Bernese Barleywine Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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Bernese Barleywine AleBernese Barleywine Ale

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Shankopotamus on 06-15-2013

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 158
Photo of utopiajane
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear and sultry orange even though ti claims to be unfiltered. A creamy but thinner tan head of foam that fell lovely and clinging . Left spots and legs. Bubbles can be seen on the rise. More coppery in indirect light. Nose is hoppy. First you get a good whiff of spice and then lemon. lemon turns to orange as this warms and shows me orange zest. Floral permeates the nose and is the succulent part of these hops. Brown sugar. I like that at first I do not smell caramel , only brown sugar. That to me is crisp. Breaddy rich and sweet cake like malt. As the beer warms you will notice a scent called treacle. This is not something you can attribute to hops. I don't know what makes this scent but it seems to be just this sweet scent that has nothing to it other than sweetness.

Drinks wonderfully with peppery hops on a very graceful malt. Smooth and leaves just a little warmth as it finishes. The alcohol bitters the finish as much as the hops and I think that is well done. It does not finish syrupy or overly sweet but it is not exactly dry. It tastes a bit like candy with plenty of orange and orange peel. At the very end it seems to give a bit of pith from that orange. Then the hop bitter comes to really finish it malty. Piney and also reminds me of tree bark. As this comes up to temperature you taste a bit of dark malt flavor like cocoa or earth.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bernese Barleywine Ale brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. This Barleywine pours out a nice deep brown amber color with a small white head. I really like the copper color to this brew. The ABV of this brew is at 10.50% You pick up on roasted grians and malts in the smell of this brew. There is also a fair amount of hops in the smell. The look and smell of this brew is very inviting. Now for the taste, it is bold and rich with flavors. You first pick up on the hops in this brew. Then the roasted grians and malts. There is a lot going on in Bernese Barleywine Ale . This brew also has some nice lacing to it. Bernese Barleywine Ale has a real nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I really like the bold roasted flavors in this brew. The mouth feel of this barleywine is Rich,Bold, Hoppy, And Refreshing. This is a brew you have with a nice dinner . It is a fine drinking brew. Overall I'm giving Bernese Barleywine Ale a 4.25 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. If you enjoy roasted and hoppy brews look this one up. Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, did a real nice job with this one.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bernese Barleywine Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a Belgian chalice, this beer's head is two fingers thick, with solid lacing, and a translucent dark brown amber body.

I smell big, upfront malts, candied apricots, and mild booziness.

Tastes like deeper and bolder malts than in the smell, a tad bit of citrus hops, and mild booze.

The mouthfeel is medium with mild carbonation and tolerable booze warmth.

I'll give Bernese Barleywine Ale | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company an overall rating of a 4.5. I'd like to age a bottle&see how it turns out.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. no freshness dating could be detected, but im gonna guess not too old due to heavy hop presence. date your bottles TD!

looks very nice on the pour, warm brown with burgundy tones. decent head to begin with with diminished to a good ring with a faint covering. no real lacing to speak of.

aroma is all about the sweet malts. some toffee, no booze which is surprising considering the 10.5 abv.

sweet malty flavors are up front. then hop bite comes at the end, along with a slightly sweet wash. pretty interesting sequence.

feel is medium with a hop finish.

overall, and i freely admit to preferring English Barleywines, this is pretty okay example of the american style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Total Wine & More in Greenville, South Carolina.

Appearance: Pours a medium-to-dark brown body, somewhat murky in appearance, with a very slim, off-white head. Modest lacing.

Smell: Bernese is big on the toast (bread and grains, maybe grainy breads), as well as bold on the sweet-smelling caramel and toffee. Studded with fragrant dried orange peel and raisins. Splashed lovingly with alcohol.

