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Nils Oscar Barley Wine - the Nils Oscar Company

Nils Oscar Barley WineNils Oscar Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.28%


Brewed by:
the Nils Oscar Company visit their website
Sweden

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
20.3° Plato.

Also sold as "Swedish Barley Wine-Style Ale"

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2002)
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 66 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BethanyB
BethanyB

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Slightly hazy, and medium brown. Creamy beige head has moderate retention.

Smell: A complex bouquet for sure! Layers of toasty and roasty malt, cinnamon raisin bread, dates, toffee, and plums.

Taste: Could be the most complex flavor profile I've witnessed to date, yet it still manages to be balanced. All the flavors from the aroma are present, in addition to chocolate, vanilla, coffee, nuts, and honeysuckle. A gentle bitterness keeps the scale from tipping too far down the rabbit hole.

Mouthfeel: Velvety, smooth, and caressing, with medium carbonation. Very little alcohol warming for the style.

Overall: A simply scrumptious beer, and a new favorite for me! The complexity is almost mind-blowing...how can so many flavors be crammed into one 12 oz. bottle? A carefully crafted complicated recipe must be behind this jewel from Sweden.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 16:52:34 | More by BethanyB
Photo of coltsr2
coltsr2

United Kingdom (England)

3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice copper brown...little head that dissipates almost right away...slight lacing ...

Aroma...typical barley wine..all fruity malt..no hops...this particular beer is quite subtle on the nose...

Taste is nice, a little too sweet for the 10.4% abv imo, very slight almost no bitterness, malty fruitcake with lots of sweet luscious raisins and dates ....a simple honest low carbonated barley wine and overall a very nice and pleasant, smooth experience...very drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 16:08:25 | More by coltsr2
Photo of Odysseyalien
Odysseyalien

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle. Age unknown but it looks like the one in the picture at this site. No head when poured. Thin lacing...almost cirrus cloud-like formations as it’s sipped away. Golden in color in my snifter...a few bits of light sediment accumulating at the bottom of the glass. The taste comes on in fine British barley wine style -- malts up front...raisins...pepper...light hops...yum. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too thin on the palate for my taste. Almost like sipping water on the backend. Too bad cause this might otherwise have been one of the best British barley wines out there for the price. The "thiness" of the backend killed it for me. Not sure if I’ll buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 22:24:50 | More by Odysseyalien
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Gotta love the classiness on display with these labels, man. Within, the beer pours a clear copper-bronze topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, mild booze, light walnut, and a twinge of cardboard. I'd check the freshness of this thing, but, alas, not a hint of an intimation of information to be found. Well, onwards, as many such beers are purposefully oxidized, sherry-style, so who knows? The taste actually brings forth some sherry-like notes, all backed by some biscuit, toffee, and toasted wheat. It's an odd combination when scrutinized (and whilst looking at the bottle of Lustau sherry sitting on the shelf across the room), but it kinda works. Go figure. I have no idea if it was meant to taste like this, but I'm not gonna overthink this any further. The body is a limber medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a slightly slick feel. Overall, something tells me this is a bit long in the tooth, but it still works (just likely in a different direction than intended).

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 01:59:08 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma has a ton of sugar and bready malt in it. The flavor is also very sweet. I get a lot of brown sugar and molasses, as well as some pine and grass from the hops. There is also a lot of caramel and biscuit malt in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 03:10:51 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave Guay for sharing this one. Pours a dull, orange-gold (almost burnt orange) with a semi-hazy clarity and a loose head that quickly dissipates into a soapy skim. Nose reveals a toffee presence and buttery notes, but aromas are somewhat subdued. Taste expresses toffee, light toasted malts, a light hops bittering and a slightly earthy finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a pleasant, even carbonation. Overall, an immensely drinkable barleywine considering its 9.5% abv. A somewhat underrated brew in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 20:50:04 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: mahogany beer with tan head that settled out quickly; big bubbles percolated up through beer

S: overripe fruit: dark and sweet

T: fruits again featured - a very fruit-sweet beer, with a noticeable backbone of alcohol

M: somewhat viscous without feeling too syrupy; had an unexpected "chalky" feel

O: not a bad beer, but I tend to look for something a little more complex in a barleywine, whereas this was pretty straightforward on the fruits. I also tend to look for a little crispness or zing - this was a very mellow beer - which you may like, but for me it fell into that kind of average range

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 00:34:28 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid barley wine. Very sweet. Dominant caramel and heavy sweet bread.

