1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below DecksHeavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

165 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%


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: johnmichaelsen on 05-18-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 86 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of asnow
asnow

Georgia

4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a ruddy red with a cream colored head

Smell: instant notes of dark fruit, possibly dried figs or dates, followed by caramel, reminiscent of sticky toffee pudding

Taste: enters with sweet malty goodness, and a rich fruity depth, balanced nicely by a fading hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Rich and complex without the alcohol burn (until it warms a little above proper temp) that might be expected with a 10%. The cabernet barrel aging is most evident in the dry finish.

Drinkability: While it's not exactly a "summertime" beer here in the south, it makes a fine dessert beer or accompaniment to strong cheeses with some good funk to them. Not something you can have more than one of in a night, but one is certainly enough to leave you satisfied.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 20:52:44 | More by asnow
Photo of PrimScrewhead
PrimScrewhead

Rhode Island

4.64/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Deep mahogany

Smell: Brown sugar and wine

Taste: Red wine start, Barleywine middle, Warm boozy finish

Mouthfeel: Body like Monica Bellucci

Overall: This is a treat for Barleywine fans. You can tell the pre-aged barleywine didn't stray too far from the template but what a difference the cabernet barrels make. Adding that touch of red grape up front makes for a tasty and unique experience. At $10 per bomber, it's worth every penny.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 19:43:39 | More by PrimScrewhead
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another especially dark barleywine for me, I appreciate the frothy head. Head with lasting power and beautiful legs that spread with a swirl, it looks oh-so-appealing.

I like the nose. I reach for more of a Cabernet influence, but something tempers that English-style toffee that predominates most barleywines of this style. I like that.

It's neat. There's more oaky dryness than is typical, and I attribute that to the wine barrels. In fact, I think it balances the barleywine perfectly. Many of us love beer so much because of the seemingly infinite ingredients, and I must say that the wine barrel-aging evidences that beers are the alcoholic cream of the crop! Can you imagine aging a wine in a beer barrel? It's its adaptability that makes a good beer go great. Again, it's the oaky dry touch tampering that sweetness that makes this one spot-on. A well done, mutiny style beer to which I'm likely to return--for me, the flagship of the Heavy Seas Fleet.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 19:36:09 | More by marvin213
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brownish amber with a thin white head

S - candy sugar, bread, dark fruit

T - caramel, dark fruit, candy sugar

M - smooth, full bodied, sticky, a bit dry

This is a very nice English-style Barleywine. It's exceptionally malty with a big though not cloying sugary present. The dark fruits come through as well. I couldn't put my finger on it, but raisins and figs and possibly dates all made their presence known. I do love a good Barleywine, and this one had it all: balance, hidden ABV, drinkability, maltiness, full flavor, and full body. This is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 20:09:26 | More by tdm168
Photo of Rickythejeweler
Rickythejeweler

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage (aged for over a year in cabernet barrels)

A - Muddy-dark mahogany, thin soapy off white head, light lacing.

S - Wonderful oak, red wine, chocolate scents.

T - Very oaky, hints of vanilla, chocolate, & caramel sit atop the massive fermented dark fruit flavors, the cabernet leaves a slight alcohol & tart flavor as well as a dry finish to the beer.

M - Because this was aged for over a year in the cabernet barrels it really smoothed out well, but still is is heavy, low carbonation.

O - Excellent beer, the year in the barrel really made this an over the top experience!

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 22:41:36 | More by Rickythejeweler
Photo of ThaBobfather
ThaBobfather

Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a great brown and ruby hue with a nice tan thick bodied head.
Smell is deep syrup and malts with a light wine.
Taste hits malts and strong syrup that mellows with cabernet esters.
Finish is long lasting and the flavor of dark fruit pits.
Drinks amazingly at 10% with too sweet and smooth taste to hang up anyone.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 02:13:24 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of Hopfenpeter
Hopfenpeter

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer! Poured into my crystal mug, I was surprised of how cloudy the beer was. I almost wondered if it was not a spoiled specimen. The color was deep brown with a little red. A two finger high tan head was building and left ok lacing.
The smell was very complex and was dominated by dark fruit and especially by a woody, earthy flavor, like the sediment in a wooden wine barrel.
Tasting the beer those flavors are confirmed, but softened by some caramel notes upfront. In the middle the wine and grape notes dominate, and at the end some mild hops give some balance.
I liked this beer and would buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 05:02:02 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of brewdude1982
brewdude1982

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a bomber poured into a snifter.

This pours a dark amber and has a slight head. It smells like figs and malts. It tastes really sweet with figs and a little pineapple. It has a good body and decent carbonation. Great barleywine. I would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 22:03:18 | More by brewdude1982
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-This beer pours a light-blocking brown. When held up to the light, there is only mild penetration. Despite an aggressive pour, the head is nothing more than a bubbly, disconnected peninsula of carbonate.

S-This is a very, very interesting nose. The majority of the nose represents the Barleywine aspect. This aspect of the beer is rich with molasses, brown sugar, and rich toffee maltiness. There is a hefty wave of warm chocolate too. But the other semi-substantial percentage of the nose is characterized by the Cabernet barrel aging. The aging lends an extremely pleasant vinous and earthen aroma dimension. I cannot tell if I am more intrigued or satisfied by the nose of this beer.

