Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series)Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

148 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 10
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 03-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Released Spring 2011
View: Beers (73) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 77
Photo of JayQue
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Spring 2011!!! I let this one age a while. Probably affected the hops presence but the beer is still very solid.

Initial pour was an opaque clear amber with a medium size light tan head, Head retention is good. Filmy lacing with some small spots of froth. Subsequent pours were a murky/ hazy/amber.

Smell was sweet caramel malt all the way. Fairly prominent.

Taste is sweet caramel malt up front with some hops bitterness in the finish. I wonder what 3 years of aging did to the hops presence but this is still a very enjoyable brew./

Mouthfeel is crisp and somewhat rich. A little lighter than some of the monster barleywines. There is always a little alcohol harshness in a good barleywine, but it is fairly muted and more smooth here. Aging makes a difference.

A very tasty baraleywine,

Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark purplish brown with a mocha head.

S: Orange, cherry and those delicious galaxy hops in the nose.

T: Slightly sweet with citrus and cherry, as well as that delicious tropical fruit flavor that galaxy hops impart. Passionfruit, mango, papaya, deliciousness.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: This is my favorite Widmer beer, which isn't saying a ton, but it's amazing. Galaxy hops ftw!

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 3/14/2011. Pours very hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, orange zest, pineapple, grapefruit, caramel, toast, toffee, candi sugar, biscuit, floral, grass, light pine, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and hop notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, grapefruit, orange zest, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, floral, pine, grass, candi sugar, biscuit, and floral earthiness. Slight pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, citrus, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, floral, light pine, candi sugar, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of malt and hop flavors; with a great hop/malt balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a moderately slick, smooth, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barleywine style. All around good complexity and balance of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of jlindros
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Before trying this, I'll reiterate that most of the Bros Reserve series look like awesome beers from the outside, btu seem to be sub-par or mediocre, or just meh overall beers. Hopefully this will break that mold. 2011 Vintage too.

Pours a small fizzy head that barely covers the beer before disappearing fairly quickly, dark murky mahogany cranberry reddish brown colored.

Nose pretty much brings a sweet candy barleywine, lots of toffee, caramel candies, a nice touch of Belgian candi sugar on top of that, smells quite sweet and a bit syrupy, a little nutty, with more reddish candy like even slightly toasty malts. Galaxy hops are there but lighter, probably due to the age on it, a little spicy, little grassy, touch of a passion fruit like tropical fruit, but very muted (probably due to age). The age does bring a hint of soft aged malt character.

Taste brings more sweet malt characters, lots of toffee again, candy, caramel, a bit nutty like candied nuts almost, and even a little molasses. Later on the taste as it warms, a bit of Belgian candi sugar even, which also brings some booze, mostly clean booze but warmth, slight tingle, and hint of ester like. Chewy malts lead into bitterness, a fair bitter hop character, hint of tropical fruit like, bit spicy and fruity, but the hops again seem subdued to do age. The malts get quite soft and chewy like, aged malt feel that melds well with the booze. Finish brings more booze, warming tingly booze, with more sweet malts, toffee, nutty, caramel, etc, with more spicy slightly fruity hops that linger for quite a while.

Mouth is fuller bod, decent fluffy carb, and plenty of carbonation.

Overall much better than I expected, nice aged malts, lots of sweet characters that meld well with the booze which comes on hot even for 2+ year old beer, the hops seemed like they would have been great except it's a bit too much age for them, but the booze also seems like it would have been way too hot for the fresh beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
Limited release #4 Spring 2011
A- This beer pours a dense hazy glowing brown body with a mass of yellowish-white bubbles that last a bit before fading to a thin film.

S- The nice caramel malt has a hint of sweetness and a faint buttery diacetyl to it with some British yeast ester qualities in the finish.

T- The dark toffee notes are slightly sweet with some coffee malt flavors underneath and a pungent woody green hop flavor in the finish. The bitterness grows a bit in the aftertaste.

M- The medium mouthfeel has no real alcohol heat and a scrubbing fizz that hits in the back of the throat.

O- This beer has a nice malt flavor but it is not really luscious like a typical barleywine and the sweetness is soft compared to the bigger pungent bitterness.

Photo of tdm168
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 14, 2011. Enjoyed on February 7th, 2013.

A - dark brownish amber with some orange around the edges; thin, soft, white lacing of head

S - bread, caramel, candy sugar, bright citrusy aromas

T - dark bread, caramel, faint burnt toast or charred bread, raisins, figs, bitter, some pine, some very faint citrus, alcohol

M - full bodied, warm, sticky, well carbonated

This is a really enjoyable Barleywine. It has great depth and flavor. It is hoppier than most Barleywines, but it is certainly the malty, complex beer that the style demands. I really enjoyed this beer. I wish I could find more.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant red colour, slight toasty note to the colour. Head is cream in hue, sunk to a thin film with some nice lacing left behind. More retention would be great, but it still looks very appealing.

