Blunderbuss Barleywine | Cambridge Brewing Company

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

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-10-1999

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,538
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
135
pDev:
8.43%
Bros Score:
4.3
 
 
Wants:
95
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 135 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of imbibehour
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

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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.

 2,401 characters

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

 551 characters

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.

 336 characters

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.

 781 characters

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

Photo of Durge
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's murky mahogany in appearance with a fair light malt colored head that fades to a wisp with consistent coverage in recession. The aroma is bright sour grape rhubarb with a maple malt blend. There's a neat green hop that melds with an alcohol element. The taste brings a heavy port and cedar hop blend that is accompanied by a pleasant warming as it slides down the gullet. There's a brandy edge as well. Body is medium full with a somewhat viscous feel but there's enough crisp carbonation to keep it drinkable for the style. A very nice offering.

 551 characters

Photo of Petegrieco
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Masters
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jtk21351
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of mltobin
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Uncwest96
3.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Not a big fan of the barley wine. It was way too heavy and fruity. Like a fig newton suspended in a PBR.

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Blunderbuss Barleywine from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 135 ratings