East End Brewing Company

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East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Barleywine - American
Ranked #28
Ranked #1,877
4.26 | pDev: 9.39%
May 04, 2022
Dec 23, 2005
Notes: A limited edition Barleywine Style Ale, brewed in November in the American tradition and hand packaged to specially commemorate the anniversary of the brewery each year.

Gratitude Wax Colors:

2005-Red Wax
2006-Orange Wax
2007-Yellow Wax
2008-Green Wax
2009-Blue Wax
2010-Indigo Wax
2011-no wax, blank cap (Flatitude)
2012-no wax, "12" on cap (Flatitude)
2013-Violet Wax
2014 - red wax, label made to look like paper
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Fordcoyote15
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

Not sure how I dont have this rates?! I've had it several times before.

I'll rate this 2022 can

The amber hue is beautiful. Also noting hefty sediment st the bottom of the glass.

The smell isn't mind blowing. Its fairly benign and unassuming.

The flavor profile is very bigfoot-esque but definitely better. Its less bitter than Bigfoot and has more caramel sweetness. Still, a pretty bitter and quintessential example of an American barleywine. In fact... i would argue this is probably THEE American barleywine measuring stick. Bigfoot is just too much of a palate wrecker though it does convey all the aspects to familiarize one with the style. Gratitude does it equally as well but with more refinement IMO.

The feel is a little sticky up front but dries out quickly on the finish as you exhale an evaporating heavy dose of ethanol.

Overall Im drinking this one at cellar temperature of about 57ish and I'm not enjoying it quite as much as I recall previously. Could be a beer thats better more chilled, could be I'm off (very likely), or could be accurate at 4.25.

May 04, 2022
Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

poured from a 12oz can into a snifter. pours like sun tea or apple cider with a one finger off-white foam head. lot of dried, dark fruits in the nose. maybe even some burnt sugar / caramel. taste follows with a pleasant fruity wet cardboard barleywine flavor. this is pretty old school American in the sense that it’s not very toffee or caramel forward. more hoppy and fruity. it has a wonderfully full mouthfeel; enough carbonation but it’s still creamy and way too east drinking for 11%. even as it warmed up it still maintained an easy drinking stature with wonderful fruity, hoppy undertones. good stuff.

Apr 10, 2022
3.92 by not2quick from Missouri on Mar 31, 2022
4.35 by wvsabbath from West Virginia on Mar 17, 2022
Photo of Harrison8
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Harrison8 from Missouri

Pours a deep burgundy-caramel color with a couple fingers of off-white foam. Transparency is obscured by a firm haze. Aroma is fig, raisins, molasses, toffee, and strong earthy, toasty, and caramely malts underneath. Resiny, earthy hops extend the nose a bit further, adding a light stickiness that's overshadowed by a dirty, earthy note. It really leans more into an earthy nose, with malts and hops building on this quality. Booze is obscured. Flavor profile is caramel, toffee, molasses, fig, and raisins layered over malts and hops. Malts are forward, coming by way of earthy, caramely, and toasty, they ride the heels of the former list of flavor notes. Hops don't become apparent until the after taste, which carries a heavy sticky, resiny hop quality, in addition to mild dank and pine. It never leans into sweet, nor bitterness, striking a middle-of-the-road balance. Booze never pops through. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a still, boiled texture. Overall, driving malts and big, sticky hops keep this one lively. It's simplistic, perhaps a little 'old school', but is otherwise clean. Allowed to warm quite a bit, between sitting it out before the pour photo, and playing some Wii Resort Golf, it warmed towards 55F. It become more muddled as it warmed, which is contradictive to the style.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegelau tulip from a 12oz can. 2022 vintage, consumed / reviewed in March 2022.

Mar 10, 2022
Photo of BBThunderbolt
3/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

Thanks to Pinz412 for this one, from one of the NBS BIFs (I think Spring '21). unsure of the vintage; bronze label with dark purple wax, and a red cap. 22oz bottle poured into 16oz tulip Poured a very muddy medium-dark brown color with just a thin cap of tan head that had low retention and almost no lacing.

