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

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142 Ratings
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Thor's Hammer Barley WineThor's Hammer Barley Wine
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Matured for nearly a year, this award-winning barley wine is mahogany in colour and crafted from fine barley malt exuding deep, rich notes of dried fruit, plum and candy with a walnut ester.


Added by astout on 09-26-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
142
Reviews:
35
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
40
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Texasfan549
3.64/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GRG1313
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

this one had gold wax on it. not sure if that is indicative of barrel ageing or not, or whether all of these are in fact barrel aged. its cool beer, english in nature, but still spicy and chunky and bitter and raw and american in some ways. i suppose a good mix of both styles. aside from looking flat, it looks good. a little fluff on the sides, a murky red amber beer, hazy, strong. it smells strong too, boozy and sweet, but with a sturdy english grain base and quite a bit of hops. the flavor is just like the nose, i do get some oak and extra vanilla booze, i guess it might as well have been pushed through a barrel, it has all the right characteristics for that. i somehow expected this to be an imperial stout, maybe the name, maybe the label, but its definitely a barleywine. i was misinformed there. badly really, but the beer is excellent, constantly improving as it warms up. a little oxidation on it even though this isnt old, but its sort of flattering to the malt profile in this instance. i havent liked most of the beers from these guys very much, but this is a tasty offering, a step in the right direction for sure. something i think is fairly priced and a suitable fall brew for a chilly night. packaging looks great too. are they all aged in barrels or are there two different beers?

 1,304 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml, gold wax sealed bottle, the 2014 vintage. We've had the barrel-aged version in Alberta for a while now, but not this, no, not this. Matured for a whole year in the bottle, how nice of them.

This beer pours a hazy, murky, and dark red-brick brown colour, with one flabby finger of somewhat puffy, loosely foamy, and certainly bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of heavy summertime windshield bug splatter lace around the glass as things quite slowly sink away.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, toffee pudding, sauced-up black orchard fruit, reduced brown sugar syrup, a bit o' that under the basement stairs in your folks' old house thing, a touch of edgy yeast, herbal and leafy hops, and a hovering, ready to pounce phenolic booziness. The taste is rather sweet caramel/toffee/treacle malt, more baked demerara sugar, orange juice concentrate, pithy red grapefruit, macerated prunes, chocolate-covered cherries, a slightly yeasty mustiness, some strange earthy nuts, and more herbal and leafy green hoppiness, with that lurking alcohol a brick wrapped in old socks.

The carbonation is fairly subdued in its seemingly put-upon frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, but for that weirdly bitter herbal and musty character lounging about like its Dad owns the place. It finishes sweet, but at least in a more or less moderated sense - all that caramel and friends facing some duly lingering hoppy, musty, and dry martini offsets.

Well, Thor's Hammer is indeed one solid-ass thwack across the palate - lots of robust and complex flavours abounding, and with a morphing 23-proof alcohol measure that seems more in league with Loki. Cool to finally be able to try, and on an appropriately cold and drink yer sorrows away sort of evening at that. Skål!

 1,809 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a cloudy copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with medium retention with minimal lacing. Aroma consists of sweet caramelized malt with grainy cereal notes and some warming alcohol notes. Taste is dominated by sweet caramelized malt with some grainy cereal notes and a quite a bit of residual sugar. Body is quite full with good carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Quite enjoyable but I could have done without the light grainy cereal notes.

 475 characters

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

Tan head. Caramel ruby color.

Traditional bwine flavors. Caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Green and hoppy with some bitterness.

Medium bodied.

Decent bwine. Nothing crazy, but spot on for not being BA.

 205 characters

Photo of drewone
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottling courtesy of Jason, 650ml into a tulip.

Reddish brown, tan head with nice retention and lacing. Nose of candied dark fruits, caramel, toffee, alcohol and brown sugar. Taste has some hops, candied and caramel notes again, plums and some other similar fruit character. Medium full body, low carbonation. Alcohol is felt, but not too big on the palate. An excellent English BW.

 388 characters

Photo of afsdan
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Chris for this bottle. 2011 Vintage.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Swampy ruby/brown colour with half a finger of khaki coloured head.

