Nils Oscar Barley Wine - the Nils Oscar Company

Not Rated.
Nils Oscar Barley WineNils Oscar Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
83
good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
the Nils Oscar Company visit their website
Sweden

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2002

20.3° Plato.

Also sold as "Swedish Barley Wine-Style Ale"
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 66
Photo of bark
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004.

The colour is cloudy, deep ruby red with a tint of brown; the beige finger thick foam dissolves quickly into a thin lid.

The smell is sweet and very malty with fruity, roasted notes. There are also some notes of raisins, hazelnuts, some peppery hops, alcohol and sweet rye bread. I found it quite complex and very inviting.

The taste is sweet and a bit roasted; it is loaded with a fine mix of malts and aroma hops with some mild bitterness. There is some alcohol, but also a warming flavour of some kind of sweet strong wine (Madeira?) and a fruity note of fried apples and maybe some chocolate toffee. The long lasting alcoholic aftertaste is also filled with burned notes of vegetables and butterscotch and bitter apples.

The carbonation is rather mild with medium sized bubbles, which suits the complex flavours fine.

In other words: A fine barley wine with a clean, balanced taste.

Photo of HeatherAnn
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Glows a golden rosy amber. Beautiful color.
Smell: Sweet sweet caramel! Dark fruit and spice. You can smell how smooth it truly is.
Taste: Caramel, malt, dark fruit, spice. Alcohol is hidden really well. Only slight burn.
Mouthfeel: Starts off oily then has a dry finish. Really nice.
Drinkability: Overall, I would recommend this to those new to Barley Wines. They can sometimes be too sweet and strong, but this definatley has a great balance of flavors. It packs a powerful punch, but you don't know you have been hit until the last sip!
I look forward to reviewing more from this brewery.

Photo of xodin
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent barleywine with hints of oak. This beer seems oddly underrated to me. It pours a rich amber with gold highlights and not too much head but good lacing. The aroma is mostly caramel malt with hints of brandy and mineral hops. The malt is rich and buttery and comes through even better on the tongue. This beer has three well-defined stages of flavor. The front is sweet with brandy, plums and bananas. The middle has an excellent malt flavor of buttered bread. The finish has a slight bit of mineral hops and a nicely dry oak flavor. The feel is somewhat sticky, but it's not over the top for a barleywine and retains a very pleasant flavor throughout the mouth. This barleywine lives up to the "wine" portion of the style. It's sweet, oaky and rich. I imagine it would only get better over time. It's a shame it cost me eight bucks or I'd buy a bunch to age. Those mineral hops are definitely going to drop out in favor of a stronger brandy flavor.

Photo of BethanyB
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear light copper color with a decent foam, but fades fast and leaves very little lacing.

Husky, grainy nose on it. A bit of malted milk oxidation and grape-esque hoppiness. Surprisingly fruity - raisins, figs and strawberries.

Light malts and sugary presence reminds me of a Belgian Strong with a hop kick. Taste is like the French Toast Crunch cereal. A pretty tame, mild mannered barlywine that hits all the right notes with me and does not try to go over the top with hops and/or malt. ABV is well hidden. Very approachable and delicious B-wine.

Photo of matjack85
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of rvdoorn
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is slightly sweet caramel, really balanced with the hops. Nice barley wine. Pricey - $6.79 for a 330ml bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small white head.

Smell: Aroma of honey and caramel and sherry-soaked orange peels.

Taste: Caramel maltiness with plenty of honey-like sweetness. Dash of sherry. Mild bitterness blends into the lightly alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Warming alcohol presence.

Drinkability: It's alright for a barleywine!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep mahogany red color, translucent, with a modest head, fair to middling lace. Nose is malt, brandy like with the sweet aroma of over ripe bananas. Front is sweet malt, the top slim, the finish pleasantly hopped, mildly acidic, the aftertaste malt dry. The high ABV, leaves a nice warm feeling in the "Tummy". A beer that would age well and most certainly improve, but it will be hard to find I’m afraid.

