Big Worse | Mikkeller ApS

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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

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Reviews: 249 | Ratings: 414
Photo of tpd975
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this on awhile back and was hankering for a Barleywine. Here goes nothing.

A: Rip the foil, undo the cage, and pop the faux cork from the bottle without a sound. Pours pretty vicious with tons of bubbles and an average head. Spotty lacing as the contents disappear.

S: Tons of big bold sweet malts. Brown sugar, and some pine.

T: Big warming brew. Tons of sweetness right up front. Big bold pine flavors with hints of brown sugar, figs, and a bit of booze.

M: Medium bodied, yet clingy to the mouth and tongue.

D: Not real high on the drinkability scale, but what barleywine is.

Overall: I have not been overly impressed with the Mikeller brews. Don't get me wrong they are not bad, but for the price you just don't get the bang for your buck. Still waiting to try Beer Geek though as it's my favorite sytle and many rave about it. I can't wait to be the judge.

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Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a wine glass.

A: burnt sienna, hazy, a little light gets through.

S: fruity, figs or dates. spices.

T: hot booze in my stomach. caramel. sticky sweet.

M: thinner than expected, well carbonated.

O: disappointing coming from mikkeller. the flavors weren't particularly complex. the mouth feel was a little thin. barleywine is one of my favorite styles and mikkeller is one of my favorite brewers, but this one missed its mark.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this in a trade with rustydiamond. Thanks Rusty!

It pours from foiled, caged and corked 12.7oz bottle(cork say 14/08/11) a clear deep amber with a 1 finger head of foam. Lots of lacing here and the head retention is better than average for the style.

The smell is malty foremost followed by some fruit and some slight bitterness.

The taste is huge. Lots of caramel malt starts things off but from there, I get an infusion of hops, mostly citrus, and a big kick of alcohol. Wheww...this is a mighty powerful brew and all of the 12%abv seems to be right there, in your face...err...mouth. Lots of warming to be had here so I'm only going to take *very* small sips.

A few sips later and the malt seems to have taken a sweeter route and taking on a more English style BW personna and that's a good thing in my book but the alcohol is kind of ruinning it for me. And just when I say that, the bitterness from the hops kicks it up a notch again...weird how the flavours seem to change for me from sip to sip.

It's going to be tough for me to rate this beer but one thing I know for sure, in its curent state, it's certainly not all that drinkable for me but I *am* glad I got to try it.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cork reads 14/8/11

A - Pours a rhubarb, crimson red with a slim tan head.

S - Sweet caramel malt with a touch of alcohol.

T - Boozy and sweet with caramel, brown sugar and some citrus from the hops.

M - Medium mouthfeel, maybe a bit thin for a barleywine, with a warming alcohol.

D - The sweet caramel & citrus flavors give it a candy like taste that is not very appealing.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bigger worse than what? Pours a ruby red color with decent clarity. A good pour leaves a rocky head with some bigger bubbles. Ok retention and lacing.

The nose is either young or brewed with stressed yeast. Lots of fusels and solvent alcohol characteristics. Some limited amounts of complex malt aromas. A underlining sugary sweetness. Some lighter grassy and spicy hop aromas. Hard to get past the alcohol nose.

The taste is tamed down a bit. Still has a big alcohol kick, which to certain point is ok for style, but still. The malt characteristic really comes out with some complexity. Nice caramel backing with hints of brown sugar and pecan pie (yea kind of odd). Lighter notes of dates and prunes. Some hints of floral and citrus notes. There is a odd yeasty note that I associate with stressed yeast but not as bad versus the aroma.

The body is big with a under carbonation feel. Overall, needs kidding at 12%. Maybe the fusels will go away with time. But still has potential for now.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of some dude on RB, thanks. Pours clear copper with tan head. The aroma is grainy, alcohol, pale fruity esters and a bit uninspired. It isn't rich and inviting as a lot of barleywines tend to be. The flavor is herbal, hoppy, alcohol and some mild sweet malts. The hops are pine and grass. There's pale malts followed by a decent dose of an alcohol tingle near the finish. I will re-rate this beer with several years of age.

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Photo of jpalarchio
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with minimal head. Lack of clarity reminds me of some of my own brewings.

Smell seems woody. Hard to really nail this one down, there's something there I can't identify.

The alcohol is fairly evident, a bit hot even; taste seems to be somewhat sweet.

Worth it for the experience, probably wouldn't purchase this again though. Can't remember what I paid for this bottle, seems like it was on the high-end. As far as barley wines go, probably not my favorite. I'd rather pickup a 6 of Bigfoot instead.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure on the vintage, but inflatablechair picked this up for me in Portland a year or two ago... I'm broke and really only want one beer, so let's make it a big one.

Poured into MNFG... caramel brown... hazy... almost no head... very little lacing.

Thick caramel in the nose... boozy... tawny port.

Caramel drenched raisins... too sweet... a bit cloying... seems a bit oxidized... bunch of EtOH burn on the finish.

