops to go along with the bitterness. Noticeable alcohol and a mild malt base. Bitterness lingers and gives a medicinal flavor after the swallow. Starts off really nice on each sip...somewhat reminiscent of Bigfoot in the early stages of each sip with a fresh hop character that breaks thru the malt. Towards the end it gets a bit messy and loses its resemblance.

M - A bit on the thin side for a barleywine. Medicinal bitterness, a bit boozy and warm. Carbonation is mid-level and tingly. Decent balance between malt and hops - definitely a hoppy American barleywine.

O - Appearance and aroma had me filled with high hopes. Even the first sip showed good promise. Half way thru the first sip, things changed a bit. The hops took on a medicinal quality in its bitterness that took away many of the fine points in the flavor of this beer. The medicine-y nature continued through the swallow and lingered long on each sip. I love a good and hoppy barleywine and I thought this had lots of promise. Overall, not bad - but had much more potential. I could drink this again, but probably won't...just doesn't live up to other easily obtainable hoppy American barleywines.

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Photo of jujigatame
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

21st Amendment – Lower De Boom Barleywine – Insurrection Series
Canned 2/15/13, consumed 8/23/13, 11.5%, ABV 8.4 oz. can to tall tulip

Let sit 10-15 minutes out of the fridge before opening.

Says “packed with citrusy hops” and it certainly smells like it. Smells like imperial IPA, hops are strong and deep. I think I could just sniff this for a while without drinking it.

Hazy dark tan, caramel color. Head fades out fast to just a thin film and ring at the edge.

The booze hits first. Not a burn but an immediate warmth and presence. Hopes are strong like they were in the smell but the malt is really there in force as well. Some dark candied sweetness, some tart flavors too. Slightly sour grape or dates? Feels like one big blanket at first before individual parts come out to identify. Seems to go down very easily for me. Feels rich but not super thick. Smooth overall. Hop bitterness shows but the malt and body really keep it down on the whole. Slight chocolate note in the aftertaste, not really sweet though. Some earthiness to it. Grainy. The tart fruit really comes out if you hold this one for a bit. A nice sipper. Don’t feel the ABV too strongly to this point. Seems like this could be a big malty IPA aged on oak or something similar without that flavor being dominant. Would be interested to find a food pairing for this. Could make for good after dinner sharing as well. Really like the flavor as this has warmed in the glass. I didn’t quite know how this one would go but it definitely did appeal to me. 21A did a nice turn here.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Small can originally purchased at 1 West DuPont (crazy priced but nice!), 2012 vintage, poured into my *** snifter glass, drank 9/26/13 over a few hours.

A: 2/3 - amber brown coloration, minimal clarity, carbonation persists into a 1/2 finger-to-subtle glass lacing...imperessive for an American barleywine at 11.5% ABV

S: 7/12 - Cascade bleachy meets booze; lacks complexity and generally yucky!

T: 15/20 - maybe a minor redemption with a PNW hop character but overall bleh

M: 3/5 - moderate-to-high bodied; solid carbonation for high ABV

O: 7/10 - can't really get behind this on, especially when I think that I've personally brewed better American barleywines; nevertheless, it's certainly quaffable so it wins at least 7 overall points based on that criteria alone...21st Amendment just strikes me as remarkably overrated, especially in a state littered with so many great breweries!

TOTAL = 34/50

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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.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

from the tiny can

Pours a deep reddish brown, bit of tan lacing for a head.

Smells of rich caramel, apples, and piney hops.

Rich caramel mixed with highly bitter piney hops. Overwhelmingly bitter.

Medium body with a light tingle of carbonation on tongue. Warms the mouth and the throat going down.

A decent strong ale with a very high hop flavor. The hops hide basically anything else in the flavor. The alcohol is very noticeable in this one too. Not going to be for everyone, even barleywine fans.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tiny 8.4 oz can served chilled into a goblet.

Lower De Boom is a dark redish brown color with just a slight haze. The head is thin and short-lived.

Aroma is a little sweet and very hoppy. It is evident that it has a huge malt body and more than ample hopping to balance it out.

Flavor is very intense with mild sweetness up front followed by strong bitter hops from there on out. It seems to have some apple and pear fruitiness but that quickly gets overwhelmed by the hops. The alcohol is borderline hot with a mouth drying finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Very bitter and high in alcohol.

Overall a very solid effort. I haven't had many others from 21st Amendment but I'm pretty happy with this one.

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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

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Lower De Boom Barleywine from 21st Amendment Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.