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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

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288 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 8.77%
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: 288 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of freduardo
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

freduardo, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of reeemer
3.75/5  rDev -6%

reeemer, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of jegross2
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
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

jegross2, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of Jimmys
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Jimmys, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of russwbeck
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

russwbeck, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.3%

nmann08, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

argock, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

thecheapies, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of b3shine
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

b3shine, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of heff316
3/5  rDev -24.8%

heff316, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of loupap
4/5  rDev +0.3%

loupap, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Kromes
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Kromes, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of guillemiro
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

guillemiro, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of mcphish22
4/5  rDev +0.3%

mcphish22, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of mrandypandy
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

mrandypandy, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of DavidEddie
4/5  rDev +0.3%

DavidEddie, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of jlb502
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

jlb502, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of McNuts
4/5  rDev +0.3%

McNuts, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +0.3%

tclapper, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev +0.3%

2dogbrew, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of sobeleg
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

sobeleg, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +25.3%

jaidenjb, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of frenchblood21
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a goblet. Allowed to sit for approx. 20 minutes outside of fridge before opening.

Appearance- Deep dark ruby red brown color. A beautiful light tan one finger head. It takes its time going away, and leaves a surprising amount of lacing.

Smell- Fruity and malty...barely a hint of bourbon. Apple, pear and fig are present.

Taste- I'm getting way more bourbon in the taste than in the nose. Bourbon, oak and apple in that order.

Mouthfeel- way more thick than it looks. This beer was born to be bourbon barrel aged. Just a slight burn from the high alcohol, but who doesn't like a good bourbon burn?

Overall- There is obviously a good reason people are requesting BA beers. This is a grandslam Heavy Seas! They also make this beer non-barrel-aged, I recommend getting both and doing a vertical.

frenchblood21, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
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 jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

jophish17, Jan 06, 2012
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
90 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.