Smells intriguing. Some light spicy notes all over that, with subtle coriander, cumin and pepper. Fruity esters hiding behind and complementing well; maybe some lime and pineapple with some English toffee malt underneath. Toasty, warming smell; very appealing again.

Taste is more toasty, particularly upfront that gets slight spice notes midway, mostly pepper with a slight nod to cloves. Finish is sadly far too sweet for me, treacly with a touch of cinnamon for an overall sticky-bun kind of flavour. Slight peppery hop note on the back is a welcome addition but it doesn't quite redeem. Not bad, and I can see others liking this a lot more, but it's just a tad syrupy overall.

Actually a bit thin in the mouth; hint of a drying pull as it goes down but otherwise yeah, slightly empty.

I can see nothing but a well-made beer in my glass, so I have to forgive it for its perceived flaws on my palate.

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 1-finger rocky, bubbly, cream-colored head. Decent retention with some lacing. Clear with a good amount of bubbles.

S – Caramel and toffee malts with a nice bouquet of pineapple, grapefruit, and orange hops. There’s definitely some alcohol apparent here, too, along with some subtle cherry esters. This is a really fragrant barleywine.

T – Starts off very sweet with caramel, toffee, toasted malts, cherries, and some raisins. Alcohol astringency and some medicinal phenols creep in mid-taste. The taste finishes slightly bitter with floral, citrus, and slightly herbal hops.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with decent carbonation, a sticky and mouth-coating almost oily mouthfeel, and a mildly bitter and dry finish. Floral, citrus, and herbal hop bitterness lingers and blends with alcohol astringency and warmth.

O – This is a pretty good barleywine. The hops are very apparent in the aroma (with a good dose of Galaxy hops) but are somewhat drowned out in the taste until the very finish. Nevertheless, this was a tasty and big beer. It’s definitely a sipper, even more so than the 9.5% would suggest. Take your time with this one.

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Caramel/ Orange brown murkiness, not much head, some spotty lace.

S - Big sweet malt is overpowering. Cooked dark fruit is there somewhat, brown sugar and some hopping.

T - Big bold, boozy front, hopped way more than the nose indicated for me at finish.

M - Medium body, good carb, fair balance that pulls to the bitter. Wish it was a little lusher on the barley side.

D - Overall, a nice drinker. I would have another.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, bottled on March 14, 2011 (printed on label). Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark chestnut brown color with about an inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like candy sugar, dark fruit (raisins, figs, cherries), bready malt, caramel, and some citrusy hops and booze. It tastes like bready malt, candy sugar, dark fruit (figs, raisins), caramel, toffee and a little bit of candied oranges. However, I think it smells better than it tastes. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick but it's also thin for a barleywine. Moderate carbonation. It's a solid enough brew, but there are a lot of other barleywines I like better. With that being said, it's worth trying.

Photo of jondeelee
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Galaxy Hopped Barleywine (Spring 2011 bottle that has been aging in my cellar for over a year) opens with a bright, citrusy nose full of pine, pink grapefruit, and grapefruit rind, but this mixed with, and almost overshadowed by, a rich, malty aroma that boasts massive levels of sugar and fruit esters, including brown sugar, candy sugar, orange liqueur, lemon, cherry, watermelon Jolly Rancher, and touches of sweet pear and apple, as well as fig and date. In short, there are far more sugar-based aromas in here than should be expected of a 9.5% ABV Barleywine--even one made with Belgian candy sugar. Only slight alcoholic vapors, as well as bits of biscuit and toast crust, remind the nose that this is in fact beer. The only weakness is that it does come across as slightly oversweet, and needed slight tempering. But the overall effect is still splendid, the beer smelling more like exquisite candy than an alcoholic beverage: effervescent, complexly fruity, and begging to be sipped.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately fruity and complex, opening with a blast of orange liqueur, berry, and sweet pear, then quickly sliding into a blissful main mouthful where fig, date, plum, molasses, taffy, gooey caramel, vanilla, and nice touches of toast crust, biscuit, and toasted pecan add huge flavor and depth. Pink grapefruit and pine from the hops add further complexity. Sugars are obviously the focus here, coming across sweet and heavenly and finely nuanced, and while the beer isn’t quite as sugary as an ice wine, there are noted parallels, especially in the pronounced flavors and strengths. Later in the mouthful, as the sugars die off somewhat, a stronger toast crust and biscuit layer shines through. The aftertaste is heavier on hops than the main mouthful, slightly burning at the tongue, with enough sugars left over to still dance at the edges, and lingers for a long time. Mouthfeel is a syrupy medium to medium-strong, and carbonation is medium-light to medium (likely lessened in my bottle due to aging).

