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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks

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BA SCORE
89
very good

292 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 292
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 34
Gots: 58 | 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:
Beer added by: John_M on 05-18-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 292 | Reviews: 105
Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of frenchblood21
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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.

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of raveskdr
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of zaphodchak
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of aanakinskywalker
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of harrymel
3.47/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of Jesstyr
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of chodinheaven
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

Photo of bigorange
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of THECPJ
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Burt
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of bmur112
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of jamescain
3.87/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of billab914
4.07/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
89 out of 100 based on 292 ratings.