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Rudyard's Rare Barley Wine - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Not Rated.
Rudyard's Rare Barley WineRudyard's Rare Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

72 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 72
Hads: 101
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 8
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-09-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 101
Photo of ElGordo
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in December 2005. Pours a deep amber-brown color topped by a half-inch of creamy, khaki-colored head. Rich aroma of roasted malt, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and some notes of dark fruit and English ale yeast. Palate is big on rich, sweet, malty goodness, tempered by some lightly bitter English-style hops. Body is a bit thin for a strong barleywine, but creamy on the finish. Not particularly memorable, but worth a try.

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Photo of nathanho
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

V. December 2005 - 9.2% ABV

Muddy brown with an almost cascading tan head. Beautiful. I let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.

Smells like alcohol, burnt sugar, malt, earth. Clean, but perks up a bit with a vigorous swirl.

Caramel, sugar, malt, alcohol, root, wet earth flavors; bananas. Delightful.

Very smooth with some pleasant bitterness bouncing around with the other flavors on the finish.

Definitely not a session beer, but so delicious I immediately would like another.

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Photo of xoqx
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2004 Bottle.

Appearance – amber-brown, but not leaning toward the red end of the spectrum, this barleywine has a 1 finger yellowy-tan head. It has quite remarkable head retention for its high alcohol content. There is no real lacing to speak of though.

Smell – A whole lot is going on this the nose: some very fresh, mildly roasted malt smells, which I enjoy so much, abound as well as super citrusy, orangy smells.

Taste – Caramelly, sugary with very little bitterness, nor alcohol coming across. Extraordinarily light for a barleywine. Leaving it on the palate for longer than ten seconds reveals amazing sourness with still no bitterness. The sourness comes across after the medium-long finish.

Mouthfeel – A little slick and extraordinarily light-bodied for such a strong and alcoholic brew.

Drinkability – This is a dangerously drinkable beer. There is almost no indication of its 9.2% abv. For better or worse, one could knock these back all night. It’s not what I expect from a barleywine, but it’s enjoyable.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am sampling this beer thanks to Mickey! Another WA treat for me!
I am drinking a 2003 bottle in a snifter slightly chilled. THe beer pours a clear mahogany color with thin beige edge layer of head only. Aroma is rich with brown sugar, toffee, raisins and red grapes. A few hints of chocolate poke through as well.
First sip reveals a fairly sweet start with toffee and brown sugar up front and some ripe dark fruit, mostly plums in the middle. I get a bitey hop finish that makes me want more of the sweetness.
No hint of alcohol anywhere on this well craftd beauty of a beer. Very nice smooth and easy to drink. I would seek out if out west!

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Photo of meathookjones
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date of December 2003 on the 12ozer. Pours out a very dark red with small tan head that leaves spotty lacing around the glass. Molasses, sweet dark fruits and a ton of malt fit you upon first sniffing this. Light smoky notes and a slight mustiness add an interesting layer of scent here. Plenty of sweetness as well, but a complex blend of different aromas really make this a great one to sniff. Sweet ripe fruits with sticky sweet malt kick off the flavor. Undertones of smokiness, caramel and molasses add plenty of depth. A few other various tastes are going on but I was not able to identify them. Great tasting brew all around, the sweetness is balanced perfectly with the other elements. Sticky sweet in the mouth but it falls a little short on body but not too much. Creamy and smooth going down makes helps the drinkability. I only wish I picked up some more of this when I got it, great all around Barley Wine with plenty going on to keep you busy.

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Photo of mentor
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dec 2003 release finally opened after a year in the cellar. Thanks to Weefishheads for this one. Hard pour and no head. Just a few bubbles around the edge of the glass. Oops, sediment went in the glass. Dark dark mahogany with no light penetrating. Smells of alcohol. Super grained up with lotsa dark smells. Molasses, super-heavy chocolate, plums, prunes, raisins. Smells yeasty and bready, too. The alcohol persists throughout the smell, never overpowering the others and lending a stability upon which the other flavors play off. The taste starts sweet with rich potent grainy malty. Almost cloying, but the wham settles to a nice finish. Smooth caramely leads from the sweet to toffee and coffee, tobacco, tannin, and oak. Burnt grains. Dry cottony, like I’ve been chewing on a roast coffee bean. The alcohol burn is mild, but is seen early and persists throughout. Most noticeable in the aftertaste, as some of the very fine carbonation bubbles form way back on my tongue and move upward to the back flat part of my tongue. As these slowly fade, I get cherry sour from darkly roasted grains (black patent?). Hops I can’t find. This is malt. If any hops are present, they must be the tiny metallic that reminds me of Saaz, but could be Goldings. Burps are all about the alcohol. With my tongue burning from carbonation and my mouth recovering from the flavor blast, I find the aromatic burps quite pleasing. Vodka, when passed through my nose. Md body with almost no carbonation. This is not unlike my first attempt at a homebrewed barleywine. It one-ups my effort by the wonderful caramely presence and ability to avoid overbearing sweetness. Very good gentlemen, I’ve just learned how to improve my homebrews. Thanks a bunch.

