Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
3.36/5 rDev -14.7%
In review is a 2010 Vintage.
A - Pours a deep burgundy caramel color with some yeast chunks (relatively few although it was carefully poured). Carbonation is light and steady and the appearance is very viscous as the glass is swirled.
S - The aroma is subdued with light caramel, toffee, dark red cab grapes, and some dankness.
T - The Cabernet lends some wine acidity followed with oak and underneath the two is a light caramel/toffee base. Wine presence from start to finish and ends with a subtle to moderate bitter wine bite. Alcohol is not at subdued and is boozy.
M - Thick medium body with a slight bit of wateriness on the finish, slick, and the carbonation creates very light pricklies but never being harsh.
O - It's interesting, 'not sure I would let the next bottle sit for 3-4 years like I did with this one. I predict this would be closer to the sweet spot in the 1-2 year range. Although not totally awful, 'just wouldn't recommend cellaring it this long.
03-11-2014 23:44:51 | More by jzeilinger
3.6/5 rDev -8.6%
22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 2012 vintage.
A: Pours a very dark brown color with a bit of murkiness. The head isn't very impressive - not even a finger high (off-white shade), and retention is horrible. No lacing, either.
S: This one smells rich. Aside from the massive caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, and dark fruit the base beer provides, I get not only subtle additions of buttery oak and vanilla, but also a touch of red wine. There's a faint touch of alcohol, too. The barrels have done a good job of taking the edge off the sweetness of the regular offering.
T: It opens up like I expect it to: huge brown sugar and huge dark fruit. Afterwards, the barrel comes out strongly. The oak flavor in the middle is buttery and ever-so-slightly toasted, while the finish has a vague kiss of red wine grapes. While the flavor profile is very enjoyable, I feel like it's missing something extra to make it truly spectacular. I don't know, maybe the sweetness could be a little more defined or it could have a deeper profile. As it stands right now, I think this is a rock-solid BA barleywine.
M: Rather slender in feel, this eschews some of its bulk and sweetness for a cleaner, more tannic, boozier feel. Despite what the pour suggested, it's shockingly carbonated - once that goes, this becomes superbly creamy. Make no mistake, it's still overwhelmingly sweet and hard to drink. Hey, it's an English-style barleywine, this shouldn't be chugged.
O: Being put into (cabernet) barrels was the best damn thing to happen to this beer. It still hasn't quite propped it up into elite territory, but it's a good deal more enjoyable than the base. And it's cheap for a BA barleywine to boot. Hopefully this will be made again, 'cuz I'd pick it up for the purpose of aging it a couple of years.
03-02-2014 23:16:29 | More by ThisWangsChung
4/5 rDev +1.5%
This beer is a big ruby-red, leaning brown, dark but with flaming red highlights. The off-white head isn't quite frothy but has a nice structure allowing for good retention and solid lacing overall.
Tannic notes with a red wine juiciness that's also dry in a way very particular to certain bigger red wines, this aroma delivers the expectation. There's toffee and caramel as well, and Heavy Seas always seems to bring out the most from their barrels, with lots of oak in there. A touch of toast speaks to the malts as well, and a little leafiness seems to be the hoppy portion. Alcohol adds lots of warmth without being too heavily fusel.
Tannins come out quite expressly without drying it out too much. There's a lot of toffee and brown sugar with some toast/smoke in its sweetness. It's very interesting, a strong red wine (without knowing, I would say it could be either Cab or Zin) with brown sugar making for a unique blend of flavors. It's mildly vinous, too, with a leafy note that could be the wine, the hops, or both. The wood adds a dryness as well, a good counter to the sweetness. It's earthy all the way, and some dark fruits come out toward the middle and into the finish. Alcohol adds heat the whole way without going overboard, but this is for sure a sipper.
There's a smoothness in this beer's appropriately big body, lightly crisp but with a good balance and proper focus. For all the sweetness, the wood and the wine's tannins work to add a nice dryness that evens it out.
12-15-2013 14:03:53 | More by Brenden
3.89/5 rDev -1.3%
A: Poured a murky crimson brownish color, like a burgundy, with a nice dirty white cap , some moderate head retention and spotty lacing
S: Caramel and toffee with some hints of chocoate, dark fruits, wood and red wine on the nose
T: A candy like base of toffee and caramel; red wine packs a punch. Elements of cocoa, wood and chocolate are mild. The finish is psedu sweet, dry with a lingering light booze and red wine presence
M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, red wine provides a nice texture and flavor
O: Not to shabby
12-01-2013 14:18:17 | More by barleywinefiend
3.71/5 rDev -5.8%
Served in Maudite snifter
Appearance - Cloudy medium to dark brown, slightly amber. Head disappears quickly and leaves zero lacing
Smell - Boozy mild caramel, processed white sugar, some cabernet and wood notes
Taste - Almost cabernet-forward overall as it warmed, mild malty caramel and booze
Mouthfeel - Slick and slightly under-carbonated, but style appropriate
10-17-2013 14:11:30 | More by JdoubleA
Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.