T-I may be equally as impressed by the actual flavor as I was by the nose. To me, this beer tastes like grape-flavored maple syrup. This has elements of: grape jam, brown sugar, toffee, tobacco, and tree bark. The Cabernet barrel aging really added a spectacular dimension to this beer. There are simply too many flavors to discuss. It is a bit rough around the edges, but I love the coarse finish of this beer.

M-Heavy body. Soothing carbonation. Alcohol is obvious. Sticky and syrupy. Dries the tongue.

O/D-This beer is very impressive. The Cabernet barrel aging added a shocking amount of complexity to this beer. Its a big, rough, yet deep brew. I suggest you try this beer. Under $7 dollars for a bomber too. The mixture of intense Barleywine sweetness and decorated vinous flavors make this beer an absolute gem.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 04:46:54 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
BigMcLargeHuge

Arizona

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of markwise over on ratebeer. It pours clear mahogany with tan head. The aroma is nice with sweet musty pine hop enhanced malts, wood spiciness, sweet / tart raspberries and molasses. The taste begins with sweet malts, molasses, thick sludgy malts, some caramel and pine hops. I dig this. By midway I get modest levels of red skinned berry fruity, cherry, faint red wine notes and some woody barrelness that provide a pleasing balance to the sweetness. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 20:36:15 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 1/10/2012 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, chocolate, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste is very creamy and starts with strongly sweet flavors of milk chocolate, dark fruit and brown sugar. Then a hearty malt character comes in and the wine flavor is quite evident. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice stronger beer to drink for a while.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 23:52:11 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Initial pour brings a pretty good off white head plus some legs. Color is copper, tending a bit toward brown. Nose brings some nice cabernet and oak notes. The taste brings some more complexity with cabernet, oak, grape, hints of dark fruit, and a bit of light roast and general fruit. Really nice feel with a bit of a tannic character. Drinks well and is a solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 02:57:42 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thinnish offwhite head, murky red-brown body. A bit of lace. Head fizzles away like cola.

Smells like aged malt, some grape must, and a bit of shoe leather. Awesome.

This is definitely on par with the bourbon barrel version-- sweet and slightly tart grapes take the place of coconut, oak is sublime throughout. The toffee and malt backbone is phenomenal.

Nice and smooth, but kinda lingers on/coats the palate, but this is only a slight negative. Just drink water afterwards (which is a good policy anyway).

This ends up drinking like one of the best English style barleywines south of J.W. Lees. And a hell of a lot cheaper at that.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 02:38:06 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of silver0rlead
silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a nice tan head that retains really well for a barleywine. The aroma is very vinous with notes of dark fruit, tobacco, and chocolate as well as oak, vanilla, caramel, coconut, brown sugar and rum. The flavor is a little less vinous than the aroma, with notes of brown sugar and caramel upfront, as well as piney and citrusy hops, grape and plum, oak, vanilla, coconut, dark chocolate, and rum. The mouthfeel is medium, and drinkability is good despite the alcohol and barrel aging. This is a very tasty barleywine, and the cabernet aging really makes things interesting.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 05:20:58 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of abraxel
abraxel

Michigan

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #6, courtesy of mdfb79. It's a bomber labeled "Maybe share :)", shared with my roommate.

A - The stream is a murky chestnut, rather dark and opaque in the glass. I have to force a head with a vigorous pour, and end up with about two inches of pillowy, creamy foam.

S - Smooth bourbon smacked me in the face as soon as the cap came off, but with a silk glove -- no boozy bite at all. Lots of salty caramel and sweet vanilla, and I think some hazelnut. It reminds me of BA Old Ruffian, but I'm pretty sure the bottle is wrong.

T - Definitely a bourbon-aged something, but it doesn't seem like a stout or barleywine. The vanilla-y, burnt-caramel-bourbon layer isn't quite dominant, and there's a fruity yet slightly dry maltiness that I'm having trouble describing. There's almost some cinnamon? This is reminiscent of Old Viscosity, but definitely not it.

M - Moderately full, very smooth. A decent amount of tingly carbonation, basically no alcohol feel to speak of.

Now this one I've almost certainly never had. The bourbon character is really nice, and blends in well with the base beer. It complements without dominating. Both of us approve. Also, neither of have any idea what this is. I'm gonna guess that good ol' catch-all American Strong Ale.

Non-blind comments: Hmm, neither of us are even remotely wine drinkers, so I guess the oak combined with Cabernet made us both think bourbon. Oops. It seemed a little thin for a barleywine, but oh well.

Regardless, this was a very good beer I probably never would have thought to try. Thanks!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 02:10:20 | More by abraxel
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark, caramel brown color with a thin white head concentrating around the edges of the glass.

The aroma really shows the Cabernet character to it pretty nicely. I get a grape presence mixing with a little bit of a woody, vanilla like flavor. The barleywine flavors come through as more of a sweeter, caramel, malty flavor. The red wine character is very nice in it.

