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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

279 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 4
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 32
Gots: 59 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John_M on 05-18-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

t0rin0, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

djrn2, May 26, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is a nice mahogany color with a white head and a tad bit of lacing. The nose is straight bourbon. A bit of light caramel and fruit in the background. The booze goes with the bourbon. Taste is predominantly bourbon again, but done quite well. Really nice feel with booze and bourbon plus a slight sweetness underneath. Much better than the original, though not quite as interesting as the cabernet version.

Thorpe429, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev 0%

nmann08, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is quite hazy caramel in color and has a light amount of carbonation visible near the sides of the glass. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down, leaving large wispy patches of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of oak and vanilla are present in the nose along with some hints of bourbon.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some underlying hints of caramel and toffee malts from the underlying barleywine. No bitterness from the hops is detectable, although there's enough hops to mask out any sweetness or stickiness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol—particularly the bourbon—provides a little warming in the finish.
O: This beer is very easy to drink considering its strength and manages to hide its alcohol very well (except from the bourbon flavors). The bourbon barrel aging definitely makes this beer a lot more interesting compared to its regular version and I particularly liked how the bourbon flavors are not too strong.

Note: 2012 vintage

metter98, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottling

Appearance: Pours a tawny color with a rather small head that fritters away rather quickly without leaving much of a trace

Smell: Toasted oak aromatics joined with toffee and vanilla

Taste: Nutty caramel, up front, with the bourbon and vanilla flavors building into the middle; toasted oak and booze wraps up the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Overall: Nothing particularly wrong with this beer but it lacks the overall depth and power I would expect from a barrel-aged barleywine; the lack of a hop presence is also a detractor

brentk56, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark caramel brown in the center that fades to muddy pumpkin along the margins. The wheat toast colored crown barely reached two fingers, but has settled in to become densely creamy. It's also beginning to deposit thick curtains of finely stippled lace.

Bourbon barrel-aging should have helped the standard Below Decks nose more than this. The spirit, while easily appreciated, does not take over like it does in some ale of this ilk. That could be either a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view. Still holding out hope for an improved taste bud experience.

Bourbon barrel-aging has helped the standard Below Decks where it matters most. The original beer, with its pale-to-midrange malts, seems to be a pretty good blank slate on which to add the somewhat bold chalk strokes of bourbon whiskey.

Double-digit ABV beer at less than one year of age isn't often mellow. HSBBABD is sorta kinda mellow... in a big beer sorta kinda way. The malts, which are sugar cookie drizzled with caramel-like, provide a background sweetness that's easily kept in check by modest hop bitterness. Vanilla bean and lightly charred oak round out the flavor impressions.

The mouthfeel does just enough to earn the good score. It isn't the biggest beast on the barleywine block, but it has a softly silky smooth quality that is lightly peppered by just the right amount of carbonation.

In my humble opinion, the Mutiny Series ales from Clipper City has more misses than hits. The latter includes The Great Pumpkin, Hang Ten, Letter of Marque 2010... and Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks. $7.99 is a more than reasonable asking price, considering how much enjoyment I'm getting out of the bomber.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Rarely do American breweries really attempt the malt-focused taste, texture, and refined attitude of English barley wine. Coupled with the effects of bourbon barrel aging, the ever-steady Winter Storm takes on new armatures to achived greater strength, complexity, and taste...

Pouring a hazy chestnut-brown hue, the beer's reluctant release of foam yields a dainty creme of swirled foam that comprises the beer's head character. With no real lace to mention, the beer seems more of brandy or cognac with its legging than it does beer- especially after the midpoint of the session.

Bold sweetness emerges immediately from the snifter in the form of maple, brown sugar, and molasses. Its sweet scent is complex with barrel-derived caramels, vanillans, oak, and modest cherry esters that blend into the sweeter and more savory notes with ease. Herbal hops take on soft tobacco notes that add accents and further evoke the notion of savory and succulence as the scent carries on.

In similar fashion, the syrupy malts rise first and coat the mouth with dessert-like maltiness that's lead with caramel and toffee. As the taste of bourbon sets in with boozy oak, pepper, and vanilla- so do the taste of dehydrated cherries, dates, figs, and raisins, A slow recede of estery fruits and malt sweetness allows the balance from spicy alcohol and vinous fruit to signal closure.

Full bodied throughout, the beer's oily viscosity stimulates the early palate, but the cleaner,malty-richness caresses the tongue and lulls the mind into a trance of sweetness that's sure to appease the sweet tooth in all of us. Finishing rich, sweet, and malty-warm, the extended aftertaste begs for stilton and maytag blue cheeses.

The beer showcases malt balance in vivid display- with little rebuttal from hops, yeasty fruit or spice or from water chemistries, the beer is ripe and pungent with all of the glory of English hops. Though done in America, the brewery really shows great command of the style.

