Burly Wine | Half Pints Brewing Company

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Burly WineBurly Wine

Brewed by:
Half Pints Brewing Company
Manitoba, Canada

Style: English 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)

Added by fisherman34 on 12-10-2006

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 76
Photo of Olek4374
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
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 Rutager
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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 liamt07
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
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%
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 jrenihan
4.42/5  rDev +6%
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 -7.4%
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 Agent1
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
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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Photo of nhindian
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Generously provided as an extra by alpineclimber, thanks a lot!

2010 vintage (tan wax)

A - Pours a fairly muddy looking brown with dark orange tinges to it. Cloudy body with about a finger's worth of tan head that doesn't have much retention to it. Some spotty lacing as well; it is almost like a leopard print in the way it is laid out.

S - The nose is pretty tame for such a high ABV barleywine. I actually have to work to get something out of it since its not very aromatic in my opinion. As it warms it does start to release aromas easier, starting with caramel but then leading to toffee and even some slightly smoked wood.

T - Luckily the flavors aren't as greedy as the nose in that they relinquish their bounty willingly. Pretty much all malts here, but without over-the-top sweetness. A decent amount of caramel permeates throughout, mixed with some dark pitted fruits and raisins. The wood continues here, as well as a somewhat alcoholic finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with relatively low carbonation. Smooth and yet somewhat sticky.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I would love to see this beer get a little more 'burly' and bold as it's currently lacking that extra oomph that I look for in a barleywine. The nose definitely needs some work, but the flavors pave a smooth foundation for that to work on.

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Photo of papat444
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

***2009 vintage (blue wax)***

Thanks to kjyost for this one.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: A nice 3 finger head forms that reduces to 1 and holds. Sticky lacing on the sides. Body is a bit more clear than expected with a reddish tinted body.

Smell: Musty a bit, caramel, lactic a little, plums, old wood.

Taste: A sweet hit upfront and mellows into a herb-like spiciness. Some caramelized sugar and leather.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, low carbonation but no staying power in the mouth. As soon as the sip is gone, so is the feel. No mouth coating or lingering presence. On the plus side, it has no real alcohol heat.

Overall: A decent barleywine but the body keeps it from being top-tier. Middle of the road for me.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed this on july 6th 2011.
Might be first taste of Manitoba. Probably my first waxed bottle as well. Thanks again to Bobsy for this! Not sure how old this is but the wax is blue if that means anything.
341ml bottle opened with Taps magazine bbbarfly opener and poured into Taps magazine snifter.

A- Almost opaque burnt orange/hazelnut. Not very much of the grayish head is left but lots of peculiar speckled lacing.

S- A tiny bit of onion is what strikes me first but it doesn’t bother, there’s lots more good in here. Lots of sweet caramel and even something like almonds or marzipan. Alcohol is present but still a bit discrete. Smells very good. Alcohol creeps out as it warms.

T-Less sweet than I thought. Oxidized maybe? There some sort of red wine tartness. Hops are more present than expected as well. Very woody and robust. A little earthy even. The caramel still makes a notable appearance but instead of the butterscotch found in the smell I get more of a maillard reaction, refined sugar reduction type of taste. Very hoppy after-taste. Alchol tastes is a little bit like cognac.

M- A pretty heavy beer. Body is syrupy, medium carbonation fades fast in the mouth and finish is considerably far from dry. Astringent though. Slow drinking.

O- I think this bottle might be a tad bit oxidized but it still is a great barleywine. Full, quite hoppy without tasting like an IIPA. I want more.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was sent to me by Shadman from BA. Cheers!

Got the blue label which makes this one the 2010 vintage (Thanks Dave for correcting me, I thought it was the 2009). The beer color is dark amber. Little head forms up. The aroma is light in intensity, I would have expected more. Get some caramel notes and sugar. When the beer warms a little bit, the aroma gets better and stronger with caramel. Complex on the taste however. Sweet. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. This is a true sipper. I started a little bit too cold, but the end was very good, if not extraordinary.

Truly a very good beer.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I believe this is the 2008 vintage. 341ml bottle with a green wax dip over the cap. Purchased at Willow Park in Calgary in September 2010. Poured in a snifter.

Beige head is just a thin cap on the pour and quickly recedes to a couple of thin islands. Minimal carbonation. Cloudy and reddish amber in colour.

Aroma is rich and full. Dried fruit, caramel, grapefruit, sweet malts. Surprisingly strong with so little head or carbonation. Hints of the alcohol become apparent as it warms.

Big, bold and rich flavours roll across the tongue. The malt is right up front with caramel and dried fruit. Then the hops come in around the middle to make a wonderfully balanced centre. Everything smoothly melds into a hoppier finish. Citrus and herbal hop notes in the finish. Aftertaste is long and drawn out. This has mellowed nicely with age and all of the characteristics blend together beautifully.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth. For this much alcohol, it's amazingly drinkable. Just a little resin-y and oily.

World class! One of the top 2 Barleywines I've ever had the privilege of tasting. The other one was made by the same brewer while at a different brewery/brewpub. Why the heck did I wait so long to crack this?!?