Thick body... carbonation is almost non existent..

Ehh.... I've had this a couple times in the past and have never been overly impressed and I doubt age is going to help it.


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Photo of allengarvin
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The cork popped out with almost no carbonation pop, and a vigorous pour got no foam at all--is this supposed to be flat? The color is very murky brown, with a slick oily surface. The nose is big and very malty: powdery cocoa, lots of caramel, and an underlying fruitiness. At taste, this is indeed hardly carbonated at all. Dense caramel malt dominates, with a lot of dry bitterness but not much hop flavor. Alcohol is quite apparent, sharp and peppery. Neither pleasant nor interesting; this is a rough barleywine without any subtlety.

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Photo of capeannbass36
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours like muddy water. Flat. No head. Some sediment. Not pretty, that's for sure.

S- Sweet malt, raisins, maybe a little molasses.

T- Similar to smell, slightly less pronounced. Boozy for sure.

M- Very low carbonation, almost none. Warm finish.

D- One, maybe two. Pretty potent stuff.

Overall, not a bad drink. Just wish it had a little more carbonation. Was kind of like drinking an ugly looking wine.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml plastic cork and caged bottle with a best by date of august 14, 2011 on it drank from my duvel tulip glass.

A- the cork comes out with a faint hiss. a vigorous pour gives me a murky reddish brown colored body with some visible floaters in it. the head is only a few bubbles. no lacing left behind. man, this is probably the worst looking barleywine i have ever encountered.

S- strong odor of sweet bready malts. there is also a large fruit presence in here. raisin/tobacco, plums, figs, apples, and grapes. also something medicinal. the hops seem to have fallen off completely, which is strange for a Mikkeller beer.

T- very sweet. very rich. lots of caramel and fruity malts. pear, apple, grape, raisin/tobacco, and cherries. the alcohol is detectable, but not nearly as bad as i was expecting it to be.

M- thick and syrupy. palate coating. an almost nonexistent level of carbonation that kinda works in this one. moderate warming from the alcohol, but its still very well hidden for something this large. very nice.

D- a slow sipper that is one and done for sure. horribly ugly looking, but you cant always judge a book by its cover. this one is worth a try.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brew was enjoyed on 10/24/2009, not sure why I didn't put the review on BA until now.

12.7 ounce caged and corked bottle, the bottle is at least a year old so it does have some age on it. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a murky copper/brown color with pretty much no head at all. Not much lacing either. Aroma is very sweet and malty, it smells like brown sugar, dark fruit (raisins, figs), and caramel. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark fruit (prunes, raisins), caramel, brown sugar, piney hops and booze. Alcohol is still a bit hot, maybe I should have aged this one longer. Mouthfeel/body is on the light side of medium, it's somewhat slick and coating with low/moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it would be better if the alcohol heat wasn't so noticable in the taste. This is definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Fonefan: Poured a deep lightly hazy copper color ale with a nice foamy head with medium retention and no lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops is dominating with some light pear and some alcohol. Taste is a mix between some grapefruit hops, light caramel malt with phenols of alcohol. Medium body with average carbonation and some apparent alcohol which I didn't appreciate. Interesting take on the American barleywine style with a nice hops combination but I could do without all that alcohol.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Rustic brown cherry color, lots of head at the top that left some slight lacing around the glass.

S: Strong scent of caramel, brown sugar, and dark malts, and hops.

T: Wild Barleywine, very malty up front with a kick of bitterness from the hops at the tailend, good taste of caramel up front as well.

M: Not to much carbonation a bit dry.

O: Not to bad, sat well with me, would not mind drinking another, easy drinker

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-worked the tight cork for a while until it finally freed from the pop, but the beer poured with a decent amount of bubbling. Poured a maple like brown into my oversized snifter but settled as a deep reddish brown in the glass. Head was gone quick and not much lacing, but a quick swirl of the glass brings the carbonation to life.

S-could smell her as soon as the bottle opened, sweet nutmeg fil the air. A closer snif from my glass revealed a deep nutmeg maple syrup richness. Smell is full but not cloying and has a bit of caramel in there. On the sweeter side, but pretty balanced for the style.

T-classic barleywine flavors with a bit of a heavy alcohol taste. A tad bitter, and none of the hop presence that I had expected. Alc is a bit too upfront for me. Nutmeg maple syrup much like the nose but with a touch of bitterness and alc taste with a taste of plum and raisin as well.

M/D-seems to have a heavy alcohol bite. Classic barleywine thickness but not all that lively in my mouth. A touch bitter and no tingle. Mikkeller beers tend to be very hit or miss for me. This one kind of falls in the middle. All in all an interesting take on the style...bit heavy on the alc flavor but it doesn't ruin the beer. Worth a try for the fans of Mikkeller and the fans of the style.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cork Date of August 2011; Sampled January 2008
Pours with a two-finger thick, large bubbled, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber to plum color and shows an almost brilliantly clear, cranberry color when held up to the light. Quite hoppy in the aroma with notes of citrus, big pine / herbal notes, grapefruit, a touch of lychee, some tangerine, a hint of tropical fruit, some pine tar, woody hops and an herbal note. The finish has some noticeable warming / hot alcohol to it; it is sort of brandy or rum like. The aroma is fruity, even more so than solely from the hop character; aromas of berries and cherries are also noticeable.

