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Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale) - Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale)

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504 Ratings

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Ratings: 504
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 29
Gots: 43 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Higravity on 09-09-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 504 | Reviews: 346
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer from the Clipper City Heavy Seas Mixed pack ($17.99/12)

What this beer lacks in appearance and aroma, it makes up for in great taste and drinkability. Smells of just alcohol and isn't a very appealing pour, but it has a nice hoppy taste with an slight alcohol warming kick. It finishes clean and smooth as well. One of the better barley wines I've had.

Photo of dfillius
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter. This is the best English Barleywine I've had in a long time.

A: 1/2 finger of off-white head subsides quickly. Deep maroon with a chill haze. Easy on the eyes.

S: Rye, rich buttery caramel, toast, apple, cherry. This beer smells great!

T: Sweet with a hint of alcohol. Delightful! Supremely decadent: almost like a Werther's candy flavor. Magically it is not cloying.

M: Smooth, modest and pleasant heat.

D: Outstanding - I continue to want more sips as the last one lingers and teases.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.72/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - I like the cartoon-y pirate art on Clipper City's Heavy Seas series bottles. This one pours deep garnet hue that looks russet when not in direct light. The head holds at about one finger, and leaves TONS of really sticky fine lace on the glass.

S - Gooey toffee, caramelized sugar, banana flavored Laffy Taffy, dates, honeycomb, almonds, Worther's Original candies, molasses, and raisins. Holy shit. This is outstanding!

T - Much more hoppy in the mouth than in the nose, this is caramely, toffee laden, honey-sweet, but never cloying. Big time pine hops combine with a nice ethanol burn to make a pleasant flavor, but it's much milder than most Barley Wines that I've had. Maybe that's why this one is listed as an English version...I think all of the others that I've tried have been American, West Coast versions (ie Bigfoot).

M - Thick, rich, sweet, and round. The carbonation is luscious to the point of absurdity. This is beyond full bodied...I'd call it fat bodied or maybe buxom. Anyhow, the finish is dry and hoppy with a nice boozy burn in the back of the throat and a long lasting hop flavor that sticks to your teeth.

D - Outstanding beer. Not the best I've had, but damn close. This is definitely hanging close to that highest echelon of good beer. This is however, more drinkable than some more aggressive barleywines, and I could probably drink two or three, though I'd be a little bit tipsy after more than one.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

- 2007 Edition -

Poured a ruby color with a decent head that retained fairly well. Aromas of fruits galore; cherries, figs, pie filling, apples, lots of sweet malts. Tastes of more fruity malty goodness. Lots of apples, cherries, plums, etc going on in here with a good dose of hoppiness. Alcohol was definitely detected but less hot than a fresh batch. Fairly warming going down. Mouthfeel was pretty velvety but not as rich as a lot of barleywines, not too much carbonation, and slick. Not a bad example here from Clipper City. Not the greatest of BW's but very palatable and enjoyable.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemless wineglass. Pours out a ruby red with a finger thick white head that lasts a good amount of time. Very good lacing remaining the entire experience. Smells very woody. Initial taste is of oak with malty sweetness following.

Overall, this is a very good drinkable barleywine. I wish is were available here.

Thanks to CrazyMacHarris99 for the bottle.

Photo of maddogruss
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of the 2006 Barleywine from my friend.

A: Pours a dark amber body with slight cloudiness with an off-white head with low retention and some lacing along the side of the glass.

S: A very sweet, malty smell with hints of mandarin orange notes.

T: A robust, sweet, rich, filling, malty taste with a slightly roasted and earthy aftertaste. Fairly balanced barleywine. Noted alcohol was warming, but could not really sense in the taste.

M: A little light and watery - possibly due to some additional fermentation because of the aging. Overall, still felt pretty good.

D: A formidable beer. Could have been a little thicker on the mouthfeel, but the taste was pretty good. While the alcohol was warming, you could not really taste it at all, which I find to be a good thing. Overall, a pretty good barleywine and worth a try if you come across it.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter.

A - Somewhat transparent, deep garnet colored. Small, 1/4 inch head forms. Moderate retention, leaving nothing but a thin collar. Some minimal lacing.