Nice looking gold hazy beer. Semi sticky lacing.

Strong aroma, very sweet. Thick caramel and syrup. Not much to review here. It's a solid beer, but very sweet. Can use some time to mature, if it ever does. This is an early 2011 release.

Dessert beer for sure

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 06:56:07 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of rsdaugherty
rsdaugherty

Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – Half a finger light tan head to a crown on a hazy/sediment brown amber with maroon tones and golden edges. I really like the color 4
S – Caramel malts, dark fruit, cherries or currants, slight spice, oak 3.5
T – Unique. Earthy and peppery with nuts, slight fruits, subtle overall almost too much so for such a high ABV barleywine. Slight alcohol on the finish. 3.5
M – Medium body is smooth and a bit boozy, small bubble carbonation, not as big as most barleywines I’ve had 3.5
O – Was hoping my Swedish ancestors would teach me something about Barleywine, oh well… decent but not exciting. Would not advise a fellow BA to seek this out. 3.5

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 22:25:56 | More by rsdaugherty
Photo of cobrarax
cobrarax

Sweden

3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

M. Liquid is amber and slightly hazy. The foam is white, small and leaves no lacing. Some curtains.

S: Some tobacco, dried fruit and sandalwood. Syrup, cognac and cocoa. Nice and elegant.

T: Some julmust, cocoa and sherry in the beginning. Then molasses, coffee and noble hops. Toffee, grapes and alcohol.

M: Quite much carbonation. The liquid is rather thin as well. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: A decent beer. Nothing outstanding, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 14:14:29 | More by cobrarax
Photo of rvdoorn
rvdoorn

Netherlands

4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours an golden-copper color with a small white head.
Smell: Dried fruits, apricots, raisins, orange, and sweet malts.
Taste: Raisins, malts, candy sugar. The aftertaste is sweet, dry and long.
Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body, medium carbonation.
Overall: A decent barley wine, a bit thin in the body for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 14:15:54 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clear orange copper toned beer, a small off-white head with good curtains.

The smell is quite boozy, glue/solutions with orange marmalade.

The taste is sherry, orange, alcohol, and a bitter rye feeling.

Little carbonation, soft texture, a medium body, a slightly coarse dryness.

A bit thin, the alcohol presence implies that some storing is needed. This was the early 2011 batch.

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2011 11:24:21 | More by rarbring
Photo of ksmi116
ksmi116

Louisiana

2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured into a goblet, it is a hazy orange with little to no head from a typical pour.

S- Almost sickeningly sweet. Dark fruits, heavy malt, and a bit of sweet orange.

T - Sooo malty initially. Crazy. Very sweet, and eventually you can taste the darker fruits. As it warmer the sweetness mellowed out a bit

M - Syrupy and you can feel the carbonation, despite not being able to see it.

O - Not a fan, but I feel that some of that is the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 05:25:59 | More by ksmi116
Photo of xodin
xodin

Louisiana

4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat cloudy red mahogany, with minimal head. Ample aroma of fruits, caramel malts, some spice, and alcohol. Smooth, sweet taste, chewy with caramel (which is a quality I highly admire), like silk throughout the swallow, and a warming, slightly alcoholic aftertaste. Low on carbonation and bitterness, which is typical of the style, plenty of sweetness and delicious caramel, though perhaps a bit low on ester complexity--may benefit to age. Fruity aroma not so apparent in the mouth either. No date listed on bottle, but I'm guessing would only improve with some extra time in the cellar. Great winter brew, and a must for barleywine and strong ale lovers alike.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 02:06:06 | More by xodin
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
ForWhatAlesYou

Minnesota

2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle into a snifter

A: Doesn't pour much of a head, just a bunch of loose bubbles. Cloudy amber with red tones and sediment evident.

S: Aromas of cooked vegetation, alcohol, sweet malt, and caramel.

T: A little rough around the edges. Deeply roasted grains and burnt vegetables. Alcohol is dominant. Any sweetness is immediately countered by huge amount of umami.

