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

66 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 105
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 10.38%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 105
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweetish barleywine ale. Nothing special to look at, and a mild barleywine and malty aroma. A little grapey taste, a little hoppy,toasted caramel,dash of licorice, a nice one. Average mouthfeel. Good drinking.Alcohol well hidden. Suitable carbonation. (251 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
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. (1,554 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed this one when I was down in florida. Just got around to drinking. It tonight. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this was consumed on 04/08/2009.

The pour was decent. Copper colored with a light haziness to it and a small head that faded instantly. The aroma was light with caramel and lightly faded hops stealing the show here. A smooth and subtle flavor that I can only describe as too mellow for me. Decent medium feel that was slightly syrup like. Alcohol totally hidden which made the 9 percent seem like nothing.

Overall it was decent, not spectacular but decent. (590 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
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! (392 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
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). (1,064 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (329 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A reasonably vigorous pour produces a scant, half-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, amber color that shows bright, copper highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is quite malt focused and is somewhat sweet and chewy seeming. Aromas of caramelized apples, light toffee and caramelized bread crust character make up the most dominant malt notes. There are some light herbal hop notes here as well as a touch of warm alcohol aromatics, somehow though the aroma seems quite a bit more restrained than one would expect from a beer of this strength. As my nose gets used to it this becomes more and more vegetal in character and also has a green apple note to it, while never overwhelming it is a bit disappointing.

Not overly sweet, but what malt sweetness is here is fairly rich and complex, though not overly flavorful. Again, the flavor seems light for a beer of this strength; somehow a malt richness that I would expect seems to be lacking here. There is some hop character here, though it is light, but it seems to add a bit of astringency and play up some light phenolic notes. Fruity notes of green apples, and regular apple notes, some green-grape notes. A touch of toffee up front, yields to some soft toasty, bread-like, and cracker leaning malt character towards the finish. Somewhat light for a beer of this strength, though it of course has a heft to it. The flavor is more fruity than anything, though there is some astringent hop character here.

A very interesting beer, not at all what I was expecting, and really it doesn't seem to really work for me.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (1,654 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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 (337 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +12%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 330 mL bottle purchased at Stateline Liquors.

A: The ale is a brilliant golden orange color, bright with no turbidity. A finger or so of white bubbles emerged on pour and quickly whittled away.

S: The barleywine has a thick congealed aroma, full of intensely concentrated barley and cereal notes. Not much hop-wise appears but there is a faint bitterness overtop of the malts.

T: Interesting first sip. Based on the nose, I was expecting lots of grains, a cornucopia of bready thickness. Surprisingly, the body is mild. Sure there are big malt flavors, lots of grain and cereal, but they aren't completely in your face. In fact, a touch of smokiness runs throughout a sip, adding a nice flourish of flavor. The effect is a smoked ham sandwich with the cured meat and bready grains. The hops don't add much to the body.

M: The mouthfeel is full of grains and the result is a sweet, biting flavor that isn't half bad.

D: The booze is well hidden for a 9.5% offering. That being said, one glass is enough because the strength can catch you off guard. (1,055 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one was a very pretty clear orange topped by a combination of fine and soapy bubbles. The off-white foam showed good retention and produced some spotty, streaky lacing as it settled to a ring. The aroma was mostly toasted malt with some orange peel, plus a little bit of alcohol. Moderate bitterness mostly balanced the significant sweetness. There was plenty of malt, along with a lot of fruit character, faint alcohol and oranges in the finish. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation and a bit of warmth. This one was pretty solid with the alcohol hidden well enough. (581 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lexx for picking this up at West Lakeview Liquors.

Pours a crystal clear orange/amber, thin white head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring, a few lace spots. Smell is fruity, caramel, some butter, oak, vanilla, light citrus, alcohol is nicely hidden, raisins, pretty interesting. Taste is very sweet, sugary, rich toffee, bread, raisins, oak, citrus/floral, some spicy alcohol, very dry balanced finish, sherry like alcohol notes in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, some heat going down. Pretty solid, nothing wow but nothing to really complain about. Thanks Lexx! (616 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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! (564 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I see a glowing rosey amber with a light, spritzy head. he nose is very subtle. Candyish malt with an abundance of apricots, and toasted sugar malts with a warm presence. Very hard to decipher thes aromas. Nothing really stands out in the nose of this beer. The taste starts with thickly sweet pears and very light fruit cake. The middle is a cakey warming alcohol with syrupy jaunts of beet sugar. The finish is just warm and smooth fruity malts. The palate is very juicy and sweet. The sweet is down played by the heat from the alcohol. Not a bad sipping beer. (562 characters)

Photo of bark
4.41/5  rDev +20.5%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (729 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
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. (565 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.8/5  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. (535 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Light cherrywood color. Slightly hazy, an half inch of head.
At the smell there is a sharp malty and fruity note: dry fruit, raisins, some woody-tannic, and some alcohol. Cheery, and some sweetness.
Better taste: dry fruit, vanilla, raisins, woody, and some light alcohol hint. But it slips away, very fast, although it is quite warming, leaving a feeling of warmness in the mouth.
Notes fruity of tangerine, and bitter orange, something like a punch.
The body is average, and so it is scarce for the style. (511 characters)

Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
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. (957 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber color with a pretty small ecru head. Aroma is caramel and citric hops that slightly mask some alcohol notes. Flavor is a little light in every category except for booze. A little dried stone fruit, a little caramel maltiness, a bit of spice and bitterness, and a substantial hotness. Body is medium-full with good carbonation. (339 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (539 characters)

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Nils Oscar Barley Wine from the Nils Oscar Company
83 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.