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 erz316
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 floz bottle into maudite snifter

A - not a lot of foam on this brew, I dont remember whether BWs are supposed to have head or not, I think not though. the body is a dark amber orange colour with a bit of brown, the head is a light off white with some hints of orange. what does form of the head soon dissipates and leaves a whispy but solid layer on the top. the BWs ive had have all been a muddy turbid brown, this one is diaphanous and orangey.

S - a slight but overall fruity nose. the fruits are apricot and somethign much sweeter like a fig note, but not the actual fig-ness of a fig, just the sweetness. the only other note is a slight herbal hoppiness.

T - it kind of tastes like a barley wine, it has that strong punch but the lack of any body really de-concentrates the intensity. the initial taste is not really like a barleywine, but it kind of it: it is quite malty sweet, with a pinch of herbal hops. there is a fruitiness that is a bit astringent at times, like granny smith or unripe green grapes. the sweetness is not too much, but it is at a good noticeable level. the finish is astringent and a bit sour, with a strong underlying sweetness. the aftertaste is just a light malty sweetness.

MF&D - the body is too thin, while the carbonation level would have made for an interesting feel for a thicker bodied brew. the drinkability is low because if i wanted an barleywine I would go for something else.

Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of BeerSox
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into 8oz snifter.

I have no idea how old this beer is but it's definitely not fresh. I'll stamp it at around a year, maybe more (no more than two probably). The carbonation is there, but even with an aggressive pour there wasn't much of a head. Both the flavor and aroma carry a good amount of vanilla. The hops are almost non-existent, except to maybe add a little bit of an herbal tea aroma. The flavor has an interesting smokey flavor, not sure where it came from.

Maybe this is a beer that can out-age a Thomas Hardy's Ale. I would love to try this one fresh. Recommended.

Photo of taez555
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours an extremely clear orange body with a small white head.

Nose is almost non existent. At first I thought this was BMC. You really have to inhale deeply to get any malt. Very disappointing.

Taste is medium to full bodied, with an immediate strange pepper/spice flavor. It has a very tea like quality to the taste. It's as if instead of malted barely, they used Hibiscus or something. It's familiar, yet uniquely different. It leans more towards an English BW, but with touches of heather ale or something. Ends with a unique earthy lingering bitterness.

As a swede I'm curious to see how my ancestors do the barleywine. Gotta say, I'm glad I've got some English in me as well. It's very unique, not bad at all, just not great.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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 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.

Photo of mdagnew
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle bought online from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam...

Poured a nice crystal clear deep copper orange colour. Slightly off white head poured loose and fizzy and faded quite quickly to light covering with thick edging... barely any carbonation... light lacing lines...

Aroma - Slightly toasted caramel malts, very bready, toasted nuts, butterscotch notes, quite boozy - hints of whiskey coming through, some tobacco notes, spicy and grassy hops, ripe fruits (pears, apples, light figs), oaky, raisins and currents, almond notes...

Taste - Pretty strong toasted bready malts, caramel / toffee sweetnes followed by bitter orange marmalade notes, toasted nuttiness, light spicy dark fruits (raisins, figs and dates), malt loaf / fruit cake, the faintest of smokiness, light peppery notes, some woodiness...

Feel - Rich and smooth... petty full bodied... a bit boozy and sweet to be very drinkable...

Overall - An OK barley wine... there are lots of better examples out there. Worth a try though...

Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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 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 magictrokini
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours oily copper with barely a white head. Dense aroma of caramel, bread dough, candi sugar, and oak. Syrpupy mouthfeel with nearly no carbonation. More caramel and candied fruits. Some peppery hops creep in toward the back with an earthy/wood flavor. Change of pace from the barleywines I normally drink from the West Coast.

Photo of SShelly
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle.

Pours a medium golden with small white head with zero retention, shows lots of legs when given a swirl.

Medium malt aroma with little complexity and basically zero hop aroma.

Decent malt flavor upfront with some balancing bitterness, and a slight lingering aftertaste. Not as complex as I would want out of a barleywine. Some dark fruit as it warms, quite a bit of alcohol and warming in this beer, not really unpleasant.

overall for the price this doesnt hold up to other barleywines on the market, uk or american, kinda a boring Bwine.

Photo of Bananaman
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nils Oscar is a strange brewery in my opinion. I have never been really impressed by any of their beers, but still almost all of them are really good. This one is a bit mediocre for a barley wine though.

Bottle looks really nice and high classy! Pours a amber colored beer with a almost non existant white head.

Doesn't smell too much, just some honey with hints of rosted malts. Maybe some fruits too.

Taste is pretty similar to the smell. Some dried fruits and honey with a low bitterness. It really hides the 9,5% ABV though.

All and all, good, but not impressing.

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 akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of csmiley
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Color is somewhere between gold and orange. A vigorous pour gave up little to no head. This one is just not quite cutting it in the appearance category.

S - Mainly sweet on the nose. Some caramel and butterscotch aromas start things out with some bread coming in quickly after. A hint of the abv finishes off the smell. Overall it is mild.

T - Good solid malt backbone in the flavor. Caramel, honey, and pale malt all show up first on the palate. Lighter bread flavors are in the background. A nice combonation of alcohol and fruity hop bitterness finish things out.

M - Medium bodied with average carbonation. Finish is just a little dry with some bitterness that hangs out for a short amount of time.

D - Drinkability is average. Nothing really stands out about this barleywine. Overall balance is decent but the beer remains just a hint above bland in most categories.

Photo of dgallina
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce slim brown bottle. No obvious dating.

Pours clear gold with faint carbonation, no head or lace. Smells like caramel and honey with woody alcohol overtones. Simple, but clean and fresh. Very sweet flavor. Honey and toasted malts come to the front, with some dry woodiness in the finish. Alcohol is restrained for the style and only appears significantly in the lightly warming aftertaste. Body is on the light side; smooth and unobtrusive.

A pleasant drink that doesn't especially distinguish itself.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
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

Photo of JDV
1.74/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bought at Greens in Atlanta. Bottle pours a nice amber color with basically no lasting head. Smel is sweet strange malt. with a mustiness about it. Taste is sweet and tart in a sweaty, body odor like way. Bland overall, but what is there isn't particularly pleasant. Dirty malt flavor with very light bitterness and not very good at all.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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 kirok1999
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty light for an English BW, very slight head that fades quickly. Smell is pretty mild with just a little sweetness and some fruity malt notes. There's some mild citrus hop notes too.
Taste is a mostly sweet, mild dark malts, it tastes a little like malt extract. There's a little oxidized taste too, just a hint of paper that is a little unusual in the middle of the taste. Aloohol is slightly noticable. Sweet and smooth with almost no carbonation.
This isn't worth the $5.95 I paid for it. There are many better English BW's out there.

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 rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine came in a 330 ml. bottle, and when poured turned out to be quite a pale looking ale. The fizzy carbonation and clear body made me believe that this was not bottle conditioned. This has to be one of the blandest smelling barleywines out there. Deep breaths revealed a raisin like smell, but there were barely any hops at all. The taste was very sweet and a little citric. Restrained, mellow, and subtle are some adjectives that came to mind as I sipped it. I was actually quite underwhelmed at first, but the taste grew on me slowly, as I got deeper down. Some earthy, and spicy notes started to poke out towards room temperature. Unfortunately the carbonation was a bit overdone, and got more in the way than anything else. Body was sticky and enjoyably thick. A plus point was the well hidden alcohol. If you don't mind sweetness and subtlety, this one could be worth a try, although I doubt it would make anyone's top ten list of barleywines.

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