M: Chewy, syrupy. Carbonation is nice vehicle. Dry on the finish.

D: I really like barley wines but this one is not the best. For the $6.99 I paid for this one bottle, I could've found a few much better beers to try.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 18:19:17 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up at Knightly spirits in Orlando and it rode back with me on my motorcycle back to Texas. I thought that it was interesting that they do all of the ingredients on site. Lets give this one a try:

Appearance: Pours a really clear light orangish golden color with no head even after an aggressive pour. There was some sediment on the bottom that I managed to keep out of the glass. When swirling, the beer looks thick.

Aroma: The beer is really cold right now, but I am getting a REALLY reserved aroma for the style. I am getting a little bit of caramel malts and some alcoholic spice, but that about defines it when the beer is cold.

Taste: The beer is dominated by the sweetness with some toasty notes and a little bit of caramel to define that sweetness. There is some hops in here, but they are providing more balance than anything they are adding to the flavor. The beer is medium bodied with very low carbonation even for this style. There is alcohol present in the flavor and the finish, and it is rather noticeable in such a light colored/flavored barley wine. The finish is ever so slightly balanced toward the bittering, but it is very mild. The sweet malt is a big player in the finish up until the end when there is a subtle dryness from the hops that comes and and settles down for the long haul.

Opinion: Well, I am not quite sure what to say about this one. It is a pretty good beer overall. There are no fermentation or process flaws. The overall presentation is rather light for this style, but I am sure that it fits in somehow. It is just that it is so reserved it comes across like a "session barley wine", if there was such a thing. I am not one for the huge, and over-the-top Barley wines that screw up your palate for two days...but I like one to be more assertive than this one was in my glass. It is nice to try considering that they do everything at the brewery, but I'd try it more for novelty than for flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 05:50:42 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy orange/yellow color, with about a finger of light tan head. Dissipates to lots of bigger bubbles and leaves a bit of weaving down the side.

Aroma is fairly fruity, dark fruits, malty sweetness and a hint of booze.

Lot's of dark fruits in the taste, malty sweetness and a surprising, albeit, tasty, bit of chocolate in there somehow. Hints of citrus are mixed in there too...

Feel is creamy and slick, but it's too thin to be "rich".

Good abv, and well hidden, good taste, and despite the thin feel, very easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 03:08:27 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
3rdRowTailgater

Louisiana

4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a hazy pinkish, orange color thick with noticeable sediment. Not a very big head and does not leave much lacing.

Has a great barleywine aroma, with loads of maltiness, fruit, vanilla and maple. Really nice aroma.

Taste is pretty nice with loads of sweetness that eventually give way to a hint of bitterness. You taste everything that I mentioned in the aroma along with a little bread taste. Really a nice tasting barleywine.

Its got a nice thick mouthfeel that coats the mouth well. Overall it's a really decent beer with my only gripe is that its appearance isn't all that impressive.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 02:20:39 | More by 3rdRowTailgater
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was featured as one of the beers of the month selections at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL, so I picked one up for just $5.99 instead of the regular $6.99 price for a single 11.2oz brown bottle. Still on the expensive side for a smaller than 12oz bottle of beer. No freshness date, but not too concerned about that as barleywines age well, although it would be nice to know how far along in the aging process this bottle has gotten.

The beer poured a hazy orange color with only a ½ finger of white head. Neither the head retention nor the lacing was very impressive.

The smell is very wine-like. Graoey aroma along with some sweet toffee, vanilla, and a touch of alcohol.

Mmmm ... this is delicious! Big dose of sweet caramel malts and toffee up front combnine nicely with the fruity grapes. Add a dash of vanilla and a little alcohol and that pretty much completes it. No real hop presence at all. Maybe some low alpha oil spiced hop is used, but nothing bittert in here at all.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich with perfect carbonation.

The alcohol flavor is far less in here than in some barleywines, making it very drinkable and tasty, but still 9.5% alcohol is still 9.5% alcohol, so I wouldn't recommend downing a 6 of these, but I certainly wouldn't mind going back for one more.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 01:44:45 | More by matjack85
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I originally drank this brew on 10/24/2009, for whatever reason I didn't put this review on BA at the time.