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 6/24/11. Thanks to kjyost for this beer.
Poured in to Founder's tulip.

A - Medium amber/copper colour with a half finger of off-white head.

S - Sweet caramel, toffee, dark fruit.

T - Dark fruit, caramel, toffee, some noticeable alcohol and a good overall sweetness with a slight bitterness cutting through.

M - Medium body with a slight chew. Light carbonation.

O - One of the few Barleywines that I have really enjoyed.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been saving the 2009 and 2010 vintages for a back-to-back tasting...

2009 Vintage in a Tulip Glass
A - Pours a nice hazy copper colour with an amber brown hue, solid finger of head with solid retention and some nice sheeting lacing.

S - Quite sweet with some delicious caramel notes, touch of earthy, leafy hops. Some bitter espresso is coming through alongside a fruit punch scent.

T - Quite the tasty barley wine. The caramel flavours come through quite nicely alongside some bitter espresso notes, much like the scent. There's a bitterness that lingers from the hops and leaves a leafy green flavour on the tongue. ABV is incredibly well hidden with only the faintest touch of heat on the palette.

M - Perfect carbonation level, coming off a bit syropy, but in a non-offensive way with small carbonation bubbles. Goes down incredibly smooth and finishes nicely with a touch of dryness.

O - There's a reason this is a top rated barley wine. Easily one of the best I've had the pleasure of trying, and certainly a high quality example of the style. Half Pints pulls off another winner. Top notch indeed!


2010 Vintage in a Tulip Glass
A - Same as the 2009 vintage, nice hazy copper colour with an amber brown hue, finger and a half of head and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Again, sweet caramel notes, some leafy green hops, though a a hint of ABV is detectable this time. Not quite as fruity as the 2009 vintage either.

T - The caramel notes come through nicely with a bit of a toffee flavour, the bitter leafy hops are a bit more prominent this time, though the ABV heat is also more detectable. A maple supgary sweetness lingers alongside the leafy hops.

M - A bit lighter on the palette, coming off a tad thin, but again nothing overly offensive. Still smooth as ice going down though and finishes nicely with a touch of dryness.

O - Perhaps its a mental thing, but I certainly found that aging helped to enhance the flavours, scent and mouthfeel of this barley wine. Don't get me wrong, the 2010 vintage is delicious, but this is definitely something worth putting in your cell for a year to mellow out. Wonderful offering and I'm glad I was able to do a back-to-back on this one. To the extent you can find some, hoard it!

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Photo of bylerteck
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from CBA. Thanks! 2008 vintage as an extra. Consumed in honour of the announcement of Winnipeg's new NHL team. Jets fan forever!

A - Poured a dark brown/amber colour with lot's of carbonation and alot of yeast suspended. One finger beige head is creamy. Good retention with a solid thick film throughout. Soapy chunks of lacing.

S - Loads of hops from afar. More inspection brings out a little prickly pineapple. Closer brings out some really, really rich dark fruits. Absolutely lovely boozy fruitcake aroma with syrupy dates.

T - Alcohol is mild with some dustiness. Rich dark fruit is a little less intense. A note I mistook earlier ended up becoming alot more herbal and interesting. Boozy fruitcake again. Licorice in the finish.

M - Significant carbonation and a full body. Sort of an odd mix but it's not unpleasant.

O/D - Quite a nice barleywine. Took some time to open up but after a while it became very pleasant. The great aroma makes it so inviting. A solid beer. Way to go Half Pints. I'd like to try it fresh to compare as I think it might not have held up as well as a more established brewery.

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

A- Pour is a murky ruddy brown with a small khaki colored head, lacing is ok for a big beer.

S- The nose is really sweet, but good. Toffee, dark treacle, honey, and dark fruits. Underneath the sweetness is a citrus element and a small trace of the alcohol even after more than 2 years in my cellar.

T- More of the sweet stuff without the fruit carries through on the palate, the hops are much more pronounced here, but they're more herbal and slightly bitter on the finish and linger with some heat from the alcohol.

M- Creamy going down, finish is somewhat sticky and drying. Subtle carbonation, average body.

O- This is a rich beer as it should be. I really started to enjoy this near the end, maybe that's because I'm fairly flush in the face. I think Half Pints is in my top 5 breweries in Canada, solid stuff, check them out if you can!

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Photo of MAB
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The wax coating over the top of the bottlecap is interesting but, ultimately, stupid. I ended up with shards of wax in my beer after pouring it into a glass.

While the aroma is sweet and malty, it is subtle.
The flavor sure isn't though: Big malty goodness, thick, almost syrupy, and with some hops for balance.
Everything I want a barleywine to be. Outstanding.

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Photo of chickenm
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Pours a dark amber color with some sediment and a modest tan head. Nice aroma, caramel and molasses with a little licorice. Taste has sweet malts, dark fruits and a good balancing bitterness. Average body; the carbonation is quite low. Alcohol is not noticable. Not bad at all, this is a great Canadian Barleywine!

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Photo of BasementBer
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 batch.

A: A nice deep brown hue. The head doesn't linger and mild lacing remains.

