1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

272 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 4
pDev: 8.75%
Wants: 29
Gots: 60 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whallgren
whallgren

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

06-17-2012 17:42:49 | More by whallgren
Photo of swh1972
swh1972

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

05-12-2012 22:24:58 | More by swh1972
Photo of twaddlac
twaddlac

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 23:46:29 | More by twaddlac
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottles served at cellar temp. Sent as an extra from Brad in a RB trade. Awesome.

A - Dark brown with a reddish hue. Thick off-white head turns to some nice lacing. The lacing retention is fantastic.

S - Sweet malts, slight oak, slight vanilla.

T - Much like the aroma. Sweet malts, dark fruits, then hints of vanilla and sweet oak push through. Very smooth throughout. There is a little bit of a drag in the flavor before the barrel picks up. The vanilla/caramel/oak almost shows a candy-like flavor from middle to end. The finish gives the slightest amount of heat and dryness, but is fairly smooth.

M - Medium, feels a little thicker and has some carbonation. Pretty nice.

O - Good flavors, not too hot, good finish, good beer. I'm really enjoying this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 02:04:19 | More by claaark13
Photo of JakeDebus
JakeDebus

Maryland

4/5  rDev 0%

04-07-2012 00:56:40 | More by JakeDebus
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

04-02-2012 18:40:30 | More by Duff27
Photo of originsbrewery
originsbrewery

Ohio

4/5  rDev 0%

03-27-2012 01:01:33 | More by originsbrewery
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, 22 oz bottle, 10% abv. Mahogany in color, with ruby highlights. Thin white head disappears quickly, but leaves a collar around the sides of the glass, along with a few random spots of lace.

Bourbon and oak shine through first in the nose, but do not dominate. Candied fruit, toffee and caramel notes follow. A bit of vanilla and a spicy note round things out.

Toffee and candied fruits show up first. Nice amount of fruit up front. A bit of a dry note, then the wood and bourbon flavors round things out. Bourbon lingers in a nice way.

Medium body, soft carbonation. Warming alcohol present. Very nice that the barrel does not overwhelm this beer, but I feel like there is something missing in the middle. Still a good beer, for a very reasonable price.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 00:58:25 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of pnkRed
pnkRed

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

03-22-2012 05:17:32 | More by pnkRed
Photo of freduardo
freduardo

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

03-22-2012 02:10:30 | More by freduardo
Photo of reeemer
reeemer

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

03-11-2012 01:49:28 | More by reeemer
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer.
Score: 90

2011 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/29/12.

Appearance: Pours a rich, dark mahogany color -- cognac-like, albeit in a darker tint, in appearance. Pours one finger of creamy cream colored head at pour that settles into a thin ring around the glass. Appearance falls between translucent and opaque. There is a dark brown center surrounded by thick globs of reddish brown highlights when held up to light. Minimal lacing, minimal retention. 3.5/5

Smell: First impression is caramel, vanilla and booze. More wafts reveal brown sugar, dark fruit, barley, plum and "birthday cake." There is also an aroma of sweet red grape that is not in the least tart or acidic. Also detecting what can only be describes as the smell of a "leather belt." 4/5

Taste: This brew is very bourbon barrel-forward on the palate, and the taste is pretty much dominated by three flavors: bourbon soaked raisins/fig, vanilla and sweet red grape that is neither tart nor acidic. There's also a distinct "whiskey-like malt" flavor and boozy caramel. Some brown sugar too. Huge bourbon soaked raisin backbone. This one is super malty, but it's not very "grainy" in flavor -- which is great. The 10% ABV definitely shines through and renders this one is a sipper, but it is far from the type of beer that burns on the way down or makes you cringe. To the contrary, it is quite the pleasant brew to sip and the kind of beer that should be enjoyed as it warms. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with low/minimal carbonation. There is just enough carbonation to make some of the alcohol flavor prickle the tongue and make the "whiskey malt" flavors shine through. This brew has a syrupy mouthfeel and seems to have a chloraseptic lozenge "rigid numbing effect" on the throat. Finsh is a little dry and sweet -- even a little sticky at points. 4/5

Overall: Like the Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, this is a super solid barrel aged barleywine at a very reasonable cost. For under $10 a bottle, I would certainly seek this one out again.

Recommendation: The flavors of this beer might be a little aggressive for the casual beer drinker, but beer geeks and those who like whiskey/bourbon should give this one a whirl.

Pairings: Lamb.

Cost: $7.99

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 08:06:38 | More by jegross2
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled on-tap at the RFD Strong Ale Tasting, 2/26/12. review from notes.