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Photo of mikeys01
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Weefisheads for this one! Bottled December 2004. Pours out a quite clear ruddy amber capped with a modest amount of off fine light tan foam, quickly fading to a clingy ring around the edges. Aroma Is quire sweet and caramel malty, with a pronounced bready yeastiness as well and some citrusy hops poking through. Tasting reveals a much more prevalent hop bitterness than expected that stays with you all the way to the finish and leaves your tongue dry and shriveled. After settling in, the Rare evolves to reveal its malty depths, plying you with English Toffee and caramel, and some deep raisins and plums. A bit of underlying smoke wafting about in there as well. Moderate sweetness is counteracted by the slightly spicy and highly bittering hops. Mouthfeel is full enough, but the dryness and alcohol keep it from feeling too thick. Definitely still a young barleywine and in need of some maturity, but shows good promise.

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Photo of freed
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm always excited to try barleywine because it generally reflects on the potential of a brewer. This poured a completely flat deep cola color and didn't give much of a starting impression. There's just a slight bit of sediment at the bottom.

The aroma is aggressively spicy and alcoholic but a bit unbalanced. The malt smells are hidden under the blanket of other accessory smells.

The taste, much like the aroma, is burdened with strong flavors that should compliment the malt, but instead hide it. The smokey flavors in particular dry the mouth out and really wipe out any sweetness you'd expect. The sensation of alcohol is also rather aggressive. All combined, its really not a very drinkable beer in this incarnation, and maybe aging the 2004 would help it. As such, its a brash, pimply and smokey teenager.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Diminishing off-white head tops a dark bronze hue. Aroma is deep and malty comprising definite smoky overtones. Slightly phenolic and heating on the nostrils. Notes of pear, soil, toffee. Very warming on the tongue, yet no alcohol overexpression. Mild malty tartness reminds of english barleywines. Intense woody character is finally complemented by subdued green hops flavors in the finish that had somehow developped a soy sauce feel which was not for its own good. Palate was rather uninventive, rather thin and displaying a depressingly low carbonation level though I can’t say if I’m right when thinking that more effervescence would give a kick to the malt’s lack of evolution.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, Dec. 2003 release.
Has a garnet hue, pretty dark for a Barleywine. The slight head fades to a sheen. Smell is caramelly, bready with raisons. Caramel sweet malts and raisons dominate the taste. Light bodied for the style. Has a spicy sweet alcohol tang to finish.
A decent tasting, but pretty tame Barleywine. Doesn't seem to age very well.

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Photo of Crosling
3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

English mold, no doubt, but lacking in flavor, palate and aroma. Dark Brown. Quite dark.

Moderately aromatic, a strong willed fruitiness is evident with notes of plums, chocolate and dates.

Flavor is very sweet, too sweet, with a distracting dark berry element and notes of plums, dates, currants and chocolate. Thin body and light on the palate.

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Photo of woemad
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, December 2003 vintage, purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $2.50.

Poured a deep, dark brown, virtually black except at the fringes. Very thin, tan head thad dropped quickly. Moderate amount of lace.

Smell is odd - but good. Not at all what I expected. This smells a lot like an imperial stout with a little more hoppiness. There's figs, raisins, port wine, dark, bitter chocolate.

Taste is similar to the smell, but more complex, mainly in the way the hops smoothly kick in midway through and gracefully take command of the situation from the malts. This does not taste like a typical barleywine, which often seems to be an attempt to shove massive amounts of malts and hops together in one beer. This, while big, is much more restrained. The large percentage of abv is obvious and reminds me a little bit of a cognac.

Obviously, this is a very full-bodied ale. It has a relatively oily, almost syrupy mouthfeel, but there's enough bitterness to keep it from becoming too cloying.

This is a great beer. Some may be put off by it's lack of typical barleywine characteristics. I think it's a refreshing change in a style where there's normally one particular approach. It goes down relatively easy for someone that's a fan of robust stouts and porters, though a neophyte might find it tough to get into.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep looking burgandy tone. Thin beige head. Bubbly collar leaves droopy rings sporadically for lace. Love the aroma. Sweet cinnamon. The figs and dates thing is going on. Berries soaked in alcohol. Fruitcake. Caramel malts. Very nice. Taste is big on the fruity, rum soaked melon like aspects. The figs and dates come into play again. Sweet molasses and caramel and toffee. Definitely a sweet version of a barleywine, but very enjoyabel. The body is a little better than medium and the mouthfeel is ever so slightly carbonated. Nice brew.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting PNW Barley wine because it is actually underpowered rather than young and brash( Old Crusty) . I loved the bootpolish colour and the fruit notes on the nose were pleasant. What disapointed me a little was the lack of bigness that I expect from this style. Drink now rather than cellar as I doubt this beer will much improve. It must be noted that the rounded aspects of this beer score it high in the drinkability area.

