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Burly Wine | Half Pints Brewing Company

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Burly WineBurly Wine
77 Ratings
Burly WineBurly Wine

Brewed by:
Half Pints Brewing Company
Manitoba, Canada

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2010 - Tan with new labels (341 mL only)
2009 - Blue (341 mL only)
2008 - Green (341 mL & 660 mL)
2007 - Red (660mL released in 2007, 341 mL released in 2008)
2006 - Tan (660 mL only)

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of StormAles
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Smakawhat
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2017, 22oz. bomber.

Creamy khaki to off white colored head. Good pill lacing and a swiss cheese bubbly top, with some retention, settling to half a finger. Deep ruby orange, quite light in color almost looking more American in appearance, but hits somewhere in between with some mahogany like hues. Fairly clear as well, rich and good looking. Nice looker.

Aroma goes for a bit different. Slight touches of caramel, but a more hop forward and almost emphasis on booze quality. Strong ale character but with not much hop presence, or even malt sweet richness, but gives to a very clean simple brown sugar with a hint of chemical trace but at least small. Not bad on the nose.

Palate really keeps it simple. Lots of good solid toasty and powdered sugar flavors in the mid palate. A brown crust bread and sugar quality, but a very lacking light body for such a brew. Hop angle is pretty neutral and mellow, but some caramel makes and appearance. Hints a little wet, but there's some crackling of toast and almost toffee that just wants to creep out.

A good holiday brew, but doesn't quite get into real excellent quality. Potential is there though for sure.

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Photo of SmithyAlan
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JonnyBeers
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tmappin
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zeledonia
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mike_Yallits
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another good beer from half pints. Good taste with a hoppy kick, but with a 10.5% ABV it has a alcohol burn :(

112 characters

Photo of seldomseen
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of tom10101
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Boozecamel
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Olek4374
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was the blue bottle, so 2009 vintage. It pours a dark brown with a very meager head and an almost cloudy appearance. The smell is very rich with strong caramel aromas and some recognizable booziness - this is barleywine after all.

The taste is strong and boozy, but there are some pleasant flavours of caramel and a nice lingering sweetness which make it a lot easier to drink. The burn going down my throat is quite evident though. I recognize this is barleywine though, so it is unfair to fault the beer for being strong, and any unpleasantness that may come with it. The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbonated with some texture to mix things up. Overall this is an above average barleywine and a solid brew from half Pints.

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Photo of FrostyWPG
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of maltyb
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Rutager
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle looks just like the pic, so I'll have to say '10? Thanks Wordemupg!

Appearance. Pours a deep and murky caramel-amber with a thin, off-white head.

Smell. Caramel, raisins and some smooth booze with a little grainy malt.

Taste. Raisins and some nice, not too sweet caramel and some light and dark fruits with a mild tartness. A little bit of an earthy mineral taste along with the raisins in the finish. Nice stuff and gets better with every sip! Alcohol almost non-existant.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with below medium carbonation.

Overall. A great tasting barleywine. The high abv that is almost undetectable is amazing and can only be partly attributed to the aging. That gives this beer an extra .5 in the overall as far as I'm concerned. Thanks again, wordemupg!

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Photo of C4NUCKb33rLOV3R
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of liamt07
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottles from both wordemupg and kjyost - (blueish?) wax and a 341ml bottle, so this is from 2009 I'll guess. Into a tulip. Side by side with the bourbon barrel aged version.

Mahogany body, with deep ruby red highlights. A ring of bubbles for lace, whisps of retention. Toasty malts on the nose, bread crust, caramel, toffee, brown sugar and some mild hop character. Slight oxidation notes as well. Taste has caramel and toffee up front, very sweet malt, candy, light chocolate near the end with again some mild hop character. Fairly full feel, sweet with almost no bitterness. Sticky. A nice offering, but not completely outstanding.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was able to drink a bomber of the the green-waxed 2008 vintage of this; cheers to oakbluff for that one. She was a beauty! This review is off a more recent vintage sent by kjyost, which ended up being equally as wonderful. Cheers!

Fun story too. A mate of mine lived in Winnipeg for a few years while working at the university there. We got into drinking one night and it turns out Half Pints was his favorite brewery and he hadn't had any since moving back to Ontario a couple years back. So, out came the Half Pints! He was pretty surprised to say the least.

From a 12oz bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2010
IBU: 75

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a faint wisp and ring. Maroon red in color, opaque, with zero carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end leaving some falling dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking barleywine for sure.

SMELL: Lots of caramel and toffee, with some nice red fruit notes as well. Some cedar wood notes and floral hops round it out nicely, though the caramel and toffee aromas steal the show a bit. Bold and enticing. Very ncie.

