Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer
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Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
2.5/5 rDev -37.3%
A- Very beautiful. Dark amber color with a nice creamy head. The carbonation in the beer is what I really like about the looks of this beer - I haven't seen this many before.
S- Very sweet and nutty with a hint of banana
T- It has a strong metallic note to it that lingers throughout. You can definitely taste the alcohol which is mildly unpleasant. A very nutty flavor with a strong hop bite at the finish.
M- Very nice (Borat voice). Finishes very dry and the carbonation isn't too bad. Medium bodied.
O- I didn't think that bourbon barrels would complement a barleywine well.. I was right. I would have much rather had the cabernet barrel for this brew.
To note: I don't know if it's just me, but the barrel aging process that Heavy Seas uses seems to not be the best... It's always overly sweet with a very nutty overtone and not much for a bourbon taste. I remember having their octoberfest (or one of their fall beers) and it was almost indistinguishable from this beer. Just something the take caution about.
04-25-2012 23:46:29 | More by twaddlac
2.93/5 rDev -26.6%
Pours dark copper with a medium veil. One inch of head quickly settles to a thin gauze on the surface.
The smell is very bourbon forward. With some toffee and caramel underneath. There's a little vanilla and oak, but I'm getting much more straight bourbon than I am getting some of the more subtle characteristics from the barrel.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side. With only light carbonation, I would prefer that the mouthfeel be fuller.
The taste is much like the smell: very bourbon forward without strong complementary flavors to provide balance. To put this in perspective: I like bourbon in my beer. But here, there is not enough of a malt or hop backbone to provide depth (and heft). I'm left with the sensation of just drinking watered down bourbon. That's not the end of the world, but it keeps this beer from fully succeeding.
I'd recommend aging this one for a couple of years to restore balance. The alcohol bite should retreat and some of the sweet malt should develop to give this beer a more rounded and complex flavor profile.
02-02-2011 00:06:45 | More by chicagobeerriot
District of Columbia
3.03/5 rDev -24.1%
the deep froth in my glass already makes me suspicious of the "english" qualifier to this barleywine. good lacing
aroma is lightly of bourbon and oak. slightly wild smelling and also slightly smelling of brown sugar
tastes mostly of bourbon, to be sure. bigtime cola thing going on. heat, but very little beer character. where is the barleywine under the bourbon? no vinous element, no diacetyl, no roasty, no fruity. i taste what basically amounts to a brown ale...in fact this resembles very closely Tyranena's Rockey's Revenge (a bourbon brown)
my fears this might be an american barleywine were allayed, i suppose, but it doesn't exactly inspire thoughts of an english barleywine, either
09-04-2010 02:08:00 | More by bruachan
3.13/5 rDev -21.6%
In a tulip this beer was a dark amber color, a little on the red side. There was no head.
The aroma was that of some sweet fruit and vanilla.
Average taste. A little bit of everything, but just a little bit. Some dark fruit, some caramel, some vanilla, some alcohol.
I expected this to be a little more assertive than it was. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't that much of a barleywine.
12-15-2012 21:12:40 | More by lordofthewiens
District of Columbia
3.23/5 rDev -19%
A- I cringe looking at all Heavy Seas labels, and this one is no different, looks like a highschooler made it in M.S. Paint after watching Pirates of the Caribbean + few too many...sorry, let's get to the point:
Once into a tulip this beer looks exactly as it should. Half inch head, nice dark color. Not much to improve on in this department.
S- A lot like smelling a dropper of vanilla extract. Not "bad" but not very beer'ish at all. I've had the non-aged HS barley-wine and this doesn't really remind me of how that one smelled, at all. For me, absolutely no alcohol vapor to speak of, which is more than can be said for a lot of barley wines.
T- Quite sweet. Of course more alcohol is often countered with sweetness, but here the sugars have really taken over, and not very "bourbon-y" at all, more reminiscent of a (melted, quality, Breyers?) vanilla ice cream. No hops to speak of, which I detected in the non-barreled version (and kind of miss). Not perfect but I appreciate what they were going for. It feels "finished" which barley wine doesn't always, for me. ZERO inclination to hang onto this one and "see how it ages." This is ready to drink.
