Twisted Trace | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

23 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Barrel Aged Barley Wine has never tasted so splendid. We changed to barrels from a different distillery because we were unhappy with the performance from the barrels we used before. Wow, that was the correct decision.

Added by tewaris on 02-19-2013

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 169
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml growler dated January 20, 2016.
Medium brown body with thin cap that drops down to no head. Smells of caramel, bourbon, toffee, vanilla, deep oak, light dark fruits, and coconut. Taste is much the same. Premium bourbon, oak, caramel and toffee, and a hint of dark fruit presence. This beer really comes together nicely. Well balanced between the barrel notes and a rich dessert like malt profile. Not much going on for hops even though this is an american barleywine. A full bodied beer with low carbonation. Very smooth barrel aged barleywine. Honestly, Twisted Trace is the best beer coming out of the state of Minnesota. I knew this was a fantastic beer by reputation and after getting to try this beer it exceeded expectations. This is a World Class barrel aged barleywine brewed by Town Hall. Really pumped that I got the opportunity to see how it drinks as it did not disappoint. It overachieved in my opinion.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am a sucker for Buffalo Trace barrel aged beers. No surprise here...I found this one delicious as can be. Great balance of hops and malt notes with this BW.

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Photo of KillerJigger
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall, in a tulip. Great color and aroma. Dark amber color with minimal head. Smell is bourbon with that deep barley sweetness. Great barleywine. Top 5 in the world IMHO.

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle share at Courtyard & Cellar for Toppling Goliath Mornin' Delight release!

32 oz Growler.

Very smooth. Very sweet. Dark brown in color. Very nice barleywine.


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Photo of deebo
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 version. On tap at town hall tap.
Served in a 12 oz town hall slim tulip this beer is had a beige head with some lacing on top of a murky tan/brown brew. Aromas are bourbon barrel with lots of oak and some sweet vanilla on top of more sweet malt. Smells like sweetness
Taste is more like a very heavy barrel aged English barleywine. No noticeable hops but lots of big malt character.
Mouthfeel is fairly big with a fair amount of boozy bite in the finish.
Overall- not a huge barleywine guy. This one is big on bourbon barrel character, with lots of sweet malt to take you home. A nice sipping brew.

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Photo of KevSal
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

received today, tiny amount seemed on during ship, I accidently let some carbination out when examining the cap. oh darn guess I got to drink it now haha

Growler into a Surly teku

this guy smells amazing, dark fruits, great barrel and vanilla. my favorite scents from BA bwines
Taste is much the same, fantastic! super juicy, perfect medium thick boy that coats the tongue. tons of dark fruits, vanilla, right amount of barrel. this is right up my alley.
this si really really good, ive had twisted jim before but this is on another level. the lingering aftertaste in my mouth is a huge highlight to this beer

this is everything I want in a ba bwine, maybe I should have held off till the weekend? nah this is perfect right now

I know how limited these growlers are during their ba week, really appreciate it Andrew for hooking me up!

edit: crap are these little growlers really 750! im gonna be must up tomorrow!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 03/14/15 notes. 32 oz. growler into a taster glass.

Pours a deep brown color with a slight reddish tint, a few bubbles of head, and low carbonation evident, Lots of bourbon, harsh whiskey, caramel malts, toffee, toasted malts, bread, oak, leather, and alcohol. Medium to bull body and low carbonation, lots of heat.

Overall not as sweet as some of the other barleywines we had at the tasting, and very hot IMO. I like hot whiskey BA beers so if that is your thing you'll dig it, but it might be too much for most.

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Photo of dar482
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a dark brown color

The beer hits of sweet bourbon up front onto sweet toffee and caramel. The beer is really well balanced with hoppiness, tobacco, oak drying.

A medium plus mouthfeel and the flavor makes the beer drink above its ABV.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown without any real head. Lightly wispy surface with a few bubbles.

Smell - Very woody. At first, I didn't think the bourbon was very strong, but as it warms, it becomes very dominant. Blends in with the caramel and brown sugar very well. Kinda fruity, too.

Taste - Brown sugar sweetness up front. Bourbon kicks in quickly. Lots of wood. Wood becomes quite dominant in the back end. Strong bitterness in the finish, too. Boozy.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation. Boozy. Bitter finish.

Overall - It's an excellent barleywine. I didn't really notice how good it was until I was drinking it without thinking about it.