Overall, this is amazing Barleywine, and a must-try for any serious fan of the style. The amount of craftsmanship that went into this beer is commendable, and the layers of flavor are intense and compelling. This is one of the few beers that truly rewards with subsequent sips, the flavors not at all diminishing with time and tastebud saturation. In fact, there are few weaknesses in here, the most noticeable one only occurring after the beer has been swallowed, when a strong alcoholic vapor remains and clogs the tastebuds. Still: this is a price I would gladly pay.

Photo of colts9016
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the beer into a snifter at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A monster two finger head that is light tan and has good retention. The head is frothy and creamy, it left some lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a rusty brown and clarity is opaque.

Nose: A rich complex malt that is caramel and bready. The hop is slightly fruity esters, floral, and grapefruit. Other aromas raisins. earthy, hint of chocolate, resins, and alcohol.

Taste: A deep roasted complex malt that is bready, caramel, and biscuit. The hops is prevalent, with a fruity esters,floral and grapefruit. Other flavors in the beer is earth, resins, and alcohol.

The mouth feel is astringent, dry, carbonated, and warm.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium, and the finish is medium full. This beer is much different then what I expected. The hops are overwhelming verses the malt backbone. I have tried other barley-wines that were more sophisticated than this. Good barley-wine, sadly age would not have help this at all.

Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Translucent dark sunburst color. oranges and ambers fading up the glass. Thin cap.
Woody, spice, citrus, brown sugar.
Caramel and sweet toffee, a hint of pleasant alcohol, orange zest, brown sugar and rye bread like spice type of deal.
Mouthfeel is medium, same for carbonation.

Solid and average. If in a 4 or 6 pack i'd buy it now and then to have around, but in bomber it's too expensive to be worth it.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This hits me as about the easiest drinking barleywine that I can recall having in a very long time. The galaxy hops provide a nice accent, but don't seem to hijack too much of the experience, though they do grab a bit of it. Smooth malt presence with a hop spicyness that keeps it fairly interesting. The feel on this one is very smooth and pleasant. Overall, I like this beer a lot. I'd be happy to get several more of these and sit on them for a while and see how they turn out.

Photo of rajendra82
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The attractive auburn colored body was topped with a two finger thick foamy head, which took a few minutes to dissipate. The smell was very sweet like treacle, with some spice backing it up. The taste was very sweet, almost like diluted honey. There was some sour cherry flavor in the mid palette, with bitterness in the finish. The beer felt a little runny in the mouth compared to others in the style. This is not truly a classic barleywine, as it lacks a significant level of fruitiness, or the hop punch. It drinks more like a cross between a Belgian quadrupel and a barleywine, but weaker than both.

Photo of Florida9
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark chestnut brown, but clear and still very translucent. Forms a small off-white head that doesn't bother sticking around for too long. No lacing. This one looks like a glass of whiskey.

S: Fairly aromatic with lots of citrusy hops and alcoholic pungency.

T: Taste starts off with lots of caramel. Malty with a moderate sweetness. Notes of dark honey, caramel malt, and a bit of orangey citrus. Finish is rather quick for a BW coming through with a minty, piney flavor. But while the alcohol comes through quite strong on the nose, it is barely noticeable on the palate.

M: Medium bodied and smooth, but feels a bit thin for the style. Lower carbonation and a mild bitterness.

O: With the restrained (for a BW) alcohol and the thinner body, this beer is much more drinkable than most BWs. However, it still offers up that typical BW flavor while adding a bit more hops to the mix.

Photo of BostonHops
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep copper / borderline mahogany tone while yielding a finger of foamy beige head. very respectable retention and lacing. nice presentation.

interesting nose. pretty hoppy, a bit dank, and yet with a sturdy malt backbone... reminds me of a DIPA past its prime. secondary notes of caramel and some indistinct fruitiness. medium-full bodied on the palate with adequate carbonation.

flavor offers a nice balance between the bitter hoppiness and sweet malts. some toffee, maybe vanilla, candied sugar and floral / pine hops.

overall, very nice beer. decent amount going on. nothing extraordinary, but tasty and flavorful.