The aroma had the expected sweet malts of the style, some caramel, and a slight mustiness.

Same on the tongue, with the addition of a bit of unpleasant bitterness on the finish. Some alcohol heat as well.

The body was the expected full, sweet, and had a semi-sweet finish that dried out after a few moments.

Drinkability was OK, but was hurt by a lack of carbonation.

Overall, I really wanted to like this brew a lot, but it was just lacking all across the board. I still think I'm being generous with my score. Maybe it's better fresher, or older, or a different vintage. I dunno. YMMV.

Feb 21, 2022
4.25 by Narthax from Texas on Jan 29, 2022
4.27 by trevorpost from Pennsylvania on Dec 24, 2021
Photo of sulldaddy
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by sulldaddy from Connecticut

Sampling a 2016 vintage of this beer. Pouring from a 22 oz waxed bottle at cellar temp into my snifter. Ive got 3 additional vintages in the cellar, probably gonna open some of them over the next couple weeks.
the beer pours a slightly cloudy and muddy colored tan to chestnut hue. Definitely some sediment in the bottle and I leave about an oz of sludgy materials in the bottle.
A dense and creamy khaki colored head foams up about 4 cm on the pour. This foam remains as a thin edge layer and one large island in the center of my glass throughout the sampling.
The aroma on this beer is some dark fruit, raisins and plum and red grape, also I get some fig and a good hit of booze. There is a bit of toffee and brown sugar note, but hops are absent completely. There is a little bit of an "old beer" smell, not really oxidation and not really a bad smell, sort of musty attic kinda thing.
First sip reveals a lighter than expected body with very fine and tingly carbonation. Texture is smooth but does coat my palate on each sip.
Flavor is similar to the nose, brown sugar and some toffee, but also a lot of dark fruits, some tobacco here which is new, and again a decent peppery booze bite on the finish. Not really any heat, but definitely reminds me not to chug this glass of beer. Also a lot of sediment in the bottom of my glass, so gonna have to be careful with last couple sips.
Overall a nice barleywine, will be interesting to see how the vintages differ from each other!

Nov 21, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by REVZEB from Illinois

Murky orangey brown with a white ring with surface islands. Barley, toffee, date, red grape, and brown sugar in the nose, barley has a hint of must to it as well. Taste has big sharp barley with oxidation and toffee in its wake, dark fruits, surprisingly big grape, astringent caramel, and light soggy toast round out. Feel is not the most refined with barley snarl and booze leading, smooth malts with medium heavy weight balancing. Fun to finally try it

Nov 09, 2021
4.46 by Duncian from Pennsylvania on Oct 19, 2021
4.25 by paulish from New York on Oct 14, 2021
4.25 by ToddBeans from Kentucky on Sep 23, 2021
Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by metter98 from New York

A: The beer is hazy dark caramel in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that left a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toffee and caramel are present in the nose along with notes of apple.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of toffee along with underlying hints of hops and associated bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a slow sipper, but isn't as boozy as I would expect for something that is 11.5% abv.

Serving type: can

Sep 04, 2021
Photo of stevoj
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by stevoj from Idaho

Bomber from Tavour. Ruddy, caramel colored pour, lasting cap of creamy beige head. Full aroma of raisins, caramel, tobacco and leather. Taste is malty and sweet, booze pops out right away, dead leaves, tobacco, brown sugar. Rich, full, heavy. A pleasure to sip on.

Sep 03, 2021
4.34 by smithj4 from New York on Aug 29, 2021
4 by rab53 from Washington on Aug 26, 2021
4.15 by vfgccp from New York on May 02, 2021
4.43 by Prospero from Colorado on Mar 23, 2021
4 by ADTaber from South Carolina on Mar 18, 2021
4.75 by Sweffin from Wisconsin on Jan 06, 2021
4.24 by paresis from Massachusetts on Jan 01, 2021
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Jugs_McGhee from Texas

BOTTLE: 2015 vintage 750ml brown glass bottle with orang wax-ed over pry-off crown cap courtesy of Zed - thanks, man! He brought it from Pittsburgh, PA to New Orleans, LA for me straight from East End Brewing.

