Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +16%
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.
10-12-2012 19:13:06 | More by jondeelee
4.45/5 rDev +14.7%
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!
01-18-2014 18:31:40 | More by BierJager89
4.43/5 rDev +14.2%
A- Pours deep ruby/maroon color. One finger creamy head that fades quickly. Nice crispy carbonation that never stops! Very surprised and delighted by the color of this one! I can't remember ever seeing a Barleywine this blood red before!
S- Tons of fresh picked citrus! Grapefruit, toffee, vanilla, peaches, mango, and fresh lemon peel. Nice balance between the sweet caramel malts, and the pungent citrusy/pine hops.
T- Punched in the mouth with the bright citrus and peppery pine... followed rather quickly by rich, sugary caramel, toasted wood, licorice, and a touch of alcohol. The bitterness and sweetness blend wonderfully! Just got a hint of buttered popcorn between my lips and gums.
M- Sticky, syrupy, sweet, bitter, and amazing! Like sucking on a buttered pinecone slathered in brown sugar! Not thick like oil or syrup... but really coats the tongue and tastebuds and takes you for a ride!!!
O- Really lovin' this as it warms up a bit! The flavors just bloom and blossom! Each sip starts different... one time its that piney citrus kick followed up with chewy caramel... the next first sip is like biting into a warm sticky bun, and then eating caramelized grapefruit brulee! I've been putting off buying this one for a while now... no more! Going to get a few more ASAP!
05-27-2011 01:38:16 | More by Thickfreakness
4.4/5 rDev +13.4%
Enjoyed at Cask Republic in New Haven.
Came served in a wine glass with a thick creamy head. Appeared to be off white to beige, but light was low. Beer is dark and deep with ruby tones when held in front of a candle. Again low light. The entire inside of the glass is a sheet of lace. Wonderful looking beer.
Aroma is thick with a note of cinnamon. No surprise that there are malt tones here, but I like them as they are dark and toasty without being burnt or dark roasted.
Lots of caramel, layers of malt I am enjoying this quite a bit. Bitterness fills in towards the end here and there is a lovely long almost spicy aftertaste.
This couple nicely with a touch of warmth from the abv.
Bold body, smooth and warming.
12-01-2011 01:38:06 | More by Reagan1984
4.38/5 rDev +12.9%
Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a silty brown with ruby highlights. A one finger white head reduces to a soapy skim, wispy with a slight ring around the glass.
Quite yeasty in aroma, with tons of buttery malt, earthy oak, peat and bourbon. This ale has a classic barleywine smell, like late fall in a bottle.
Starts yeasty and buttery, with a sweet malt before quickly turning spicy, dry and hoppy. Peat, tobacco, pepper, and oak leaves combine to really draw out the oil that starts this off. I really like the way this brew uses the early oiliness to balance out the dry spicy finish.
Medium to full bodied, this is a total sipper of a brew, with more than enough hops to leave the tongue and gums tingling.
A very well balanced, yet aggressivel hopped American Barleywine, this is a very enjoyable brew. The flavor of the early yeast is exceptional, and all the more enjoyable because of the way the hops use it to finish. If you enjoy a hoppy American barleywine, you won't go wrong giving this one a try.
11-27-2011 19:35:17 | More by TheHoppiest
4.38/5 rDev +12.9%
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.
07-30-2012 04:43:46 | More by RblWthACoz
4.33/5 rDev +11.6%
clear and brownish amber with some off white head that leaves sheet like lacing.
citrussy hops and vanilla abound along with some slight floral notes and a touch of caramel as well.
vanilla and wood and sweet caramel along with those tasty tasty citrus hops.
the mouthfeel is actually quite thin for a barleywine and the carbonation is somewhat crisp but with a softer palette feel. dry -sweet finish.
overall... I love this beer.
11-18-2011 01:44:42 | More by ryanonline
4.33/5 rDev +11.6%
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.
04-05-2012 20:33:30 | More by Rhynes2
4.33/5 rDev +11.6%
A: This poured a clear mahogany with some tan head.
S: It smelled like ripe mango and honey with grapefruit and pomegranate, and a bit of alcohol.
T: It tasted like mango and grapefruit, with honey and pomegranate and a bit of raisin and confectioners sugar. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was slightly thick and oily with moderate carbonation. Nice body.
D: This was surprisingly good! The scent and taste were fantastic, with delicious bitter and sweet character. It had nice body too, but was a bit hot, so needed to be sipped. Lovely beer, especially on the tip of my tongue. Not sure if age may help, but definitely recommended fresh. About on par with Flying Mouflan.
05-13-2011 18:35:11 | More by Pencible
4.28/5 rDev +10.3%
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.
02-08-2013 02:31:38 | More by tdm168
4.28/5 rDev +10.3%
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.
03-31-2012 05:46:40 | More by sulldaddy
4.28/5 rDev +10.3%
A- Pours a dark crimson/brown color w/ a nice one finger off white head. Opaque looking w/ beautiful red highlights. Decent carbonation and lacing. Nice looking beer.
S- Hops, malt, hops, malt.. Slight smell of candied fruit as well. Very nice for the style, just wish it was a little stronger. Still, a very nice smelling barleywine.
T- Very hoppy, w/ a nice strong malt backbone. Very smooth, with a nice aftertaste. Very tasty barleywine. Strong sweet candy fruit is there, but it's overrun by the hops and malt. 9.5% ABV, but I don't taste any alcohol at all. This is probably one of the more enjoyable barleywines I've had.
M- Very smooth. Sweet. Couldn't ask for anything more.
O- Very impressed at this barleywine. It's not the best I've had, but it's right up there. Definitely worth picking up if you like the style... or good beer in general.
05-25-2011 00:53:58 | More by jayhawk73
Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.