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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

145 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 9
Gots: 37 | 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:
Released Spring 2011

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 03-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jlindros:
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.

jlindros, Jul 15, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

oberon, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Limited Release #4
Spring 2011
In a snifter the beer was a clear dark amber color. A small head that still left a bit of lace.
Pretty sweet aroma, sugary. Some fruit.
Even nicer taste. Still very sweet, caramel and cherries. Good hops presence, but tempered by the sweetness. Good staying power from the hops.
I thought this was an assertive beer. The Belgian influence made it very interesting.

lordofthewiens, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of marvin213
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

marvin213, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber, vintage date on the bottle.

LOOK: Heady, dark chestnut.

SMELL: Highly caramelized sugar, spicy, ripe fruit, hoppy, malty, toasted grain, alcohol, esters.

TASTE: Bittersweet, hoppy, malty, toasted grain, resin, citric rind, caramel, tobacco, mellow alcohol, brown bread, unsweetened chocolate.

Wow ... not only did Widmer hit this style the right way the depth and complexity presented is a sheer joy to pick apart. With that and it being drinkable for its size I have a winner in my glass.

Jason, Sep 22, 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.

Mora2000, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of BigE90
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looked great with a light foamy head and a good deep mahogany color

S: This blew me away! The fresh hop smell was evident as it was poured into my sniffer. Very citrus and floral.

T: The fresh hops are very evident and it was great not to experience any bittering. Just a great fresh IPA but yet had a slight barleywine twang to it. It hit all the senses of the tongue and was full of flavor.

M: Good, again no bad bittering and the slight presence of what you would find drinking a true barleywine.

O: A great beer! Although hard to classify as a true barleywine because that aspect of it was not strong. The fresh hops was a nice twist to it though as if you were drinking a full flavored IPA but yet without it giving you that bitterness of being boiled to long. Looking forward to see how it ages in 6 months and a year.

BigE90, May 15, 2011
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.

jondeelee, Oct 12, 2012
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.

rhoadsrage, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good and tasty barleywine, much like an American strong ale,there is lots of hops and lots of malt. Brown with a bubbling head. Some nice spiciness and fruitiness, big taste.Boozy.Above average mouthfeel.A little caramel.I was concerned about ageing this one because of the hops featured.

Sammy, Jan 09, 2012
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.

tdm168, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of tenacioustomato
4/5  rDev +3.1%

tenacioustomato, May 11, 2012
Photo of OldIronLungs
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a deep tulip a dark rosy amber with a finger of clingy tan head.

Nose is sweet caramel and I can definitely pull the distinct passion fruit note from the Galaxy hops.

A sip is sweet malts with a big punch of citric hop bitterness. Resinous fully body and medium to lightly carbonation - very little alcohol presence - which isn't surprising given the bold hopping and Belgian sugar notes.

Nice barleywine. Glad to see more Galaxy hop usage, I think the strain is really interesting.

OldIronLungs, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +3.1%

GRG1313, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of cougarbait
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%

cougarbait, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of kbuzz
2.93/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz'er into my tulip glass, a wee bit at a time. Can this be considered an American Barleywine even though it's using New Zealand hops? Spring 2011 release.

A: Pours a cloudy rust-colored beer with a minimal off-white head that fades pretty quickly. An average looking Barleywine at best.

S: Following a good swirl, I get massive earthiness here. Earthy hops and a dusty grains. Rum-soaked dark fruits and a good bit of confectionary sweetness in the form of molasses and brown sugar.

T/M: Huh. A little bland for a Barleywine. Nothing overly pronounced. Caramels malts, figs, raisins...more brown sugar...but mostly a lot of a cotton candy type of generic sweetness. Ends up tasting a little like a Belgian Quad...just a random dollop of that fruity sweetness. A solid hop bitterness, but no hop flavor really. Dank and earthy. Mouthfeel is exactly where a Barleywine should be...moderate to low carbonation and plenty of juicy chewiness...leaves a thick coating on the mouth.

