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)

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BA SCORE
87
very good

148 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 9
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Released Spring 2011

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 03-23-2011)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AdamElb
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Element1290
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of seangibbs60
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Mervjahn
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of mbs11
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of ronniebruner
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of seand
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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.

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

Photo of lowendfrequency
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of Vancoubeer
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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 mactrail
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of JustinQ
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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

REVIEWED FROM NOTES

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.

Photo of kscaldef
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of rajendra82
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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 BlackBelt5112203
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
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 wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle shared at hosers 17/7/11

A brownish amber with a short lived thin film that leaves some polka dot lace

S pineapple and pine needles, a little lemon and a shitload of toffee

T guava and a hint of booze with piles of caramel and burnt toffee, big hop overkill with just enough caramel malt too keep things from getting out of hand

M a little slick and quite sticky on the lips, a little heat but its manageable and it leaves something behind in the form of grit

O a better DIPA then a BW at this point but I'm loving the piney goodness

I'm not sure if I'd want to age this one its drinking well right now if you like a hop bomb

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.

Photo of siskiyoucellar
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review on BA, after doing a lot of reading here (usually while enjoying a delicious beer). Many thanks to the bros., and all the reviewers who have helped me learned more about all the brews I am enjoying.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Palmer Station Antarctica pint glass.

A: Beautiful clear darkish copper color, very pretty in the late afternoon mountain sunlight.

S: Bright clean floral hops predominate, with sweet earthy malt notes underneath, very appealing.

T: A nicely nuanced balance between tangy citrus hops and a sweet malty backbone with perfect finishing tones of pepper and figs. The alcohol blends in very nicely. I think they got the Belgian barleywine thing just right and the hoppy updating works beautifully.

M: Very pleasant, not cloying or too dry.

Overall: Very well done. In general I have not been terribly impressed by Widmer brews lately. I thought that the Brrrbon was only OK; but this time they really hit it. I think they did a great job of getting the essence of the classic barleywine style just right and then taking it in a new direction with flair and nice control.

Photo of shand
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a nonic.

This one pours a nice deep red color with a decent head. Retention and lacing are good. Aroma is full of citrus, hops, and sweet caramel malts. A touch of nuttiness as well. The taste is full-bodied and strikes a good balance between hoppiness and maltiness, almost to the point where this is surely between a double IPA and a barleywine. There's some solid citrus flavors with some piney hops and caramel malts.

The mouthfeel is nice, it's full-bodied and coating. The drinkability is very good for the ABV. Overall, this is quite a good brew from Widmer Brothers. It's an enjoyable barleywine that I'd recommend to enjoy fresh.

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.

Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark reddish amber colored beer with basically no head formation.

Smell is sweet with a ripe fruit smell that is heavy on the plum and prune scent. Little bit of a cedar wood scent and some spiced apple.

Starts out sweet and a little woody with a sharp bitter kick in the finish. Sweet toffee flavor, butter, vanilla, and some prune. It is fairly spicy and the alcohol level is notable and warms the tongue very noticeably. Mildly bittersweet but this is one well balanced Barleywine.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, a real nice sipper.

Overall this is a very nice Barleywine. Some maybe put off by the detectable alcohol burn, for me this isn't a problem.

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