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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
90
outstanding

288 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 raveskdr
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

raveskdr, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The keg was dated 11/19/11, and I had it earlier this week, less than 2 months later. I was fooled; the taste suggested something that had been patiently cellared and matured well thereby.

A finger of tan head, ruby/amethyst body (almost purple!). Nice lace.

Plenty of bourbon, sticky toffee malt in the nose.

Magnificent bourbon character. Coconut, oak, malt.

Everything I ever wanted in a bourbon-barrel barleywine, and it turned out to be magnificent fresh.

zaphodchak, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of aanakinskywalker
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

aanakinskywalker, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours a deep ruby color. Little head, even after a vigorous pour. No retention at all. A strong swirl of the glass only succeeds in stirring up a few bubbly patches that dissipate immediately. Thin wisps of lacing.

S: Bourbon and barrel scents are prevalent, but not overbearing. Bourbon, oak, vanilla. Underlying caramel and bread crust. A touch of leather and some powdery chocolate. Mild alcohol. Estery scents of raspberry and dried figs. Hops are hard to pick out, but they seem to be English and earthy/herbal.

T: Caramel and bread crust open. Sweet caramel builds. Toffee. Raspberry esters tease the tongue. Bourbon interjects mid-palate, albeit subtly. More rich, sugary caramel. Woody flavors pull through and dry things out a bit. Dry chocolatey taste. Vanilla sneaks out. Long finish of caramel and wood.

M: Thick, chewy, syrupy, and viscous. Little to no carbonation. Just the way a good barleywine should be.

O: A very impressive barrel aged barleywine. Bourbon barrel aging speaks softly, but has a lot to say. It is subtle in just the right spots, and allows the complexity of the beer to pull through.

Notes: Wow, what a steal at $5.99 a bomber. Who ever heard of a bourbon barrel aged beer at this price point, especially one of this quality? I will be stocking my cellar with this. A diamond in the rough for sure.

ryan1788a5, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to brown color with an off white head. In the aroma, vanilla, oaky, and bourbon. In the taste, oaky bourbon, vanilla sweetness and a dry alcohol presence. An alcohol like bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry alcohol and bourbon like aftertaste. Big bourbon presence sweet oak and vanilla for a balance.

OWSLEY069, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011. Poured into a large snifter glass.

Barely any head off the pour, with little faint off caramel and tan color whisps of foam. Barely a collar remains. Color is a real nice looking clear and chestnut hued brown with red edges. Lots of red throughout the body too. Too bad the head doesn't really seem to make an appearance other than leaving some whispy top and a little bit of a collar. Really like the body color, but no so much absence of foam.

Nose is sort of strange. A faint hop of tea like sense, some noticeable heat, light sense of malt and body coming perhaps? A bit musty and dark raisin fruit but light.

Taste however is a big improvement. Light dusted brown sugar, and fruit cake tasting palate. Nice light candied and dark coat fruits with a faint molasses sense. A slight sense of playful tight carbonation in feel. Very fruity, with a little caramel tasting action.

Overall pretty solid, but also real easy drinking too. Surprisingly not much barrel aging bourbon character here but no complaints.

smakawhat, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of harrymel
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage

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.

harrymel, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Jesstyr
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Jesstyr, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of chodinheaven
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snowy off-white head on top of a brown beer with bright ruby red highlights. Decent head retention that reduces down to a white sheet, yeilding some spotty lacing. Deep caramel notes through the nose underneath some juicy dark fruit smells. The bourbon barrel aging lends some toasty grain smells that are reminiscent of bourbon. This aroma combines perfectly with the fruity esters to create a well-balanced nose. The alcohol is present and noticeable but doesn't overpower the other aromas. Very nice nose.

The toasty grains come through nicely in this beer and combine fruity flavors of apples and pears, but not quite as smoothly as with the aroma. It's a taste that grows on you as you go however, especially as it warms. Caramel malts do most of the background work, letting the apple and pear tastes shine. There is a subtle bourbon influence in the alcohol and grain feel and taste that works well in this barleywine. The alcohol and sweet flavors are not cloying, but not far off from it either. The hops work nicely in balancing this sweetness out, also creating a prickly feel with the alcohol and finishing smoothly, but crisp. That alcohol taste is warming and not too hot, allowing the flavors to interact and make for a pretty balanced and flavorful english style barleywine.

Pretty good beer, and I'm glad I picked it up. Some subtle flavors in here that make for a complex beer that works pretty well.

chodinheaven, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Rickythejeweler
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Rickythejeweler, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

ATLbeerDog, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of bigorange
4/5  rDev +0.3%

bigorange, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +25.3%

bespin15, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
5/5  rDev +25.3%

THECPJ, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Burt
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Burt, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Gatordaddy, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of bmur112
4/5  rDev +0.3%

bmur112, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Exiled, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. 2010 vintage.

