Beer Line - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Beer Line
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50 Reviews
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Reviews: 50
Hads: 121
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 17.57%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2002

This was brought back in 2014.

Beer Line is an off-the-rail barley wine style ale: rich, malty, multi-layered, and copper-amber. The off-white head liberates aromas of strawberry, dried-fruit, grapefruit, and papaya. The smooth, malt-forward flavor is equally complex, with undertones of caramel and toffee. Not overly sweet by any means, organic Bravo hops balance the malt syrup sweetness, finishing slightly spicy with a pleasurable alcohol warmth.
We recommend serving Beer Line as an after-dinner digestif. It will pair well with the sharp flavors of an American-style Gorgonzola or a five year cheddar. Beer Line’s dried fruit flavors will rhyme with the nutty, fruity aroma of a rich Stilton.
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 121
Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 08/27/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Pours a murky brown with one inch of tan head and low carbonation evident. Some caramel malts, toffee, lots of dark fruits, candy, sugar, and toasted and burnt malts. Medium body and low carbonation, no head.

A pretty good barleywine that is more on the fruity side.

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Photo of maximum12
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BlackElixir for bottles of both this & the barrel-aged version, which are going down side by side this evening. Always a fun contrast. Split with my wife.

The pour is a slightly brilliant orange with a spare head; far, far lighter than the barrel-aged version, which is interesting. The nose is all malt, all in: sweet malt, sweet sugar, light sweet caramel. Nothing strong, nothing real interesting, OK.

Beer Line Baryleywine is sweeter than Meg Ryan, & that’s saying something. Overbearing malt sweetness that could send a diabetic into shock just from being in the same area code is made even more heavy by a shot of caramel and brown sugar. A surprisingly strong citrus hoppiness emerges in the middle, trying (& failing) to hold the sweetness at bay. Flecks of cinnamon, then the alcohol comes down the tracks (is that a light at the end of the tunnel?). Heavy, but saved from obnoxiousness by the hops. Scary easy to drink.

I’ve been on a barleywine kick & this is a nice, if not remarkable, brew that tastes absolutely nothing like it’s barrel-aged descendant. Good, solid barleywine.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a 12 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on April 24, 2015. Look is copper amber, thin off-white head and some lingering lacing. Smell is dried fruit, grapefruit, papaya and a hint a strawberry. Caramel and toffee malt, citrus hop notes and dried fruit. Feel is medium to thick in body with a slightly spicy finish.

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Photo of bound4er
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Muddy, dark amber appearance with a nice, off white head of two fingers. Leaves a copious amount of lacing. Smells of caramel, booze and brown sugar with a touch of floral hops. Taste follows the nose with more caramel, brown sugar and warming alcohol. Finishes with a touch of nutty astringency and nicely lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy with low carbonation. Barleywines are not my thing but I did enjoy this beer more than I had expected. Recommended, especially if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Three Cellars, Franklin, WI and in bottle (bottled 16 Dec 2014):

Pours deep reddish amber with a thin lasting tan head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with subtle fruit and peppery spicing.

The taste is of caramel and brown sugar - very sweet with a hint of floral/fruity balance. Hot peppery alcohol comes through.

While not as full as some other examples, it's full enough to work.

Not the heftiest or complex as some it's still an enjoyable sweet and boozy, warming sipper.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber body. Ruby in the light, brown in the dark. Small off-white head. Thin collar.

Smell - It is boozy as all get-out. Lots of fruity aromas. Very nondescript, though. Malty sweet aroma.

Taste - Fruity up front again, but hops kick into gear quickly. Grapefruit. Deep brown sugar. Bitterness builds. The finish has a burnt toast flavor.

Mouthfeel - Big and boozy. Medium body. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Well, it certainly tastes better than it smells. I'm rather enjoying it, though. We'll see how I feel about it after a few more sugary ounces, though...

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%

Nose: alcohol, sweet, fruit, dark caramel malts, nuts.
Brilliant chestnut tinted amber with a thin head. Has some legs.
Palate: Initial sweet, dark dried fruit, plums with bitter alcohol back, a touch of caramel with a lightly spiced, dry aftertaste. A hint of anise and possibly coriander. A touch of malty grain adds character to the hops, alcohol and malt sweetness in the aftertaste.
Medium to medium full body, oily and warming. Very well balanced.

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Photo of Ri0
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz bottle into chalice.

A - Dark Mahogony with slight haze. The head is a light tan and very thin, but the lacing on the side of the glass is rather apparent.

