Big Worse (Bourbon Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

BA SCORE
85
very good
65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Big Worse (Bourbon Edition)Big Worse (Bourbon Edition)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Aged for 8 months in Bourbon barrels.

Added by vfgccp on 02-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
65
Reviews:
30
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
16.49%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.25/5  rDev -67.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of vanilla and sweet malt notes are quite nice with bourbon not overshadowing the aroma. Taste is more easily drinkable then expected with a nice mix between some light bourbon notes with some vanilla and a rich but not overly sweet malt backbone. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol notes. Well brewed with good complexity and remains easily drinkable.

 508 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this for quite some time as well.

Pours a large thick frothy 1/2 finger head that fades semi slowly, nice lacing too, long legs, darker but semi clear sediment laden ruby color.

Nose nice sweet malts, toffee caramel, aged softened toasted biscuity toffee malts, plenty of toasted reddish malt, candy syrup, hints of tree fruits, candied fig, date, etc, a touch of bourbon in the background.

Taste brings sweet candy again, toffee, caramel, a little candy syrup, chewy caramel almost nougat, thick rich date syrup, a little soft aged malt, tree fruits, candied fig paste, etc, a little booze warmth and tingle, mild ester profile, into a smooth rich bourbon juice, a little vanilla, nice candy in general but not super sweet. Finish is a bit boozy, lingering candied fruits, vanilla fig paste, bourbon barrel juice, and a hint of bitterness.

Mouth is fuller bod, thick almost syrupy but smooth chewy, nice carb, some hot booze.

Overall really nice, the age brings soft aged malts, but booze still fairly strong, nice bourbon still, nice malt profile, enjoyable sipper for sure.

 1,085 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.26/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: There's a slight haze to the amber-brown body that pours out. Small, light beige head.

Smell: Slightly phenolic, somewhat solventy nose with diminutive notes of caramel, toasted grains, and fruit. It certainly has a firm level of harshness and unacceptability.

Taste: A sweetish glug of simple syrup with a slight caramel taste to it. Sprinkling of raisins. Hint of spiciness. A lightly tannic, though significantly harsh bourbon character scuttling the already lacking quality of the base beer and hanging on like grim death through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: I was never taken by the standard Big Worse and I'd even say the bourbon treatment is even a further hindrance not a benefiting boost.

 759 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Deep amber. Solid head with great retention.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, rye, booze. Molasses like sweetness.

T - Malt up front. Booze, bourbon, oak, cedar smoke, vanilla, brown sugar, raisins. Touch of sharp woody bitterness on the backend.

M - Sweet finish. Full bodied with a boozy astringency and warmth.

D - The booze on the palate slows you down. If you love bourbon consider the drinkability a 4 - 4.5.

 424 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A reddish amber pour with a small khaki head. Only minimal bourbon aroma, but some wood and vanilla notes are present. Sweet brown sugar and toffee, a little bit of fruit/citrus, and some alcohol. The flavor is a touch hot with bourbon and alcohol notes. A bit of oak and vanilla along with brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. A light citrus quality, mostly grapefruit peel.

 372 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes L: Deep chestnut with a little haze under a nicely textured, fluffy, multi-sized bubbled 2” foam collar that quickly dissipates down to ¼”.
S: Bourbon, dried fruit and alcohol aromas.
T: Very rich and malty with dark sugar flavors backed by a solid hop finish. Seasoned with dark dried fruit, bourbon and vanilla.
F: Creamy, warming, full body, medium carbonation.
O: A big bold barleywine nicely seasoned with bourbon.

 446 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have a tendency to buy Mikkeller when I come to America, even though it's available in Australia. 1) Because it's much cheaper here than home and 2) Because Mikkeller is freakin' awesome. Sampled in New York, because it didn't make the cut of beers to take home.

Pours a deep, heavy red-brown colour, hazed—but who knows what with. This almost looks as though the haze comes purely from the viscosity of the liquid, as though it's absorbing even the light which passes through it. Head is very fine, although falters to a ring of minute bubbles soon after pouring. Lacing is sheeting and thick, however. Looks excellent.

Nose is smooth and oaky, with big vanilla notes, and huge spiritous booziness. Oily hop characters cavort through the haze of booze fumes and sweet mellow malt. It's an impressively aggressive and beautifully melded aroma.

Taste is also good, but the sharpness of the booze becomes rather ragged and insistent here. Smooth vanilla does a good job of soothing the rawness, but the spiritous burn still flickers on to the back palate. Complex dark flavours dance around, giving a flash of roasted grain at various points, and giving hints of whiskey. Feel is smooth and delightful.

A very good beer, that is undoubtedly aided by the bourbon barrel vanilla characters, although the booze is hefty in this one. Share it, sample it, enjoy it.

I wish I had have saved it and shared it.

 1,409 characters

Photo of corby112
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color that appears dark amber, almost brown in the glass with a two finger pillowy, yellowish-beige head that very slowly fades into a lasting ring. Large streaks of lacing left behind.

Earthy, leathery aroma with some sweet malt notes and a subtle barrel character. There is some toasted oak and boozy bourbon but it doesn't overpower the nose, allowing the malt character to come through. I usually never say this, but it could use more barrel. Hints of caramel and toffee along with some dark fruit and alcohol.

Medium bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation for the style. Slightly spicy with a decent barrel character that gives off some dry oak and sweet bourbon flavor without overpowering the base beer. There's still a lot of leathery malt with hints of caramel, toffee, nut and biscuit as well as some fig, date and raisin. Decently balanced with a well masked ABV but is definitely still a sipper. I haven't been a fan of many of Mikkeller's barrel aged beers but this one is pretty good.

