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

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87
very good
23 Reviews
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Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley WineBourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley Wine
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by barleywinefiend on 06-10-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
23
Ratings:
61
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
13.74%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
12
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 61
Reviews by Jeffo:
Photo of Jeffo
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager a while back. Huge thanks for this one set dude!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2012
Bottle 114 of 348
Drunk along side the base beer.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser, fizzy, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a ring only. Mahogany red in color, clear, with no carbonation evident. A light ring remains but no real lacing. Exactly the same as the base beer.

SMELL: Caramel malts with lots of fruity aromas. Dried fruits, red fruits, berries, raspberries, toffee aromas and spicy alcohol on the nose. Very much the same as the base, but with some light oak and bourbon mingling with the aroma from the base beer. Great balance, complex and quite interesting. Really nice.

TASTE: All the base beer elements under a blanket of bourbon, oak and vanilla. This is a great example of a barrel aged barleywine. Some nice caramel and toffee sweetness, with dried fruits and spicy alcohol in there as well. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and coconut from the barrel aging dance with the sweet caramel and toffee, dried fruits and brown sugars from the base barleywine. Very well balanced with a wonderfully flavorful and lingering finish. Less hot and the barrel aging has made the sweetness more manageable somehow. Excellent stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down okay with a scratch at the swallow and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. Very little heat lingers.

OVERALL: Here is an example of barrel aging really done well. The bourbon and oak flavors compliment the sweet base beer really nicely, taming the heat and managing the sweetness wonderfully. Very well balanced with a great feel for the style, this is one well worth seeking out. I hope to see this stuff again sometime, and if you get the chance, don't hesitate to give it a shot. Well worth the effort and very much recommended. Thanks again Rutager. Pure class here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mchegash
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Deep ruby-brown with about a finger of medium tan head which dissipates down to a thin layer within a minute or two.

S: Great boozy nose with hints of dried red fruits. Perhaps a hint of vanilla as well.

T: Opens with a great boozy vanilla and bourbon taste, with the dried fruit aspects coming out strong in the latter half of the sip. A rich and slightly nutty malt taste also comes through.

F: Medium-full bodied, light carbonation. Smooth.

O: This was a decent beer. Perhaps a little too boozy.

 505 characters

Photo of Coronaeus
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage (11.5% ABV) 650 ml bottle

A pleasant, albeit boozy bourbon barrel barley wine. Lots of dried fruits and prune and a little nuttiness in this. The barrel wood is present in the nose. Mild carbonation with the sweetness expected in the style. I would gladly drink this again.

 290 characters

Photo of BCborn
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of LDuke
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of samtrillo
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, day 22 of the Parallel 49/Central City Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown. Saving the better stuff for last, it would seem.

This beer pours a murky, dark dishwater brown colour, with one measly finger of weakly foamy, and generally bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of melting iceberg lace around the glass as things, slowly, slowly recede.

It smells of rather acerbic booze-tinged barrel notes - cheap American rye whiskey, grainy wooden staves, and a subdued caramel/vanilla sweetness - mixed 'n matched black orchard fruit, demarara sugar, sultana raisins, molasses, relatively weak bready caramel malt, a certain underdeveloped mustiness, and mild earthy, weedy, and leafy hops. The taste is again replete with more of a Jack Daniels corn whiskey astringency, one which I don't feel the need to pick apart here, over an otherwise enjoyable grainy, bready, and somewhat doughy caramel maltiness, with some soft plum and besotted raisin and cherry fruit, dark sugar syrup, understated musty yeast, and a game, but overmatched leafy, weedy hoppiness.

The bubbles are quite low and out of the picture for the most part, the body a dense medium weight, and more smooth than I might have initially imagined - only the booze seems poised to take away the nice things here. It finishes on the sweet side, natch, but very much in the form of a shot of bargain whiskey, where a lot of alcohol gagging comes along as part of the deal.

Hmmmmm...not all that much of a well-rendered BBA BW experience - mostly because I question the veracity of the 'Bourbon' part of the equation (look it up). Acrid, astringent, and not integrated to a point where I can sit back, sip away, and say 'right-o lads, now how about that economy of ours?'.

 1,748 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pagesofphotographs
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of souvenirs
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full disclosure: I haven't been a fan of barrel-aged beers so far, and I didn't choose this one to drink, but instead got it as part of the Parallel 49 / Central City advent calendar.

A: Chestnut brown, minimal head.
S: Boozy. Mostly I pick up the bourbon.
T: Sweet and heavily alcoholic.
F: A bit heavier. Carbonation on the lighter side.
O: Hardly my new favourite, but it's probably good for what it is.

 410 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade! Served at 10deg C in a chalice.

