Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.
very good

78 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 151
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 16.37%
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 (81) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 78 | Hads: 151
Photo of jondeelee
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

 2,603 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from tasting notes. L: Deep chestnut with ¼ - ½” foam collar that quickly dissipates S: Spicy hop aromas – maybe a little citrus and floral. T: Malty but the use of Belgian candi sugar lightens the body to keep it from tasting syrupy. The hops are bold and work well with the caramel and toffee from the malt and the big alcohol while the citrusy, tropical fruit notes from the hops provide interest. F: Medium body and carbonation. O: A satisfying, American style barley wine.

 492 characters

Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

 405 characters

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

 1,287 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Nice beer.

 733 characters

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 1,042 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of ryanonline
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 434 characters

Photo of Rhynes2
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 655 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 713 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

 609 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 695 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 859 characters

Photo of seand
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent red amber with a small amount of light tan head. What's there dissipates quickly, leaving just a small rim around the glass, enough to leave just small spots of lacing.

S: Densely sweet dark fruit, with some floral notes and a malty background.

T: Sweet and full, with the dense fruit through the middle and finishing off with subdued bitter hops. There's a touch of something that seems slightly numbing, kind of a similar feel to mint (in feel only, not flavor).

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

Quite a nice take on barleywine. More subdued than many american versions, but with some interesting additions.

 637 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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.


 1,116 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy chestnut with a light tan head leaving scattered foamy lace.

Smell is pretty dank, this one is really hoppy, some cat piss that reminds me of centennials (I admit I'm not familiar with the Galaxy flavor profile). Nice light sweetness as well.

Taste is big hops and malt, definitely straddling that line between American BW and DIPA, in a good way. Smooth and well integrated big flavors. The hops show more citrus, sweetened by the malt, but it's a dry, moderately bitter brew overall.

Mouthfeel is dry, a little sticky malt, but not overly viscous (for a craft brew drinker). Low carbonation, spot on for the style.

Drinkability is high, I really enjoyed this. Maybe not the best showcase of the hop, due to the richness, but they still provide a distinctness. Very good, Widmer make this again, but regardless, I'm glad to see they're putting out some really nice beers with this new reserve line.

 913 characters

Photo of lowendfrequency
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Galaxy Hopped

22 oz bomber poured into a Double Mountain flared-lip snifter.

Appearance is of a deep burgundy with good clarity when held to the light. Very thin and light head which quickly dissipates to a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is a pleasant balance of hops and malt. Big notes of dark fruit like plums, raisins and currants are joined by great floral, citrus and tropical fruit characters from the galaxy hops.

This one starts with a malty sweetness like caramel and dark sugars with subtle red fruits, maybe plums and pomegranate. There is a sharp and pronounced hop bite towards the end before finishing with a nice rum-like booze.

The mouthfeel is a roller coaster ranging from a semi-thick sweetness to dry and crisp while achieving a nice balance in between.

This isn't your gran-daddy's barleywine. This is the new school. This is good stuff. All the makings of a solid strong beer but hopbursted with big tropical fruit flavors and bigger citrus aroma. I enjoyed this beer thoroughly and will be purchasing several more. However, I must pose the question… how will this beer age? It's already well balanced. Will it lose it's signature hop note? Only time will tell.

 1,213 characters

Photo of BigE90
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 831 characters

Photo of JustinQ
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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


 424 characters

Photo of Vancoubeer
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 1,208 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromatic and hoppy strong ale.

Beautiful dark amber in the Brigand chalice. Rich and really spicy. If Galaxy is the only hop here, it's a winner. Both aromatic and bitter. The Belgian touch is just right. Adds a mellow, sugary touch to the sharp bitterness of the hops. Well-balanced in a flamboyant style. Sweetness is almost over the top, but then the tropical hops come on strong. Every mouthful is an adventure.

I have been enjoying a lot of Widmer beers lately. Like the Deadlift Imperial IPA, which is generously hopped but on the sweet side. I'll definitely be willing to spend more on their special releases.

 618 characters

Photo of kscaldef
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, deep red color with a healthy tan head, good retention

Aroma is bready with dark fruit, strawberry, toffee and candy

Good balance of biscuit malts, hop bitterness, and mild sweetness. Long hoppy finish.

Everything is really well in balance here, a very nice sipper.

 274 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 604 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 1,236 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.