S - Dark sugars, malts and dark fruits are present. Raisins, plums, brown sugar, toffee and caramel. Pleasant aroma that would really suite a crisp fall evening.

T - Notes of dark fruit, caramel, raisins, toffee, prunes. Sweet, dark sugars in the middle. Finish has a mild bitterness and even a hint of spice. There is also a nice alcohol warming on the finish, but it is still a bit harsh.

M - Medium body and medium level of carbonation, but not as smooth as I would like it to be. A very sticky mouthfeel on the tongue after a few sips.

O - Nice barelywine and I'm glad it is back as a seasonal. I think it was still a bit harsh and I'm excited to see how it smooths out over time.

After aging for a year the taste has really mellowed out it is even better.

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Photo of Akrueg7272
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer packs a punch, since it is 10-12% abv. Definite sipper that has a good blend of flavor. Appearance is reddish in color with no distinct aroma. Nothing in it is overpowering, except for that distinct alcohol flavor. It is one that I wouldn't order but if offered I would accept.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/13/14.

Pours a hazy crimson-orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, biscuit, brown sugar, and candied fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, and alcohol flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a strong alcohol presence that lingers on the palate long after each sip.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

By the way, 12.5% abv.

Sticky two finger creamy head and lacing. Rouge-brown amber fluid.

My least favorite beer aroma hits the nose first: leather. Milky rice pudding and wonder bread make up the malt bill. Brown sugar and vanilla, plus a mild booziness.

In the mouth the leather greets the palette, first, unfortunately. There's a waterlogged driftwood that seems wedded to a chocolate-toffee sweetness and a nice estery burn. Finishes with nice top-soil and hop bitterness.

Medium- to full-bodied. Creamy and slick, a sticky, bitter finish.

This afternoon, I was overly impulsive buying two 4-packs of this brew. Perhaps my judgement was clouded by the memories of two awesome Wisconsin barley wine discoveries: 1) just last month I cellared three four-packs of the enviable Stevens Point Whole Hog BW; and, 2) last month I was floored by Schell's Stag Series BW, on tap at Mason Lounge.

Still, this is a pretty delicious barleywine, more English-style than American, which is my preference. I'm gonna throw the remaining 7 bottles in the cellar, hoping a year or more might do good things.

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Photo of guityler83
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/13/14

A: Long sustaining finger of kahki head in my tulip glass. A deep maroon, mahogony colored beer with moderate haze. The lacing on the side of the glass glings on for life and slides slowly.

S: A big stone fruit aroma, warm raisins and plums, candy sugar and some pine under tones. Toasty, toffee and caramel. Overall great aroma everything is very balanced and distinct. Nothing offensive and no alcohol.

T: Flavor is very on par with the aroma. A very english flavored barley wine. Toasty, caramel, raisins, toffee, prunes. Balance is on the malt, comes off sweet. Bitterness is moderate with a floral and slight pine character. Melenoidin flavor is pronounced, the caramel notes are dark and matured.

M: Big beefy body with medium level of carbonation. A very sticky mouthfeel on the tongue after a few sips. Alcohol warming is moderate.

O: A very tasty English Style BW. Balancing the malt flavors and no harshness, only a small bit of alcohol warming. I'd recommend this to people just getting into the style as a well brewed example. Way to go LF, glad to see it back!

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Photo of nj20de
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasty barley wine tasted fresh in Milwaukee. A sweet malt barley wine packs a alcohol punch but very little hop presence. Would love to drink a hopped up version considering that the hop presence will fade over time. Might as well over hop so that otherworldly can be reached after a year!

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Photo of LXIXME
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small off white/tan to light brown head quickly faded to a skimpy lacing if that above a clear caramel orange colored beer.

Alcohol with some caramel malts coming through with maybe some citrus like hops lurking in there somewhere.

Alcohol leads the taste of this for me but once I get past that I can taste both the malts and hops with the malts being on the caramel side things. The aftertaste is similar in that you have this light grainy malt dryish taste left in your mouth, not a bad thing but I just did.

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Photo of joepais
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stan for bring this to our Friday beer tasting. We have no clue how old this is but it still is carbonated. It poured nice with a good caramel color and a slight cream colored head. The nose had some great sweet caramel aromas' as well. The flavor was great, not much oxidation which was a little bit of a surprise. It has good sweetness to it so age treated it well. No alcohol heat left in it at all I don't think the bottle would get any better so drink them if you got them.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of a petit little 6.3oz bottle pours a sediment chunky dull copper with tan head. Boy, that's not much beer. Looks like a couple of quaffs. The aroma is nice with caramel and toffee that give way to dark fruitiness and hints of citrus hard candy. The flavor is nice and smooth with a suitable somewhat thick mouth feel. The flavor starts with pine and citrus sweet hop flavor that slowly build to a mild bitterness that is a little out of place. Along with the hops are mild caramel candy and toffee candy sweetness. The dark fruitiness really takes a back seat to the other flavor notes. Tasty.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a hazy orange-caramel body with big gelatinous lumps falling into the glass throughout the pour. There is a slow carbonation of tiny bubbles that support a thin web of big white bubbles that is the head.