M- Really excels here. While I love a BB-Stout, the way they stick to the back of your teeth, I know it comes with the territory, but it's not something I cherish. Here the added carbonation "keeps it moving" and while I know there's booze there, it doesn't really burn in one spot and it's quite pleasant. The barreling is much more apparent here than in taste, and I remember something like markers mark here. I like that. Barley wines usually "hang out in my mouth" too long and I feel like I just took a shot of rail whiskey... not here, cleans up nicely.
O- I'd easily take this over the Heavy Seas non-aged brethren, by a long shot. This is my first BB barley-wine, although I've had nondescript ales, stouts, porters, etc. from that ilk. Without something to (personally) directly compare this to, I'd say its worth a sip or two. Interested to track down and try the Cab barreled one and compare.
I feel the same way about Heavy Seas as I did before this beer, they're not "world class" but you know what you're getting anytime you order/open one: slightly sweet, minimal hops, low-key (but high-ish) alcohol content.
Would recommend to a discerning friend. If it sounds good to you, worth a shot, not over retail though.
12-07-2012 22:40:59 | More by Prince_Casual
3.28/5 rDev -17.8%
Smells sweet like a barley wine, but also has the bourbon nose. Nice red pour with a small white head that doesn't do much of sticking around. Has the barley wine sweetness without any hops really to balance it, which is strange. The bourbon is thrown on top. Not sure it works, but it’s good enough.
01-31-2013 02:49:33 | More by Michael_D
3.45/5 rDev -13.5%
A: The pour is a surprisingly clear amber color with just about no head and minimal visible carbonation.
S: I don't really pick up much bourbon, but some hints of vanilla do make their way into the nose. The nose is mostly toffee, molasses, and a bit of caramel. The usual aromas, but somewhat muted.
T: The flavor is just as flat and one-note as the nose (if not a bit more). There is more bread than anything else on the nose with molasses and a hint of vanilla, along with some alcohol.
M: The body is quite thin for a barleywine and the carbonation is minimal.
D: A rather bland effort for a barrel aged barleywine. I would not really bother with this one.
07-01-2010 21:42:17 | More by womencantsail
3.48/5 rDev -12.8%
Moving on from the virgin version, we come to the BBA version. It appears lighter in color than the first and has excellent clarity of a toasted honey graham color. No head to speak of. The nose is not dominated by the bourbon character, and actually takes time for me to find. As it warms this character comes through a bit more, but the base still stands: cocoa, english toffee malts. Simple and satisfying.
The flavor is more bourbon infused than the nose. There is a substantial bourbon flavor, but sans boozy tones. Nice toffee and caramel flavors with a little smidge of prunes in the finish. Nice flavor with medium body and light carb.
A nice beer, but to be honest, if this was more than 10% the cost of the original, I would likely pass it up for the original.
01-01-2012 05:50:47 | More by harrymel
3.48/5 rDev -12.8%
Pours a thin rust color with an average tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells boozy, oaky, bourbony w/plenty of sweet malt adding to the nose. First sip is super malt sweetness layered in a ton of oak. There is bourbon in there too but the oak unfortunately is much more dominating. The sweetness that hits first fades rather quickly leading to a bitter finish highlighted almost entirely by the mighty oak. Though very thin bodied there is just enough carbonation to warrant a decent mouthfeel. The 10% ABV is not well hidden at all. It is in your face making one to think it is stronger than it really is.
12-26-2011 20:26:20 | More by ATLbeerDog
3.5/5 rDev -12.3%
Deuce to tulip. 2010 vintage. Looks good; deep amber with very thin lacing. Smell is almost nonexistent. Pretty underwhelming, actually. Tastes good; nothing too complex, but a nice journeyman's attempt at a BA barleywine. Mouthfeel is good; little carbonation. It's a tasty brew and a good value for the price.
02-06-2012 00:24:55 | More by b3shine
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
89 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.