A: Light off-white forms bubbles before migrating to the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, reddish sienna. Not particularly translucent. Good lacing!

S: Strong smelling. Boozy fruits, bready chocolates, and a bit of funk that might come from yeast. It smells a bit like a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. Bourbon isn't particularly present, but alcohol is.

T: Meh, it's alright. The flavours are muted...perhaps because the beer was inexpertly stored before purchase? The maintaste is as murky as the appearance, betraying only a hint of chocolate and a gentle alcohol. A touch of red grape. The end/aftertaste is strongly reminiscent of whisky, not bourbon but some of the older single malts I've encountered -- it's old leather, pleasantly musty and enduring.

M: Sturdy. Musty and musky.

O: Not as good as I expected, but still worth the money I paid for it. I generally enjoy all of Heavy Seas' Mutiny Fleet productions, but this is a qualified exception. I guess it didn't age well. I will withhold any recommendation, positive or negative. I won't buy another it, even if I ever see one.

AgentMunky, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of jamescain
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks pwsoldier for sharing this one.

Appearance: Murky dark riddish-brown with a thin head that fades into a thin lacing and clings a bit to the side.

Aroma: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, and slightly bready, mixed with dark fruits.

Taste: Dark fruits with a tough of bourbon and alcohol, pleasing but not overwhelming alcohol contribution.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy but not too chewy, with a noticeable alcoholic finish.

Overall: It was enjoyable and I look forward to comparing it to the red wine version that I have.

jamescain, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a murky, caramel brown color with a thin white head clinging to the edges of the glass. I got a bit of lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma shows a good amount of bourbon to it. I immediately get the boozy, woody, oak barrel character to it. A sweeter, malty, caramel, dark fruit presence comes out as well and mixes very well with the bourbon character. The bourbon was fantastic in it, very flavorful and smooth. The beer was good but didn't bring as much to the table as it could have.

The taste also has a strong bourbon presence to it throughout the flavor. I get more of the sweeter, malty and vanilla flavors to it up front while more of the alcohol and wood character show in the finish. The maltiness really comes through with some sweeter, caramel notes that really compliment the bourbon nicely.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation is low. Overall it was a delicious beer, the bourbon and the sweet, maltiness of the barleywine were integrated and balanced almost to perfection. The bourbon especially really stood out to me. The barleywine flavors were very good, but seemed a little overshadowed by the bourbon at times. Excellent beer overall though and an extremely enjoyable one to sip on this evening.

billab914, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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 oberon
3.63/5  rDev -9%
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 Florida9
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to neorunner for this one:

2010 Vintage

A: Deep mahogany brown in color, yet still fully translucent. Forms a thin, light tan head. Little retention though causes it to reduce to just a thin ring around the edges. Some spotty lacing. 4.0

S: Vanilla and oak. Caramel malts. Aroma was quite pronounced at first, but it seems to have burned off as it warms. 3.5-4.0

T: Lightly sweet caramel malt. Vanilla and oak. A bit earthy with a stewed tea quality. There is a slight bit of alcoholic heat on the end. Finishes rather quick, with even more oak and vanilla. 3.5-4.0

M: Medium in body, but feels thinnish. Lower carbonation level. Oddly clean for a barrel aged beer. Just a little bit of heat on the finish. 3.5

O: A good BA Barleywine. Vanilla and oak are quite pronounced, possibly more so than unsual because the underlying beer seems a little thin. I imagine this one has some age on it as seems to be quite mellow. 3.5-4.0

Florida9, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of maximum12
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bb189 for yet another generous trade, made even more so by this fine-looking extra. I hope he enjoyed the avalanche of Furious I buried him in! Split into our two CC goblets & allowed to warm while doing nothing at all. Watching Rock Star, actually, my wife has a crush on that Marky Mark fella.

I would say that technically, this is a very dark brown. The only way to describe the smell is wow, which I uttered out loud. Wow. Bourbon, vanilla, sultry malts with barely anything on.

Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks simply can't live up to the smell, & doesn't. Nice bourbon bang with a penetrating needle of vanilla that sticks around forever; the vanilla seems to permeate everything it touches. There's probably a base beer underneath the rubble somewhere, but it's hard to tease out; there's a hint of sweet malt, maybe flakes of dark fruit, but not much else going on. Beginnings of oxidation are creeping into this brew, too. Very heavy beer, both in the mouth & the stomach; splitting a bomber is more than enough.

Very good beer, & I rarely say this, but perhaps too heavy on the bourbon. I really enjoyed the base beer, & would have liked to see more of it shining through the veil of the barrel. But alas, it wasn't to be. Still very enjoyable!

maximum12, May 27, 2011
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
90 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.