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Big Worse | Mikkeller ApS

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Big WorseBig Worse
BA SCORE
3.78/5
Very Good
416 Ratings
Big WorseBig Worse
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#18,011
Reviews:
249
Ratings:
416
pDev:
15.34%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
66
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from dsigmon, courtesy of the Ugly Duckling BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a caged & corked 375ml bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, alcohol, dark fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar up front followed by an alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is mild for the style but still strong enough to bring some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth but not very crisp, medium body, very light carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, it's not a bad beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

 955 characters

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My second stab at a Mikkeller brew I really enjoyed the Stateside IPA,poured into a small tulip glass sort of a slight hazed deep russet color a well formed 2 finger clingy light beige colored head atop it had great lasting power.At first pop of the cork a powerful resiny hop aroma hit me and a smile crossed my face that mixed in with a brown sugar and cakey alcohol fruitiness I knew this was gonna be a doozy.Hmm after a few sips I notice that its not anywhere near as potent as I thought it would be or as bold flavor wise a little watery in the mouthfeel department definently not a big chewey barley wine.Flavors fall a bit flat compared to the aromas dark fruit sweetness mixed with brown sugar and alcohol the hops are much more subdued than what I had imagined and or hoped giving a hint of medicinal-like and white pepper flavors in the finish along with a lasting alcohol sweetness.Maybe as others have suggested cellaring might be the ticket here but it wont help out its lighter mouthfeel,it started out great and kinda peetered out in the finish.

 1,061 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle opened by bmanning. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours an ugly brown color with loads of sediment toward the bottom of the bottle. No head or lacing. The nose carried caramel, toffee, cherry, and dark fruits. There was a bit of light booze in the background as well. The flavor focused on malt sweetness with some mild fruit. Caramel held throughout, as well as a bit of alcohol. Medium body and slightly boozy. Not bad at all.

 437 characters

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 Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish caramel with 1+ finger of tan head. Very good head retention & above average lacing, with loads of viscosity

S: Piney hops & caramel, some booze after it warms.

Leaf& grapefruitty hops & alcohol up front. More boozey warmth as this warms, some citrussy hops, plus piney hops & dryness. Finishes with a little fruttyness, more dryness, bunches of leafy hops & honey notes, plus caramel

MF: Slick with low carbonation, thin for the ABV, although the alcohol let's you know what's going on, very warming if you can deal with the heat!

Drinks just average, too damn hot alcohol-wise. sit on this at least 2 years or you just have a crude OTT American Barley wine

 679 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war."

--Ernest Hemingway

Seriously murky caramel brown with flashes of coral red and juicy orange when backlit with sunshine. The lid is small in size and golden ecru in color. It looks better once it settles, and is gracing the glass with a short, ragged collar of lace.

Not that it matters much, but the nose is more English than American. Then again, the beer is from a Danish brewery and is brewed in Belgium, so where does that leave us? Each sniff delivers an acceptably powerful blast of medium-dark fruit swimming in dark caramel sauce and citrus zest. Here's hoping the alcohol is as well-hidden on the palate.

This is an English barleywine all the way, no matter what hops were used. I had second thoughts about pulling the cork once the foil was removed and the date (14/08/11) came into view. I probably should have aged this bad boy another year at least. Even though it's a teensy bit rough right now, it isn't hot. It's still good beer that will probably be even better this time next year.

The malt profile is more brown than golden or amber, thanks to what must be a significant amount of CaraMunich. It gives the beer a heavily toasted and earthy character that is reminiscent of a good, rich doppelbock. Ripe figs are present as well. The American hops are still kickin with authority, adding flavors of candied orange and lemon peel, along with loads of finishing bitterness.

Actually, two years of rest would probably have been perfect. It tastes like there's some hidden complexity that is being frustrated by too much of an alcohol presence. $9.99 is a bit much for 375 ml of beer, but I just might pick up another bottle to see what aging can accomplish. Drinkability (at the moment) suffers a little.

Mikkeller's stated aim was to brew a 'simple yet heavy' beer. Even though they failed to achieve the latter, the mouthfeel is right about where most English barleywines live. At least those that aren't ultra sappy and sticky. It's still a fraction too light, with just the right amount of subtle carbonation.

Big Worse is big in some respects and not so big in others. It isn't the best barleywine that I've ever had, but it's far from the worst. Bottom line: this is an enjoyable Danish-Belgian sipper that is probably optimal at whatever date is printed on the cork.

 2,432 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thick brown, though you can see some light through it, no head and a nice lace top it off. Smell is hopped for sure, but with a subtle sugary undertone, and a hint of alcohol too. Taste is not very strong at all. There is the natural piney hoppness you would expect from a barley wine, but not too strong, there is also a sugary, nuttiness about it as well. The alcohol is there, and that keeps this a sipper. It is actually nicely carbonated, and not harsh going down, has the warm feeling on the way. Overall this was a good brew,

 532 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. No bottle date. Capped, not cork and caged.

Appearance - Hazy and downright chunky burnt amber body. Transparent until the huge chunks of sediment start flowing into the glass. I stopped when it got to be too much and I still had over an inch of beer in the bottle. Ridiculous.

Smell - Toffee, caramel, and huge hop aromas. Pine and a touch of grapefruit. Fair bit of booze.

Taste - Abrasive taste, but the flavors aren't bad. Hop bitterness akin to the aroma with toffee and caramel. A vinous quality to it that leads to a harsh and somewhat dry finish. Extremely boozy in the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Rough drinker. Boozy and tannic. Not undrinkable, but slow and a bit unpleasant. Dry and rough in the finish. Leaves me smacking my lips looking for the flavor of the beer to wash away the feeling.

