Whole Hog Barley Wine Style Ale - Stevens Point Brewery

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Whole Hog Barley Wine Style AleWhole Hog Barley Wine Style Ale

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94 Ratings
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Ratings: 94
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 4
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cdkrenz on 12-01-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by jpro:
Photo of jpro
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz from a 4-pack picked up at the James Island Pig when everything was 50% off. Poured into a snifter...

A: Dark, plum-hued brown; light khaki, 1mm ring of foam that forms on the pour leaves no lace.

S: A LOT of malt; fruit cake; rich breadiness; sugary; raisins; brown sugar.

T: Well, there are hops in this beer... more bitter than aroma implies; still, layers of rich and toasted malt; caramel; toffee; nutty.

M: Full feel; low carbonation; viscous; sticky.

O: A nice English barley wine; will let a couple of these age for awhile and see what happens; no hint of 10% abv.

*from notes 11.14.13

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler pour, dark murky auburn, darker tan head, quickly departing. Goes to a faint film, thin collar and just a few bits of lace.

Nose is faintly of sweet fruits and bready malts.

Malt loaded Brit style BW, has a hint of minty/alcohol spice, bananas, nutmeg, smooth and dense malts carrying through into a long finish.

Quality job here, with alcohol well woven into the heady and mostly malty mix. Nice to try this one via a keg/growler pour

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a slight dense deep copper body with a thin cream of light tan.

S- The clean soft dark toffee aroma has some cream notes at the finish but starts to take on a wet dog aroma as it opens.

T- The dry caramel flavor turns more syrupy as it opens with a soft dry finish. There is a hop bitterness and roasted bitter hint that lingers after each sip. The malt takes on some woody notes as it opens aswell.

M- It has a medium-light mouthfeel with an alcohol warmth and a tight fizz in the finish.

O- The light flavor has caramel malt and alcohol hints but it is pretty thin and doesn’t have any of the richness that I love in barleywines. The bitterness grows as it opens where as the malt only seems to fade.

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a tulip glass, this barleywine pours nicely, generating a billowing head of tan foam that almost approaches the rim. A thick finger of foam remains, with sticky arcs of lace all around the glass.

Pleasant sweet aroma of banana walnut bread, brown sugar, allspice and cloves.

Lightly bitter, not as sweet as the nose might let on. Rich and full of traditional toffee flavor, cocoa, estery fruit, with some herbal tea-like bitterness from the ample hops. Finishes dry with a long lingering bitterness. There was a metallic note at first that seemed to dissipate in time. Spicy with nutmeg, allspice, clove. Light bodied for 10%+.

Would seek this out again, it's the best beer from Point i've had, far better than the last couple Whole Hog beers: Raspberry Saison and RIS. Glad to see them going in an experimental direction from their regular lineup.

Photo of turntable1973
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%

great earthy flavor

Photo of robert2189
1.98/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Its taste is a little thin

Photo of CHickman
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours blood red color with a small creamy tan head that faded quickly; decent spotty lacing after each sip.

Smells of dark fruit, molasses, syrup, caramel, roasted malts, brown sugar, very light hops; very sweet and fruity, yet none of the fruit comes through on its own.

Tastes of molasses, syrup, caramel, roasted malts, brown sugar, grains, toffee, coffee grinds, dark fruit like plum, raisin and black cherry, light floral hops, some herbs and booze like rum; very sweet flavor with alcohol heat throughout that doesn't mellow and borders on rough, but it trails off with dark sweet fruit in the finish and just enough caramel to salvage it. The aftertaste is on the dry side, like there is a brown sugar or even a cocoa residue left in your mouth.

Warming, this put me at ease more and more after each sip - perfect for a snowy night. Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, with close to no carbonation, a heavy chewy body and an overall sweet flavor that slides down nice. A real nice slow sipper that got better as it warmed.