Taste: A big boatload of caramel and heavily toasted breads and grains with a thin, thin edge of roastiness. Splash of toffee liqueur for a bit of belly-warming heat turns to fruity touches of macerated raisins as well as some tangy, bitterish orange rind backed by lightly resiny, leafy hops with moderate bitterness aided by the booze. Fairly warming, caramelly, sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: While not the tightest, best BW around and a little rough around the edges, it's still big, sweet, warming and plenty malty. Pretty good.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear amber color with a finger of tight tan foam. Good retention and legs. Fully toasted malt aroma with caramel and a fair amount of floral hop character. Slight notes of pears and golden raisins. Hop bitterness is much more prominent in the taste, taking on herbal and earthy notes along with a clear floral character. More toasted malt and caramel along with a bit of a bread crust flavor. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finishes quite dry with a nice lingering bitterness.

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Photo of glass_house
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be a bit more in the English style, with heavy toffee and dark fruit undertones. Good, but just a bit sweeter than I prefer. A nice sipper, but a little more hop presence would balance it out a bit.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance Hazy Amber color little darker than the norm with a subtle off-white Orange tinted head which rose to maybe quarter of an inch at best.

Smell: Heavy alcohol scent, little woody maybe rum accent to go with it.

Taste: Complex monster subsisting of toffee and sweet caramel with a heavy touch of whiskey. Malts are very evident but there's a slight sourness to the brew might upset some palates.

Mouth: Heavy stickiness to the beer, with medium bubbles and light brown sugar characteristics. Actually better, closer to maple syrup...paired with a few pretzels the feel is you best friend.

Overall: Very good brew, comparable to a few of my favorite American barleywines and honestly exceeded my expectations...salud!

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fresh bottle served in a tulip glass.

Typical American Barleywine. Copper color with a nice yam head. Dried fruit and malty sweetness in the nose. Some hot alcohol. Taste is the same but with more heat. This beer needs time to mellow.

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Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- 12oz bottle pours into a snifter with a fairly murky body and a deep amber-red hue. The head is about two fingers tall with a thick and frothy consistency and good retention. A few very thick sheets of lacing.

S- Largely fruity with a backing of sweet caramelized sugars. Dates, black cherries, apples, raisin and fig come to mind with a bit of alcohol, toastiness and maybe even a touch of citrus hops.

T- Caramel malts are big yet not cloying or even overly sweet. Spiced raisins, figs, dates but not overbearing with the fruit notes as a decent hint of alcohol balances that out. A hint of toast and nuttiness. Apple clash a bit with the rest of the profile.

MF- A medium-heavy body leaning just towards the thick side of things. Texture is slick, silky and even a bit foamy with a comforting smoothness for the style and ABV. Medium level of carbonation and a warming finish.

At first I found it to be a bit on the safe side but each sip made me realize that this beer is well crafted. It has the elements you find in many American Barleywines like the caramel, dark fruits and alcohol and it strikes a great balance between them. Nothing flashy or standout and that actually is a strength here.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into shaker
$ 3.59/12 oz bottle at the Lager Mill
Aroma of malt and weak piney hops; malt fades slowly leaving the hops aroma
Head large (5.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, slowly diminishing to two cm lacey ring and frothy layer
Lacing excellent! As the level of beer in the glass drops, the lacing just continues down with no discontinuities
Body deep amber, hazy; sediment in bottom of bottle
Flavor of malt with some light piney hoppiness; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4.25

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on-tap on location at the brewery. Poured a nice auburn shade with brown highlights and decent head retention.

Smells malty and of dark fruits.

Tastes strong of malts. Also tart cherries, figs, raisins, and toffee. Its a bit warm in its finish from the alcohol.

All in all, very nicely done. I wish I would've tried the bba version, but we had other places to go.

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Photo of justinp444
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip it has a dark amber body with a two inch thick head of off white slight beige foam. Smell is of caramel, sweet malt, earth-y hops, brown sugar, slight vanilla, some dried fruit (fig), and light citrus notes. Taste is sweet caramel malt, toffee, earth, vanilla, nice amount of dried fruit flavor (fig), and lemon citrus. It has a slightly low amount of carbonation that just gives it enough of a crisp moderate mouth feel to be drinkable and a moderate not overly heavy body. A very nice straight forward everyday barleywine, not overly complex but very drinkable.