S - Sweet malt, a lot like brown sugar. Definite alcohol presence as well. Sourish dark fruits are there as well but indistinct. A dose of piney hops hiding as well?

T - Huge brown sugar sweetness with a touch of toffee and chocolate. Figs and black currants make an entrance mid palate, turning slightly sour as the beer dries out a bit. A simultaneous floral/earthy/herbal hop character shines through the malt providing a quick bitterness. Finish is of slight alcohol and chocolate flavors. Overall the ABV is well hidden.

M - Full bodied, quite viscous. Carbonation is on the moderate side costing this brew a better score.

D - A good, if somewhat one-dimensional barleywine. This strattles an interesting line between American and English interpretations of the style. Not as smooth as I'd like, but still a great beer. Wouldn't mind having this again.

Photo of soupyman10
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one cause I've been fairly impressed with the Clipper City stuff I've had so far. Good price, fairly solid beer (although the imperial stout was a disappointment). This one is more of the same, in my book. A surprisingly hoppy barley wine, especially one pretending (in my book) to be English (which in my experience are usually a lot maltier). This one would seem to be almost a malty IPA. A lot of malt flavor, to be sure - quite fruity, but that hops really dominates. Fairly straightforward in both the smells and tastes, with a strong caramel malt and strong(er) fruity hops, throughout. Definitely alcohol presence in there, but it's not bad. Solid beer, overall.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from Soulfly967
Poured a dark caramel color with almost no head or caronation. Nose was of malts and some caramel. Taste was roasty caramel flavor is what you get at the beginning and there is not much to say for the mid palate and aftertaste. Not Mouthfeel was smooth but not that appealing.

Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe this is a 2006 bottle from JasonA, cheers jason!!

Pours an effervescent brown, copper when held to the light with a finger of tan head, nice viscosity. Super head retention & above average lacing

S: Oaky & fruitcakey, loads of dark fruit; fades a bit as this warms

T: Leafy hops on the back of the throat, dates, plums, raisins & a touch of vanilla extract up front. Some booze warmth & dryness as this warms, plus loads of jammy notes. Finishes fruitty with leafy hops; almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Slick with medium carbonation & some wetness, that becomes thicker as this warms. Balances well

Great drinkability for the ABV & style. Damn good English BW

Photo of DIM
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a coppery amber color with golden edges. It poured with a smallish, sticky off-white head.

s: Rich, dark fruits and caramelized sugar dominate. The malts have a peaty quality and the alcohol is very much in balance.

t: Starts off well with flavors of sweet, peaty dark fruits with a little vanilla. the finish, though, has a slightly "off" dry, floral quality. Mild flavors of slightly charred caramelized sugar as well.

m: Gently carbonated with a decent body.

d: Pretty nice barleywine overall. I should try one fresh for comparison purposes, this was the 2007 bottling.

Photo of Natural510
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper-red with small amount of head & nice lacing on the glass.
Malty nose with a distinct scent of cherries. Alcohol burns the nose with its strength.
Goes down fairly smooth. Caramel malts backed by a hoppy bite; more residual dark fruit in the flavor. Alcohol content makes itself known, overpowering the flavor a bit.
Decent enough barleywine which could be better balanced. I like the dark fruit flavor but the all-too-noticable ABV causes the drinkability to suffer.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bottling

12-ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass yields a clear, very dark brown-copper body capped with a finger of rocky off-white foam that settles quickly to a thick-collared broken sheet. A few ragged wisps of lacing remain on the glass.

The smell of the drink is sweet and a bit toasty, with molasses, golden raisins, vanilla caramel, and a fat dose of alcohol in a luscious mélange.

Taste is brown sugar-sweet and boozy with a tinge of caramel-covered pineapple, Pekoe tea, and rummy molasses. Alcohol provides balance and a cleansing finish with a bit of sting on the lips. This is one hot drinker, as the face flushes and the tummy begins to warm right away. The drink is a tad smoky and increasingly spicy as it warms.