S- There is a nice aroma of sherry and sweet caramel malt with notes of wood, nuts and dry cardboard in the background. There is a nice soft alcohol note at the finish that reminds me of a nice malty port if there were such a thing.

T- There is a clean bourbon flavor with some raw grain notes and some soft sweet caramel malt flavors. The sweetness blends into a cherry note followed by a soft bitter wood note at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and a soft alcohol heat finish.

D- This beer has a nice aroma and the flavor starts good but as it warms it gets weaker or more watery. The last few sips were all gelatinous mass that was undrinkable, I tried, so that meant it was about a 5 oz beer. The size was a bit of a let down as I was starting to enjoy the beer when it was over.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First off, big-ass thanks to EPseja and family for giving this North Jerseyan the opportunity to sample this. Brought back from the Midwest, I've been saving this tasting for the right moment.

Served in an oversize brandy snifter at cellar temperature with a tasty wedge of English Stilton cheese.

Appearance- No better or worse than expected... the beer pours a clear reddish amber into my glass, and even on an aggressive pour the head settles to a film with a bubbly exterior. There are several small chunks of sediment lurking around in the liquid, and this does not offend me. Shoddy, small patches of lacing stick inside.

Smell- A mature integration of hops and malts are clearly displayed here, with the alcohol strength and some light smoke weaving a tapestry within. Like a fine wood-aged spirit, this has enormous depth.

Taste- A balanced showing of malts and hops, strongly presented individually... however, the aftertaste lingers a bit too long, with its pungency dominating. After swirling in the yeast sediment, a sweetness contributes to the hefty flavors and adds a new dimension. Just too heavy and plodding for my taste, this beer isn't a great example of the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The inkling of carbonation entering the mouth fades fast and the beer becomes a thin, brain-assaulting barleywine of huge proportions. I would love to have experienced some complexities with regard to the malts, or some other aspect here... but this wasn't easy to drink. Not even with that scrumptious wedge of Stilton.

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Photo of Drew966
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer Line pours a caramel color with minimal head and large chunks of yeast floating about from a brown 6.3 ounce bottle. It barely fills almost half of my snifter. It smells like caramel to me. Tastes a bit like caramel too. This is kind of a one note barley wine. It's not bad, it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber to orange in color with almost no carbonation from a little 6.3 oz bottle. Some major sediment at the bottom of this one, I reserve as much as possible in the bottle but still fairly chunky in my glass. Smells of prunes, sweet white grapes, and rich alcohol like a nice tawny port. Sweet malt taste of honey mixed with some light pruniness finishes with a nice, quite dry and slightly bitter alcohol warmth. Nice medium body, possibly thinned a little with age, almost zero carbonation which is nice and very pleasing dryness in the finish. Quite good, too bad its such a small sample.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer Line comes enclosed in a little 6.3oz green bottle and produly declars it is certified organic ale. No freshness dating that I can see, but it does state it's best when aged a year. Pours into my snifter with a nice copper orange hue and only a small ring of white bubbles around the top. Some suspended particles are there when I hold it up to the light. Aromas of sweet malt accentuated by caramel, fruit, raisins, toffee and yeast. Not too much in the way of hops here...a bit bland overall.

First sip brings a big blast of sweet maltiness with plenty of caramel and sweet bread notes. Slighty fruity with some raisin and a small hop drizzle on the way down. Not a bad English style barleywine overall with just a hint of alcohol in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick. A touch syrupy sweet as it rolls down across the tongue. Fairly easy to drink for a barleywine, but a bit too sweet. They should really bottle this is 12oz bottles and sell it in four packs, as I paid $2.49 for this single and I doubt I'd buy it again being that it's such a small bottle and somewhat of a tease. Barleywine or least give me 12oz! :-)

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Photo of granger10
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this little guy at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee in the refrigerated section. Small 6.3 oz bottle with a torn up label and a ton of yeast on the bottom. I think this one is actually ten years old. Awesome.

