Big Worster | Mikkeller ApS

Big WorsterBig Worster
Liked This Beer
4.04 w/ 71 ratings
Big WorsterBig Worster

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Lukass on 11-15-2013

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Ratings: 71 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ClavisAurea
2.28/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white heat that left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of malty sweetness are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and is mostly dominated by flavors of malty sweetness. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a little lighter in color and body compared to other barleywines but does an excellent job at hiding its alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of smithj4
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bandi
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of shirtless_mike
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ajs4bd
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of AlexAfonin
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 or 2015 vintage. Comes in a 375ml green bottle with a white foil-ed over crown cap. 17.3% ABV. Best before: Imported to the US by the Shelton Bastards. Brewed at De Proef.

A- Glassy tangerine in color, no head to speak of, looks very viscous
S- Cake bater, golden raisins or overly ripe grapes
T- Almost like a champaign/ port mix. Tons of dark fruits for such a light beer. The yeast plays well with this brew. Alcohol is very well hidden for 17.3%
F- Mouth feel of almost a port, viscous and deep
O- Pretty great brew here. Alcohol is huge, so I'm going to stick to a small pour. Very aeromatic and tons of flavors. Almost a brandy or liquor. Crazy good beast

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Photo of Adamostella
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Appears to be a 2015 vintage. Comes in a 375ml green bottle with a white foil-ed over crown cap. 15.7% ABV. Best before: 01/07/25. Brewed with oak flakes and champagne yeast. Imported to the US by the Shelton Bastards. Brewed at De Proef.

Served chilled into stemware. Expectations are rather high since Mikkel is my favourite brewer.

HEAD: ~1.5cm wide. White colour. Nice thick, even consistency. Coats the sides of the glass as it recedes, leaving a thick ring of lacing. Retention is bad - maybe a minute at best - but that's forgivable given the high ABV.

BODY: Vibrant golden orange. Translucent but not really transparent, though it isn't hazy or cloudy. I see no yeast particulate within.

It's almost more of a cidery appearance, but it's quite attractive in general - even if it doesn't really conform to American barleywine style conventions. Definitely more of a blonde barleywine.

AROMA: Ripe fruit is prominent, but it never has that tropical booziness I hate in so many beers. Tangerine, apricot, bright plum, marmalade, orange citrus peel. Malt profile seems rather neutral for a barleywine; I don't find any of the caramel, toastiness, toffee, or marshmallow you might look for in a traditional American barleywine. Hop profile is surprisingly prominent as well, indicating a very Americanized version of the style; it's primarily floral and fruity, but some bitter rind does find its way in. Sparkling effervescent champagne yeast is indicated, but isn't accompanied by any spritzy carbonation or the like. Heavy on the esters, but still somehow clean in its yeast profile.

Aromatic intensity is moderately high. Alcohol warmth is noticeable, but not to such extent you'd suspect this is 15.7% ABV.

It suggests a fruit and hop forward barleywine, but I'm concerned about balanced already...does this have the malt backbone to withstand its formidable hopping?

TASTE & TEXTURE: Heavy on the fruit, as promised by the aroma, but some pesky boozy warmth does creep its way in. Tangerine, candied orange peel (think Triple Sec), some bends tropical. Hop profile isn't as aggressive as I feared, but it's still quite potent for a barleywine (even an American one) - fruity hop character nods towards lychee and bright plum, and is rounded out neatly by the champagne yeast's fruity esters. But champagne yeast's cleanliness is a treat here, keeping the flavour profile even-keeled and straightforward, never venturing into biscuity territory.

The honeyed malt backbone is an interesting approach, giving this an almost mead or braggot-like sweetness that doesn't quite tame the opposing hop bitterness (especially on the finish).

I'll admit I'm not so keen on the blonde barleywine bend of the flavour profile; I'd much prefer dialed-down hops and the usual caramel/toffee/marshmallow build of a conventional barleywine. But it's one of the better blonde barleywines I've had, i only because of its clean, smooth mouthfeel (which is owed equally to the use of oats to smoothen it out and the use of champagne yeast to clean it up). Carbonation is a biteen high, and it's definitely full bodied, coming off hefty and weighty on the palate. Consequently, it's more of a sipper than most barleywines, blonde though it may be.

It's not a simple beer by any means, but the absence of balance here means for all its complexity, it's a bit difficult to fully enjoy.

OVERALL: While I find it overhopped and imbalanced, there are some nice elements showcased here, and those after a very fruit-forward example of the style will be pleased. Its ABV is noticeable and really reduces its drinkability, but I'm glad I tried it - though I wouldn't buy it again. Some drinkers may find it somewhat akin to Delsym, but I'd liken it more to a blonde barleywine cum Triple Sec substitute. I'll finish the bottle solo, but only with maybe an hour's sippery. Not a brew I'd recommend to friends, but those looking for a departure from traditional barleywines might find this is right up their alley. In any case, it's definitely a bottle best split between 2-4 people.


 4,108 characters

Photo of ElGallo
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Viperman1316
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of bnes09
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Surprisingly light color. Small bubbles. Malty aroma and flavor with no alcohol burn. Balanced and tasty for such a strong barley wine.

135 characters

Photo of groleau
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of amano_h
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AlaskanYoung
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Says review optional. It is not

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Photo of Reedbrew
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Boozefest! Tasty but overwhelmingly boozy.

43 characters

Photo of Hopswagger
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look: A sort of orange/gold, slightly hazy. Nice off white head on the pour that recedes to little more than a film. No lacing to speak of, foam recedes quickly.
smell: Sweet, and bread like, molasses, and hints of fruit.
taste: Much like the nose. This reminds me of a dessert wine. Rich and decadent.
overall: Alcohol is barely noticeable. It's a beast in terms of richness which I love.

 390 characters

Photo of Sanderson
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The sheer complexity of this beer is mind blowing. The nose, flavor, and mouth feel are superb. Drinkability is low due to ABV this is not a crushing beer. Probably one of the best barleywines I've consumed this year.

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Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 05/12/15 notes. On tap at The Jeffrey in NYC... 8oz for $8 in a wine stemware glass.

Pours a hazy, deep burnt orange color with one inch of light tan head and low carbonation the evident. Lots of honey, sweet fruits, mead-like, molasses, sugar, fruity malts, and alcohol. Thick full body and low carbonation.

Overall good but insanely strong and very mead-like. Cool to try, took a while to get through 8 oz's. Not something I'd seek out again but worth a go if you come across it and like strong beers.

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Big Worster from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 81.7% out of 100 with 71 ratings
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