Currently #11 on the American Barleywine list. #21 in the top Pennsylvania beers list. Served chilled into stemware. "Barleywine-style ale." 11.0% ABV.

APPEARANCE: Still has ~2cm of head even 5 years on. Retention is excellent - ~8 minutes. Creamy enough and coating with apt thickness for the style. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Murky auburn-brown. No yeast/lees or sediment is visible. Not vibrant nor dull. Dark. Nontransparent. Translucent.

Appears well carbonated...surprisingly so for a 5 year old barleywine. Seems true to style. I'm eager to try it.

AROMA: Green apple, marmalade, scintillae of butterscotch, English toffee, caramalt, sugarplum but no other dark fruits (no dates, no prune, no fig, no raisin/grape or stonefruit). Fruity yeast is prominent but it's mature...not a beer with a lot of raw sweetness. Seems well attenuated going off of the aroma.

No barrel notes/oak, vanillin, or the like. No toasted or charred characteristics. I don't detect any overt hoppy aromatics.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. Doesn't suggest a boozy ale...I wouldn't guess it was 11% if I went into this blind.

The matured green apple dominates inasmuch as I can discern. I detect no off-notes.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Silky and coating, giving a nice sleek softness to the beer and presenting its mature fruity notes nicely. Date, sugarplum, fruity ale yeast esters, caramalt, faint vanillin. I'm not getting any toasted oak, charred sugars, burnt malts, nougat, or the's not overtly English in character. No nuttiness or toffee. But also no American's a biteen vinous, actually.

Well carbonated. Medium to full-bodied on the palate...not too weighty or overbearing. Not chewy per se, but it's certainly thick.

Bends a bit too far towards a grape-like sweetness coupled with a dry vinous-like texture for my tastes. But maltwise it's well attenuated despite the presence of ample residual sugars. A bit more yeast oomph would help it balancewise, but it's well built for the intended style even though big fans of the style may crave more hop flavour. Not as mature or "old" in taste as other 5 year aged barleywines.

OVERALL: I'm certainly keen on seeing how the bourbon barrel aged variant presents...this is a nice barleywine. Drinks quite easily for an 11% ABV barleywine. The finish is a bit borderline medicinal...probably from that pesky vinous flavour. A bit too sweet for me to want to take down a bottle solo, but it's a lovely brew to share with a mate. I can't say I'd seek it out over a widely available expression of the style that's just as good or better (e.g. Great Divide Old Ruffian). I'm glad I tried it once, but $15 is steep for the quality relative to its competition.

I do love its soft silky mouthfeel above all else.


Nov 13, 2020
4 by ConnorSimpson41 from Pennsylvania on Aug 02, 2020
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

This is a review of the 2009 bottle. Consumed over Thanksgiving, 2016.

Pours a tobacco dark brown color. Beige head that doesn't really hold, if I had to give it a measurement, it would be like that 1/30" ring. I'm gonna bump its appearance score because its the rare occasion where the awesome packaging (paper bag) or artwork will give the appearance a little bump. Aroma of malty booziness. Lower hopped than your average American barleywine. Usual rolo descriptor here.

Toasted caramel bread and plain graham cracker notes, usual toffee descriptors, maybe mention some candy with toffee or caramel in it. Mild raisin and chocolate presence. The boozy somewhat brandy like heat, while not massive, it is present and brings out bitterness notes even more, like a multiplier. Carbonation was soft and ideal. Some hop notes give it a mellow citrus inflow into caramel town.

Glad leftpaw scored some of these before he left PA.

