Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev +1.8%
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.
05-15-2011 23:48:04 | More by jnn4v
4.1/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
05-15-2011 22:31:26 | More by BigE90
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
3.75/5 rDev -3.4%
Pours a deep amber brown with a low white head. Light smell of honey and caramel and some spicy floral hop. Flavor is deep layers of sweet biscuit and earthy, bitter hops. Bitterness is intense for the barleywine style. Long lasting bitter finish. I'm not sure I appreciate the huge hop presence in a barleywine ale.
05-12-2011 06:33:28 | More by olmatty
3.73/5 rDev -3.9%
Beer poured from bottle into a stemless Tulip shaped wine glass
A - Beer pours with a deep dark burgundy color; not cloudy and somewhat clear; low amount of visible carbonation; beer poured with a 1/2 finger white colored foam; the head did not hold well; good amount of lacing formed
S - Oak; bourbon; sweet notes; fruit and citrus; hops; caramel; soft malty notes; pine
T - Oak; bourbon; has tangy dark fruit flavors like a young wine; finishes with a hop bitterness; licorice; caramel with other subtle malt flavors
M - Thin consistency; dry aftertaste; tangy tart feel on the tongue, a mixture of carbonation and dark fruit sour flavors
D - Too much hop for a Barleywine; I'd prefer something with a bit more flavor up front instead of the hop bitterness at the end of each sip; worth a shot and should not be overlooked when comparing to other beers of the same type
05-09-2011 16:40:28 | More by ferrari29
3.88/5 rDev 0%
On-tap at Bomboras Grille in Hilton Head, SC. Poured into a New Belgium globe.
A - Pours a cloudy brownish-red with a thin off-white ring and slight haze.
S - Moderately sweet and malty with a fairly pungent grapefruit and pine resin hop profile. Bit of pineapple and peach too.
T - Caramel-toffee malt heavy, with big notes of pineapple, peach, strawberry, grapefruit, and pine resin.
M - Smooth, slightly viscous and sticky, with a medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation.
O - A pretty good beer, very unique from the addition of the Galaxy hops.
05-09-2011 13:28:19 | More by jsanford
4.05/5 rDev +4.4%
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.
05-09-2011 00:30:09 | More by siskiyoucellar
4.03/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
05-08-2011 23:43:41 | More by Scotchboy
3.75/5 rDev -3.4%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier 2xIPA glass. It poured a deep mahogany color with a frothy, off-white head taking up the top inch and a half of the glass. The head faded, but left a nice thin covering throughout drinking it. Pretty good lacing as well.
The aroma has a lot of hoppiness to it. I get some pretty big grapefruit and pine flavors to it coming out of the hops. I get a good dose of sweet, malty and caramel flavors to it as well with a little bit of a candied like presence. Pretty decent aroma overall, the hops are definitely the best part of it.
The taste shows more of the caramel and toffee flavors to it. I get amount of the citrusy, bitter, grapefruit and pine flavors to it towards the finish. Pretty nice flavors to it overall, not outstanding but definitely good.
The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. Overall it was a pretty good beer. I really liked the hoppiness it had, but the malty, traditional barleywine flavors were a little lacking relative to some of the better in the style. Overall a pretty enjoyable beer though.
05-06-2011 00:47:30 | More by billab914
4.2/5 rDev +8.2%
Limited Release #4
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.
04-30-2011 18:55:02 | More by lordofthewiens
3.78/5 rDev -2.6%
A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was a big, foamy, very long-lasting head. Good lacing.
S: A solid smell of hops, malt, caramel and fruit.
T: Tasted of hops (above anything else), caramel, malt, and lighter fruit. This is the sort of beer that front loads all of its flavor and leaves nothing for the finish. Not bad, but certainly uneven.
M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.
D: Despite some flaws, this is drinkable beer.
04-26-2011 12:05:52 | More by avalon07
4.15/5 rDev +7%
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.
04-26-2011 04:59:01 | More by mactrail
4.18/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
04-22-2011 08:03:40 | More by lowendfrequency
3.75/5 rDev -3.4%
Appearance: A color the appearance of fine mahogany with a thin whitish head that dissipates quickly. Leaves some lacing when the head disappears.
Smell: Citrus and cherry notes jump out at me right away. I also get some dark chocolate and toffee.
Taste: Reminds me a little of a toffee crunch candy bar with some cherry or raspberry flavors. The hops are very apparent from start to finish, but not overwhelming. Not overly sweet and the hops cuts that really well.
Mouthfeel: The smooth caramel feel at the beginning is replaced with hoppy bitterness at the finish. The hops and malt linger for quite a while but it's balanced enough that it's not a problem. The carbonation is light and prickly.
Overall: This not your usual spring-time ale and I'm surprised it's their limited Spring release. However, the day is cloudy and I have nothing else to do but nap off the 9.5% alcohol. Very hoppy for a barleywine but it's malty enough to balance that out. The further I got into the bottle, the more the malt came out and my enjoyment increased. Not my favorite barleywine but certainly a good bottle. I bet it'd age really well.
04-19-2011 19:11:03 | More by emcohen
4/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-15-2011 17:06:23 | More by Prime16
4/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-14-2011 03:42:43 | More by DaveHS
3.78/5 rDev -2.6%
Poured from a bomber into a snifter. This beer pours very dark for a barleywine style, deep mahogony colored with minimal head and excellent, slow lacing. Aroma is of hops, barley, cherries, oakey, and slightly floral. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy. Taste is very hoppy for a barleywine (hence the name). It is flowery, and not so much tasting like a barleywine. There is only a hint of that earthy, farm-like, hay and grassy taste to this beer. That certainly isn't bad, but it doesn't seem to much fit into the barleywine category. It is basically a floral, hoppy IPA, with some barleywine splashed in. That being said, it is very tasty, but more if you are in the IPA mindset.
04-06-2011 03:40:42 | More by surprenant1138
4.03/5 rDev +3.9%
- 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.
04-05-2011 23:39:28 | More by Docer
4.1/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
04-03-2011 04:21:07 | More by kscaldef
3.53/5 rDev -9%
On-tap at Ale & Witch
When I drank this, I was unaware that it was intended as a Barleywine, nor did I know it was 9.5%; I though of it as being very much inbetween SNPA and Torpedo. Strange.
A - It pours a brassy golden hue, and is capped with a nice ecru head, depositing plentiful lace.
S - The nose is just generally hoppy: herbal, dank, piney, resiny, and slightly citric. The malt is pretty sturdy as a base, but it is not contributing any big flavors; perhaps a wee bit of spicy caramel if anything.
T - Tastes like a tweener. It is not as hoppy as a big IPA, not as big as a hoppy DIPA, the hops are prominent over the malt like an APA, et al. The flavor is really resiny and herbal, just as with the aroma, and the malt does not go much beyond a supporting role. As I get deeper in the glass, the hoppy bitterness seems to intensify, and the flavor lingers for an extended period.
M - IPA. Pretty good. (Actually not IPA as it turns out...)
O - When I thought this was an IPA, I thought it was decent. As a Barleywine, I am not sure what to say. But it is hoppy, and tastes pretty good.
04-01-2011 15:31:34 | More by ktrillionaire
Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.