Double Or Nothing
Otter Creek Brewing

Double Or NothingDouble Or Nothing
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American Barleywine
Ranked #87
Ranked #6,245
4.02 | pDev: 7.96%
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States
Double Or NothingDouble Or Nothing
Notes: Collaboration with Lawson's Finest Liquids

A Devilishly Sweet Barleywine aged on maple wood and brewed with a heavenly dose of Vermont maple syrup. Brewed in collaboration between Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest Liquids & Mike Gerhart of Otter Creek Brewing Co.
Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 400 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EMV
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Cloudy burgundy pour with thin barely-there head. Thin rim of lacing.

S: Maple, caramel, and sugar. Sweet grains and dark fruit.

T.F: Sweet up front. Maple and toffee... caramel and brown sugar. Cooked raisin and plum... molasses and a bit of spice. Medium bodied... sticky on the tongue with some hopping for balance. More baked goods and sweets at the finish.

O: A big rich barleywine. Sweet and fruity... a step below the best of the style but good drinking. A nice evening sipper.

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EMV from Pennsylvania, Jul 25, 2019
Photo of Bierman9
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Stopped into Cask & Vine yesterday (29DEC18) and had a 10oz pour of this, for a pricey $11.50.

Served in a small snifter, it was a dark, opaque chestnut color. Had a frothy beige head with good lace on the glass. Nose had good amount of dark fruit, like raisins and dates. Body was medium-plus, and it was quite smooth.

Had some light caramel and toffee action to start, followed by more dark fruit. Had some currants and figs, a hint of brown sugar and a smidge of rummy fruitcake. Not getting any maple, though. A solid barleywine, though well over-priced. Prosit!

4.09/5 rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


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Bierman9 from New Hampshire, Dec 30, 2018
Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Darker amber color. It seems to be clear. Small but lasting head. Some spots for lace.

Deep dark caramel sweetness to the nose. There's a bit of molasses as well.

Solid, darker malt base. Interestingly, this is not sweet initially but the sugar kicks in quickly. The body is very rich as one might expect with a lower carbonation level to boot. The swallow is very sweet with a strong treacle flavor. The aftertaste lasts with this sweetness dominating but I get a light bitterness which fails to provide balance.

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smcolw from Massachusetts, Apr 28, 2018
Photo of ThickNStout
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from CraftBeerLos (thanks man!). No discernible bottling date. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku. Enjoyed 8/6/17.

Pours a turbid, rosy burgundy with just shy of two fingers of ecrue head. The froth shrinks to a thin film and modest band with only a couple tiny pinpricks of lace.

Smells of maple, sweet cereal grains, toffee, caramel and dark fruit.

Tastes ofsweet caramel malts, grainy cereal, earthy raw sugar, cooked caramel, maple and dark fruit.

Lush, full body with very little carbonation. The aftertaste is like maple cereal.

Double or Nothingis a my first taste from Either Otter Creek or Lawsons. The oak and maple are a bit more subtle that I may prefer but the base barleywine is solid.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought one of these bottles when they were initially released, but when I saw that they were in the Clearance area of one of my local bottle shops due to lack of movement, I snapped up another one. One for cellaring, another for consumption a couple of years already down the road. Such is the nature of The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody.

From the bottle: "A Devilishly Sweet Barleywine aged on maple wood and brewed with a heavenly dose of Vermont maple syrup. Brewed in collaboration between Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest Liquids & Mike Gerhart of Otter Creek Brewing Co."

Having Pop!ped the cap, I had no choice but to perform a VERY gentle pour since I had a real feeling that there was probably some settling involved here. Once decanted into an awaiting snifter, an in-glass swirl raised two brief fingers of foamy, soapy, light-tan head with moderate retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity. Nose left me reeling as a sugary malt bomb, laden with maple syrup, suddenly blew up in my sinus cavity! I should have been warned by the fumes wafting off of its surface, but I am the Duty Dummy & took a good whiff just to make sure. Whew! Two years in the bottle & it had not mellowed one iota! Its twin is going into the cellar, perhaps never to be heard from again. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, suggesting that maybe at least one aspect of this monster was beginning to fall away and mellow. Jeez-O, man, the sweat was simply streaming off of my forehead & down my face. I think that Sean Lawson is The Devil (or if not, he certainly called her forth for this one)! Sweet & boozy - why I am not a fan of most rum. This was like diabetic shock in a bottle/glass. This would have been better served calling it an English Barleywine, since those are more malt-driven. This lacked the requisite hops, IMHO, leaving me with the sugar shakes. I kid you not, I was sweating & shaking from this one. I generally eschew such things in search of bitterness & having let down my guard, I was paying for it. Finish was ironically, dichotomously dry, a testament to the yeast having continued to do its thing in the interim since its purchase. It will be quite a beer someday, but it needs a LOT more time to age in the interim, IMHO. YMMV.