The taste mixes a red wine, oaky, vanilla flavor and a sweet, malty, barleywine character. It starts with more of the red wine, while more of the oaky, vanilla, caramel flavors come out in the finish. I really loved how the flavors came together in it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being lower. Overall I really liked what the Cabernet barrel added to the beer. The red wine character really integrated into the beer flavors better than any other wine barrel aged beer I can remember having. It really added a lot of depth and character to it. I expected the bourbon version to be my clear favorite of the two, but this one is pretty damn good as well as being more unique. Very enjoyable beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 01:53:27 | More by billab914
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, it smells just like cabernet wine. In the taste, cabernet wine, licorice and a nice alcohol taste. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry dark fruit and notes of cabernet in the aftertaste. Very much wine like and mellows out the base of Below Decks.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 16:07:38 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Snifter. 2011 Vintage.

A - Pours a muddy mahogany with a short-lived off-white head that settles to a very slight ring and precisely 2 spots of haze.
S - Big, rich aromas of dark wine grapes, raisins, oak, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, and caramel. Fantastic nose, already I'm thinking I may have to grab a couple more bottles...
T - Taste is right there with the nose, big, vinous flavors of red wine, oak, dried fruits (prunes and raisins) and vanilla, all backed up with sweet, malty flavors of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Incredibly smooth, I'm not feeling any heat from the 10% ABV.
M - This is the only spot that I can really criticize, mouthfeel is a bit thinner and crisper then I'd prefer, with a touch too-high carbonation. Perhaps age would help here, I usually like a bit stickier, syrupy mouthfeel in my Barleywines.
O - Overall an excellent Barleywine, I'm definitely gonna pick up more of these (and give the Bourbon version a try)!

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 01:05:10 | More by jsanford
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soda like fizzy head. Eggshell colored. Very opaque brown, near black body.

the smell is completely dominated by sweet caramelly dry grains. The aroma fills the room as soon as you take the cap off.

Oooo the flavor. milky caramel, sweet grains, and toffee. The nice part is the cabernet barrel. Not so oaky, but it adds to the body, giving it a full this mouth-filling body that flashes in somewhere in the middle. The grape flavor is mingled with the toffee and caramel.

Finishes clean for a barleywine. Chewy toffee lingers around, and the slight bitterness stays on the back of your tongue.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 22:20:19 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's today.

The beer pours a beautiful red amber color with almost no head to speak of, and virtually no lacing. The beer appears to be nearly still. On the nose, the cabernet aging is very, very evident, with the beer showing a considerable winey aroma, that intermixes nicely with the light chocolate and brown sugar. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but much to my surprise, the wine flavor blends in surprisingly well with the barleywine flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly long, and drinkabilty is surprisingly good, with the alcohol very well disguised.

Very nice and at least in my opinion, better than the bourbon barrel aged version.

Serving type: cask

05-18-2010 20:24:14 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown, mostly opaque.

Smells of caramel and brown sugar malts, hints of dark fruit.

Taste is stout-like in ways, but the wine barrel flavor comes through adding a fruitiness. Buttery malt flavors round out the taste.

Full mouth, minimal carbonation.

A real treat, powerful but decadent. Not something to have a lot of, should be treated like a scotch or a bourbon. But very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2011 00:52:03 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split and paired with some NFL divisional round playoff action

admittedly, was not looking forward to this one. the base heavy seas barleywine is pretty bad. fortunately, this exceeded all expectations.

appearance: rather light - looks almost watered down, medium amber, rather lifeless bubbly head

smell: very oaky, grapes are potent, a bit boozy but very enticing

taste: the barrel is the show here - extremely vinous, oak, with the cabernet grapes still resonating in a major way. the boring boozy barleywine base is obliterated and saved by the barrel.

mouthfeel: medium, not overdone and not sticky like the base

drinkability: could have drank more

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 17:40:42 | More by dirtylou
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2011 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a murky reddish/brown color with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like red wine, dark fruit, molasses, caramel, brown sugar and some wood. It tastes like red wine/grapes, dark fruit (figs, raisins, plums), molasses, caramel, toffee, and a little bit of chocolate. I thought it tasted better and better the longer I drank it. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew, and it's better than the regular Below Decks (I just had a bottle of it before I drank this one). The cabernet barrel aging works well with this brew and makes it better. Definitely worth a try if you come across it.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 23:41:06 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, red wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and red wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great red wine barrel presence in both the aroma and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 22:19:14 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of ATLbeerDog
ATLbeerDog

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark rust color with almost no head whatsoever. What little head there was dissipated quickly. Smells mostly of wine and oak with just a tad of sweet malt comprising the nose. First sip is super malt sweetness layered in a ton of wine notes supported nicely with oak. The wine and malt sweetness hits first leading to a bitter finish that is highlighted almost entirely by the mighty oak. Though thin bodied there is enough carbonation here 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. I am surprised. I never would have thought I would like the Cabernet version more than the same base beer in Bourbon barrels. I like this showing much more. This one rocks!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 16:21:23 | More by ATLbeerDog
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.