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Photo of gabrielsyme
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the brewery. Appearance is a dark reddish brown with minimal foam. Smell is alcohol. Taste is caramel, maple syrup, and raisin. There's also a healthy taste of bourbon without the bite. The sweetness results in something of a syrupy mouthfeel. Overall very, very good.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish brown color. Great color. Sandy colored minimal head with some spotty lacing.

Caramelized sugar, coconut, vanilla, toffee. Very smooth smell. It all melds perfectly.

It's a great integration of a Barleywine and bourbon. The caramel and vanilla make it like a sundae. Toasted coconut shows up as an extra topping.

Smoooth mouthfeel. Thick but soft. It works exactly as it should to support the flavors.

A world class barrel aged Barleywine that really nails the play between flavor and body.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz, filled 3/4/13, drank 3/7/14 (!)
IME snifter

A: Pours a murky ruby red color. Still carbonated. Amazed at the collar of light tan head.

S: Caramel. Toffee. Coconut. Vanilla.

T: Up front getting sweet vanilla. Caramel. Toffee. Really getting some nice coconut notes. Nice bourbon notes. Little touch of burn in the back of the throat. Lingering flavors. Some dryness.

M: Full bodied.

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Photo of gatornation
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-pours dark copper color with garnet highlights a 1 finger head that recedes to a fresh collar and reveals nice lacing
S-malt bourbon and wood with vanilla touch of dark fruit
T- splendid malts mixed with bourbon notes neither overpower notes of leather and wood earth tastes
M- bourbon is there but not overpowering sweet malts lower carbonation
O- yeah its good had three of them during the anniversary week

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I held onto this growler in the fridge for several weeks, and opened up when I had a guest over the other night. Saved enough for a review, put it back in the fridge until last night. It held up, but wasn't as perfect as when the crown was first cracked, or when it was first on tap. Nonetheless, here we go…

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Twisted Trace, Twisted Reality barley-wine ale aged in Buffalo Trace barrels.

Dark ruby-brown appearance, slim head (that was bigger on last night's pours),

Aroma: vanilla, cocoa, massive malt, liquor. Vast complexity.

Taste: More malt, more bourbon, more, more, more. Beautiful balance, unexpected ease of drinking, tremendous flavors. Just genius, that's all. The whiskey and the barleywine meet each other with equal potency.

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Photo of Treebs
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Growler shared by eorwar at DLD. Served in a mini-snifter.

A: Pours brackish orange color with a light tan head forming on the pour. It recedes a to thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: A lot of barrel notes, but it's nice. Caramel malts with smooth bourbon and light oak. Light notes of leather with a little roast.

T: More of the same as the nose, but a tad sweeter which I like. Lots of leathery and caramel goodness with a smooth Buffalo Trace bourbon that lingers in the background. The barrel notes of vanilla and oak are a nice compliment.

M: Medium carbonation level with a smooth barrel finish. Medium bodied with a slight chew to the body.

O: A really nice barrel aged barleywine. I enjoyed another pour of this one as well. The barrel really compliments the base and it doesn't overpower any other flavors. A nice drinker at barely under 10%.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler from Town Hall's barrel week, filled up to the neck and poured into FFF Teku glass. Thanks BJ for this one! Reviewed from notes taken when consuming a week ago.

A- Pours a lightly translucent dark brownish with a slight purplish hue. A thin yeasty head forms that subsides fairly fast leaving spotty lacing and some alcohol legs. Decent carbonation that holds up well from coming from a growler.

S- Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, Bourbon, candied malts. Has a nice candy-like sweetness that balances well with the bourbon.

T- Sweet caramel, maple syrup, light bourbon presence with some oak, finishes with a sweet malt taste that lingers nicely. Balanced very nicely with a nice sweet + bourbon presence that are both not overpowering.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, very smooth, easy drinking, not overly boozey like some barleywines.

O- This was a fantastic barleywine that is comparable (although maybe not quite as good) as other world class barleywines such as King Henry, Church on a Hill, etc.. I'd say this is one of my current top 5 barleywines and I wish I could get a bottle of it instead of a growler. I especially liked the sweet candy-like maple malt presence and how it wasn't overly boozey, being a fairly low ABV by today's barleywine standards. I definitely recommend trying this out if they ever have it on tap again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.16/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jerz/vacax for sharing this one at GRG1313's tasting.