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woodychandler from Pennsylvania, Jul 14, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a mini snifter this time, though other times, regular snifters, still, pretty much the same thing. Anyways, the appearance was a dark brown close to black color. There wasn’t any head nor lacing. The smell started off with some honey and maple syrup. Light dry oaky to woodiness slides super light in underneath. The taste compliments the sweetness of the maple syrup and the honey. Oaky woodiness slides in underneath to try and balance. Smooth semi-slick sliding sticky maple to honey aftertaste with a sticky sweet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sipping quality about it. Carbonation seems to have fully gone away, but I’m okay with that as I’m leaning towards the English side of the barleywine wheelhouse for this one. Overall, as a barleywine, this one works for the time that I had it. Though I’ve had several of these previously. I think I can finally say, things have equaled out a bit on the aroma and flavor allowing the maple and the honey to actually coincide with some malts.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at City Tap in Boston.

Pours a murky reddish brown, more brown than red.

Smell is sweet, with raisins, malt and dried fruit carrying the load. I detective a hint of cocoa hiding in the background.

Huge, sweet smell, rum raisins, maple syrup and just a hint of spice. Deep, and complex.

Soft mouthfeel, just the right amount of carbonation and thickness.

Delicious barley wine, almost bordering on a Quad. Nice sipping beer, that reveals a lot as it warms.

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JamFuel from Sweden, Mar 08, 2017
Photo of curtis6290
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Enjoyed on 2/20/17.

Look: Like an imperial stout, but a little lighter color than the redness of a Guinness. Brownish red hue. (8/10)
Smell: Like a port wine mixed with an imperial maple stout. Maple is strong, cherry, orange peel, blueberries, strawberries, Cream, coffee, Earth, Cabernet grapes. (9/10)
Taste: Reminds me of a port wine. Maple and Syrup are strong but refreshing. Hops and Malt come though slightly. (9/10)
Feel: Like a carbonated port wine. Syrupy but not overbearing. Great lingering mouthfeel. (8/10)
Overall: Reading the reviews, I feel like everybody drank this with the wrong intention. This bottle was delicious, like a fine Port Wine mixed with Maple Syrup. I really enjoyed this and would recommend at 50 degrees, as a dessert beverage or with a nice Belgian waffle for breakfast. Let this one breath and open up. (9/10)

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curtis6290 from New York, Feb 21, 2017
Photo of PHBoiler
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Smell is just booze. Hint of wood almost smoky. Definitely deep maple notes. Dark Amber level. Base beer lacks body at this high ABV. Out of balance. The dark amber maple aspect is appreciated.

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PHBoiler from Illinois, Jan 05, 2017
Photo of threeviews
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 50-55 Degrees Farenheit, the 12oz bottle with "2015" printed on the shoulder was poured into a 13oz Libbey Belgian Tulip/Snifter

A - Leaving most of the sediment behind, the beer pours a beautiful, deep mahogany with a reddish hue. Due to the careful pour, a minimal khaki colored head formed but faded quickly to a thin film on the surface. (4.5)

S - Caramel, Maple Syrup and Plum are the dominant aromas with the Tannin from Maple Wood Staves very much present...and very different from the aromas imparted by Oak, but it certainly has a "barrel aged" vibe. (4.5)

T - Maple Syrup and caramel sweetness and are really pungent with a hints of Dark Fruit and something akin to Bourbon (similarities can be found with Founders Backwoods Bastard). However, just when it might become cloying, the tannin from the wood sweep in and gently dry things out and allow for the Maple Syrup to linger. (4.5)

M - Full bodied and palate coating (i.e slightly syrupy) with delicate carbonation that is perfect for the style. (4.5)

O - Well executed Barelywine with big, but not overdone flavors of Maple Syrup and Maple Wood. Definitely on the sweeter side so those who prefer hoppier versions might be disappointed. However, this makes for a wonderful breakfast beer (pour it over your pancakes!) or as a digestif sitting around the fire on a cold winter enjoyed at cellar temperature. (4.5)

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threeviews from Florida, Dec 12, 2016
Photo of Bier82
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barelywine is my favorite type of beer, as soon as I saw this on the shelf I had to grab it. Its a great beer, worth the price.