S - Sweet caramel, toffee, raisins and some fruity notes.

T - Sweet and dry with dark caramel, brown sugar, dried fruit, raisins and figs. A very unique and interesting barleywine profile.

M - Medium body. Silky. Light carbonation.

 380 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Derek
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy, deep amber, thin ring of retention, leaves a little leg.

S: Plenty of alcohol in the aroma, dark fruit, toffee, candied pineapple, vanilla and a hint of spice.

T: Alcohol is up front, golden raisins, dates, toffee, light caramel, marmalade, good bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, fairly full body has a drying alcohol finish.

D: A bit of a brute. I'd love to see this in a bottle, as it would surely benefit with age.

 445 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 Erik-P
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml gold waxed bomber poured into tulip 21/6/14, big thanks towards Rutager for the personal whale

A dark reddish brown with a tight finger of tan foam that has decent retention and leaves a few random patches of lace

S herbal hops, heavy amounts of caramel and brown sugar, sugar coated raisins, figs, candy crusted nuts, a little booze, vanilla, more brown sugar, smells aged but I'm nearly certain this is a fresh release

T mimics the smell with just a hint of citrus peel and a little molasses, nutty with heaps of caramel, hops come out a little more, just a hint of pine resin, no complaints here

M thick and syrupy, a little heat, enough bubbles to give it some life, very sticky on the lips, just a hint of heat, herbal rind lingers for ever on the finish

O big and malty with hops making an appearance here and there, rich and sweet with well hidden booze, solid stuff

I've been hunting this one for a long, long time, I've seen the price tag on the shelf with no bottles behind it, trades have fallen through, missed out on a tasting where it was poured, I got my hands on the barrel aged version a ways back but still the original version had eluded me. I can't thank Rutager enough for the personal whale, I enjoyed the opportunity to finally drink it more then the beer itself, (and its damn good beer)

 1,327 characters

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

Photo of bylerteck
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a dull mahogany hue with a hazy clarity and a sudsy head that immediately disperses into a tight ring around the shoulders. Nose expresses ethanol, wood and prunes with vinous notes on the end. Taste isn't too bad - a bit dull, but less caustic than suggested by the nose with the addition of burnt sugar notes which follow the vinous/acidic figgy/pruney character. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style. Light-medium in body with a slight acidity and an almost still carbonation. Finishes with just a kiss of residual heat. Overall, I have to say that I did enjoy this beer. It doesn't have the punch in the face flavor that a JW Lees puts out, but it's drinkable without being cloying while still getting it's point across. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden as well. Not a beer I would recommend cellaring - I could see this one oxidizing fairly quickly.

 902 characters

Photo of BDeibs
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, big thanks to bobsy for sharing this rarity!

Pours a muddy orange brown, relatively opaque and cloudy, thin tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick to the glass.

Smell is intense, hugely caramelized and malty, toffee, raisins, rum, some wood, lots of dark fruit, alcohol, a bit of vanilla and bourbon, biscuit, more caramel, dates, a bit of weird fruitiness but I'm digging it.

Taste is similar, tons of caramel and toffee, Werthers candies, bsicuit, raisin and date, some alcohol, a bit of wood, more rum/bourbon booziness, vanilla, more toffee, very rich and decadent flavour.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, pretty chewy, with low carbonation. Wow, this is a big barleywine. Maybe more in the Hardys Old ale vein, but pretty fantastic stuff, thanks Rob!

 826 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011, first bottling of this fine brew which I've enjoyed on tap several times.

Appearance. Purs a rich and hazy burnt orange with a finger of thick, orange tinted head that leaves some great lacing.

Smell. Caramel, oranges, brown sugar and some piney, citrusy hops with a little booze and maybe just a little sweet spice.

Taste. Big sweet brown sugar and caramel, floral booze, a touch of molasses, and some pine and citrus in the bitter hoppy finish. Not too shabs.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied to say the least. Thick and a little sticky with some nice warming booze. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall. A nice tasting, hoppy barleywine that's really hitting the spot right now. I don't think I'll get to the BA version tonight (*hic*), but soon my pretty...

 758 characters

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Thor's Hammer Barley Wine from Central City Brewers + Distillers
4.1 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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