Photo of zac16125
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter
no bottling dates

A: Dark mahogany, ruby hues when held to light, 1 fingers width tan colored head dissipates fairly quickly, leaves essentially zero lacing. 3.75

S: Dark fruits, licorice, a cherry/red licorice type aroma, candied sugar, caramel/tofee. Very nice. 4.25

T: Follows the nose. Lots of sweetness, dark fruits, caramel/toffee, sugar/syrupy sweetness, a bit of cocoa, herbaceous oak. 4

M/D: Medium body, on the thinner side for a style and ABV, carbonation appropriately low, drinkability is good. 3.75

O: Overall, quite good, much better than I anticipated. The price was right too. 4

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

Another (temporary) gift from Chaz as I still need to send him some East Coast CANs, but he was gracious enough to slip some bottles into the mix, a la tone77, who routinely hooks me up with bottles to keep my numbers in alignment.

Y'know, this is my second English-Style Barley Wine in recent memory and I begin to think that maybe (just maybe) I should start in on some Monsters or Hog Heavens from when I was buying indiscriminately. I like AmeriCAN IPAs, so they have ample time to age.

From the bottle: "Deep and luxurious[,] this classic English Style Barley Wine Ale pours smooth with rich burgundy highlights. Handcrafted using a savory blend of English aromatic and crystal malts combined with a touch of Northdown hops[,] this luscious delicacy leaves behind a warm velvety sensation." Ho!

Wot?!? A screw-top cap?!? Some breweries cannot leave their roots, apparently. My pour created two dense fingers of deep-tan head with excellent retention. Frankly, it looked as though it might require a jackhammer to break through all of it. Color was what I might have referred to as deep-brown with ruby or garnet highlights, but I will defer to burgundy highlights with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very malty with an upfront presence of caramel. I did not note much in the way of bitterness, but that is to be expected in the style. Mouthfeel was medium with a reasonable amount of heat on the tongue along with a lot of toffee-like flavor. Finish was mildly hot with a continuation of the toffee/caramel flavors as noted earlier. Whew! One was enough for this self-avowed hophead.

Photo of PDXHops
2.79/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into an oversized snifter. Slightly hazy mahogany in color with just a collar of foam.

Rich toffee and banana nut bread are prominent in the nose. Huge brown sugar sweetness with a touch of taffy in the finish. The banana bread is swept aside by the sweetness and, to a lesser degree, a blast of bitterness that seems a bit out of place. Kind of rough around the edges , really, hot and spicy with the alcohol. I suspect some cellar time would smooth this out and make for a more enjoyable brew.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a plastic tumbler.

Had a good experience with the other Whole Hog entry (pumpkin ale), so the expectations are slightly raised for this one. It pours a clear garnet-russet topped by a half-finger of sandy foam. The nose comprises mandarin oranges, light grapefruit, and plenty o' caramel. The taste holds notes of ruby red grapefruit, flowers, orange peel, and toffee. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a solid b-wine, another reason why Point may just wanna shift all of their effort to the Whole Hog series and be done with it.

Photo of martyl1000
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a very reasonably priced 4-pack, the first sip has me totally psyched. It's not a great looking pour into a tulip glass, with barely a half-finger of white head atop the opaque red-tinged, brown murk. Sticky lacing, with legs.

Very little in the aroma, probably just too cold. But bready, mildly floral, and of course malty in the nose, plus a grape-like, mildly acid wine character. Even after it warms, the nose remains reserved.

But in the mouth, now this is a provocative surprise. Stevens Point Brewery, for those of you not from Wisconsin, is an old-time AAL outfit, one of the oldest breweries in the US. I've never heard any of my Midwest beer friends say anything nice about SPB, so I wasn't expecting a lot from this brew. But this is right up my alley. Very sweet, like my other ENglish barley wine favorites: JW Lees Harvest Ale and Weyerbacher Insanity. The grainy biscuit flavor is what backstops the sugar-sweetness, not any bitterness. Some will call this cloying. I love it. The sweetness rounds out with an estery mossy oak. The butter/caramel is of the burnt variety. There's milk and coconut, too.

