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

77 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 77
Hads: 149
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.65%
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 (76) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 149
Photo of laituegonflable
3.87/5  rDev -1%
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. (1,111 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours a slightly burnt orange color with some brighter golden tones. A froth of beige head rests on top, retains pretty well with a smattering of lacing on the glass.

Splash of citrusy hops with a nice whiff of grapefruit. Some hints of pineapple and tropical fruit. A thick bready malt presence comes through with a nice warmth.

Bitter and juicy up front with a pretty distinct hop flavor. Grapefruit and pineapple create a citrus cocktail. Burnt sugar and bready notes lead into a nice malty backbone. Caramel with some lingering fruity notions. Finishes boozy and hoppy.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. Drinks really nicely actually, and I had no problem finishing off my half of the bottle. I haven't been too impressed with some of their other beers, but I was into this one. (859 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (1,344 characters)

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of jnn4v
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed in a tulip glass at approximately 55 degrees.

A: Reddish / burgundy hue. Much darker than I was anticipating. Almost a mahogany but not quite as brown. Translucent. No sediment or haze.

S: Not nearly as strong of scents as I had anticipated or hoped. Some caramel malts and slight hints of orange, grapefruit and lemon.

T: Honey wheat bread, grapefruit, a slight resiny herbal bitterness (possibly slightly piney as well). Very nicely balanced between the hops and the malts, as would be expected for a barleywine that has a hop in its name.

M: Fine-textured carbonation (ie. the bubbles are small) although an adequate overall level of carbonation. Density and viscosity were nice as well.

O: I enjoyed this beer for sure, but it was disappointing compared to my expectations. I didn't get any tropical fruit scent or flavor out of this. Then again, I suppose maybe that's a hallmark of the Galaxy hop to begin with. (936 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (1,978 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (290 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fair offering, a good young barley wine with a sugary side over the bitterness.

Presentation: Brown post recycled box with a yellow and dark grey band noting name, main characteristics and intent of the brew, as well as a general overview of the brewery, and the scope of the Reserve series. Contains a 22 oz brown capped bottle. Dark grey label with yellow framing and typography designed around the descriptive text of the brewery and this beer release. Notes that is a favorite of Kurt Widmer, Oregon pride, and limited release. Displays release date (Spring 2011), stamped bottling date (Mar1411), and Alc. by Vol. (9.5%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Clear deep amber pour, with a short lived head that leaves a fair surface memory ring, with minimal splashes of lacing.

S - Hoppy nose with a touch of unfermented sugar… In line with soft US versions. Fruity dash with a bitter caramel edge.

T - Bitter/sweet, nice fruity notes with a sugary edge. The bitterness while firm is not that pussy and/or is intriguingly balanced by that Belgium candy sugar.

M - Medium body, medium/low carbonation with a nice light smoothness over the bitterness, dry touch on the finish.

O - A bit thin at points in a strange way but all things considered it offers a good flow.

Notes: These reserve series still need to amaze me. But all in all they offer a good quality bracket and are worth the try. (1,394 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (893 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (449 characters)

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

A-Pours dark amber/ruby with 3/4 inch of off white head. Reduces quickly, leaving soapy lacing.

S-Caramel, wildflowers, honeysuckle, citric/bitter hoppiness, candi sugar.

T/M-Surprisingly soft and balanced for a hoppy barleywine. Caramel malts accentuated by a delicate touch of candi sugar fade into lightly astringent hoppiness. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

O-Best yet from this series. The Galaxy hops are a big part of what makes this so good, so drinking it fresh is reccomended. (507 characters)

Photo of Prime16
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark chocolate brown with a tan stand alone head.

S- Piney hops, grapefruit, earthy.

T- The aroma masks the malt flavor on this one. Alcohol well hidden with a big bitter ending.

M- Some carbonation, standard medium body.

O- I enjoyed this one a lot. (260 characters)

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

Thanks someone. Poured a dark reddish amber color with a nice tan head. Big hoppy aromas, pine, earth and caramel. On the palate, this one was medium bodied and went down entirely too easy for 9%. Flavors of earthy hops and caramel, with some alcohol late. (256 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (427 characters)

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

Tasted On: 01-22-2012
Freshness: 2011 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

This is from the spring of 2011, so I'd estimate the bottle at about 9 months old.

A: Pours a clear, mahogany color. The head is tan and stands about a finger high, but disappears quickly. Lacing in the glass is good.

S: Aromas are of citrusy hops and sweetness of malts. Also get some fruity notes, like of tart cherries.

T: Big and bold flavors, both malty and hoppy in a nice balance, including caramel and oak notes. Mellows nicely as it warms, with a warming alcohol presence.

M: Medium amount of carbonation, with a smooth and full body. Aftertaste is both sweet and bitter.

O: Very tasty beer; a well-balanced barleywine. I'd recommend you give this one a try.

Thanks to my cousin Brian for this one! (841 characters)

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

Bomber pours deep ruby red with tan head. The aroma emits spicy hops and grapefruit notes, grassy hops and some sticky smelling sweet maltiness. The taste pummels the palate with wide loads of spicy hops mixing with grapefruit like hops all fully bitter and little on the flavor side. There are snippets of sweet maltiness that really do nothing to temper the bold brash bitter hoppiness going on here. The IBU must be up there. To midway and into the finish it picks up additional notes of grassiness, hop resin and mild levels of sweet maltiness. Big bitter boozy beer. (571 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (665 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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) (699 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (1,423 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A: Pours dark deep brown, one of the darkest ales (non-stout, porter or brown ale) I've ever seen, with hints of ruby and blood orange shining through. Off white head fades away but leaves great lacing and even some alcohol feet. It has some carbonation and from what I can see appears clear and filtered.

S: Mild sweetness, hops and malt. Just hints of spices and citrus really, with a sweet bready character. Alcohol is covered fairly well IMO.

T: Has some of that American Barleywine character for sure: pine, resinous hops, juicy & bittersweet. Dry piney bitterness and caramel malts are really the biggest performers. The malt bill isn't as intense as one would think for a barlewine; this is really much closer to a 2IPA.

MF: Not completely full bodied, with good carbonation. Drying.

O: I like it a lot as a hopped up ale with a good caramel malt bill. It lacked some of the aspects of a good American Barleywine (I couldn't detect much candy sugar other other malts besides caramel) but its a good beer all around. Very enjoyable. (1,095 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,833 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (513 characters)

Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.