TASTE: Big flavors of caramel and toffee, as the nose suggestd, with butterscotch in there as well. Some piney hops and sweet honeydew melon notes at the swallow, moving into a big and persistent finish of caramel and toffee sweetness, red fruity notes, and a hint of hop bitterness as well. Quite flavorful. A touch more bitterness would make this other-worldly, but it's a real treat as it is.

PALATE: Medium-fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a scratch at the swallow, finishing slightly mouth-coating. Nice here.

OVERALL: This is really well executed. The aromas and flavora are impressive and nicely balanced, and the feel is full with just the right amount of kick to it. Very impressive and extremely enjoyable. Both the 2008 and 2010 bottles went down very easily. Too bad they decided to retire this one. Can I be the first to sign the resurrection petition? Cheers guys!

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Photo of Pshkwa
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of shagal
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of jrenihan
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is dark amber/copper in colour. A vigorous pour results in a moderate white head. Head is very thick and full. Good retention.

Smell is alcohol, caramel malt, wood, smoke and a bit of fruit (I get a bit of graoe?). Very full scent, big and bold.

Big malt flavours in the taste; lots of caramel and bread, but not terribly sweet. The hops provide a good counterbalance. Has a very woody flavour, perhaps oak, that make it seem as if it was aged in oak barrels, though not barrels that held booze previously. Booze is noticeable but in a good way. Somewhat bitter finish. Very nice.

Moderate carbonation, full bodied but not as big as many barleywines. Slightly syrupy.

Overall, very nice. Really a good barleywine. Has this beer seriously been retired??? Crazy.

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Photo of Converge
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip glass. 2010 vintage (Tan wax).

A - Pours with a nice thick tan head of foam atop a deep burgundy beer. When held up to the light this barley wine glows a bright pink color with lots of haze floating in the body. Nice head retention and relentless lacing.

S - Woody caramel malt, sort of nutty as well. Moderate grassy hops in there as well. It's sort of got skunkiness at first as well. Maybe a bit of oak and vanilla combination playing a role here too. Some dark fruitiness shows up as well, namely dates and apricots.

T - Well, it's certainly complex. I'm getting everything form big earthy wood notes and resinous smoke flavors, to assorted spices and dark fruits. Herbal hops bite the back of the palate as this one finishes. Small alcohol warmth. It's not exactly astringent or bitter, but it's got a big bite of flavor in the finish. Hops, spices and phenolic notes linger long after the liquid has passed. Dates, plums and apricots add a touch of sweetness along with earthy caramel malt, Belgian candi sugar and cola syrup.

M - Thick and full bodied. Definitely a little oily and a little syrupy, but it's still fairly smooth throughout. The alcohol is certainly detectable in the feel of this beer, but it's still pretty good in this department.

D - For me, this beer is a touch too phenolic and herbal. The flavor is powerful and in-your-face, there's no denying that; but overall this isn't quite my idea of a great beer. Still, I enjoyed and I can definitely see myself revisiting this one again down the road, but that probably won't happen due to it being retired. Oh well, at least I got to grab a bottle before they were all gone!

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Photo of Howlader
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Agent1
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

NOTE: 2010 bottle
Now retired, I figured it might be best to review a bottle before they are all gone...

Appearance - Nice, consistent head. Lots of sediment here when held up to the light. A deep amber/ brown. Great color to this Barley Wine.

Smell - Very nice woodsy aroma. A slight spice on the nose given off from the hops (definitely has a Goldings characteristic). Caramel, butter, herbs and faint toffee.

Taste - Oak and other warm, wood-like qualities. Prunes, caramel, dates, a little flour and toffee. Spicy. The alcohol is surprisingly hidden for a beer at 10.5% abv. Reasonably smooth and chewy. A noticeable amount of Barley grains used here. This bottle is a little more sour than usual. I think the beer could age a bit more, too. A very sugary and complex brew.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation, not too much. Quite heavy and buttery. Syrupy and thick. Coats the roof of the mouth. Buzzes on the tongue afterwards. Not quite as balanced as I would like, but a decent feel. A tad too sweet, but then again, it is a Barley Wine.

Overall - This Barley Wine is very heavy to ingest. One bottle and it may be time to switch things up. Perhaps it may be enjoyed more with a meal (steak or herb chicken even). It really strikes the mouth, bolstering complexity and lots of woody flavors. Spicy and unique. It's unfortunate that they've retired this brew for now. Luckily for me, I have one vintage year (a bottle 2009) and two more bottles of 2010 standing up on my shelf. Looking forward to aging these, especially the '09. Barley Wines can sometimes be hit and miss. This one is quite enjoyable. Perhaps one of the better ones I've had to date. Hopefully Half Pints considers brewing this recipe again.

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Burly Wine from Half Pints Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 77 ratings