Pours a hazy reddish-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty but fairly strong and boozy.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewpub. Served in a Town Hall chalice glass.

Appearance: Color is a deep dark brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. A solid three fingers of off white head which slowly fades into a thin layer. Leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: A nice bready and sweet malty smell with a big scent of whiskey. Bourbon whiskey up front along with some vanilla, wood, and oak. Sweet malts with good hints of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Burnt sugar adds more sweetness. Subtle hints of fig, dates, and raisin. Some earthy hops linger along with a little bit of citrus. Alcohol scent is fairly sharp. A very fresh and whiskey soaked aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose with a big kick of whiskey along with sweet caramel malts. Bourbon whiskey up front with notes of sweet vanilla, oak, and wood. Sweet toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Some sugary sweetness is also in the mix. Some earthy and citrus hops with a little orange taste. Subtle undertones of dates, fig, and raisin. Alcohol taste is also quite noticeable. A really solid barleywine taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the fuller side with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly sweet with quite a bit of alcohol heat felt.

Overall: A really solid barrel aged barleywine. The bourbon notes come out well and blend into the good malt base. Hot but pretty drinkable for me.

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Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 oz. pour at Town Hall the night after the release, in good company, with good food. How could the beer not be good?

The pour is pretty, as see-through as a good nightie, orange-red. Little low on the carbonation, but whatever. I can't drink it's looks. Smell is marvelous, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, sweet malts. Yes.

Twisted Trace backs up the nose with an almost identical taste profile. The caramel, bourbon, vanilla, malts, maybe a trace of toffee don't just sit there in a glass together, they dance flawlessly. A touch hot, but I like my beers that way, so that's a plus. I'd love to have had this side-by-side with Twisted Jim, because I think this might be better, but my distant memories of that beer are glowing. Easy, easy to drink. This is a cab driver's dream of a beer.

With the pedigree of the base beer, is it any wonder this is excellent? No, it's not. Kind of wish I'd bought a growler for myself. Nah. I'll just come back tomorrow.

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Photo of josephwa
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - maroon in color with thick manila head. Good lacing.

S - very sweet smelling, a very nice bourbon scent.

T - tastes like birthday cake! Such nice caramel, vanilla, sugar, toffee, rich bourbon taste. Glass licking good. Extremely happy with the barrel choice.

M - nice carbonation, no alcohol burn, perfect weight.

O - I was so happy to try this gem. The best barleywine I've ever had! No question about it.

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Photo of Penguin3200
4.96/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at Barrel Week at Town Hall. Tulip poured and allowed to warm for 30 minutes. Small head that lingers and lingers. Lacing draping the glass. Great appearance.

Smell is impressive. Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, just what I want. Taste is so balanced this year compare to Twisted Jim in the past. The Trace barrels have done wonders. Caramel, bourbon, barrel, and just the right sweetness.

Mouthfeel is luscious and coating to a lasting finish.

Overall, this will be hard to top the rest of the week! Well done.

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Photo of mothman
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tulip at th. served very cold.

An inch of tan head. Color is a dark caramel hued brown.

Taste profile is wood and heavy bourbon. A fair amount of vanilla. Lots of malts. Caramel and molasses. I pick up some kind of fig and raisin flavor as well.

Fairly hot, but I like it. Full bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Maybe on a tad on the high side. Ends fairly dry.

Overall, this was really solid. It was better than previous years Jim, but it was much hotter. Maybe I like the heat? This beer is kind of thick such that it takes a while to drink.

EDIT: As this beer warms up a bit, I pick up some coconut flavors. It really mellows out a lot and becomes very easy to drink. This beer is bank money!

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a narrow tulip, ~12 oz serving size.

Dark mahogany with a creamy tan head; medium retention, some lacing, some legs. Took a bit to open up since it was served cold... strongly bourbon-y, with caramel, dates/figs following the booze.

Tastes sharp, alcoholic, somewhat sweet, and woody with hints of toffee and vanilla. Kinda sounds like a generic BA barleywine but I like this iteration better than Twisted Jim, that I noted was too bitter.

The finish is lingering with notes of molasses and chocolate. Mouthfeel is sharp and attenuated; also the carbonation seems a bit high (I like 'em flat I suppose).

Overall quite nice and worth seeking out, IMO. $6.50 + tax if it matters.

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Twisted Trace from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.4 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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