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Blunderbuss Barleywine | Cambridge Brewing Company

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Blunderbuss BarleywineBlunderbuss Barleywine
BA SCORE
4.27/5
Outstanding
142 Ratings
Blunderbuss BarleywineBlunderbuss Barleywine
BEER INFO

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

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,717
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
142
pDev:
8.2%
 
 
Wants:
96
Gots:
4
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a medium to dark reddish orange with a fine, one finger khaki head with great retention and thick lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, fresh and dried plums, raisins, dates and cherry. Flavor is dry caramel and mildly biscuit malt, dates, figs, mild plum, oak and whiskey. Finishes with rich biscuit and caramel, a bit dry. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A beautifully brewed English barleywine that has elements of both the dark fruit styles and the biscuit ones. Richly malty with nice barrel notes of oak and whiskey; well balanced. This bottle is listed as 12.5%, which is well covered. Excellent and well made.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Prost76
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mike22ne
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle, 2018 vintage fresh from the brewpub.

Looks sub-par, opaque brown with no head.
Excellent smell and taste, lots of caramel toffee, biscuit dough and sweet honey and toast. A bit of dark earthy herbal hops, but this is a big malty beer. A good subtle touch of rye whiskey from the barrels.
Feels is full bodied, medium heavy, strong but well rounded in depth of flavors. Very low carbonation and some warmth but the alcohol is well hidden. Some dry oak in the finish, leaves me wanting another sip.
Overall really delicious, a fantastic beer for sipping on a cold winter's night.

Glad I could have some, will be worth getting more!

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Photo of shelby415
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jbertsch
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Cork and cage bottle poured completely flat. Aroma and flavor were still nice though. Lots of toffee with hints of caramel, peaty cherry, bread and more.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Color and appearances seem to hit on a lighter and murky shade. Copper muted, closer towards orange than dark expected browns, but a nice touch of copper orange if a bit muddy. Minimal head creation, faint tan possibly, and a small flat top, slightly slick.

Very impressive aroma. Bursts of marmalade and sticky syrup aromas. Jam like touches of citrus and caramel rich toffee. Hints a little bit of herbality to this as well which compliments the marmalade quality so nicely. Flirts with darker fruits such as plum and raisin too, and a bit of possible Amerian hop expresssion?

Oak aging may have not contributed too much in mouthfeel, but it sure seems to hit with dominant flavors. Richly fruit forward and a soft caramel mixed warmth, with a light texture. Simple malt backbone, not too supportive but enough to get by, and doesn't seem to carry much of an oak quality. However, the mid palate is rich in plum, cherry, and orange marmalade qualities, with an excellent sweet not overbearing toffee flavor.

Pretty solid barleywine, flirting and going between American and English flavors too. Fun times!

 1,166 characters

Photo of wshinevar
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dannycohen62
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oak, dates, fig, grape, red apple

33 characters

Photo of Vicirus
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours hazy dark ruby red/brownish color with a thin cream colored head with decent retention, that reduces to a minimal spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, prune, fig, cherry, date, apricot, red apple, red grape, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, biscuit, and toasted oak; with lighter notes of oaken vanilla, nuttiness, chocolate, pepper, sherry, leather, tobacco, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. A bit of booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice complexity and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, oak barrel, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, plum, prune, fig, cherry, date, apricot, red apple, red grape, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, biscuit, and toasted oak; with lighter notes of oaken vanilla, nuttiness, chocolate, pepper, sherry, leather, tobacco, herbal, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness and oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark fruits, cherry, apricot, red apple, red grape, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, biscuit, toasted oak, vanilla, sherry, leather, tobacco, herbal, yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, oak barrel, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness and oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from bitter/spiciness. Mild carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and slightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is extremely well hidden; a mildly increasing warmth of 12.75%, with zero booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an amazing English barleywine! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity yeast, dark/bready malt, oak barrel, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV; even with the mild carbonation. Huge fruity yeast complexity, rich malts, and awesome oak barrel presence. All exceptionally balanced, never overly sweet. Wish this was vintage dated, but it definitely tasted a few years old to me. A highly enjoyable offering, and amazing style example.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of SABERG
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a recently purchased bottle into the test glass at 40 Deg.
A - Hazy, caramel colored backdrop, tiny spheres meander top side. a thin ring of off white clings to the glasses edge.
S - Hints of toffee, white grape skin, toasted oak, some worn leather.
T - That cigar wrap tobacco starts and quickly makes way for caramel, toffee, a bit of bourbon note. Vanilla and fresh fig
M - Full on, hefty and oily, sweet but not cloying
O - An excellent offering from CBC, this has the classic elements, and is accentuated by fresh fig and stone fruit

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The air is chilled...and #bil. Picked up a bottle and cracked it open a couple days later. Local + BA barleywine is a special combination.

Pours a honey-colored gold with minimal head. Starts off pencil thin then fades to swirls then random clusters of small bubbles in rapid order. Impressive clarity and hue.

Aroma on the lighter end of the spectrum, which is surprising. Candied fruit, light dates, caramel and a wisp of oak. Seems lighter-bodied.

Taste follows the aroma - candied fruit, Werther's original, toasted malts, dark fruit. Underlying earthy and nutty profile. Slightly piney and grassy hops present in the background. Low bitterness.

Finishes slightly flat and watery. I don't expect a great deal of carbonation from the style but it was less than I was geared up for. Didn't get that rich, sweet (caramel) and bitter (hops) taste. Moderate warmth from the ABV.

I'll need to give this another try at some point. Surprised my experience deviates so far from the BA community and my experience with CBC's barrel-aged beers in general. Maybe Central Waters' expanded barrel program and distribution has set a new (and higher) reference point. Who knows, but don't sleep on CBC and take my review with a grain of salt...

 1,238 characters

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jdhilt
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger khaki head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving no lace. Deep brown color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. dark fruit nose and flavor malty, dark fruit, smooth. Higher ABV, now 12.75% is mostly hidden. Expensive at $10.95 for a caged and corked 375ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of darktronica
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quite fruity for an American barleywine, innit? Not much hoppy counterpoint to balance things out, but on the other hand, the bottle does not make any claim of American or English style, so I'm inclined to give a pass on that. Brewing notes online mention a mix of American and British malts, with six types of hops, aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels: quite a complex undertaking. The nose and palate are both well in line with the brewery's description, with tart berries (I get grape, mulberry, and hints of blue- and rasp-) matching up against some lighter caramel and vanilla flavors, partly from the malts and partly from the barrel. I get some fusel notes on the finish which are a bit of a letdown, but overall, I quite like this as a pretty distinctive take on the style.

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Photo of Bunuelian
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Grinky
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of qcbrewer
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of newbeeraday
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hopstout
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Blunderbuss Barleywine from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 142 ratings