Jun 25, 2020
Photo of Sabtos
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Sabtos from Ohio

Clear shimmering copper to dark bronze w/ a tall airy but dense khaki head that recedes to a thick blanket w/ loads of retention, leaving some tall curtain lacing w/ wobbly peaks.

I can't believe I haven't had any East End beers prior to today, but this is another old school malt bomb. That's not a bad thing but man is their stuff a blast from the past.

Gratitude 2019, released 3/21/2020 w/ purple wax, is lightly toasty, hoppy, & in the semi-bitter American vein, while leaving a pleasantly sweet kiss of mapled brown sugar on the lips after the semi-dry swallow. A touch of sticky toffee pudding plus a hint of hard cherry candy comes out as it warms.

This is far more pleasant & drinkable compared to tongue thrashers like Arrogant Bastard, & the frothy, fluffy medium body is impressively clean & smooth, w/ a touch of heat to it that is reminiscent of brandy w/ some Brazil nuts on the side.


Only a few days after this initial review, I had the pleasure of opening a 2013 bottle, & the results are as follows:

Appearance is hazier, even opaque brown to dull red, w/ a short khaki head that quickly fizzles out to a spotty film.

This is certainly fruitier than it's younger sisters, but also toastier, w/ a pumpernickel cracker influence all over the medium, tingly body. It's no where near as oxidized as I'd imagined it'd be--it seems this was very well packaged & sealed, between the beautiful paper wrap & the solid purple wax job.

Some figgy raisin & cocoa dusted date make up the additional fruit presence, but there's also a nice, mild boozy sting I don't recall from the newest vintage, which helps it deliver a fresh feel to the palate. As it warms there's even a slight cracked black pepper presence almost emulating a barrel-aged experience.


As some states tried to scratch & crawl out of the pandemic lockdown on 5/2/2020, I opened a 2016 yellow waxed bottle. It displayed a nice tall tan foam head that was fluffy, lumpy & exhibited excellent retention, clinging in wide waves of lace over a foggy acorn reddish-brown body. A little bit of unexpected heat lies in the fruity sweetness, while there's still some brown toast, a touch of graham & even some winter spices. Again, it almost seems like there's a touch of oak at times. The medium body has a nicely soft, foamy carbonation that comes to a semi-dry finish.


9/2020: I enjoyed a 2018 blue waxed bottle & I'll be damned if it wasn't as though it was just brewed. It has maintained that fiery, resinous hop presence that's sharply dry, while also exhibiting that sense-awakening, flame-kissed orange zest, as its medium body & filling froth satisfy throughout.

On New Year's Day 2022, I popped my papered blue jay bottle & found the experience to be substantially different from that first 2018 bottle. To be clear, I'm not saying the paper had any influence, but like other vintages, its medium-fullness is impressively fluffy soft, finishing gently chewy dry & lightly warming. Where it differed most is in the malt showcase of toasted pumpernickel that even leans into slightly charred gingersnap cookie bottoms--that molasses, malt, & caramelized sugar interplay--it expresses way deeper flavors than before. That said, there were several little black flecks in the beer that came off its deterioratingly rusty cap, which is weird as I've opened much older Gratitude bottles that did not exhibit this, & this was stored vertically. Once I plucked those out--however off-putting that was--it was a treat to sip over a long session while watching Leonardo DiCaprio lose his mind in the fitting parallel to the past two years in Don't Look Up.


10/2020: I opened a 2014 red waxed bottle. How well these hold up continues to impress me. In fact, this might possibly be the best non-BA vintage I've had thus far. It's got caramelly-nougat, American piney-ness, & even a toasty woodiness. As it warms, a touch of butterscotch wafer accents the full yet light fluff it manages to retain after all this time, finishing paper dry w/ a touch of heat, exhaling toasted pumpernickel.


On 1/3/2021, I enjoyed a 2015 orange wax & again found myself so impressed w/ the preservation of carbonation AND the quality of the brew. For a more old school, non-BA American-style bitter barleywine, it's so caramely, nougaty, & woody, w/ a bit of orange lozenge & Werther's. My only complaint is the huge amount of sediment that came out after my second pour, which I don't recall seeing in other vintages.


