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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)

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
Reviews: 78 | Hads: 151
Photo of HopHead84
2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


On tap at Churchill's.

A: Reddish orange with a fast fading white head.

S: Light grapefruit notes. Brown sugar blends with caramel, pine, and earth. There's evident alcohol and a little prune.

T: Bitter and boozy with astringent dried fruit and alcohol macerated dates. Caramel is evident. The finish is unpleasantly boozy and bitter with aspirin notes.

M: Upper medium body with upper low carbonation.

Overall: Not a very good beer. The flavor is harsh and unpleasant.

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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.

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Photo of sailorastro
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall: By the name, I expected an overwhelming amount of hops in this beer. Hoppy it is, but it's set off kilter by its sweet character. Not a bad brew--I would recommend giving it a try if you're into heavy barleywines.

Appearance: Muddled red body with a white, one-finger head. Lots of lace that lasts on the glass.

Smell: Orange peel; honey; anise; hops; pine.

Taste: Upfront thick sweetness, like trying a spoonful of maple syrup. Tart bitterness strikes in the back.

Mouthfeel: As impressed by above notes, the mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Calling its body "full" might be an understatement.

Sampled from a standard pint glass.

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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!

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Photo of jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is grapefruit hops and flavor is grapefruit hops and caramel. Not bad but tart for a barleywine. $10.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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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.

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Photo of kbuzz
2.97/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz'er into my tulip glass, a wee bit at a time. Can this be considered an American Barleywine even though it's using New Zealand hops? Spring 2011 release.

A: Pours a cloudy rust-colored beer with a minimal off-white head that fades pretty quickly. An average looking Barleywine at best.

S: Following a good swirl, I get massive earthiness here. Earthy hops and a dusty grains. Rum-soaked dark fruits and a good bit of confectionary sweetness in the form of molasses and brown sugar.

T/M: Huh. A little bland for a Barleywine. Nothing overly pronounced. Caramels malts, figs, raisins...more brown sugar...but mostly a lot of a cotton candy type of generic sweetness. Ends up tasting a little like a Belgian Quad...just a random dollop of that fruity sweetness. A solid hop bitterness, but no hop flavor really. Dank and earthy. Mouthfeel is exactly where a Barleywine should be...moderate to low carbonation and plenty of juicy chewiness...leaves a thick coating on the mouth.

O: Nothing earth-shattering here. I was really hoping for more of that hop profile to shine through, but it fell short. Also seems to lack any sort of distinguishing flavor profile in general. Couldn't really ever say at any point that anything took a hold of my taste buds. Taste was muddled for sure. Still...not bad. I do like the low"ish" ABV on it for a Barleywine. Don't get any heat at all on this sucker.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
2.98/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Source/Serving: 750mL bottle

S: Soft floral/kiwi/citrus hop blend, balanced by cherry cola malts, fresh tobacco, and some alcohol that’s a bit hot for my tastes. Overall, quite nice and just the right balance for a hoppy barleywine that’s meant to be drunk fresh.

T: Nice balance between good hop flavor and malts, but not very dynamic for a barleywine. Malt and alcohol is reminiscent of the nose with cherry cola malts that have a cherry cough drop edge and alcohol that’s a little raw. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge cherry cola fan. Notes of leather, prune, and tobacco. Hops are mellow and smooth with the same floral/kiwi/citrus note as the nose but don't quite match the malt flavor or sweetness, keeping this beer malt forward and quite sweet. Nice, thick mouthfeel. Finish is more of the same but with an unpleasant mineral/medicinal note that lingers.

Notes: Not sure if its my bias against cherry cola that makes me dislike this beer more than everyone else or what, but overall I'm not a huge fan and don't get much nuance or flavor dynamics as expected for a barleywine. And, the alcohol character is quite rough. The hop character is nice, however, and I appreciate the balance of this hoppy barleywine meant to be drunk fresh.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Photo of tat2dhllblly
2.76/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Vandint
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
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

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.44/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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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.

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Galaxy Hopped Barleywine Ale (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.