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

276 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 276
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 31
Gots: 60 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 276 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HoistinBrews
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

HoistinBrews, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of Evarigan
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Evarigan, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +0.3%

oriolesfan4, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of kevgod
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

kevgod, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

vfgccp, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of neckbracesub
3.75/5  rDev -6%

neckbracesub, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of bmjivi221
4/5  rDev +0.3%

bmjivi221, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of dogfishandi
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"2012 Vintage" 22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

Pours out a deep mahghony, dark brown, with slight hues of deep red. A decent looking light tan colored head, average head retention. Not a whole lot of lacing. Lots of small carbonation bubbles rushing to the top. Some legs is noticeable however.

Smells of warming bourbon booze, toffee, caramel, a bit of butterscotch, ripe dark fruits with some fruity esters. As it warms the booziness almost becomes solvent like.

Nice taste, lots of sweet butterscotch and caramel but some nice warming bourbon as well, somewhat boozey, some oaky vanilla and a bit of ripe dark fruits. A butterscotch sweetness really lingers with the warming bourbon into the finish.

Mouthfeel at first was pretty thin, seemed to get a little better as it warmed.

Not a bad bourbon aged barleywine, has a really nice sweet butterscotch flavor that I loved. A bit more body and this could have been up there with the best of them.

dogfishandi, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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 beerme626
4/5  rDev +0.3%

beerme626, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of gpblackgt
3.75/5  rDev -6%

gpblackgt, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of Crookdrain
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Crookdrain, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Zbeetleman, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of DruC4
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

DruC4, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of Danimal1101
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Danimal1101, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of tadmuchowski
4/5  rDev +0.3%

tadmuchowski, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of HALB
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

HALB, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of Jade
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Jade, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ontap, medium amber colored brew. Off white foam leaving some lace. Aroma of dark fruits, spiced apple, bourbon, more fruit. Flavor has a base Barleywine sweet maltyness, accented nicely by big oak and moderate bourbon. Rummy raisin notes are more than welcome here. Alcohol is warming but not overdone in the flavor profile. Dry oaky tannins round out the finish in a full bodied ale. The carbonation is at a healthy medium. Overall quite satisfying. Let this brew warm, it took on a new dimension. A fine job of barrel aging, this is a good Barleywine.

Stinkypuss, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of cofeeguru
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

cofeeguru, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of jondeelee
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks opens to a sweet, fruity nose bearing loads of fruit esters, including very nice bits of plum, fig, orange, grape, and berry, as well as a touch of raisin and prune. These aromas – especially the darker ones – mix well with a light overtone of vanilla, oak, and bourbon from the barrel aging, lending the beer very strong tawny port overtones. In fact, in a blind smelling test, this could be easily mistaken for a light, sweet port, with just a faint hint of extra-vanilla-laden bourbon about the edges. The grains also bring in supporting layers of pie crust and floury baguette, as well as touches of multigrain toast crust, to help offset the sweetness, and touches of brown sugar and amber agave nectar add further dimension to the sugars. As a whole, the nose here is very nice, bearing little in the way of beer aromas, but boasting a full-bodied port-like aroma that is very enticing. The nose can be almost too sweet at times, the fruits coming across like Jolly Rancher candies, but there’s just enough darkness and breadiness to prevent it from becoming cloying.

On the tongue, the beer’s bourbon barrel aging is immediately obvious, the opening notes being a shot of heavily vanilla-laced bourbon that mixes almost instantly with a huge array of fruits, including plum, cherry, berry, orange, fig, and prune, lending the beer an immediate cocktail-cum-tawny-port overtone that is quite delicious. Further sugars make themselves known after a few seconds, including brown sugar, agave nectar, wildflower honey, and even thin threads of super sweet confectioner’s sugar. These sweet notes are lightly held in check by woody overtones from the barrel aging, as well as toast crust, cereal grain, biscuit, and yeasty rising whole wheat dough, though the bready notes occupy much less than half of the flavors. There is an alcoholic vapor that hangs over everything, but it mainly passes off as bourbon – though it can border on vodka. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, with a stronger bourbon vapor presence, lingering on the tongue in fruity, alcoholic goodness for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a very nice Barleywine, and the bourbon barrel aging has added a nice layer of complexity that was sorely needed in the basic Below Decks version of this beer. There is perhaps a bit too much sweetness in here (admitting that such a profile fits with the style), and the alcohol vapors do get very strong after a few sips, but on the whole this is very worth trying.

jondeelee, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Devi0us
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Devi0us, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of DCH
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

DCH, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +0.3%

warnerry, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

josephwa, Jun 06, 2013
Heavy Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
89 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.