Arquebus | Cambridge Brewing Company

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92
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41 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
cambridgebrewingcompany.com

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.75%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Described by CBC as a Summer Barleywine. "Arquebus" refers to a heavy portable matchlock gun invented during the 15th century, and forerunner of the rifle.

Added by Sycodrummer on 07-14-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
41
Ratings:
124
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 124
Photo of DefenCorps
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wish I'd gotten another glass of this instead of their IPA, it was phenomenal.

Still copper color with no head, but for someone who loves the Bon Chien Grand Crus, this is actually appealing. Great, complex nose. Honey jumps out but there's dates, figs, prunes and a little booze. Mild tartness. Palate opens with a mild tartness with the complex nose replicated. Finishes sweet with a hint of booze. The more I ponder this, the more it's like a bastardized blend of a Bon Chien and an aged JW Lees, an awful sounding combination, but one that works stunningly

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Photo of rye726
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'07 Vintage

This is some tasty stuff. Pours a rich rusty brown with a thin tan head. The nose has big sweet malts, delicate hops, oak and chardonnay wine. The taste is equally complex and delicious. A huge white wine and oak presence over candy malts, ripe citrus fruits and spicy alcohol. Superb balance and drinkability. Full body silks over the palate and enhances the drinking experience.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one on-tap at the brewery for the CBC barleywine fest. This review is of the 2006 vintage, batch NO.1. It was just too damn good not to review.

A hazy dark orangish color with no head to it. Not a lot of life in the body.

The first sniff really surprised me. Lots of fruity sweetness with a good tart edge to it. Green apples are in there for sure. Also a nice floral aroma in there. I said "this smells amazing" from the first whiff.

This stuff tastes as good as it smells, which is impressive. Pretty sweet up front with fruits like apricot and a touch of honey. Not a cloying or powerful sweetness, just a mild, light fruit sweetness that I find to be refreshing. Then flowery notes that are more herbal than hoppy come through. I don't really notice any hop presence in here at all actually. A touch of woody oak is in there too, preceding a tart finish. The finish tastes like tart green apple, and is a nice touch of flavor, complexity and balance. An absolutely great tasting beer.

A pretty thin mouthfeel closer to a champagne than what I think of as a barleywine. Not highly carbonated though, rather low.

I would have stayed and drank this all night if I had the money (I also wanted to try some other of the Barleywine offerings). This one is balanced, interesting, and tasty. No alcohol is noticeable at all. I would guess that it was around 6-7% ABV and not 10.75. Overall, this is a phenominal beer. Everytime I go to a CBC event I find something that blows my mind and this is one of them. Probably the best English barleywine I have ever had.

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Photo of mcallister
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me say that I worked at a wine shop and love wine and have never had a beer with this much wine character. Like a dessert chardonnay almost.

Liquid caramel color or melted gold with a faint white head.

Great bready nose absolutely filled with candied fruits, peach, apricot, pear, so chardonnay in aroma. Great nose.

Most wine like beer I've ever tried. Amazing smooth creamy mouthfeel. Huge candied pear, apple, hints of oak, vanilla, mineral qualities, apricot and candied peach. Somewhat reminiscent of a peach dessert reduced with chardonnay. Nicely sweet in no way cloying. I would pay mucho money for cases of this wine....er beer.

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Photo of mshallah
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wine glass and poured "still"(with little or no head)as stated on the beer menu. Mine had a bit of a creamy head compared to the other glasses at the table. I tried it both ways and actually preferred it with the 1/4 inch of creamy foam to emphasize the brew's beery qualities. Right away the smell and taste are an explosion of fruit. Fresh grape up front,melon in the background. Tropical fruit all around. These intense fruit characteristics make this beer something very special. The chardonnay character is mild in the nose but is more noticeable in the finish. The wine flavors really round out this barleywine and are the same I look for in a white wine. This is one of those beers that crosses lines and pushes boundaries. My first such labeled as Summer Barleywine. Will has the skill in the art of brewing.

