Blunderbuss Barleywine 2011, Aged In Port And Sherry Barrels | Cambridge Brewing Company

no score
Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerResearcher on 01-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 23
Photo of BostonHops
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

on-tap at Deep Ellum, Allston, MA, 4/2012
(review from notes)

sits a deep amber, almost chestnut in the glass; a foamy collar around the glass was all that remained of the head when the beer was delivered... robust nose offers caramel, brown sugar, and some dark fruit with the port/sherry character readily discernible. very nice.

aroma translates to an amazing flavor, just replete with bold notes of caramel and brown sugar, oak, dark fruit, molasses, and a little vanilla, all flanked by the port/sherry presence. some alcohol shows itself in the finish but for a 13% ABV barleywine it's really well hidden. delicious. medium-full mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall just a stellar brew. my favorite offering from CBC to date, and that's saying something. if the opportunity presents itself this one is not to be missed.

 835 characters

Photo of TWStandley
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at CBC while enjoying some pizza on the patio.

A dark brown color with a slight purplish tinge.

Smelled insanely strong - definite port character in the smell, as well as a bit of alcohol and some dark fruit scents.

Taste is amazing and complex. First you are hit with a sweet fruit taste backed by the definite presence of port/sherry. Followed by some tart cherry tastes in the finish. All tied together nicely with some bready characteristics and a hop finish. Wow.

Mouth-feel is a bit warm but this was perfect to enjoy outside when I, myself, was a bit cold. Definetely coats the mouth.

Awesome awesome awesome.

 632 characters

Photo of axeman9182
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cambridge Brewing Company and served in a small snifter.

2011 Blunderbuss pours a deep mahogany, lightening to amber in spots along the outer edges of the beer. There's a little bit of clarity when the beer's backlit, and a wispy bit of khaki colored foam topping the beer. The nose is absolutely heavenly. It's redolent of both caramelized brown sugar and port soaked oak in equal measure, with neither becoming overtly dominant. Dried figs and dates are the first thing that jump out on my palate, with lighter notes of darker fruits also present, and a hint of caramel completing the picture. The flavor is good, but a little too heavy on what was picked up from the barrels, there's not a ton of the base beer shining through. I was expecting a bit more fullness in the body, it could stand to be a little bit more rich/lush. The creamy carbonation is on the low end of the spectrum, which perfectly suits the beer. Blunderbuss is a very good beer, and perhaps my expectations were a bit high given how much I love CBC's barrel aged Old Ale, but it just didn't wow me the way a lot of my favorites do.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Firkin-Bunghole
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

fortunate enough had on tap in Cambridge Brewing Company (CBC) on 2 occasions.
Appearance-By the time beer arrived to table no head remaining. Served in a snifter both times.
Smell-Really strong notes of sherry/port and also of pitted-fruit. Smells tremendous.
Taste-First time I had the drink served by itself. The second time I had the beer was with a cheese/bread dish complemented with honey and fresh apples. The pairing enhanced the barleywine and I'm impressed with the fresh/organic foods used by CBC.
Mouthfeel-Full-mouthfeel. Alcohol becomes more noticeable only with warming.
Overall-This English Barleywine is a top representation for the style. I can only hope that this gem is available again.

 708 characters

Photo of sraimondi
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at CBC last night. Wow!! This one is maybe one of the best BWs I have ever had. The complexity increased with warming. The Port notes make this beer special, IMHO. The 13% was present but the beer was not "hot". Hats off to CBC.


 248 characters

Photo of gfreed
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cambridge Common, where for once everything on the beer list wasn't hugely hoppy or flavored with pumpkin juice. This one was thick, malty and boozy and was a perfect dessert beer after a superb plate of grilled cheese w/tomato soup. If anything, the sherry could be pulled back a bit-- it was almost like drinking a glass of thin, cold sherry rather than beer that had been sitting in a sherry barrel for a while. But that's a quibble. Drink slowly and make sure someone else drives home afterward.

 509 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Cambridge Brewing Company (Cambridge, MA) on 2/3/12. Served in a goblet.

Pours a deep clear copper ruby color, with almost no head to speak of. Just a thin ring of off-white foam that skims the edges, leaving back a gentle cascade of light spotty lace. Those sherry and port barrel flavors are right there in the aroma and merge well with those of the base Barleywine. Notes of dark fruit, caramelized sugars, cocoa, molasses, vanilla, burnt oak and herbal hops all have a place here.

This just has a rich and flavorful sweet booziness to it that is hard to beat.
Like the nose, the taste has a lot of sweetness going on with it as well. Cocoa, caramel, darker molasses, ripe citric fruit, herbal hops, candied sugars and vanilla all combine to give this fairly complex profile that just coats the mouth with warmth sticky sweetness. The finish is very dry and tannic, with an oaky feel that lingers. The mouthfeel is full bodied and thick and chewy feeling in the mouth with a bit of sharpness that zips down the tongue. You can feel that 13% up to a point but it never gets stinging. Just beefy warmth to the body that adds a bit of extra oomph to all of these flavors.

Man, I liked this latest version of the Blunderbuss. A LOT! The sherry and port barrels character just matched up beautifully with the beefy fruity sweetness of the Barleywine to make a decadent mélange of flavors that just bombed the mouth with richness. Yikes, they do barrel-aged beer right here!

 1,491 characters

Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a way to open up brunch!!!

This is an outstanding beer. Yes you can tell its high ABV but it's hidden at the same time.

Incredible aromas. Incredible mouthfeel. The port and sherry casks come through. It's rich, decadent, buttery, sweet, malty, woody, amazing.

This is the best offering from CBC I have had.

 317 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter.
It pours a hazy leathery golden color with a thin beige head that was fading as the waitress carried it from the tap to the table.
Smells of ripe fruit and sherry rise to greet the nose at once. Mixed aromas of vanilla, fruit cake, figs, burnt caramel, along with whiffs of amber rum drift in and out. I'm almost afraid if I drink it too fast, I'll lose the wonderful and complex smells.
The flavors are as inviting and complex as the aromas. The rich and creamy body carries flavors of rum cake, crème brule, figs, sweet berries, mild citrus, soft herbs, and sherry.
If you’re in need of a self-indulgent, decadent Barleywine to pleasure your mind, body and soul, this is the one!

 714 characters

Blunderbuss Barleywine 2011, Aged In Port And Sherry Barrels from Cambridge Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 23 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.