Pours ever so gently into my snifter with a crystal clear copper honey color. Almost looks like a dark mead or a braggot. My pour produced a few bubbles but soon its dead still. I love the color and you really can't expect much from the carbonation standpoint.

Aroma is malt heavy for sure. Traces of caramel and toffee with a bit of nuttyness. Loads of alcohol esters with whiskey bourbon notes. A bit of some yeasty bready goodness finishes the smell.

Taste is also quite sweet. The main flavor I get is a honey taste which again reminds me of a mead. Some strong fruity esters sorround the syrup. Almost like a banana/plum mixture with a bready sweetness underneath. A bit of oak and wine notes follow. Finish is brandy with a pepper kick.

Mouthfeel honestly is cloying. This is really sweet but the alcohol/spice finish helps to cut the sweetness a bit. But I do like the thickness along with a malt flavor profile.

This bottle is quite small yet I am enjoying quite well sipping on this beer. Could I have another? Maybe but this small guy suits me just fine.

This really is a solid beer which has held up over time. I like the organic aspect but moreso this is a strong English Barleywine no matter what. A nice after dinner sipper.

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Photo of blackie
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: My careful pour off of the huge sediment deposit creates zero head, absolutely none, dead still. The beer is a bright copper in color, with some floaters.

smell: Clearly malt oriented. Aromas of caramel, possible esters, fresh bread, various sweet fruits, and heavy sugars abound. Sharp alcohol presence. Light to moderate hop aroma, muted in character.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is around or just under medium, and the body a heavy medium.

taste: Again, malt balanced. Thick, sweet malty flavors of dark fruits and sugars on the tongue. Not too much alcohol burn, but it's there. Moderate hop flavor and light bitterness.

drinkability: Pretty easy drinking for the style, though the ABV is a little more present on the nose than desirable. It was hard to rate it under 4 in any category, but it does seem a little one dimensional at times.

Small 6.3 oz bottle smuggled back from Wisconsin.

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Photo of EPseja
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this one from my brother in Illinois as a gift for Christmas 2005. Seems that this beer was released in 1997! Plenty of time for it to mature... don't you think?

Served from a miniscule but oh, so nifty 6.3oz. bottle at cellar temperature in a big brandy snifter. Allowed to warm to near room temperature over the course of this rating.

A - Looking through the bottle, its easy to see a slurry of sediment loosely packed into the outer ring around the indentation at the bottom of the bottle -- organic indeed! Will have to exercise caution pouring this one...

Barely a whisper of released carbonation as the cap is popped. Poured *slowly* (and viscously) from a height of about 8 inches to avoid getting too much sediment in the glass and to encourage a head to form. Stopped pouring just as the first chunk leapt from the neck of the bottle into the glass.

Bright, medium caramel orange in color, with a soapy, odd-bubbled head that hangs around the edges of the glass. Plenty of yeasty sediment in suspension despite the careful pour, but not unpleasant in its appearance at all. Lacing is readily apparent, holding its ground in a ring around the rim; expanding and contracting with each sip, like the froth on the beach where the ocean wave retreats. Very nice.

S - Wild honey meade and sugared orange peel. Hints of clove and coriander. Faint but detectible yeasty sour notes. Overripe apple. Some funky, stale breadiness that I could do without.

T - Strangely enough, all of the perceived sweetness from the nose is nowhere to be found in the initial taste. Instead, there is a vinous character like you'd find in a dry sherry. Also in the front is a honey meade taste, but without the sugar. Turns out that its lack of outright sweetness allows for many of the more subtle spicy notes to come through. In the middle comes a slightly phenolic clove character, surrounded by a respectably contained alcohol hit. The finish reveals the bready yeastiness and a delicate hop bitterness that rounds out the interesting taste voyage.

M - Less viscous than the pour would have you believe. Tingly on the tongue, and carbonated very nicely to induce some creaminess without being overly frothy. Well tamed alcohol definitely bumps the score in this category.

D - Initially, this beer raised a few question marks as to where it was going. However, once it warmed further and I got to dig into the subtleties of its organic palette, I found that this beer is not only complex enough to ponder, but tasty enough to look forward to enjoying.

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Photo of kdog630
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to a reddish gold color with a small head that quickly dissapated to a ring. Rich malty aroma with a whiff of alcohol. Many flavors present in the glass that multiplied as the beer warmed. Still tasted the alcohol content in the finish that took away from the overall experience. Rather flat in the mouth.

For the price, this was not as drinkable as other barleywines I've had. I'd recommend an Old Foghorn or a Hog Heaven.

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Beer Line from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.