BEERchitect, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

womencantsail, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep rich amber with a thinner but well formed off white head atop.Aromas of deep vaniila,and caramel eally stand out,the vanilla tinged oak is a bit heavy handed in my opinion.Somewhat boozy and very oaky on the palate,vanilla and caramel flavors add more sweetness,it is very smooth going down though.Another barrel aged beer that gets a little to much of the "aged" flavors,its not bad but it could be better with less aged flavors.

oberon, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

JAHMUR, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

After a very pleasant experience with the carbernet-aged version, I felt compelled to give this one a try (even more than before). It pours a translucent ruby-brown (heavy on the brown) with a pathetic amount of large bubbles standing in for what would otherwise be considered a head. The nose is subtle bourbon, oak, quad-like yeast, molasses, vanilla, and citrus hops. It all melds together very nicely. The bourbon begins very subtlely in the taste, while molasses-dipped citrus hops take the point, immediately backed-up by citrus peel. The sweeter elements make up the next wave, including more molasses, maple syrup, and some oak. Lighter malty elements begin the final flavor stripe, joined by more oak (drier, this time) and the bourbon. It's all pretty tasty, but the striations are, for me, far too clear. The body is fairly hefty, with lightly moderate carbonation and only a slight coating effect. A very nice brew overall, but I prefer caberneted version better.

TMoney2591, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/23/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark coppery reddish brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, bourbon, dark fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit and bourbon followed by some creaminess. The hops presence is mild but complementary and the malt character is hearty creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a little bit better than the regular version but not enough to make it an upper echelon barley wine.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up a Peabody's in Boone NC, sadly the last of my NC mini-haul

Pours chestnut with a finger of tan head. Average head retention & above average lacing

S: Pears & Bourbon, fades a bit as this warms

T: Rich bourbon notes, cakyness & a touch boozey warmth up front. Jammy notes (apricot & pear ) wrap with vanilla, oakyness, a touch of leafy hops & dryness as this warms. Finishes with fruitty notes, nice Bourbon flavor, oaky dryness & a touch of butterscotch

MF: Slightly over carbonated & a touch thin, warming & smooth once nearer room temp

Loved the flavor on this, but other areas fell flat. For the money I'll take Schlafly's Barrel aged BW at a fraction of the price any day. Still, I was thrilled to try it...

russpowell, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev 0%

mendvicdog, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep amber color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful mix of burnt toffee and bourbon. It's warm and inviting with a tremendous wood character. The taste is damn good as well. It has a warm, burnt toffee flavor; rich and boozy with tons of caramel malt sweetness. The bourbon barrel aging adds a good deal of vanilla character as well as a fine bourbon flair. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a well brewed beer that has only improved with the barrel aging.

WesWes, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/6/12 heavy seas below deck in bourbon barrels
2010 vintage. Drank side by side with a 2010 Cabernet barrel aged Below Deck. Poured into my Brawley's snifter.

a - Pours a pretty dark mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and light to moderate carbonation evident. Looks like the Cabernet version, maybe a touch lighter in color but not much at all.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, oak, bourbon, toasted malts, and light vanilla. Definitely more bourbon in this one than there was wine in the Cabernet version, but again, it seems very faded. Nose is no where as sweet as the Cabernet nose. I like both noses, but for very different reasons.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted malts, nuts, dark fruits, and alcohol. More bourbon and oak here than in the nose. This is about what I was expecting; taste is very nice and I prefer it to the Cabernet. Again, not as sweet as the Cabernet in the taste as well.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Thick, smooth, and c reamy; very good for a barleywine.

o - Overall I preferred this one to the Cabernet version, but I'm not convinced either improves form aging. Both are good beers, with the Cabernet verions being much sweeter, and this version havnig more bourbon (as expected), so I guess it just really depends on what you like in a barleywine. Either way, I'd suggest drinking them relatively fresh as I think they both faded already in a year.

mdfb79, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

MarkyMOD, Thursday at 05:57 AM
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is a lot of bourbon and oak, with some brown sugar, maple and alcohol. There is no doubt that this beer was bourbon-barrel aged. The flavor is also heavy on the bourbon. I get a lot of maple, vanilla and brown sugar, as well as some bourbon and oak notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

This was sampled alongside the cabernet barrel-aged version, and I thought this was the superior beer.

Mora2000, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

DrunkinYogi, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev 0%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev 0%

oriolesfan4, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

yourefragile, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bomber that I believe I found in a shop near the finger lakes in New York last year. Opened this with a couple friends for a side by side tasting with the cabernet version.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed amber color with some orange coloration and yellowish stain around the edges. Some particulate is stuck in suspension of this brew. A creamy tan head holds fairly well leaving spotty lacework clinging to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is sweet, soothing vanilla, light oak and a little nuttiness mixed with some minor oxidation quality. The bourbon is very mellow on this brew with a smoothness that is quite enjoyable. The alcohol becomes more evident as it warms with a tingly and fusel aspect to the brew. The nose of this brew is quite enjoyable however the base brew is pretty much dominated by the barrel aging contribution.

The taste is a strong bourbon infused kick of alcohol. The malt inclusion is toasty and a bit nutty like the aroma led on. Some herbal hops are noted mixed with the barrel contributions of oak and vanilla smoothness/sweetness. The finih includes a light oxidized touch that places more emphasis on a dry almost nutty taste yet remains enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a medium level of carbonation. It is sweet and easy drinking for the most part. The oxidation quality gives it some depth. Overall it's not a bad offering, the 10% abv is hidden quite well. At less than $8 a bomber this is worth having again.

stakem, May 05, 2011
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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
89 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.