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Nils Oscar Barley Wine - the Nils Oscar Company

Not Rated.
Nils Oscar Barley WineNils Oscar Barley Wine

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

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 5
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:
20.3° Plato.

Also sold as "Swedish Barley Wine-Style Ale"

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 10-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
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.

ForWhatAlesYou, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
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.

SkeeterHawk, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
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.

EgadBananas, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
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.

3rdRowTailgater, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of matjack85
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.

matjack85, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
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.

bluejacket74, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
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!

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of katan
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.

katan, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of kegger22
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.

kegger22, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of rhoadsrage
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.

rhoadsrage, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of erz316
3.38/5  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.

erz316, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Sammy, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
3.8/5  rDev +3%
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.

BeerSox, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of taez555
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

taez555, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

mikesgroove, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

twiggamortis420, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of linnet
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

linnet, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of mdagnew
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
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...

mdagnew, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

illidurit, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.93/5  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.

BigMcLargeHuge, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of popery
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

popery, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

magictrokini, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of SShelly
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

SShelly, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of Bananaman
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Bananaman, Oct 18, 2008
Nils Oscar Barley Wine from the Nils Oscar Company
83 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.