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Photo of Atron67
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this yesterday at the CBC, just a great beer. had a lighter peach color, very light carbonation, arrived in a wine glass with maybe a little lace around the glass, but no head. pretty much smelled like a chardonnay on top, grapes and peach, and a little more fruit. some malt carried through, but it were these lighter scents that carried the day. the taste was great, very smooth, the malt seems to enhance the strength of the fruit flavors of the beer. body was really really thick, almost syrupy which worked well with the chardonnay flavors which dominated the finish, with a light apple flavor as well.

one of the top light barleywines, very few fit the bill in the summer, but this one does.

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Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the brewpub, served in a wine glass, Arquebus is a hazy peach with a small white collar and no effervescence. Dead still, but great color, I've always liked the lighter BWs, this on has a radiant glow to it.

Smell is lots of chardonnay grapes and alcohol, with a touch of toffee, it seems thick.

Taste is unusually dry and spritzy for a BW, which really cuts the viscosity of the body nicely. Very sweet, candy and apricot esters. I really like this style, fruity but not as thick and sweet as most English BWs do to the apparent minerals to help dry it out. Also, I can't help but wonder about the pervasiveness of the white wine...was this aged in chardonnay barrels?

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick, with a nice carbonation when you swish it.

Drinkability is high for me, very tasty and unique as well, I really enjoyed it and am glad I got to spend some time in Cambridge this summer and try this out.

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Photo of Damian
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at the Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA
Served in a wine glass
Thanks Will!

Poured a hazy, orangey-amber with a bubbly, bright white, one-finger head that quickly faded to a stubborn ring of lace.

The aroma was sweet and malty rich. Slightly oaky with some white wine-like characteristics (possibly muscat grapes). Strong fruity notes (peach and apricot) were apparent. As the beer warmed, the sweetness and the fruitiness became much more pronounced.

The taste was smooth, sweet and loaded with complexity. Rich and syrupy up front. As with the aroma, peaches and candied apricots dominated. Some honey came through as well. Granny smith apples were also noticeable, lending the beer a hint of cider-like tartness. Grapey notes appeared in the center. The muscat/green grape flavor crescendoed in the dry, semi-oaky finish that reminded me more of a chardonnay than a beer. Barrel aging at its finest! The 10.5% ABV was warming and welcomed, even on this hot summer evening. The long-lasting aftertaste was once again sweet and syrupy, with an intense peach brandy-like flavor.

The mouthfeel was thinner than average (for the style) with a fine, lively carbonation. Ultra creamy and supple on the palate.

Drinkability was simply terrific. This barleywine definitely errs on the sweeter end of the spectrum for the style, yet the tannins help keep it in check. At 10.5% ABV, the beer went down like candy. Also, the lighter body helped make this "summer-style" barleywine an even more quaffable treat.

I have tried a number of beers from the Cambridge Brewing Company and this barleywine definitely seems to be their finest offering. Fans of experimental beers should definitely seek out this gem. Well done.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

200th review! From tap into a wine goblet...

Pours like a mead-honey-maple-caramel-apple body with thin wispy beige-rose head.

Honey, muscat, champagne-maybe some apple-very light 4 style and cider-ish.

Wow-so clean for style but very very cidery-an easy drinking barleywine with a lot of muscat character and even some fizz-lots like an Aussie sticky. As it warms it does take on more of a true dessert wine character.

Cleaner than an Aussie sticky-sparkly on mouth - alcohol shows up to cut the fat.

Could drink lots more than I should; the emerging sweet wine character tempers drinkability a bit, but this still works very well.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cambridge Brewing Company.

This is the first barley wine I've really enjoyed in a long time. I'm not a huge fan of the style, and typically I find them too heavy and syrupy - just a little too much of everything. However, a summer barley wine? I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try this, as the description sounded quite good. It arrived in a wine glass and was a hazy amber color - bright and bold, with little head. The aroma was decent, pleasing without being cloying. Light fruit was the primary scent.

The taste was excellent - fruity with a solid malt base, and with a dry finish. Not much of a hop profile, but the overall taste certainly makes up for it. Mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied - not syrupy like some barley wines tend to be. In terms of drinkability, this is a sipper - great for a nice evening of sitting outside at the brewery. Very well done.

