Burly Wine
Half Pints Brewing Company

Burly WineBurly Wine
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Half Pints Brewing Company
Manitoba, Canada
English Barleywine
Ranked #105
Ranked #4,973
4.16 | pDev: 7.45%
Jul 05, 2023
Dec 10, 2006
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)
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of TheHammer
Reviewed by TheHammer from Canada (ON)

4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Poured with two fingers of head, a wonderful amber color with ruby highlights. The body shows good carbonation with the only detraction being is there quite a lot of particulate sediment in it.

Smell: Did need a good amount of warming to come out, but when it did, the caramel malt is the star as potent caramel, toffee and brown sugar notes really come to the forefront with a booziness that yes, parallels wine. There is also a slight raisin note in the background.

Taste: Malt upon malt layers that are restrained by the higher alcohol content. Caramel malt with a slight raisin biscuit note gives away to a more brown sugar taste, which then leads to a richer toffee malt and maybe even a slight pinch of allspice before ending with mild hops that mute and pass the mixed malt to the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The transitioning here is exceptional and nuanced. You wouldn't think you could pass between that many different types of malt so smoothly. Even the move into the aftertaste is handled expertly. The carbonation is good, but to be honest would be better served to be a bit mellower as it gets in the way when you first start drinking. The aftertaste is a wonderful mixed malt and raisin, like from a multigrain raisin cookie...albeit a clearly dosed cookie as it doesn't disguise it's 10.5% at all.

Drinkability: This stuff is a weird kind of rich, and my thoughts go to the Seinfeld episode with the cinnamon babka vs the rich chocolate babka which is normally how rich gets applied to beer. Despite it's high ABV it settles down very well, and is a showcase of malt. This stuff I wish I had a late fall fireplace to drink beside it with.

Final Thoughts: I've had several Barleywine's before, but I think this is the first one I've had classified as an English Barleywine. This I think is my new textbook "This is what Barleywine should be" example, as this very much showcases the Barley like Wine would showcase grapes. The fruitier yeast notes I've gotten with other ones are nowhere near as present, and I think that's a good thing here.
Jul 05, 2023
Rated: 3.79 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

Jul 12, 2021
Rated: 4.33 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Feb 26, 2018
Photo of Smakawhat
Reviewed by Smakawhat from Maryland

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.
Dec 24, 2017
Rated: 4 by SmithyAlan from Canada (QC)

Sep 26, 2016
Rated: 4 by JonnyBeers from Canada (BC)

Feb 09, 2016
Rated: 4.28 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Sep 22, 2015
Rated: 4.31 by zeledonia from Washington

Sep 12, 2015
Photo of Mike_Yallits
Rated by 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 :(
Jan 26, 2015
Rated: 4.5 by seldomseen from Canada (BC)

Apr 28, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by tom10101 from Canada (QC)

Jan 20, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by IanSpindler from Canada (AB)

Oct 30, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Sep 30, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by Boozecamel from Canada (BC)

Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Olek4374
Reviewed by Olek4374 from Canada (AB)

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.
Jul 28, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by FrostyWPG from Canada (MB)

Jun 22, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by maltyb from Canada (ON)

Jun 07, 2013
Photo of Rutager
Reviewed by Rutager from Canada (BC)

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!
Dec 05, 2012
Photo of liamt07
Reviewed by liamt07 from Canada (ON)

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.
Oct 31, 2012
Burly Wine from Half Pints Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 79 ratings