(originally reviewed: 08-08-2011)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is quite hoppy, with a lot of pine and orange citrus notes, as well as quite a bit of toffee and caramel malt. The flavor is similar, with the pine and orange citrus notes from the hops coming through nicely. There is also a little bit of sweetness from the caramel malt, and the bitterness is fairly low. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Vancoubeer
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this at a random food mart. When I pulled it out of the box the date on the bottle was March 14, 2011. I wondered how the hops have handled the nearly 13 months since bottling? When poured into my snifter it had a filtered looking mahogany color and a white head that was almost non existent. Still do not know why the brothers filter their beer (unlike their hef) The smell is interesting. Any sign of hops are not there. However I get a whiff of roasted grain mixed with the sweetness from the belgian candy sugar. The taste is where this beer is at. There is no way that this is a 9.5% beer. Its smooth. The hops have left more of a citusy flavor instead of bitterness and mixed with the sweet malts and the candy sugar, this is very nice. Sessionable for this style...yes its that dangerously smooth. Its mouthfeel is not to impressive. Dry but watery. The carbonation is low, due to the aging. It there but not a whole lot. Overall, I give this a 4. Its solid. A great barley wine that goes down smooth. Not one of those brews that leave you wondering why people like it. Spot on from the brothers and than god for that store with the beer cave that kept this in the box, cool and away from light.

Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass a chill hazed deep amber with a thin off white head atop with no lacing left behind as it settled quickly.Big juicy fruit malt and resiny hops in the nose,quite a contrast but they meld well.Alot like the aromas the flavors start out with deeply fruity malt and brown sugar notes that becomes a herbal/resiny hop lingering finish.It doesn't wow you but it's solid and is somewhat complex,I would drink again if offered.

Photo of Rhynes2
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Saved this beer for my first all grain barley-wine brew day. It looks great, comes in a nice box and very sophisticated bottle. When i cracked it open it was apparent that it was a low carbonation type of beer. Not much head to speak of. Smell is a nice mix of oak and pineapple fruit. there is a little bit of hop bitterness on the tail end but balances well with the sweetness of the beer. It also gives a faint hint of vanilla throughout the sip.
Overall this beer is one of the better barley wines i have had and I'm quite a fan of the style. I'll try to pick another one of these up tonight after I get done brewing if they still have them in stock.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear mahogany hue with some garnet highlights.
Aroma is caramel and biscuity malt, but also some pine and citrus hops. Do I actually smell pineapple? Appealing nose and fairly balanced and complex at the same time.
First sip reveals an average body and almost non-existant carbonation. Flavor is rich caramel malt and some toffee. I also get pine hops and citrus, again I keep thinking of pineapple as I drink the beer.
The 9.5% is only evident as the beer warms a little, otherwise very well hidden.
This is a nice complex barleywine, interesting and well balanced, and not overly hot from the booze. I would try it again.

Photo of JustinQ
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter glass

Appearence: Ruby red, Mahogony, Clear, nice co2 and head

Aroma: Boozey, Hops, Kind of a wort smell, maybe even kind of an estery fruitiness. Strawberry and maybe bananna

Taste: Hop bitterness, Some good warming alcohol, Malty, Oaky vanilla taste.

Mouthfeel: Dry, Crisp, Nice body.

Overall: Damn good beer, Quite possibly the best barley wine ive had

REVIEWED FROM NOTES

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, brought back to Sydney Australia and opened with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours s deep reddish brown colour, with a fine film of quite light white coloured bubbles. Lacing is speckled and fine and tight. Body is firm and strong, and hold very tine carbonation. Overall, it's a really good looking brew.

Nose doesn't really scream Galaxy to me, but the reason for that might be in the luscious, overwhelming barleywine sweetness. Lots of caramelised malts and crystalline sugar characters, giving a deep sweet pool that other characters get lost in. There's a slight tin-foil like metallic twinge to it, which suggests some hops (although not Galaxy), but it's hidden really in the caramelised, rich, sweet sweet sweetness.

Taste is also good, with a true clear caramel barleywine flavour to it that dips out before it gets too heavy. Pleasant cleansing bitterness on the back manages to leaven and cut the palate and stop it from being too intense. Some mild buttery characters do perhaps make it a little chewy and heavy, but otherwise it's a very decent barleywine.

That kind of sums it up, in a way: it's a very decent barleywine. What it's not is a particularly good showcase for Galaxy, which is a lovely hop if used judiciously in the right place. I'll take this beer on its merits (and merits it has), but I'll secretly be a little bit disappointed.

Photo of HopHead84
2.85/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2/10/2012

On tap at Churchill's.

A: Reddish orange with a fast fading white head.

S: Light grapefruit notes. Brown sugar blends with caramel, pine, and earth. There's evident alcohol and a little prune.

T: Bitter and boozy with astringent dried fruit and alcohol macerated dates. Caramel is evident. The finish is unpleasantly boozy and bitter with aspirin notes.

M: Upper medium body with upper low carbonation.

Overall: Not a very good beer. The flavor is harsh and unpleasant.

to view more.
Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.