Overall - Inexcusable amounts of sediment. Am I supposed to pour it in? Or save it for a hideous second glass? At $10 a bottle, it's a travesty to have to leave 15% behind. That said, the beer itself isn't awful, but I'm not about to buy it or drink it again.

 1,101 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a nearly flat amber color with a slight bit of cloudiness and a mild off-white head.

S: Tons of caramel and brown sugar along with a bit of vanilla on the nose. A nice butterscotch aroma as well as a bit of green apples.

T: Wonderfully sweet and caramelly without being cloying. A nice bit of brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee. Really well done for a barleywine and almost no booze.

M: The body is a bit chewy and thick without being syrupy. Low carbonation works well for the style.

D: This has nearly restored my faith in Mikkeller. Big Worse has become a really nice barleywine since the initial release and I wouldn't mind having another.

 660 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

Did I miss "Big Bad", or do comparatives not translate very well into Danish? Whatever the reason, this barleywine pours a hazy dark amber brown with a halo nof large bubbles for a head. The nose is plum, fig, raisin, molasses, and a small bit of hoppy citrus. The taste holds a strong note of bitter citrus peel, raisins, and the flesh of a mandarin orange (you always get that one fleshy wedge in every can...). The body is a hefty medium, with low carbonation and a lingering, dry bitterness accompanying a slight oral coating. Honestly, not that bad a brew, but not up to my expectations of that crazy Danish gypsy. Hm.

 658 characters

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz green bottle corked and caged with a date of 2/17/12 on the synthetic cork. Pours a hazy brown color with no head and minimal amount of bubbles make their way to the surface. Nose is a big malt presence reeking of malt sweetness like raisins and dates soaked in whiskey. Little bit of citrus hops on the backend of the aroma. Taste is an assault of alcohol heat upfront with hop bitterness and a punch of smoked malt notes thy finishes with more alcohol warmth and citrus hops. Heavy feel with a very low carbonation level. Quite a good sipper with an interesting smoky/earthy character. I am uncertain if the 2/17/12 date was a best by date; it surely could be cellared at least that long to let that big alcohol taste mellow out. Regardless, nicely done.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.83/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appears a deep murky blood orange red brown in color with a large beige head dwindles down to fine even lacing. Aroma is tart with ripened fruit soaked in raw fusel alcohol. Abundant hop notes intertwined in the luscious malt character brings the aromatics around full character. Flavor is unsynchronized with raw hop bitterness, astringent alcohol, and overly sweet candy sugar additions might as well package this one in forties and sell in the 7/11 down the street. This is extreme beer at it's worse, might as well call this one the skullsplitter. After a half glass my eyes are blurring and my temples are buzzing, I feel like I just got done reinsulating my attic as my skin becomes warm and flush and my nose burns from the alcohol fumes. As you can see I'm not going to add to the hype of this brewery, I will give their other brews a shot. Mouthfeel is astringent in every aspect coats the palate with earthy hop oils, hot alcohol, and overtly sweet sugars in the malt profile causing me to want to go scrape my tongue. Literally causes my gag reflex to work, so let's motion to kick this one out of the UN of beers. Drinkability is shite the worst beer I've had in a long time, by the way nice synthetic cork maybe those brewers can use this one as a substitute butt plug, because this beer tastes like ass.

 1,317 characters

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 JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark murky brown. Nose is minor raisins. Mild alcohol. Almost smells like dirty river water. Flavor is spiked by the alcohol. Robust flavor, but this obviously needs to be laid down for many more years before it‘s in its prime. Feel is good. But like I said, definitely needs some time to mature.

 305 characters

Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark brown color. 1/7 inch head of an off-white color. Poor retention and poor lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of tart malt, slight citrus, slight hops, slight woody/earthiness, and alcohol. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hops, slight citrus, and a hint of tart malt. Overall, lacking in appearance, but better in aroma, body, feel, and blend.

 501 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Awright, Big Worse, I bought you, finally, and now, I'm a gonna drink you up, doggone it!

Into a gold-rimmed Ommegang chalice you go...showing a murky deep crimson hue....slim head holding court on top.

Aroma: Belgian funk, oddly enough, smelled it when I uncorked it...oh, wait, is that because this "American" barleywine from a Danish microbrew was brewed in Belgium? Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice, quite forgetting her grammar...wild and weird...dark and twisted...

Taste it, now...malty, with an odd...dang, I don't know! This is peculiar! Like a saison mixed with an old ale! There's so much Belgian funk that doesn't normally sit with a barleywine, of any kind.

12 % abv. 12.7 oz bottle that I paid, what?, $9 for??? Something close to it, anyway...lately, I've been looking at these Scandanavian micros, spilling the coin, and thinking I've spent all that to learn that northern European brewers can make beer as good as American micros? I could have spent the money from that bottle on a 6-pack from Sierra Nevada or Anchor or a 4-pack of Surly.

This changes that a little, the mouthfeel is thinnish, grainier...but, still, has me thinking more Belgian than British or American, let alone Danish!
Don't brew at DeProef if you don't want to taste like De Proef, seems to be the lesson here!
I really wanted to taste something like Bigfoot or Old Foghorn or Thomas Hardy's...I got something like that, but mixed with a saison or a tripel...weird...not bad, just ...weird.

 1,490 characters

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

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