Look: typical look for a barleywine, more of a brown color than a red.
Smell: Alcohol, upfront. Sweet smelling, maple hint.
Taste: Malty, malt, malt! Sweet, with just the hint of maple syrup.
Feel: Tingles on the tongue, and smooth going down.

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Bier82 from New York, Dec 04, 2016
Photo of kojevergas
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Grey/black label. Comes in 4-packs.

"Aged on maple wood and brewed with a heavenly dose of Vermont maple syrup." "Maple barleywine." "Barley wine ale with maple syrup."

Gorgeous taste. Rich oak runs throughout. Caramel bleed. Subtle burnt/charred barrel notes. Some toastiness. Amber malts. Dark malts. Chocolate Malts. The maple sweetness is there, amplified by barrel sugar sweetness. Well-balanced in spite of its high sweetness, with barrel char evening things out.

Perfect blend of dryness and smoothness, coarseness and wetness. Perfect carbonation.

Has an aptly gooey mouthfeel with a dripping chewy medium-bodied texture.

Highly drinkable fare, especially for its ABV. I'll be back to the store for more, methinks - this shit's legit.


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kojevergas from Colorado, Nov 26, 2016
Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased July 2016
A - Pours a murky reddish brown color with a small white head that settles to a ring.
S - Aroma is not strong. Woody on the nose.
T - First you get sweetness, then oak and dark fruit, finally maple flavor on finish. The alcohol is not noticeable.
M - Medium mouth feel and lower than average carbonation.
O - This is a very nice, quite drinkable Barleywine. On tap this could get you in trouble! The maple sets it apart. So glad I bought it.

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spacecake9 from Illinois, Nov 26, 2016
Photo of Roguer
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly light and clear brew; brown shot through with crimson. Modest head.

Maple, oak, and tons of caramel on the nose. A hint of hops coming across equally piney and earthy. Difficult to distinguish between an aged ABW or a fresh EBW.

Hops are still present, but nice and subdued. There's about an equal balance among citrus, pine, and earthy spice. The malt is obviously the main event, and it brings huge grainy notes of brown sugar and caramel, accompanied by maple, oak, and tobacco. It comes across as being barrel aged, although I'm sure that's the wood and not any actual barrel aging.

Really impressive beer. 2015 edition.

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Roguer from Georgia, Nov 19, 2016
Photo of angrybabboon
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed 10/17/16

A: Medium brown with some copper and burnt orange tones - hazy -pours with a small, beige head, fades to a tiny collar and leaves a few specs of lacing

S: Rich, cooked malts - malty, as a barleywine should be - dark bread, bread crust - dark caramel, molasses, cooked malts, caramelized malts - some dark fruits - some wood, but not as much as I would have guessed - some maple, but more of a maple sap than a maple syrup

T: Malty and worth sipping - dark bread, bread crust, caramelized malts, dark caramel, molasses, toffee, and nuts - some chewy wood - some maple, but not a ton, perhaps I should have drank this sooner - moderate amount of oxidation, not unlike a (young) Old Ale, which works very well - finishes with some warming booze

M: Nearly full body, low carbonation, very smooth

O: Much better than nothing

I bought a 4-pack of this nearly a year ago and did not get around to drinking it until now. And I do not entirely regret that decision. If there was a ton of maple here, it has faded and left some nice oxidation in its wake. The malts are nicely chewy and bready, but it could be better for the style. Regardless, it's good.

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angrybabboon from Massachusetts, Oct 18, 2016
Photo of HattedClassic
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear brown color. Nice raisin smell and other dark fruit notes in the smell and taste. Good moderate maple syrup in the tadte. Heavy and thick body. Very good

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark, opaque, toffee-brown coloring with a sparse, wispy, surface coating of off-white head. Aromas of rich, sugary maple sweetness, roasted toffee, vanilla, apple, date, and subtle earthy tones. Very rich and candy-like sweetness throughout. Flavors are richly sweet forward, with a heavy roasted toffee and caramel blend hitting the taste buds first, followed by notes of sugary maple sweetness, earthy undertones, old world fruit notes, a solid booze warmth, subtle vanilla highlights, and some tart apple accents. The maple sweetness builds with the warmth as you drink, and the aftertaste has a residual maple sugar candy feel to it, lingering around in the mouth and on the tongue. Smooth and slick, oily and chewy feel, with a slick, smooth, lingering finish. Subtle warmth building as you drink, with a pure drive for your sweet tooth in this beer. Tasty!

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Photo of Boto
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle: This one poured a very dark ruby colored brown. There was almost no head on it. No lacing. Lots of good aromas. Maple, plum, dark fruits. the taste is very good. A touch sweet. Plums, maple, malts. Very Nice!!

