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Big Worse | Mikkeller ApS

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Big WorseBig Worse
Very Good
416 Ratings
Big WorseBig Worse

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pils and caramunich), candy sugar, hops (nugget, cascade and centennial) and ale yeast.

Added by Viggo on 11-25-2007

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of hermit990
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.26/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jwale73
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 fl. oz. bottle served in a tulip. Lots of sediment present in the base of the bottle and the cap is pretty cruddy looking. Pours the color and clarity of unpasteurized cider with a side, cream-colored head embedded with copious tiny ringlets. Nose expresses notes of figs and candi sugar as well as a trace of spirits. Taste follows nose; however, it's a bit muted and watered down. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with a mild carbonation, a trace of oiliness and a hint of ethanol heat. Overall, a decent offering albeit a bit lackluster. Unsure of the age; however, I think this one has a few years on it.

 643 characters

Photo of FFreak
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Expensive bottle poured into a tulip. A semi-hazy, dirty reddish-brown color with a tall tan head that leaves a lot of lace. Smells of dates, raisins, candy. Taste is really good, well balanced - bitter, but not overly so. Mouth feel is nice, medium-full malty body, ample carbonation. A big beer meant for savoring. Overall, although expensive, this is a very good barley wine.

 384 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Unknown vintage; drank 6/6/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from Murky orange/red/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a big khaki head; a curtain of bubbly lace.

Sweet caramel & spiced apple cider notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Apple cider & sweet caramel flavors up front; soured hop finish. Booze heat emerged as this warmed. A bit like dunking a caramel apple in apple cider; odd & not very enjoyable.

 424 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Two and a half fingers of pancake batter colored head. Light sheeting. Thin, yet multi layered lacing. Orange-brown in the glass. Murky yellow-orange in the dimple.

S: Caramel, bread dough, a touch of licorice. Slight earth. Nutmeg, tree sap. Pumpkin. Dirt.

T/MF: A bit over hopped. Hops and tree sap dominate. Slight pumpkin and nutmeg. Faint ash, char, and licorice. Perfume along the olfactory areas in the back of the throat. Disappointing, to say the least.

Poured from a 375ml bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 524 characters

Photo of HappyRasmith
4.79/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

To be fair, I pulled this out of my basement after cellaring for 6 years..I served this in a Tulip glass
This aged better than most barley wines I have currently in stock. The balance was perfect, the mouth-feel very enjoyable and the finish was out of this world. I wish I had the foresight to have cellared more than this one. I will be looking for this again. It was well worth the 6 year waiting period

 406 characters

Photo of Sparky44
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into snifter, best before 12/17/2019. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red/brownish color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Awesome appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, raisin, plum, pine, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, raisin, plum, pine, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, raisin, plum, pine, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light nuttiness, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness that increases through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic American barleywine! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops, fruity yeast, and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. Definitely English yeast and malt flavors going on, but it still stays true to the American style on the aggressive citrus/pine hop character. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,018 characters

Photo of Ristaccia
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a hazy, slightly red orange with a fine half finger khaki head with good retention and lots of lacing. Classic barleywine aroma of caramel malt, dried and fresh light stone fruit, leaning towards apricot, light citrus, a tad boozy. Flavor is caramel and candi malt, orange family citrus, light stone fruit, especially peach, citrusy light hop finish, slightly sweet and boozy. Medium bodied with a good creaminess; nice mouth feel. A nice combination of stone fruit and citrus flavors in this barleywine; the citrus is less common and works quite nicely. The ABV is fairly well covered, but the intense fruit flavors and sweetness make this almost taste like an aperitif. If I read the date code correctly, this is a year old bottle and it tastes like it has a little age on it. Fortunately no skunking from the hideous green bottle. A very enjoyable, nicely made barleywine that has a welcome orangy citrus component to the taste. The price point is quite high, so I hope this gets brewed at their new location in California; at domestic prices, I'd buy this again happily.

 1,117 characters

Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marked down (!!!!) at a Massachusetts liquor store, which means it either spilled on the floor and they poured it back into the bottle or else it is more than 8 years old. Seriously: this place was recently selling De Dolle Ora Bier bottles that were from 2006, and those they only marked a down a buck. This was priced down three whole dollars. So I'm guessing this is ancient. But at 12%, maybe it'll wear its age nicely. Or maybe not.

Poured into a .2l Mikkeller and Friends wine glass I got in Reykjavik. It's very hazy, the color of a cheap chocolate easter bunny, with a tight brown head that dissipates quickly.

Smells of intense bourbon and very old, very boozy, very syrupy barley. Not a bad combination, really: the sweetness of the aged grain rubs well against the whiskey burn.

Tastes remarkably smooth. Nicely aged. Light bourbon up front--more evoked than actual--moving quickly into an aged, boozy blend of barleywine flavors: vanilla, raisin, toffee, brown sugar, and pine. This tastes a lot more like an EBW than an ABW, even though the hop profile is strictly American the malt is like biscuits.

While it's good, it's nothing special.

 1,170 characters

Photo of tappangordo
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aasher
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of erushing
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Domvan
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted from a 12.7 ounce bottle on April 4, 2015.

49 characters

Photo of Marius
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.75 - Poured a deep, dark ruby-orange color. Formed an easy 2 finger, medium tan colored head. Impressive head potential for the high ABV, low head retention. Whispy lacing.
S - 4.25 - Boozey, peach, mango, hops, peach syrup and honey.
T - 4.5 - Surprised how well balanced this is. Sweet arrival of pineapple, peach, mango and hops upfront, ends on a bitter-honey finish. The bitterness at the end is NOT a hoppy one, it is what I can only explain as bitter honey. The bitterness perfectly balances and rounds out the initial upfront sweetness.
F - 4.5 - Good medium/full mouthfeel.
O - 4.5 - A very good representation of the barleywine style. Well balanced flavor.

 708 characters

Photo of abrodsky
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 30MinutesSouth
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber with a big fluffy beige head, leaving lots of messy specks as it recedes slowly.
Big citrus hop character in the smell, "green" also, with sweet peach jam, nice tropical fruit, some honey-ish floral notes, but also toast and strong alcohol.
A really interesting mix of hops and alcohol in the start, pretty hard to name it, not simply herbal liqueur. Spicy, grassy, piney, surprisingly early. Still, there's a lot of fruit too, with peach, blood orange, pink grapefruit, mango, overripe pineapple. Lots of citrus peel and pith. Sticky caramel for a while, bit of biscuit, but the finish is dried up by bitter (and slightly "English") hop.
Aftertaste is hoppy, fruity (still quite diverse, with lingering citrus, tropical fruit and peach) and mildly malty sweetness. Medium, sticky body, light fizz. Alcohol is hidden entirely.
Great balance between tasty hops and solid malts, both really rich and strong, without one overpowering the other.

 952 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a handsome golden color with a slight white head.

Smell - Sweetness is noted in the aroma. It borders on being syrupy.

Taste - My initial impression is a syrupy sweetness. Other impressions include nuts, grass, tropical fruit, and a nice little burn in the finish.

Feel - The mouthfeel is emblematic of a barleywine.

Overall - Despite a lot of negativity, I really enjoyed this one.

 413 characters

Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Big Worse from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 416 ratings
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