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Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer after its release from the 12 ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a deep brown color with a smallish tan head, the texture frothy and the residual lace a very thin but covering sheet upon the glass. Nose is sweet caramel, hints of fusel alcohol, fresh and pleasant to the senses, start is sweet, thick with malt, the top full. Finish is light to moderate in acidity, the hops delightful in there spiciness, quite dry aftertaste that maintains the alcohol bitterness, another fine beer from a most special brewery, and a long time favorite of mine.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super dark ruby garnet with a small off white head that dies and quickly subsides to a small ring around the glass. The aroma is of super sweet dark fruits. Figs, plums, cherries, and maybe some belgian candy sugar or yeast? This is reminiscent of a sweeter English barleywine (such as Fullers vintage ale 2000) or some strangely sweet Belgian abbey beer! The taste is very sweet with sweet malts and booze up front and some slightly herbal hops in the middle. The fruit flavors are in the middle as well, until the slightly hoppy, and earhy finish kicks in. The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy and thick but the drinkability remains very good for a barleywine of this sheer size...

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Photo of 99bottles
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

December 2003 release

Appearance: This pours an ultra dark garnet color, with a small head of tan that fades to wispy lace.

Smell: Deep and rich malts with the slightest tickle of hops. Blindfolded, I'd call this St. Bernadus Abt 12 by the smell.

Taste: Quite different than what I was anticipating. Rich figs and prunes soaked in rum play with the immense malted barley. Now it reminds me of WWS 2002. Then, when you think you've figured it out, the hops crash across your palette with some serious bittering force. Carmel and brown sugar, malted barley sweetness and just the right amount of hops make this an incredibly complex and memorable beer.

Mouthfeel: Super minute carbonation gives just enough life to this otherwise rich and smooth bodied beer. Again, a lot like St. Bernadus Abt 12.

Drinkability: Well, it's called Rudyard's Rare for a reason I suppose. I'd easily drink as many as I could get ahold of, but alas, only one was to be had. Very good, and hides its ABV spectacularly. Awesome, though I think the bros are correct in calling this a strong/old ale instead of a barleywine because it certainly strays from the style.

I must give endless thanks to BA Weefisheads for this one.

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Photo of BrewMan82
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a creamy espresso head that dissapates quickly, never to return. The aroma is centered around strength - heavy hop and malt bring about dark fruit aromas - raisins and black cherries. The flavor is initially hop bitterness, strong and spicy, with the dark fruits returning pruny and heavy. Malt is deep roasted flavor. The aftertaste is hop dominated - slightly astringent with a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is syrupy and complex - a delicious barleywine!

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma begins with rich notes of cherry and plum while the taste carries this forward to flavors of dark fruit and honey-dripped cherries. The aftertaste is slightly off, but not so much as to disappoint. The color is shadowed mahogany, clear, with high gravity. It is laceless and virtually uncarbonated yet not at all flat. The mouthfeel is heavy but smooth (like a bowling ball?).

Rudyard’s is complex yet approachable. I find it to be both colorful and appealing. Very drinkable.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Easrthy brown coloring, with a negligible head. Aroma is arousing,full of dark fruit and alcohol, sharp, sweet, nutty, malty.
Taste: rich and delicious, with very small hop appearance, thick with malt, candyish, toffee,caramel, maybe. Very complex, with the booze stepping up to the fore with each subsequent sip.
Flavor never ends, gets deeper, revealing raisins, plums, still fresh and potent. Full-bodied, with a warm, fruity finish.
A welcome, tasty take on the barleywine style. Not what I expected, but enjoyable all the way.
Thanks to weefishheads for this one!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Very dark ruby black body with a smallish head that went down slowly and laced the glass.

Smell – Raunchy barley wine smell to this one. This beer reeks of giant dark fruit juices, especially plums, prunes, and Bing cherries.

Taste – This is a mouthfull. There’s actually some balancing hop in this one (typical – Seattle) but the giant dark fruits are the show here. This is as much wine as barley, with monster fruit sweetness, stingy alcohol, and dark, tobacco undertones.

Mouthfeel – Flat and full in accorance with the style.

Drinkability – W.C. Fields might consider this a session beer, but for most of us this is a sipping meal. This is my idea of a NW barley wine.

Comments – Nothing perfect, but everything close.

Update – I first rated this in Sept ’03 shortly after joining the site so thought that I would revisit this ale with a 2004 vintage. I picked up some soft chocolate notes that I didn’t get in my first review but otherwise this is just as I remember it. It is the gem of the Hale’s Ales brewery.

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Photo of jreitman
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting beer, my first barley wine to be exact. Medium bodied, very strong alcohol taste. Fruity character. Nnot very complex on the palate.

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Rudyard's Rare Barley Wine from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
87 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.