Sweet and fruity tasting up front. The beer is quit a bit lighter in body than expected, though it is most certainly a Barley Wine. This finishes with an ample hop bitterness that becomes a bit green and astringent in the long finish (especially when coupled with the lingering, warming alcohol flavors found here). Flavors of orange-citrus oil, grapefruit, tangelo and lychee intermingle with sharp, menthol-like notes, pine flavors and a green herbal note. The fruity hop notes are the larges flavor contributor. Other than the hot alcohol flavors this beer is quite clean. Caramel malts contribute to the hop-fruit flavors, but have a hard time showing up distinctly on their own under the hop onslaught, though there is a touch of toasty malt in the finish.

The hot alcohol really detracts here, it adds a harsh astringency to this brew. This is a huge beer and should last for many years. I wish it was more drinkable right now as a young, super-hoppy Barley Wine though. If you wait a long time between each sip, this can be quite enjoyable, but back to back sips seem to magnify the effects of the hot alcohol on the flavor. In the end this show lots of potential, but is just too young right now.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a true oddity, and perhaps the first mikkeller beer that didnt blow me away. it pours a cloudy light amber to red color with a ton of big yeast particles floating around and finally settling to the bottom. there is almost no head. the nose is alcohol and caramel english malt. flavor is the same, but spiced up a bit from the yeast. it feels like the right mix of flavors for fall, but the alcohol is strong and caustic, and it hurts the overall product. the mouthfeel would be great without the alcohol burn. its got a nice full body but is well carbonated and therefore seems to dance in the mouth, even with all that sediment. the booze just kills it though, warm on the way down too. overall a very unique take on a barleywine, but not somehting i will spend 15 dollars on again. although, my local shop has the red wine version too, which might be nice to try. we'll see...

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Photo of cartdan
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No pop when I pulled the cork out of this one has me a little worried at the start.

The beer pours a murky brown with a medium tan head, so I guess the carbonation is OK after all.

The smell is sweetness, with a good deal of alcohol in the nose. Not too much in the way of hops is noticeable.

Taste is more sweet malt, with good bitterness to back it up. Bitterness might be just a tad strong in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium full. The alcohol warmth comes through pretty strong on this one.

Overall a good beer with no big flaws. I think it would be better with age - the alcohol would calm down some and the bitterness in the finish would fade as well, leaving the sweetness a little more pronounced.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear ruby in color with just a modest head that disipates before the first drink. Smell is plenty of hops, both citrusy and bittering. Taste is the same. Lots of hops and a little malt to try and help the cause. A decent brew, but not a stand out.

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Photo of cmoody91
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass.

A: Thick hazy molasses color with almost no head.

S: Sweet fresh ground coffee, raisin, molasses, rum soaked cherries.

T: Very hot, cherry, almost medicinal. Hops, pine, grapefruit, toffee, rich and sticky sweet. Finish is harsh but overall nice flavor.

M: Oily, sticky, boozy.

O: Just ok, definitely a sipper and felt near the end like I was just trying to get through it, not something I look for in a $10 a bottle beer.

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Photo of gtn80
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a dark brown, touch of red. No head to speak of, just a few bubbles on the surface.

Aroma is great, heavy, syrupy malts. Dark, sweet fruits.

Taste is super sweet, big, dark caramel malts. Figs, alcohol and chocolate. Bit of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is heavy, thick and viscous. Touch more carbonation would be helpful.

Drinkability is ok, definitely a sipper. Big beer, nice on a cold night.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7 fl oz bottle poured into a tulip. No date. Bartender said it's probably a 2011.

Appearance - Medium cloudy brown body. Thin white lace with good stick and visible sediment.

Smell - Tons of dark, overripe fruit. Extreme banana. Sweet. Plenty of alcohol.

Taste - Very tart and bitter. Very strong. Smokey.

Mouthfeel - Very astringent.

Overall Drinkability - This thing kicks you in the mouth with out even a noticeable hop presence.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany colour with no head. A touch disappointing as beer with this level of alcohol can keep a head.

Dark crusty bread, toffee and caramel dominate the malt profile with an earthy hop character adding balance.

Smooth, dark caramel. Toffee. Nuts. Sugar. I find it off that this is called an American Barleywine as the malt profile is distinctly English and the hop character is muted enough for it to be an English BW.

Moderately-full body with low carbonation. Think, silky and smooth.

On the whole it isn’t a bad beer but it falls a little flat.

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Big Worse from Mikkeller ApS
3.75 out of 5 based on 414 ratings.
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