The mild to moderate carbonation is a welcome cleanser and leavener of the oily syrup feel.

I've gone back to Riley's Wines and snatched up the last two 4-packs. I'm putting them in the cellar!
UPDATE 1/13/2015
Sadly, a year of cellar aging has not turned out well. Aargh! I'm so disappointed. This was one of my Top 10 beers of 2014, and now it's too sweet.

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.97/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a ruby color with brown accents. Aroma of brown sugar and English ale yeast. In the taste, big sugary sweetness, mild caramel and even milder toffee. Very sweet and alcoholic. There is some fruitiness. A faint bitterness does little to balance this sugary sweet brew. A bit thin to be called Medium bodied, sweetness lingers with a small booze hit. Overall, decent barleywine, but nothing special.

Photo of avalon07
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a ruby color and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of head that quickly dissipated. No real lacing to speak of.

S: A sharp aroma of caramel and a big shot of hops, along with some malt.

T: Like the aroma, the taste had a lot of hops and caramel, with a bit malt in the finish. The booze here is very noticeable and kind of harsh. An uneven flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat harsh, boozy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Stevens Point swung for the fences here, and you can't fault them there, but this is a, scattershot beer in a lot of ways.

Photo of garymuchow
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rich semi-sweet malt aroma, reasonably complex, heavy and consistent.
Attractive thick dense tan head with ample lacing. This covers a garnet very clear body.
Flavor is every bit as rich, but not as sweet as expected. Ample hops balance off the malts and coat the finish with an apparent bitterness and drying lengthy finish. The hop flavor is tame compared to the bitterness and doesn't overpower the malt, rather blends more so neither is dominant. Malt is less complex than in the aroma.
Heavy and almost thick feel. Nicely softly carbonated and there is more than typcial, but it doesn't seem insulting.
There is nothing particularly wrong or bad with this, but also nothing that excites terribly.

Photo of TheSSG
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dense, soapy, tan head that laces lightly. Sweet malt aroma with notes reminiscent of candied fruit or plums. Medium-dark burnt umber color. Starts with a sweet, slightly bitter, booziness. Builds into a subdued medium-low bitterness with a slight candied fruit/plum sweetness lasting throughout. The finish is a touch of hop and toasted malt; the sweetness vanishes.

I am not a fan of Barley wines, but this one is at least tolerable (so that's saying a lot). The sweetness isn't too overpowering at any point, ditto for the booziness and bitterness, so it's a nice and balanced one. I could MAYBE buy this again. I will actually finish the 4 bottles, so there's that...

Photo of WJVII
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass this brew has a dark amber complexion with a a nice light brown head. The aroma was of dark fruits and caramel along with some mild hop spice. The taste was bold with strong carbonation up front causing the flavors to explode. Nice hop spice along with burnt caramel and plum and raisin notes. The longer I let it sit the more the brew settles and gives off some nice spiced hops and deep roasted malts. Of the Whole Hog series this is my favorite by far.

Photo of fdkayti
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A gentle pour into a tulip glass yields a small tan head on top of a beer that is...burnt sienna? Head recedes quickly, leaving a nest of bubbles resting in the middle. Nice red tones shine through when held to the light. Decent stringy lacing.

S- Alcohol and dark dried fruits. Almost like a red wine but less sweet. Caramel and honey come through.

T- Raisins, cherries, cranberries. Mild tobacco? Booze is apparent but not overpowering. Sweet caramelly goodness.

MF- Slightly less sticky than I hope for. A surprising burst of carbonation (a little too much, I think) at the beginning of the sip leads to a modest, creamy finish.

O/D- Drinkability is through the roof as the booze is hiding itself somewhere in there. Not too learned in this style, but this rates as average in comparison to what I have had. All in all, enjoying it muchly but looking forward to trying more of this style.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep mohogany body beneath a half in head of pale tan. An inviting look in a snifter.