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy amber/orange color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is mostly fruity, it smells like apricots, pears, figs, caramel, and bready malt. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, except with the addition of some peppery spice and oak. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little bit coating and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol in this brew is well hidden. I think this is a good overall brew. I enjoyed it, and would buy it again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 15:27:47 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this was one of the more glowing barleywines I've seen, usually they take on a brown appearance, this was more yellow and orange. Aroma was minimal, but sweet and non offensive.

Taste, sweet again, but not overpowering. A lot of different fruit, maybe licorice and vanilla to it as well. Unnecessarily complex, but appreciated and not completely out there. I don't know what to call this, isn't like any BW I've had before. Tastes like some middle ground between hard alcohol and beer. Its like a mixed drink. Someone made barleywine & gin, together at last!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 15:38:57 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light brown color. Head formation is light, off white, retained at about 1mm. Very creamy looking. Opaque, thick looking, slightly hazy - yeast suspension is present.

S - Supremely malty - thick and sugary scents bury the nose. Lots of caramel and toffee malts, lightly toasty.

T - Starts off with a light malty note. Caramel, toffee, lightly roasted notes. Very sweet. Mid-stream continues sweet, with just a little bitter background - tongue catches it through some stinging flavors on the edges. Finishes with a a strong sugar cling, with some maple notes, and a light lingering hot fusel alcohol feeling.

M - Moderate body - creamy and sticky. At times seems a little bit thin, the carbonation is very light. Leaves a sugar film on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. ABV is pretty potent, but well hidden. Not very filling. Flavors are not too direct, smooth and not palette damaging.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 03:34:33 | More by katan
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nils Oscar barleywine is a cloudy amber color with a small, off white head that rapidly dissipates to a collar. It has that sweet caramel, boozy barleywine aroma. The taste is quite sweet, like sugared candy, with the alcohol being fairly well masked. Hops are not noticed at all. Feel is medium bodied with very little carbonation. Drinkability is relatively good, taking into consideration a 9.5 ABV.

Nils Oscar barleywine is a pretty good example of an English style BW. Somewhat of an American barleywine light, without hops. This is a beer worthy of future sampling based on taste alone, however, a hefty price tag for the import makes it unlikely.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 23:05:52 | More by kegger22
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip)
A- This beer has a hazy deep orange body with a sea of microbubbles and a sticky egg-cream foam on top.
S- The light but rich caramel aroma has a slight buttery quality and a fresh raw grain aroma to it. There is a nice white toffee aroma at the finish.
T- This beer has a slightly dry caramel flavor with a softer white toffee note that becomes just a bit sweet in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat.
D- This beer has lots of light toasted malts and just a bit of sweetness but it is still rich and full bodied. This an interesting version of a barley wine and great for the cold months.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 22:12:06 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected."

--Swedish proverb

Polished persimmon with honey colored highlights along the edges of the glass. The upper third of the snifter is filled with a creamy chunk of pale lemon colored foam that is doing a fine job in the lace department. Does it look like a Swedish barleywine? Sure, why not?

The nose isn't very distinctive, which is frequently the case when it comes to primarily pale malted beer of this style. Each sniff delivers whiffs of apricot fruitiness and Absolut. Too bad there's almost nothing to go on.

This Nils Oscar brew is too simple and is way too tame. It tastes like both malt and hops are in short supply. Water and ale yeast never do add much, so we're left with... an extremely lackluster barleywine that is in dire need of a flavor hook. On a good note, it isn't the least bit boozy.

Describing the flavor profile will be a challenge, albeit a short one. Specifics include rock candy, a teensy bit of apricot and orange, and a small shot of vodka. Sweetness and bitterness are moderate in amount and are balanced throughout. Talk about a lack of excitement.

The body/mouthfeel started out impressively thin and is now beginning to fill out and smooth out just enough with warming to eke out an average score. Soft and gentle carbonation helps.

Nils Oscar Swedish Barley Wine-Style Ale is too easy-going for its own good. Maybe the Swedes like it, but I find it hard to believe that it sells very well in the American and U.K. markets, considering what else is available.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 15:55:26 | More by BuckeyeNation
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Nils Oscar Barley Wine from the Nils Oscar Company
83 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.