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Photo of Mikefriedman90
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells like a top of the line barley wine. Tastes like brown sugar, malty and delicious. Drinkable, but easy to sip. Awesome barley wine would recommend

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Photo of 57md
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brownish copper in color with over a finger of white head. Sweet malty nose. Malty with a dry finish. The body is adequate - could be more hearty for my taste.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a 4-pack of this on 29JAN15 at Krugel's Georgetown Deli, while enroute to Ft Indiantown Gap. It was a bit pricey at $14.99, but it sounded inviting, so wtf...

I enjoyed a couple of bottles at home on 31JAN15. Poured into a small tulip, it was a deep, opaque chestnut-mahogany color. After adding in the yeast sediment from the bottle, it became even murkier. The head was thin and fine, the beige foam mostly clinging to the edge, leaving a bit of lacing. The aroma was nice, with toffee and caramel malt leading the way. Enjoyed the mouthfeel, as the body was medium-plus, and it was very smooth.

Tasted rich and malty, with more caramel and toffee present. Also had notes of dark fruit, like figs and raisins. It also had a rum-soaked brown bread aspect to it. Hopping was also present, with a bit of piney, rindy action in the warming finish. Quite nice, indeed! Prosit!

4.18/5 rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


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Photo of mschantz
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber and somewhat cloudy with lots of sediment. A bit of head with nice lacing. Sweetness and pine on the nose. Piney hops dominate the taste with caramel, golden raisin and malt tones balancing the hops to a perfect degree. All in all a surprisingly hoppy and very tasty barley wine.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, this nice barleywine pours a hazy copper brown with a light off white head and light lacing. Nose of sweet caramel malts, citrus hops, and some dark fruits. Flavors are sweet forward caramel and honey with some dark cherry and raisin flavors. The hops are both citrus and bitter to counter balance the sweetness of this one with a healthy dose of alcohol and moderate heat. A solid offering of a barleywine if you like yours with a good hops dose.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mix of maroon and brown. Nose is very faint, but as it warms some caramel and sweet dates start to blossom. Heavy malt flavors of date, fig, cherry, and prune comingle leading to a nice lightly bitter finish with a touch of heat. Swishes nicely on the tongue with no syrupiness (I guess it's a word). Nice BW. Would revisit again.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Poured a very dark and deep mahogany color with off-white soapy head that left some splashy lace. 4

S- Huge black cherry and bready notes, raisins, citrus, and caramel notes. Very rich aroma with lots of sweetness. 4.5

T- Lots of sweet dark cherry and candied citrus notes. raisins, cinnamon, molasses, and quite a bit of alcohol. 4

M- Full bodied, quite syrupy, big alcohol warming, but not really any alcohol burn. This one is definitely a sipper. 3.5

O- I am not the biggest Barleywine fan, but this is solid. It has a lot of sweetness and is very malt forward and usually Barleywines are often a little too sweet or boozy for my liking. This one has quite a bit of hop character and bitterness though to balance the intensity of the sweetness, but still retaining a very rich and complex malt profile. 4

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Photo of Tone
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Pours a cloudy, copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of alcohol, yeast, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, caramel malt, hint of dark citrus, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. There is a noticeable bite from the alcohol. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, yeast, caramel malt, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, decent appearance, great aroma, great feel, good body, and decent blend.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I will preface that barleywines are really not a go to style for me, and it's been over a year since my last one. Having no real baseline for this review, and style naivete notwithstanding, I'd go back to this beer again, especially when I can get a full pint for 8 and change.

A: Burnt leather brown with ruby red highlights. 1 finger+ of mousse like head that stayed for a awhile. Consistent lacing for a third of the glass and then a two waterfalls.