A: shiny chestnut brown body.
S: sugar in the raw. brown sugar. sweet plums. maybe a bit of fig. toffee notes.
T: lots of toffee. lots of soft fruit, pears and apples. a little different from the dark, sweet fruits i smelled in the nose. some bourbon. tons of residual sugar.
M: average carbonation on a full body.
D: pretty good english style barleywine here. however, personally i did not detect as much bourbon as i expected. lots of sweet malt almost overpowers any and all bourbon, oak, vanilla notes. unfortunately i do not remember the vintage the brewer brought to this tasting, but i am going to guess it has been out of the barrel for a little bit of time. otherwise, a very solid english barley.

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2012 11:40:42 | More by Jimmys
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, deep brown pour with a finger or so of white head. Minimal retention, the head does leave some lacing down the side of my Deschutes Snifter.

S: I'm getting mostly Barleywine on the aroma, but some hints of barrel treatment, such as vanilla and oak, are noted. Not a ton of bourbon to be honest.

T: The taste is a big shift from the aroma. This seems to be far more focused on the barrel. Slight notes of bourbon, but again mostly oak and vanilla, mix with plum and other dark fruits, molasses, and sugary caramel malts. Very, very sweet taste. Slight booziness noted as well, although it seems to be coming more from the barrel end of the spectrum instead of from the beer itself.

MF: Medium body, creamy on the palate. It's just too sweet, takes away from the drinkability.

O: This was tasty, but 22oz was too much. I would probably pass on it again, but we'll see how it does with age. Still, for $7.50 a bottle you can't really go wrong here.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 01:25:37 | More by russwbeck
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev 0%

02-13-2012 17:45:33 | More by nmann08
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2011 vintage. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Chestnut brown with thin cap of off-white tightly bubbled that dissipates quickly.

S: A wide range of succulent aromas arise from this brew including coconut, pineapple, bourbon, alcohol, caramel, and toffee.

T: The flavor is pretty one-dimensional of bourbon, coconut, and vanilla flavors. The maltiness is way too subdued to matter although therer are some musty, leathery notes in there.

M: Way too light for the style Carbonation is low and does not help the drinkability of this brew.

O: A simply good beer but for the price I can do a lot better many other ways.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 05:24:47 | More by argock
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap in a little snifter.

Mahogany body with a wine red hue. Little foam topper looks meager.

Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and butterscotch in the nose. Warm dates and chocolate, too. Sweet. Nice.

Big sweet caramelly punch, punctuated by vanilla and bourbon whiskey notes. Very sweet. Some grape skin bitterness with a hot breath of booze. Finishes strong, sweet, and with some hop bitterness. Oak woodiness, brown sugar, and a hint of apple. Tasty, huge, slightly messy, but still good stuff.

Needs a year or two in the cellar, but I like the direction that it's going. Cloyingly sweet and sticky. Decent fizz. Nice body.

I still recommend. I'd love to try the Cabernet version.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 23:44:22 | More by thecheapies
Photo of b3shine
b3shine

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 00:24:55 | More by b3shine
Photo of heff316
heff316

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -25%

02-05-2012 12:36:44 | More by heff316
Photo of loupap
loupap

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev 0%

02-03-2012 03:21:08 | More by loupap
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A clear dark copper with a thin line of bubbles on top. Good legs.

S: A nice vanilla and oak aroma with a bit of caramel and butterscoth.

T: Taste follows the nose. Vanilla and oak up front with a bit of caramel and then the bourbon and alcohol flavor and warmth kick in.

M: Medium bodied for a Barleywine. Good carbonation....smooth.

O: The Barleywine does get overpowered a bit by the alcohol. But it is a nice mixture of both.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 01:58:10 | More by Kromes
Photo of guillemiro
guillemiro

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

02-01-2012 01:41:19 | More by guillemiro
Photo of mcphish22
mcphish22

Maryland

4/5  rDev 0%

01-30-2012 14:16:24 | More by mcphish22
Photo of mrandypandy
mrandypandy

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

32oz growler purchased at Hop City in Atlanta.

A - Pours a deep, clear mahogany. Thin white soapy head. Pretty.
S - Caramel sweetness, but not much else. Expecting a bigger bourbon nose on this.
T - Nice malty backbone with a toffee sweetness. Not much bourbon. Almost a buttery aftertaste though.
M - Medium to full body but not too heavy. Surprisingly smooth.
O - Very subdued bourbon treatment on this. A bit on the sweeter side for a barleywine, but still tasty. Doesn't taste boozy but I can feel the alcohol sneaking up on me. Overall, wished there was more bourbon in both the nose and flavor.

Serving type: growler

01-29-2012 23:30:06 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of DavidEddie
DavidEddie

Illinois

4/5  rDev 0%

01-29-2012 06:22:10 | More by DavidEddie
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
89 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.