Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks - Heavy Seas Beer

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

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BA SCORE
88
very good

172 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 172
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 17
Gots: 35 | 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: 172 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%

2011 Release

Nose is really confused at first. Leads off with big red wine notes with toasted malts and dark caramels trying to push through. Bits of chocolate turn up. Creates a chocolate sundae effect topped with a big maraschino cherry. A fair amount of rough oak from the cab barrels winds up framing the nose as the flavors begin to merge into a cherry-chocolate-covered caramel. It's pretty much a big red wine / imperial robust porter mash-up. Toward the end of the bomber, the caramel malts finally take over, but the cherry only fades, never completely disappearing. It seems that, like wine, this beer needs time to open. Perhaps it's the residual wine itself that needs to oxidize and open.

Moderately toasted malts with nibs of cocoa are front-and-center in the taste. Dark, sweet fruits like dates and red cherries follow. Finish shows off caramels with a touch of silky light milk chocolate, but the wine leaves it dry on the sides of the tongue. The only hint of the ABV is in the full, solid body and rich mouthfeel. The issue here is that the individual taste components clash rather than complement.

Not really my kind of profile; I like the sugars, vanilla wood, and ABV from bourbon barrels over the cherry effect this one has from the cab. It has the structure of a well-made beer, though, so if cherry-chocolate sounds appealing, this approach may work for you. Working through the bomber also revealed an effect common with big, oaked cabs – as they warm and open, they move through various stages that emphasize different characteristics. While certainly not as pronounced, the end of the bomber found much less definition in individual components and considerably more nuance. I have a 2012 version of this beer I'll approach more like wine when I taste. It might not be enough to simply pour at a target temperature; the beer could well also need time for the wine in it to open.

Photo of Jspriest
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of GeorgeCarroll
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Hopbully
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of csustar001
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Scapino
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Brewski
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of jzeilinger
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of RochefortChris
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of drew74
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Rhody1
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of JMBSH
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of VeganUndead
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of AndersonGT
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of scottDC
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of weeare138
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of iatethecloudsfor
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

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Heavy Seas Cabernet Barrel Aged Below Decks from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.