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Boto from Connecticut, Jul 27, 2016
Photo of Mateo2699
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a medium shade of brown with a hint of red hue in the light. Minimal off white small ring of head, minimal lacing. Aroma is a refreshing scent of freshly chopped wood and toasted bread. Sweetness of raisins, plum and raisins come through even more as it warms. Taste consists of caramel, brown sugar, wood and a certain oakiness in the back end. Mouthfeel is medium carbonation, and nothing too palate coating besides that heavy dose of wood and caramel. Overall, it's a great barleywine. Not getting any maple like the label suggests, but still very good.

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Photo of tone77
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits, some maple. Taste is dark fruits, molasses, bready malts, light maple, alcohol heat is present. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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tone77 from Pennsylvania, Jun 30, 2016
Photo of Tucquan
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this again on 2018-06-07 in Columbia, PA from a 12 oz bottle. This is a maple infused barleywine.

I've had this frequently since it was released in 2015 and have enjoyed it every time. It's aging nicely. It's on the sweet side for sure but the flavors appeal to me; particularly the maple syrup, which doesn't overpower the brew but is often lacking in other Barleywine or Imperial Stouts that use maple syrup as an ingredient. I've got enough of this to age and taste for a number of years; and I think It will age well. A nice sipper when you are in the mood for something strong and sweet.

Notes below are from 2018-06-07

A - Opaque dark brown with a short off-white head and great lace

S - Quite malty with medium roasted grain, molasses and maple. Smells more like an English Barleywine

T - Rich and sweet. Molasses, caramel and maple over a bed of medium roasted grain. Some fig and raisin. The 40 IBUs give it an American Barleywine feel, but nowhere near as abrasive as Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

M - Thick body and low carbonation. Syrupy. No doubt this finishes sweet.

O - With almost 3 years age on this, there's not a hint of oxidation. Maybe a little umami if you really reach for it. I think this beer will continue to age well for years to come. I think it tastes better in 2018 than when released in 2015 so I'm raising my ratings accordingly.

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Tucquan from Pennsylvania, Jun 27, 2016
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy amber brown in color and is too hazy to see if there is any visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige head that quickly died down, leaving delicate lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of maple syrup are present in the nose along with hints of caramel malts.
T: The taste follows the smell, but has a little stronger flavors of maple syrup and maple candy with associated bits of sweetness. The maple candy flavors linger into the finish. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked this barleywine because it had nice flavors of maple syrup and maple candy, but these weren't overly strong. This isn't your typical American Barleywine as it's not hoppy and it does an excellent job at hiding any traces of alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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metter98 from New York, May 13, 2016
Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a goblet a deep chestnut brown with an amber hue a creamy half finger beige head atop.Maple,brown sugar, apple cider,and gummy fruitiness in the nose,honestly not overly sweet.Alot of subtle good stuff on the palate,the maple is there and pronounced but not over the top,juicy fruitiness plays a big role along with hefty alcohol wich actually brings the most sweetness to the palate.A full but not quite juicy feel for a cold weather malt lovers dream beer,very nice.

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oberon from North Carolina, May 07, 2016
Photo of AngryDutchman
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle.
Light to medium brown. Minimal head.
Smells sweet and a bit too much so plus distilled alcohol. Might well be my undoing today.
Taste is what I would expect - slightly sweet and alcoholic and will drag me down to the depths of overindulgence very quickly. It's a taste I can easily appreciate but less so from a beer than from a liquor. I hope I can recover and make it to work tomorrow.
As a beer, not carbonated enough. Lacing is minimal. But it wants to kick my ass and I'm willing to go along. As beers go it misses most standards and expectations but I could see a case of this changing my life for the worst and irreverseably so. Thank God Kif only gave me one of these or I would be doubling down and homeless within the hour
Either the best or worst beer drinking experience of my life...

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AngryDutchman from Pennsylvania, Apr 24, 2016
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a BIF from tasterschoice62. 12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy dark ruby red color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, maple, molasses, wood, vanilla, raisin, plum, apple, fig, toasted bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, light pepper, and woody/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, maple syrup, wood, and moderate fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, maple, molasses, wood, vanilla, raisin, plum, apple, fig, toasted brown bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, light pepper, and woody/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitterness and wood spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, maple, molasses, wood, vanilla, dark fruit, toasted brown bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, herbal, light pepper, and woody/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, maple syrup, wood, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from oak spiciness and hop bitterness as well. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English barleywine style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, maple syrup, wood, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Apr 17, 2016
Double Or Nothing from Otter Creek Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 400 ratings