S - Slight hops, subtle cherry and wooded oak barrel.

T - It certainly has an English flare. The hops are dry and slightly transparent allowing a firm base of medium roasted barley to come through.

M - The feel is dry in the beginning and rather sticky in the end and finish. Unique and it allows for easy drinking which the lack of abbrasiveness.

~ I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love to see my hometown brewery taking a risk. I will surely be enjoyin a few more of these, and I'll be cellaring one or two as well.

Photo of jwinship83
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up as an extra to finish a mix-a-six for $1.49. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a dark brown colored body that i cant see through. there is a finger and a half of khaki colored head on top that quickly fades to a reasonable amount. large spots of lacing are left behind.

S- the most dominant thing in the nose would have to be the alcohol. after that i get some caramel malts and some some fruitiness. bananas (yeast?), cherries, dates, and plums. slight earthy hops at the end.

T- the alcohol i was expecting after that nose seems miraculously hidden. it starts out with some strong caramel and toffee sweetness before moving into the various ripe dark fruits. cherries, plums, dates, and the bananas. must be yeast. the finish is slightly alcoholic and earthy hops.

M- the body is on the lighter side of full. the carbonation is nice and low. there is a moderate warming from the alcohol, but that is expected and welcomed.

O- this is probably the best beer ive have from this brewery. i must admit i went in with low expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. ill pick up some more of this to see how it fares in the cellar.

Photo of mjpolzin
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You get about what you pay for here. Seeing a barleywine from Point Brewery I probably wouldn't have bought it but it was less than $7 for a 4 pack and it had 10.2 listed as it's abv so I figured even if it wasn't great, it was worth my $7 to try a high alcohol barleywine. Also, reading some of the reviews on this website, it appeared to be more of a malty barleywine which I prefer to the more hoppy ones.

It poured a nice dark, amber color in the glass so it looked impressive enough. I got almost no smell though so I let it warm a little bit before I drank it hoping to bring out some flavors. There was some hints of fruits and bread in the taste but it was masked by a slightly abrasive alcohol taste. You could definitely tell this was 10+ for the alcohol content. As I finished it, I was left wanting more. It was a decent enough beer but nowhere near to the standard I have for a good barleywine.

Photo of greshdoghophead
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark and ruby the abv and hops are muted. Not on par with other elite examples. Yet a solid version of the style at a reasonable price point.

Photo of corsendonkfan
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a growler. Left no head. Dark red amber appearance with little carbonation. Leaves small stringy lacing

S: Definite smell of alcohol. Also a smell of toffee and caramel. Slight hint of a fruity smell like a red wine.

T: Slightly sour taste with a hint of dark fruits (plum or cherry) on the tongue and a slightly fruity after taste. There is a more boozy taste to it than many other styles of beer. This is my first barley wine so i dont cant compare it to any others of the same style.

M: Smooth to drink, not much carbonation. Leaves a tart, dry taste aftertaste. You can definitely taste that this beer is 10% ABV

O: Again this is the first barley wine i have had so i dont have anything else of the style to compare it to. It has fruity characteristics to it but they do not last into the aftertaste. I didn't expect much based on the overall reviews of the brewery. I would drink this beer again but i would like to try other barley wines first.

Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured at a good temperature with a small, fizzy, gold tan head that quickly subsides to a few small roiling patches from the strong carbonation and no lace. Color is a clear amber red with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is caramel, grain, some hop. Flavor's like nose, sweet up front along with carbonic tang then bitter. Not a lot going on. Body and carbonation are ok. Finish is like flavor, lots of alcohol warmth, and average length. Meh.

Photo of kkleu357
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a bottle into a tulip glass. Dark brown slight red hue. Poured heavy and got a small 1/2 inch head. Big Sweet plum aroma. Heavy flavorful beer. Sweet plum taste. Picking up hints of peat and tobacco. It’s pretty good.

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Whole Hog Barley Wine Style Ale from Stevens Point Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.