A- Opens well and pours a tiny head that is gone in a minute. Medium brown colour and has a ton of chunks floating around in it.

S- Bourbon. Not a ton but it's definitely there. A lot of heat as well though.

T- Sweet and roasting good. Has a barley wine hit at first then bourbon then ash. Nice complexity. They should try a scotch barrel one day. Bet you it would be a huge success.

M- Syrupy sweet going in and creamy down. Dries out and that ash is there. Nice!

O- Nice brew. The bourbon just finishes this brew off well. Super complex and I sure would like to see them continue with more barley wine varients.

Food Pairing

This wonderful big bold barley wine went well with....... Peppercorn roasted pork loin. Super opening up of the succulent pork and spicy pepper corns.

Enjoy

 843 characters

Photo of Mightykingmalard
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: pours very dark brown, with almost no head. Pours almost like chocolate milk.

S: smells sweet and malty. Definite bourbon smell.

T: strong chocolate and bourbon. Drinks very different from most bba barleywines and I think it's that the carbonation is very low. Almost takes some of the bite out of it and makes it very smooth.

M: again with the lowered carbonation, but it is very smooth and the finish is slightly boozy and very rich. I feel this is a very easy aged barleywine to drink, probably dangerously so.

O: picked this up on a whim, had never seen it not heard of it but this is a pretty nice beer. Has a completely different feel from most barrel aged barleywines. Also almost no hops makes it smooth too. I feel this would get very caramelly with age.

 774 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #106.

Appearance. Pours a murky orangy-brown with almost a finger of thick, orange tinted head.

Smell. Sweet bourbon and brown sugar, piney hops, some oaky vanilla and a little citrus.

Taste. Sweet brown sugar, some piney hops, raisins and caramel. The finish has some bitter, woody pine resin and bourbon.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied, warm and a bit sticky. Medium-low fine carbonation.

Overall. A nice barleywine that could probably mellow with some time. I prefer the base beer, but bourbon barrel junkies would probably really enjoy this.

 551 characters

Photo of mtomlins
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Beervana for the bottle!
650ml bottle - 2013 Vintage 11.5%

Pours dark brown with a short one finger of fizzy, caramel head with short retention and no lacing. Big wack of boozy bourbon and vanilla followed by raisins, plumes, brown sugar, molasses. The taste is also booze soaked with a big bourbon and vanilla presence, lots of residual malt sweetness, brown sugar, raisins, prunes and finishes with a faint bitter, metalic aftertaste. A big thin on the feel with low (but not in a bad way) carbonation. A nice beer, but still a bit all over the place.

 568 characters

Photo of DamageCase76
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JGlitz87
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sia478
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of thehyperduck
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330 mL bottle received a few months ago in a CANBIF exchange - I'd like to again extend my appreciation to Farees for helping me tick this longtime 'want'. Dated Sept 18 2014, listed at 11.5% and served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep, opaque brownish colour, with reddish highlights and visible chunks of sediment. A half-finger of loose, frothy, beige-tinged head lasts about 60 seconds before fading off entirely, leaving behind a modest-looking collar of foam and a few wisps on the surface. Big bourbon notes and ethanol fumes on the nose, with additional notes of plum, red grape, fig pudding, amaretto, molasses, oak and vanilla.

An intense beer - 'subtle' does not seem to be in its vocabulary. Rich malty flavours of toffee and treacle are readily apparent, intermingling with ample dark fruit flavours - plum and prune, dates, fig, with suggestions of black cherry and almonds. Mellow bourbon flavours come through on the back end, amidst plenty of woody oak and vanilla. Boozy-sweet finish with some char, some cocoa, and a pronounced ethanol note that warms the mouth and esophagus. Full-bodied, with low carbonation levels and a very smooth, slick, fulfilling texture in the mouth. A delicious sipper.

Final Grade: 4.12, an A-. I've never been much of a barleywine guy, but I've got to say that I am absolutely loving this bottle of BBA Thor's Hammer. The bourbon and oak comes through with moderate force, as do the rich malt bill and high alcohol content - yet they're all working together in perfect harmony, preventing any single element from dominating the others (or causing the flavour profile to become overbearing or cloying). Very impressive stuff - I can't thank my CANBIF sender enough for shipping this rock-solid strong ale to Ontario. Cheers!

 1,772 characters

Photo of Idrankthat
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BWood
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of goalie35
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PJT
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Derek
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour a nice head, thin ring of retention shows some lace.

Vinous aroma with bourbon, figs and dates.

Taste is fairly boozy and a little brash. Demerara sugar, golden raisins, dates, figs, with a woodsy finish.

Body is extremely smooth and creamy, light residual sweetness with a drying finish.

 296 characters

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor's Hammer Barley Wine from Central City Brewers + Distillers
3.93 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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