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Photo of taez555
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass this beer poured a hazy bright amber body with little to no head.

Surprisingly light to drink at first and only medium bodied. Rich malt, but with layers upon layers of fruit focusing big time on fresh peaches, apricots and loads of coconut. This beer is barrel aged in white wine barrels and it really shines through giving just a mild touch of oak without being overpowering. Bitterness is there to give it some backbone but never overshadows the malt or fruit flavors.

Wow! Summer barleywine, I like it, I like it a lot. The combination of fresh malt, coconut and oak is the most amazing combination on a breezy summer afternoon. It noted that they'll be aging this puppy for a while, it should be interesting to see how it ages, but it's fantastic now as it is.

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Photo of sloejams
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This here is straight up delicious. Barleywine and summer don't seem to fit. Barleywines: thick, syrupy, staggeringly high in alcohol, made for men with beards. Summer: generally none of that ('cept me, me and my beard). Arquebus is aged in chardonnay barrels which give it well, a chardonnay type fruit flavor. This sounds odd and it is, but somehow it all works. It seems slightly lower in hops than most barleywines which allows the tannins slick over the top giving an almost honey flavor. Served in a wine glass, this is far more accessible than most barleywines. A day later I returned to the CBC and this is exactly what I wanted.

 637 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Summer. Served in a stemmed wine glass. Barleywine/Oak barrel aged.

Golden/Light amber. Small/bright white head, nice lacing.

Citrusy nose, VERY nice arromatic nose. Pungent fruityness.

Taste's include: Peack, apricot and slightly tart effect with a great white-wine hit going down. Crisp and deep taste. Very impressed.

Feels extremely smooth and mellow. VERY white-wine feeling and equally as crisp. Light to medium body that sparkles.

10.75 % ABV. You would NEVER know it. Amazing.

Aged in french oak chardonnay barrels from the Silverado Winery in Napa.

Go get some!!!!

 599 characters

Photo of Franchise
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured a ruby caramel creamy color with a small tan head that quickly faded. The nose is fantastic...honey, chardonney grapes, peach, mango, suttle spices, nuts, and oak. The taste starts vinos in nature, alcohal is warming but not really apparent at 10.5%. This beer has loads of tannins that make you smack the tongue, and the hop presence is right there to give you some balancing bitterness.

The strong malt backbone and the aging in the chardonney barrels are a great compliment making this a smooth sippable brew. I can see why this is called a summer barleywine due to the refreshing nature in terms of carbonation, also the fruit feel on the palate. Anyone that is a fan of barleywines you need to try this brew!

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Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

CBC's summer barleywine served in a stemmed wine glass:

A wine glass is definitely appropriate for this ale. Honeyish orange haze with no foam stand. Aromatics of candied tangerine peel, peach preserves, honeysuckle, and honeydew melon. Musky green Chardonnay grapes mixed with vanilla oak tannins in flavor. Subdued hop flavor and aroma. Hops are clearly not the focus. Sticky and syrupy finish to this digestif in the French tradition of an after-dinner port or brandy. A tantalizing take on the barleywine style.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A "summer barleywine" from CBC; as the menu describes meant to sip, have a kick, and still refresh. Presented from the tap in a 10oz. narrow wine glass the beer was a light ruby red, orange/light amber color. No head and no lacing. Few signs of carbonation at all.

The nose is very strong with white wine aromas. Some grape and soft fruit. I picked up a hint of peach.

Taste is innitially soft and mellow with a very wine-y like taste. White grape and a soft alcohol. Nothing here intimates 10.75 ABV. Soft summer fruits and malt dominate the palate. The beer has a soft mouthfeel, about the consistancy of juice. Only mildly, carbonated.

An interesting twist here to a summer beer. As the menu described it, refreshing with a kick. Light body and little hop presence make it good for the hot weather. And the subtle wine-like alcohol presence give it the strengh needed for a barley wine. This one lacked the big screaming hop presence of American Barley wines and instead goes for smoothness, balance, and subtle strength. A very nice selection.

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Arquebus from Cambridge Brewing Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
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