O: Nothing earth-shattering here. I was really hoping for more of that hop profile to shine through, but it fell short. Also seems to lack any sort of distinguishing flavor profile in general. Couldn't really ever say at any point that anything took a hold of my taste buds. Taste was muddled for sure. Still...not bad. I do like the low"ish" ABV on it for a Barleywine. Don't get any heat at all on this sucker.

kbuzz, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

bluejacket74, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of bonez05404
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

bonez05404, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Docer
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

- Appearance: (3.5)
Pours a clear and dark rich brown/red mahogany with a quick fizzling off-white foam that relaxes to a nice ring and island of foam in the middle of my Rogue winter glass (excuse the glassware, just moved and am still building my collection). Nothing like a spring release in a winter glass eh?

- Smell: (4.5)
This is where this brew pops out and grabs you by the nose hairs with little clenching fists of glory. The fresh and fruity hops are greatly present, but I feel are helped greatly by the Belgian candy sugars. The malt is rather light, and smooth... which are huskless malts! Mild fruit salad, strawberry, passion fruit,and an earthy grassy aroma.

- Taste: (4.0)
Smooth, balanced, and just the right sweetness to start. Light caramel, bready malt flowing with a fruit ester-filled flavor going down. The massive bitterness that I get shows itself after the barleywine is swallowed. I really love the bitter quality of this barleywine. It has a 'gin-like' effect on the palate. Light floral and passion fruit finish on the hops. Again, some fresh grassy earthy flavors.

- Mouthfeel: (3.5)
Like as stated in the taste, this is a rather clear, refined, filtered medium bodied barleywine.. almost on the light bodied side. It's rather dry (which I like), but still wets the palate with its huge array of flavors.

- Overall: (4.0)
This is not your typical barleywine. It's not thick, creamy, cloudy, and loaded with caramel like a John Barleycorn. It's light, dry, full of flavors, esters, and wonder. It's one to try. I really don't know how this one would age, or if it even really needs to. The alcohol is barely present at all. It's a dry, not-so-hot alcohol. Perhaps a bit too clean and dangerous. Certainly a good brew, and I can't wait to see what Widmer has under their belt for the next release.

Docer, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of jpajpajeff
4/5  rDev +3.1%

jpajpajeff, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 picked up a couple of weeks ago at the COOP... I wanted to get a review in before the stocks dry up. Poured into my Cigar City snifter.. decent but short lasting tannish head.. the brew is surprisingly dark.. deeep amber but very clear.

Nose is very complex.. but odd for sure... tons of caramel and melanoiden notes ... burnt sugars and earthy elements that I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around... punctuated by a mildly assertive hoppy presence.

Flavor mirrors the aromas but some very nice fruity notes come out as dried cherry and fresh fig.. even blackberry... dark bread and maybe some pipe tobacco toward the finish.. sorta salty burnt sugar at the end of the palate....

The booze in this one helps a bunch right now as it is really all over the place with aromas and flavors.. the EtOH helps tie things together and make for a beer that I am looking forward to down the road.

^^^ If I remember :-) I am going to get more than a few of these for the cellar. I hate missing out on interesting BW's as they age just because I didn't stock up. Digging this one now for sure.

3.5/3.5/4.5/4/4.5

JohnGalt1, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

2378GCGTG, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bomboras Grille in Hilton Head, SC. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Pours a cloudy brownish-red with a thin off-white ring and slight haze.
S - Moderately sweet and malty with a fairly pungent grapefruit and pine resin hop profile. Bit of pineapple and peach too.
T - Caramel-toffee malt heavy, with big notes of pineapple, peach, strawberry, grapefruit, and pine resin.
M - Smooth, slightly viscous and sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation.
O - A pretty good beer, very unique from the addition of the Galaxy hops.

jsanford, May 09, 2011
Photo of bigbeers84
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

bigbeers84, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +3.1%

IdrinkGas, Jan 04, 2012
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Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.