Photo of katan
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of DIM
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This beer is a clear pale orange color. There was no sediment in the bottle so I guess this was filtered? Pour with a smallish white head.

s: Notes of fermented plums and raisins, along with some subtle sweet maple syrup. Also a hint of floral hops and brandy.

t: I bought this at Capone's just for the novelty of trying a Swedish barleywine. I found myself pleasantly surprised by this one. The fermented fruit flavors of raisins with a bit of plum are balanced nicely by some brown sugar maple syrup sweetness that is not at all cloying. The dry perfumed hop gives way to a nice warming alcohol on the finish.

m: Solidly carbonated but just a tad thin.

d: This is a very good example of an English style barleywine. At 6 bucks a bottle however, I doubt that I'll buy more.

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle via Christmas gift. Thanks for the opportunity, Kris.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a scant 1/8" white head above the clear orangey amber brew. Head is down to an uneven layer of bubbles in a flash, with sporadic small bubbles as lace and heavy legs. Aroma is moderately fruity with alcohol. Taste is actually pretty much an even trio of malt sweetness, fruitiness, and alcohol. Small bubbles seem to give the mouthfeel and incredible touch, and drinkability is quite good. Fits into my idea of an English barleywine quite well.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
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

Photo of acrawf6
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear reddish amber with a white head that drops after a minute or so.

Smell. Has a big spiciness to it, like alcohol drenched fruitcake. I get a strong cherry fruitiness to it.

Taste. Flavor is rich with the fruitiness, mostly cherries. The alcohol, carbonation and subtle hops gives it a nice peppery taste and feeling in my mouth. Aftertaste is keeps that pepperyness to it, but sweetens some, and leaves my lips sticky and my stomach warming.

Mouthfeel. Body is full, but not chewey full. Carbonation is at a nice level. Has a good balance to this beer.

Overall, a good and interesting barleywine. Seems to have a cleaner flavor than other english barleywines, which i like. I wouldnt mind having this one again.

Photo of cobrarax
3.97/5  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.

Photo of Lexx
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at West Lakeview in November.
Pours a clear orangey gold color with a big, just off white head and soapy bubbles.
The scent is of overripe orange, orange zest, caramel, toffee, bread.
The taste is a little light, definitely can't tell the alcohol percentage. There's some caramel and toffee, muffin, just a hint of alcohol, a bit of dried fruits, mostly fig. Very perfumey.
Pretty tasty, a solid beer, but not mind-blowing. Exceedingly drinkable, though.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked this up out of curiosity. a swedish english barleywine. cool!

A - light amber color, nice white head
S - light caramel, tropical fruits and a hint of alcohol.
T - follows the aroma but with a nice english barleywine sweet characteristic.
M - medium / full bodied, nicely carbonated.
D - very approachable and easy to drink.Lighter than the better known english examples.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours deep gold with copper core with nice white head and spotty lacing. The full aroma emits cherries, grapes and sweet apples along with tasty smelling roasted malts. The taste begins very mild and smooth for a barleywine with building dark fruity esters like stewed cherries, raisins, grapes and plums. A lightly roasted malt note seems to take hold of the flavor midway creating a pleasing sensation against the fruitiness. Into the finish the dark fruity esters grow to overtake the maltiness along with muted pine hop bitterness. Just a bit of alcohol warming is noticed as the after taste starts. This is very nice and smooth and drinkable. It could use six months to a year of age to flatten out the minor alcohol sensation. But it is very nice right now.

Photo of kegger22
3.9/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of linnet
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy off-white head, copper colour, lacing, head diminidhes to a thin lid. Aroma of honey, alcohol, syrup. Flavour is vety light for being a barley wine, it is sweet, tastes of honey, jam, dark fruit, low bitterness. Mouthfeel is very smooth, small bubbles. R'This barley wine is dangerously easy to drink, and for a nice quiet evening I do like that it is not overpowering, for the right mood this is a great beer, even though this is not the most complex of it's kind.

This bottle had been cellared for one year.

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Nils Oscar Barley Wine from the Nils Oscar Company
83 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.