Exceptionally smooth with nice carbonation. Nice drinkability for the style.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a beautiful clear, dark amber with a thinnish off-white head.

Aroma of molasses, vanilla, caramel, and booze.

The taste is on the sweeter side much like the aroma with molasses, vanilla, caramel, along with dark fruit. The alcohol is definitely there with every sip.

Medium bodied with a light carbonation and a warmth from the booze.

A sweeter barleywine than I'm used too. Not bad, but all the sweetness makes it less of a drinker for me.

Photo of almychristopher
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this 2006 barley wine pours a nice clear red color with an off white head that fades to a thin film. the aroma is very malty, not quite enough hops to really stand out. the taste on the other hand is very nice with a lot of malt character and a dry hoppy finish. the mouthfeel is a little heavy for me, but the warmth makes up for that.

Photo of glid02
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this from a 4-pack a friend had.

Pours a dark brown with a minimal head that dissipates into a ring around the glass.

This beer smells very sweet, not as bitter as I'd hoped.

Tastes very much like it smells. The most noticeable aspect is the sweetness. Then there's a little bit of bitterness. After a second the two flavors balance themselves out a bit, but initially the sweetness is overpowering. As the beer warms there's also a hint of coffee.

The mouthfeel is actually pretty good. The carbonation is just right, and it's not too thick nor too thin.

Overall this isn't a terribly drinkable beer. If there was a bit more bitterness in the beginning to cancel out the sweetness it would be a little better.

Worth a shot, but better barleywines are out there.

Photo of Donnie2112
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

06 poured into an oversized wine glass

deep dark reddish mahogany hue, plenty of head and decent lace, oh and a bunch of beautiful scuzz

nice rich, full maple or molasses on the nose with a little bit of herbal notes to it.

starts off with a sweetness that rolls into a peppery alcohol, does not have the depth of flavor that I would normally expect from a barley wine

just very warm, very dry and highly alcoholic. full body and medium to lightly carbonated

I have a hard time with this one, I have been a fan of Clipper City Heavy Seas for a while. And this just isn't something that I'd jump all over very often just a bunch of alcohol and it lacks the complexity that I expect from the malts.

I wanna try a younger bottle

Photo of SLeffler27
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I prefer barleywine in a snifter, to exhibit the aromas. Besides, these glasses are so much sexier than the standard pint. And what a treat this one is; clear dark copper to red with a high off white head that leaves a reckless amount of lacing on the glass.

Molasses rules the nose, but seems to enjoy the company of fresh baked wheat bread.

The alcohol jumps right out, but leaves room for a light bitterness with vanilla, balsamic vinegar and licorice, and finishing with a long, dry, light bitter finish.

There is a medium body, with the oily feel common to this style, and a light carbonation. The alcohol is ever present.

Well 18 months certainly did this bottle good. I'll definitely be looking for this one again. Maybe even do a vertical tasting with it. Heed the label, and stay below decks if your planning a night with this contemplative baby.

Photo of joezak5
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; slightly hazy deep ruby with the most delicate tiny bubbles in the center. Little retention, good lacing.

Smell: Syrupy and caramelly molasses malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth and creamy, muted carbonation.

Taste: Sweet, winey molasses malt with just a little hoppiness on the swallow. Spicy and peppery in the middle. Very smooth on the alcohol feel.

Drinkability: I bought a six pack of this awhile ago and remember not being impressed... aging has done this one some good... 2005 on the label... 5313 on the bottom... so about 2.5 years... I'm very impressed, I must locate my other 3 or 4 bottles.

Photo of CWiggins
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love barleywines! There's probably no other style I enjoy more for sipping. One bottle of barleywine will keep me entertained for more than an hour. Although I'm completely enamored by one in particular (a secret), I'll try any example.

Below Decks pours a dark amber with a scant off-white head that hangs around for a brief time, then scatters to the outmost regions of the glass. The smell is full and sweet: caramel, brown sugar, and dark ripe fruit all make an appearance. Alcohol is certainly noticeable in the nose as well. It's not as full-flavored as some barleywines I've had, and it's not as sweet. Toasted malts and nuts make up most of the flavor. Sweet fruits make up a fraction of the center, and hop bitterness consumes the finish. The aftertaste lingers to a nice point and is built upon a base of hops, dark malts, and sweet bread. Very nice.

