Thor's Hammer Barley Wine | Central City Brewers + Distillers

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Thor's Hammer Barley WineThor's Hammer Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers
British Columbia, Canada

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by astout on 09-26-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of thehyperduck
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wax-sealed bomber purchased at the LCBO in late 2016; bottled Dec 2 2015 and served at cellar temperature. Loved the BBA variant, but this is the first time I've tried the base barleywine. Hopefully 1.5 years and change is long enough to mellow this beast out.

Pours a deep-hued, crystal-clear garnet colour, topped with scantly more than a half-cm of light tan-tinted head that promptly melts away within a minute's time. Very little lacing, with only a thin collar remaining otherwise; looks the part, I guess. The ethanol fumes coming off this one are palpable on the nasal membranes, obscuring nutty hints of almond and walnut, and underlain with syrupy burnt toffee sweetness and fruitier undertones of raisin, fig and date.

Phew - this is an intense brew, with a complex flavour profile and an unabashedly potent alcohol presence. Bready malts, toffee, burnt caramel and brown sugar sweetness come together with an array of (mostly) dark fruit flavours, ranging from prune/plum and raisin, to Medjool date and fig, to red apple flesh that has begun to brown from oxidation. Finishes with a 1-2-3 combo punch of herbal licorice, woodsy vanilla, and tongue-numbing ethanol warmth which lingers into the boozy-sweet aftertaste. Nearing full-bodied, and pairing minimal carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slick feeling behind on the palate. A quality sipper if there ever was one.

Final Grade: 4.04, an A-. Thor's Hammer is simply a fantastic barleywine. The alcohol is a central feature of its personality, on both the nose and palate - so if you're not in the mood to tolerate some burn, you'd best stick with a less aggressive brew. The intelligent course of action would have been to split this bottle, but I'll give this excellent barleywine the respect it deserves and stay up late sipping my way through the entire bottle before calling it a night.

 1,875 characters

Photo of Coronaeus
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a chalice. The appearance was a dark brown color with no head and no lacing. The smell started off with a huge coffee aroma and moderately dissipated to a light dark fruitiness. As it continues to warm, a nice sweet caramel rolls over top of a light tobacco. Light woody and a light vanilla enter in as well. The taste was moderately sweet through the dark fruits. The coffee shows its face just a little bit and then levels out to the tobacco, light woody and vanilla. There’s a sticky sweet woody aftertaste leading to a dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a good sipping quality about it. There’s barely any carbonation in this beer, so it rolls extremely smooth across my tongue. Overall, a bit different for a barleywine to me. It might lack a little bit in appearance but makes up for the aroma and taste. I didn’t mind the "coffee" part in it but don’t know if that was intentional or not.

 961 characters

Photo of Jlang2012
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark mahogany with a frothy tan head. Plenty of lace ridges blanket the glass. Toasted caramel, prunes, cherries, figs, vanilla, rum in the nose. Giant bready, stewed fruit, butterscotch notes mix with a warming booziness in the taste. The mouthfeel is very full bodied, veering on syrupy, with a light carbonation. Dark malts and fruity notes in the long finish.

A fantastic, intense, complex barleywine. A must try for any craft beer fan.

 453 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bf_89
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jotora
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DaPan
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sjrider
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sdm9465
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tomb_ride
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kevinlater
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bomber served fairly cold into a tulip. purchased the 2015 vintage bottle from the LCBO for $9.95 CDN. Waxed bottle. Not for the faint of heart. This is actually my third crack at reviewing this and all I can say is it feels like Thor's Hammer across the forehead in the morning if you've been drinking other things before this behemoth.

Appearance - Ruddy auburn colored beer with viscosity somewhere between water and maple syrup. A fine half finger of yellow-tinged head rests on top and recedes moderately. Thin frothy wisps linger for the duration of the glass.

Smell - Some assertive piney hops with a massive malt bill, molasses and caramel are stars here. Plenty boozy as 11.5% ABV is a little more difficult to disguise.

Taste - Huge flavor rush. Piney and astringent hops, plenty of bitterness, some caramel, molasses, liquorice, a faint metallic booziness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth syrupy body that has a malty sweetness that approaches cloying but the pine resin hops keep that in check. Astringent and drying due to the alcohol content, there's also a certain warmth in the back of the throat after only a couple sips indicating the potency of this brew,

Overall - Thor's Hammer is an appropriate name for this brew, a huge malt bomb with legendary strength, a sipper for the coldest days or greatest victories and not for the faint of heart. Worth a try if you dare. Advisable to share but tasty enough that you might not want to.

 1,450 characters

Photo of yancot
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Niceroad77
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bunman3
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mistahmojoryan
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jaisell
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ludachris
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Its body is a gorgeous shade of mahogany red. Quite murky with honey amber highlights. Less than an inch of off-white head recedes almost as quickly as it formed. A sheet of alcohol film sticks to the sides of the glass. This is a hefty looking lady.

The first impression is sticky and heavy. Lots of warm toffee and butterscotch. A clean and sweet alcohol scent is ever present. Gooey dates and raisins add to its richness. Its hop character is earthy and subdued. For both the style and its alcohol content, the nose is incredibly refined and balanced.

Chocolate gets integrated into the mix. The nose is mirrored in the center, which is largely made up of dates and toffee. Sweet booze cuts through the middle and leads to a semi-dry finish. Jammy esters come through as it sits.

Slick and creamy with a low but suiting level of carbonation. Just as in the nose and taste, the feel is incredibly clean and refined.

At 11.5% ABV, this is meant for sharing but Central City makes this easy to have for one. An excellent example of the style.

 1,048 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the ottawa lcbo for $10. Maybe a touch too much of a burnt sugar taste and a little too sweet, but the alcohol is very well hidden and it's a solid Barleywine.

 171 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Philcassella
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Thor's Hammer Barley Wine from Central City Brewers + Distillers
4.1 out of 5 based on 139 ratings.
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