S: It was poured cold and initially lots of spicy oak, wood and smoke. It took awhile for the floral and fruity hop character to unfold, but it transitioned nicely to plum, figs, and spicy citrus.

M: Just at full body with a velvety feel. Low-medium carbonation and nice warmth on finish.

T: Hot cinnamon spiced orange, anise, toffee, slight smoky character. Dark but tar cherries. Figs and candied plums. A little pithiness and pine on the aftertaste which is mellowed nicely by the alcohol. Hop bitterness did not seem intense, but definitely present, more on the maltier side of the matter but I have no clue when this was kegged.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It pours tea colored with one inch of tan head.

S - I smell figs, dates, and alcohol.

T - I get some dates and figs. Alcohol is apparent. There are still some hops present to counteract the malt.

F - Full

O - It is a decent barley wine. It is probably better fresh or aged more. It is not as hoppy as it is fresh, and the faded hops may be gone with another year or two of aging.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep burnt orange with a clingy full one finger slight off white head that seeltes very slowly into a frothy mass,great deep color to the beer.Malty in the nose but not overly sweet,somewhat "cakey" and bready,not much hop presence.Whoo this packs a punch with alot of fusel alcohol flavors,after the alcohol settles some caramel cake notes come into play with a shot leafy hops in the finish not a big citric/resin finish though.This is a sipping barlewine,actually it's been awhile since I have had a barleywine so maybe Iam not used to the booze of the style,still I like it and like most of the Thirsty Dog portfolio.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Thirty Dog's Bernese Barleywine Ale last week for $3.59 at The Lager Mill. I've never seen this beer before, but since I like Barleywines I thought I would give it chance, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty nice and goes nicely with the name with a mountain and Bernese Mountain dog on it, I think it's fairly eye catching. It poured a muddy orange/dark amber color that took on more of a murky dark red color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy rings of lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking beer, the color was nice and the head and lacing were really nice especially for a Barleywine.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly lower amount of high sweetness followed by the hops being the first to show up and they impart a light earthy, floral, and spicy hop aromas with citrus rind hop aromas seeming to stick out the most, but not by much. Up next comes the malts which impart a nice sweet malt, caramel, light toffee and toasted malt like aromas with some dark fruit aromas showing up towards the end. This beer had a pretty good aroma, it was pretty hoppy but the malt profile was nice and it added a little bit of balance to the aroma.

T- The taste starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness followed by the hops still being the first to show up and they impart that same hop profile that I got in the aroma, but the this time the citrus rind hop aromas seem to stick a little more than the other aspects showing up in the background. Up next comes the malts which impart that same malt aspect that I got in the aroma, but this time the toasted malts seem to stick out the most and there's even a light roasted aspect. On the finish comes a light amount of alcohol followed by some dark fruit flavors and a medium amount of bitterness with a sweet malt, caramel, toasted and citrus rind like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting Barleywine and it seems to be a little more balanced then the aroma was and I like that.

M- Fairly smooth, not too boozy, a little rich, slightly sticky, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and a good example of an American Barleywine, both the hops and the malts stuck out nicely making for a decent amount of balance and neither one was to overpowering, but the hops were getting close. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, not too boozy, a little rich, slightly sticky, a little filling and taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one is the perfect amount for me, but if I was really in the mood for a Barleywine I could see myself drinking two of these and I think this would make for a nice beer for when it starts to cool off in the fall. What I liked the most about the beer was the balance, it was nice and it wasn't completely dominated by hops like some American Barleywines, I could tell this wasn't a DIPA. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I would change to make this beer better, it's fine just the way it is. I would buy this beer again, I would like to put some in the cellar to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Barleywines especially if they like them on the hoppy side. All in All I was pretty happy with this beer and it's pretty much just what I look for in a good American Barleywine. It's not my favorite Barleywine, but it's up there as one of my favorite Thirsty Dog beers. Good job guys, this was a very solid Barleywine, keep up the good work.

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Bernese Barleywine Ale from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 158 ratings.
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