 1,030 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Uncorked, unlike its non-aged brother.

A: Decent head, murky-opaque dark red-brown.

S: Interesting. Some spice, some depth. Sweet, molasses malt.

T/M: Far better than the normal Big Worse (which was, admittedly, out of date). Loads of grapes, pleasant malt, and thick-sharp bourbon. Less sweet than Big Worse, but only relatively so. Still a damn sweet ale. Soft vanilla and the molasses character noted previously, but just enough carbonation to keep the stickiness at bay.

O: A great barleywine, the bourbon influence in which only shows up on the distant aftertaste and the decreased cloyingness of the base beer. Drinkable, pleasant, and recommended. Thanks Mikkel, for improving your disappointing initial effort.

 772 characters

Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy deep copper color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with large amounts of syrupy medium fruits - pears mostly with hints of raisins. Also present are mild amounts of molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Very sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by thick molasses and toffee flavors. Midway through the sip overripe medium fruit flavors work their way into things, carrying through to a moderately sweet finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass however I'm not sure I'd like another.

Overall I had to double-check to make sure I did in fact buy the bourbon edition - I got absolutely none out of the aroma or flavor profile. I would think some oak and bourbon would temper the sweetness a bit, something that is needed.

 1,027 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex and boozy barleywine with a shiny maltier bourbonesque edge.

Presentation: 375 ml green, plastic corked, and caged bottle. Light yellow illustration with a two mugshots of the brewers. Back highlights the the brewing at de Proef. Notes style and 12% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Hazy amber brown pour with a fair head that displays good retention and surface memory with some lacing.

S - Sweet nose, malty and lightly boozy with a hint of bourbon and vanilla and a resinous hint…

T - Flow follows with a nice malty range, touches of vanilla with a boozy bourbon flow and a light hoppy dash in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation, rather smooth and a touch creamy. Boozy and warming but while definitely a strong trait of its characters not a flaw in any way .

O - Nice bourbon barrel barleywine, pleasing sipping experience.

Notes: Hmmmm… Coming back to this one after having tried two versions of the Big Worst before (a great one and a not so great one…) this was a much maltier surprise. Maltier than expected with a nice feel and boozy range. Borderline worthy of the repeat...

 1,128 characters

Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375ml bottle.

Pours a deep, hazy reddish brown with a big, frothy beige head that really sticks stubbornly to the glass and leaves very nice lacing.

The aroma is heavy with bourbon and oak and very sweet with caramelized sugar, overripe red apples and toffee. Lots of vanilla and caramel as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lower carbonation than I was expecting given the pour. Lots of alcohol and wood and viscous sweetness on the palate.

Like most of the bigger Mikkeller brews, this is no subtle brew. Tons of flavors, alcohol, sweetness, bitterness all rolled into a bottle. Certainly not drinkable but very tasty.

 632 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of woosterbill
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Green bottle (375ml?) into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Hazy red-orange body with healthy wisps of off-white bubbles. Light, spotty lacing. Not a bad-looking BA barleywine.

S: Pretty single-minded with the solventy fusel alcohols. Light, fresh fruitiness comes in, surprisingly (not dark candied fruits as might be expected), but there really isn't any discernible barrel character. Mediocre.

T: Very sweet and fruity with nail-polish remover alcohol dominating throughout. Not great, but I kind of enjoy it.

M: Medium-bodied with a surprisingly lively body. Pretty good.

D: Weirdly drinkable with its sweet fruitiness. Not great, but not as bad as could be expected with such thorough booziness.

Notes: Maybe I'm too demanding, but I really want some bourbon in a bourbon-barrel barleywine. Perhaps bourbon barrels, which do so well in Scotland, lose all of their magic by the time they reach Denmark, since both this and the bourbon Beer Geek Breakfast were rather disappointing. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

Cheers!

 1,058 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle. This one is capped, unlike the C&C non-bbal version that I drank last week.

Out of the bottle this beer looks better than the original non-bbal version. A lot more carbonation gives a 3 finger beige head on top of a dark reddish brown beer. Less sediment as well.

Aroma brings on warm oak and vanilla as expected, strong sweet malt and medium booze presence. Not getting as much of the dark fruit as the original but it's buried in there somewhere.

Taste starts smooth and sweet, blossoms to a more biting boubon and somewhat floral/minty bitterness. A touch of the Belgian sugar from the original, but that's more in the background. Same sort of vinegary dark fruit notes as the original. Lingering dry bourbon finish.

Medium to full bodied, with a creamy start and a dry finish. The booze lets itself be known, but is nicely enveloped by the flavor. Still, it encourages sipping.

The barrel aging definitely makes this a better beer than the original.

 972 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into two small snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Back label coded 4601011

A: Pours a relatively still hazy apple cider color. First pour was kind of ugly but the second pour was the redeemer. Loads of creamy light khaki colored foam and sticky lace. Very nice.

S: Pretty subtle, this one. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of aromas here. However, none of them whallop the nose. I like that in this type of beer. Tobacco, bourbon, vanilla, caramel apples, molassas, and a bit of bread pudding.

T: See above. Tastes exactly as it smells.

M: Very, very smooth. Fusel alcohol is kept to a bare minimum, leaving only the slightest tickle in the nose. Sweet but not syrupy. Hangs around in the mouth but doesn't overstay its' welcome.

O: Very nice. We were prepared for a 'blow the back of your head' off Mikkeller BA beer and were gifted with a nice example of subtlty. I'd buy this again if it weren't so spendy.

 957 characters

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Big Worse (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
3.82 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
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