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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)

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very good

145 Ratings

(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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryanonline


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
Photo of csiewert


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-17-2011 18:53:36 | More by csiewert
Photo of adrian21


5/5  rDev +28.9%

11-16-2011 00:15:49 | More by adrian21
Photo of Exiled


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-14-2011 20:20:56 | More by Exiled
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.2/5  rDev +8.2%

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.


11-10-2011 06:23:19 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of tat2dhllblly


2.68/5  rDev -30.9%

I enkoyed the fact that the Galaxy hop was put center stage here and that the Widmer reserve series is something I always look forward to but this was less than my favorite.

Appearance: Slight watered down bourbon color with off white head with moderate size bubbles that vanishes quickly with litte lacing.

Smell: All Galaxy hops with a backing of booze.

Taste: All hops. Strong, herbal, fresh cut grass hops. I really didn't get any true malt profile here. I have read other reviews and I really do not get any malt backbone at all. Reminds me more of a Hopped Stupid IPA than a American Barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Little carbonation but a bit light on the feel. I was hoping for more chewy but this is not even close.

Like I said I really enjoy Widmer beers but this was not my favorite experience with any of thier beers.

10-06-2011 21:11:53 | More by tat2dhllblly
Photo of emmasdad


4/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

09-29-2011 03:16:15 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Jason


4.05/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

09-22-2011 02:28:00 | More by Jason
Photo of Vandint


3.1/5  rDev -20.1%

I got a bottle of this from Bristol Farms. It came in a box, but the label on the bottle had several wrinkles in it. It poured nicely - not much head, but nice lacing and a beautiful reddish-brown color. The smell was quite nice - spicy, fruity, and sweet. From the smell, I was a tiny bit worried it was going to be a bit syrupy sweet, but it smelled like it would be quite enjoyable.

In actuality, what I got was hops - quite a lot of them. Too bitter for my tastes, especially the aftertaste. It was a bit frustrating, because I could tell it had more complexity there, but it was drowned out. If I worked hard to combine the smell with the beer, I got a well rounded and interesting beer (until I set the beer down and get the aftertaste) but otherwise all I really got was hops and some sugar - kind of disappointing, but I'm really not a hoppy guy. A strong 9.5 ABV, but I could not taste the alcohol. Carbonation was quite light, but it felt real in the mouth (as a barley wine should).

As time went on, I found myself really liking the initial and middle parts of each sip - if it stopped there, I'd be a pretty happy camper (taste would be 3.5-4) but the aftertaste continued to be very unpleasant to me. That's quite possibly a personal preference - I don't like certain kinds of bitterness. Glad I tried it, but unlikely to try it again.

Edit: I do think it would age well. I would like to try that.

09-11-2011 06:53:35 | More by Vandint
Photo of beerandcycling88


3.58/5  rDev -7.7%

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark mahogany color with a thin slightly off white head that sticks around.

S Very sweet almost sugary so with lots of fruit, especially grapefruit. A hint of caramel malt also comes through just a bit. But the hops are the dominant note.

T A very balanced brew. The hops stand out with a citrusy tropical fruit like flavor while the malt provides notes of caramel and candy sugar. The alcohol is well hidden. Overall Quite nice

M While it is quite viscous it is a bit thin for the style, but still not bad just nothing special.

Overall this was a solid American Barley Wine that was enjoyable to drink. I would consider getting this again.

08-15-2011 20:37:52 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of perrymarcus


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

08-08-2011 05:31:52 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of ccrida


4.15/5  rDev +7%

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.

08-01-2011 00:03:57 | More by ccrida
Photo of seand


4.22/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

07-27-2011 03:54:08 | More by seand
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%

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

07-25-2011 23:08:21 | More by wordemupg
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.85/5  rDev -0.8%

Bottled on 3/14/11.

Pours a clear dark copper color with a 1 inch orange-white head that fades to a thin cap. Thin tight rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of citrus zest, tropical fruits, and slight malt. There is also a slight off-scent that I cannot quite identify, almost like stale grains. Taste is of huge citrus zest and pine hops, tropical fruit, brown sugar, and a malt finish. Mild citrus zest bitterness on the palate after each sip. Mouthfeel is slightly thick and sticky with a lower carbonation level. Overall, this is a good barleywine with a huge hop presence. I am glad I picked up one of these to try.

07-24-2011 19:41:56 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of FosterJM


3.45/5  rDev -11.1%

660th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
Bottled 3/14/11

App- The color of dirty bronze with a fair amount of highlights on the amber/brown side. A very well done two finer head with a great amount of dotted cling as well as streaks of leg.

Smell- This is a very young barleywine. I believe a year would do this good on the nose. Very medicinal alcohol with a backing malt presence. Not much in other smells.

Taste- The malts really come through on the taste of this beer. Its young as I said so it hasnt mellowed. The malt is very forward without much to balance. Its a bit harsh with ABV and a slight bitter. A little sweet as well.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a bit of a huge malt and stale fruit after taste.

Drink- A very young American Barleywine. I need another bottle to age for a year or more to see how it mellows. I think this could make a turn and be quite good. Right now a bit rough around edges and not too smooth.

07-22-2011 03:08:27 | More by FosterJM
Photo of OldIronLungs


3.88/5  rDev 0%

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.

07-16-2011 01:15:54 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

07-09-2011 20:44:32 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge


4/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

07-05-2011 03:32:21 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of RDHerm


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Pours a deep, reddish amber color with marigold highlights. Has a thin, cream colored that retains quite nicely and has good lacing.

Strong but pleasant aroma with strong notes of floral hops and citrus fruits. There are hints of yeast and light malts, as well as a touch of vanilla.

Very strong flavor of floral hops, with good notes of malt, yeast, and bread underneath, as well as hints of spice and a bit of alcohol bite.

Medium in body with a higher carbonation level. Good body, but the carbonation could be a bit much at times, walking the line between creamy and frothy. The bitter aftertaste also lingers a bit too long.

An interesting take on a traditional style, if you're a fan of either barleywine or IPA this is definitely worth giving a shot. It's not something you'd want to drink more than one of, but not bad overall.

06-28-2011 01:00:57 | More by RDHerm
Photo of shand


4.05/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

06-07-2011 07:33:25 | More by shand
Photo of gopens44


3.6/5  rDev -7.2%

A - Dark coppery red with a quickly diminishing creme colored frothy head.

S - Hop heavy at first with a touch of a berry like sweetness. Maybe a touch of caramel as well.

T - Again with the hoppy start. After the hop front, there are some nice toffee and vanilla notes coming up. Finish is slightly metallic. The alcohol isn't hidden too well as a nearly medicinal alcohol taste quickly overrides the metallic taste. I guess it was an improvement?

M - Very smooth yet a touch thin. Bitter with relatively low carbonation. Bitter aftertaste.

O - I guess I was looking for a real dandy here but came up feeling a little let down due to the off tastes. This will be one that I buy in a bottle as well, just to see if it mellows out decently over about a year.

05-31-2011 15:03:00 | More by gopens44
Photo of TMoney2591


3.48/5  rDev -10.3%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to mdfb79 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF Round 5. It pours a murky brown-copper topped by a minor bit o' dirty white soapy foam. The nose comprises pine, toffee, light leek, light mint, dank greens, and light candi sugar. The taste is generally the same, with more toffee character, less mint and greens, and a kinda sharp piney character. The body is a staunch medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a generally okay b-wine, though nothing really outstanding in any way. It is nice to see a hitherto unknown (to me, anyway) hop variety get the spotlight.

05-27-2011 06:37:51 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Thickfreakness

New York

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
Photo of jayhawk73


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.