It's not very heavy on the tongue; I'd certainly call it medium-bodied. The carbonation is about right for the style. This is one of the more approachable barleywines, although it can lull one into a false sense of security soon with that 10%ABV.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A mahogany colored brew with amber tints, good carbonation keeps the two-finger around for a minute and left some lacings down the mug. A slightly heavy alcohol smell with a good base of sweet malts - caramel, honey, syrup - also something woody in there as well. A good hop presence as well. A rather thick-bodied beer, it packs a malty punch on the first sip with the sweet malts kicking in gear but balanced with a dryness from some hops and oak or some wood. Not perfectly balanced, but a sweetness is there as well as the alcohol (hidden for the most part) and hops for a good beer. This is a good beer, I just couldn't session it if I wanted to.

Photo of alexgash
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Served at 50 degrees F.

Darkish russet to ruby body. Pinkie finger of gauzy, lacy, light khaki head. Malty nose of toffee, caramel, and rummy fruits. Faint herbal hops. Maybe a slight solvent aroma.

Toasted biscuit malts up front give way to sweet toffee and caramel. Some sugary fruits as well. Singed, almost roasted quality turns into herbal hop bitterness. Gets a little boozy and rummy in the finish. A little bit hot. Full-bodied with a smooth, creamy feel. Not too bad. A little rough around the edges.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle 2007 vintage > snifter

I've come to really love the beautiful, vibrant amber color of English/American Barleywine's, this one is no exception...it's a lovely, shimmering ruby-tinted amber color with lot's of tiny, fast moving bubbles and a good level of carboantion. The crown rises only about 1" high, but it's a nice creamy, tan color that falls slowly to about 1/4" high but remains for the duration. This is a real 'looker!

You don't have to get your nose down to the glass very far to enjoy it's pungent and attractive aroma. The aromatic, sweet malt is amazing, with maple syrup and molasses, french bread, smoked meats, cedar wood smoke, glazed nuts and a bit of brown sugar! There is a spicey, herbal hop effect way down deep. The aroma is intesnse.

The first sip reveals a malt flavor that is soo complex many other little sips are needed just to neail down all of the other flavor's. It's a bevy of sweet and tangy flavor's like, a thick, hefty suagr maple candy malt sweetness but thick like molasses and caramel. The malt is also smokey, with a wood fire effect...almost oak-barrel aged. There is semi-sweet chocolate and the balance of semi-bitter, very dry-earthy flavor's from the hops and an up-front and complexity adding heat, it's 10% and it feels like it! It's a full feel, thick and heavy but also lively bubbles keep it from flatness. For this too be a true English Barleywine I would tone down the bitter, american west-coast style hop profile, but it works and the balance seems right for this brew.

A wonderful sipper.

Photo of toutaboutstout
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

--2007 vintage--

Appearance: reminds me of apple cider, but more translucent. the head was minimal and disapated quickly into a small film. this suprisingly left an exceptional lacing.

Smell: if the head and the nose are any indication, this is going to get malty.

Taste: malt...earth...fruit. what a complex brew. finishes with a few hops just tempting you to take in some more of that sweet malty goodness.

Drinkablity: given the abv(10%), this isn't that bad. went through one pretty easy, and I wish I had another to keep the 1st one company.

Photo of Gtreid
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep copper color, with a reddish tint. Bone color head leaves some spotty lacing.

A: Sweet malts, candy, toffee, molasses, and vanilla. Hops are present but subtle.

T: Different than an American BW, the hops are a little more subdued, and the sweetness is a little greater. But this one finishes with a nice alcohol sensation.

M: Oily and caramely, medium to heavy body. No carbonation.

D: If you haven't tried Clipper city brews you need to. The Heavy Seas line is outstanding, and this one is no different. 10% packs a punch so don't have too many. But an excellent English barleywine.

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Heavy Seas - Below Decks (Barley Wine Style Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
82 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.