On 2/19/2022, I finally had the pleasure of enjoying the most recent vintage fresh on draft at the source for Gratitude Day, & oh my, was it wonderful. On top of its classic barleywine notes, there are hints of apple pie, pumpernickel cracker & honey, w/ only a lightly stanky hop aroma in passing wisps. I can't believe this is my first time having a draft pour, but I'm just glad I didn't miss the boat entirely. Absolutely scrumptious.

Mar 22, 2020
4.19 by Mikexw from New York on Apr 26, 2019
Photo of Cylinsier
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

22 oz bottle

Pours hazy amber brown, yellowish head is firm and retains as a sudsy lacing.

Aroma is of pine, molasses, honey, toast, grassy malts, cereals and zest.

Flavor is of rich molasses, caramel, maple, brown sugar, pine, walnut, apple and honey.

Full syrupy body, light carbonation.

Rich, decadent and slow-drinking. Very delicious but heavy. Definitely worth trying and something that would age well. Looking forward to trying a bottle with a few years of shelf life.

Apr 07, 2019
4.18 by Prost76 from New Hampshire on Apr 06, 2019
4.23 by Ben1313 from New Hampshire on Apr 06, 2019
4 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on Mar 28, 2019
Photo of ajm5108
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

2016 yellow wax. Pours a rich toffee brown, eager fluffy cap that settles into about a quarter inch barm. Aroma suggests a harmony between English & American barleywine: leads with fire-roasted nuts, treacle & a hint of caramel before a wave of bright, floral hops hits your nose adding burnt orange, pine & limoncello. Very nicely balanced and deep.

The taste is a little less hoppy, with some of those classic English notes taking the wheel. Toffee brittle, mild butterscotch, caramel. But there is enough of that hop presence to highlight and compliment those more robust notes, adding ruby grapefruit and piney citrus. A tad fusel at the end but that is a minor thing.

The hype around gratitude may have fallen off in recent years but it is a world class barely. Rich, robust and expertly balanced between the malt & hops.

Jan 27, 2019
4 by tsgooch79 from Kentucky on Nov 13, 2018
3.5 by Dizzy242 from Massachusetts on Oct 09, 2018
4.17 by Kurmaraja from California on Sep 03, 2018
Photo of gopens44
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by gopens44 from Virginia

2014 vintage. Terrific nose of plum, fig, cherry and vanilla present from this murky reddish brown opaque beer. Taste follows closely, heavy on fig but add in a touch of alcohol heat and bitterness. Exit taste has a little orange chocolate, as odd as that sounds. Tiny bit of bitterness left on an otherwise dry tongue.

Jul 04, 2018
4.38 by CheapBeerBuzz from California on May 22, 2018
4.33 by ArtAttackEd from Pennsylvania on May 22, 2018
Photo of kevanb
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by kevanb from Illinois

650ml bottle, 2015 vintage, orange wax, poured into a 14oz snifter glass.

The beer pours a medium amber color, light clarity with a tan head, about a finger tall that has little retention but does yield some soapy lace. The aroma is nice, strong caramel, brown sugar, amber grain, light alcohol, toffee, a bit of candied hops that offer some pininess and stone fruits. The flavors are good, tons of big malty and grainy flavors, brown sugar and caramel, piney hops and candied citrus peel, stone fruits and a bit of fusel alcohol. The mouthfeel is excellent, thick medium body that coats exceptionally well, lively with nice carbonation and a smooth but dry finish.

Verdict: A great American Barleywine. Definitely setting the bar for the style, expresses the hoppy and bitter elements super well and they are so nicely balanced with the deep grains and malty flavors.

Mar 06, 2018
4.06 by PhilHarmstead from New Jersey on Mar 04, 2018
Gratitude from East End Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 684 ratings