S: A rich smell with light raisin caramel undertones.

T: Full flavored barley and a great bittering - no surprise based on the 75 IBU count.

M: Very thick consistency in the mouth and the alcohol is a noticeable tingle.

D: You can have more than one, but your gonna lose the ability to taste this great beer. For me, its a seasonal for a reason, an a one time shot when you want that one desert beer.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dany (glouglouburp on RB) for this one! 2010 (Blue label with red cap and clear/tan wax). 341mL brown glass bottle. Opened at 49 degrees straight from the cellar.

Deep dark rich, yet clear amber brown with very little off-white sudsy bubbles.

Nose is like malt extract with hop pellets thrown in it. Dark and woody up front but with some earthy pine-y hop resin. Raisin's come to mind and other dried dark fruits. Wet drift wood and barnboards too.

Palate is really dry, wow. Wasn't expecting that. Some bitterness there, but it's not just from the hops, that yeast dried this sucker out! Woody notes, a little something like cooked steak, molasses maybe (but not sweet) and dark grade B maple syrup. Palate is wide open with flavor but the hops sort of edge in and give it shape in a great way. Bitterness keeps things interesting and there's some resin notes here too.

Notes: Really much more interesting that I was expecting...well, I didn't really know what to expect, but this was pretty friggin great. ABV is well hidden and I'd say this might be a great time to drink this beer (having never had it fresh or aged longer, it's showing very well.) Really well done!

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually a bottle, BUT this is the 2010 and wanted to compare to the 2009 back to back, I hope this is okay....
A - slightly hazy amber orange, one finger of head dissipated to random islands, respectable lacing
S - very nutty and fruity rich, somewhat spicy/peppery with comfortable alcohol
T - strong tartness and alcohol kick up front, rich nutty malt in the middle, and finishes with a strong spicy hop finish
M - highish carbonation, rich flavour with thin feel, finishes puckering tart
D - this definitely ages well, as I found the 2009 to be more rich and woody compared to a more sharp tart 2010, still a very nice high octane brew, well done Half Pints (as usual)!

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to alpineclimber for this.

im guessing this is a 2010, it has may 10 written on it. green camo light wax top.

pours a deep murky hazy brown and copper. light creamy head that leaves nearly no retention.

very rich and candy like. big sweet malt and toffee. some nice light raisin and dark fruit.

a tad lighter in the flavor. still a solid sweet malt backbone that is quite heavy. light dark fruit and toffee. nice hoppy finish. lots of citrus through out. light grapefruit on the finish. slight faint hint of alcohol

very full bodied, a bit chewy. feels like i am still chewing after i swallow. very nice. bit of the alcohol tingle in the mouth and around the gums.

this was good, a real treat. for being 10.5%, it could not be hidden any better. drinks a lot like a dubbel in a way.

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Photo of marty21
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 2010 vintage. Pours a clear deep copper/light brown with a one finger off white head. Settles to a thin cap. Leaves a little bit of lacing.

S: I get a caramel malt smell with light hops and some dark fruit.

T: For the taste I get caramel and raisins and a good hoppy taste. Finishes with a nice bitter hop bite. You get a slight warming feeling but don't taste any of the alcohol.

M: Light carbonation with a light to medium body but more on the light side.

D: This was my first Burlywine from Half Pints but immediately it became one of my favorites. I bought a few so I can age them, especially since this is the last year they're making them for awhile. It had a lot of traits that reminded me of Half Pints Humulus Ludicrous which is another one of my favorites. This was actually quite drinkable which you need to look out for with the 10.5 Abv.


2009 Vintage
Reviewed 01/26/11

A: Pours a dakr copper/orange with a small off white head. Settles to a thin cap with a thick ring around the glass.

S: Caramel Malt and citrus hops.

T: Caramel malt with a bit of a hoppy bitterness at the end. The taste is a lot more blendid and mellower compared to a fresh burly wine. It reminds me a lot of their Humulus Ludicrous.

M: Light carbonation with a medium body. Very drinkable.

D: I really enjoyed this one. With just over a year of aging the bite isn't as hard. You don't notice any alcohol at all. Can't wait to try some more 2009 and 2010 vintages with some more years of agiing.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz, 2009 blue wax edition on private order. Thought I'd reviewed this one before but obviously not. LCBO lab testing puts this at 8.6% not the mentioned 10.5%. I understand the costs of lab testing are prohibitive but I wish more brewers had an accurate ABV on the label rather than just an estimate. This one is 2 points off....

Pours a ruddy caramel with hints of amber, pretty hazy. A finger of tight head builds on the pour and leaves some spots of lace down the glass as I drink.

Pleasant nose. Caramel and raisin blend nicely with a fresh citric hop character, I think this is the first time I have had this relatively fresh and the hops come through quite nicely. Nothing overpowering like an American style Bigfoot, but present and adding a nice balance.

Caramel, nuts, raisins, light hop bite. Citric hops again, light bitterness in the finish. Thin, oily body... definitely needs some more heft. Alcohol evident in the back. Pretty rough and hoppy yet, though with the lack of heft I wonder how it ages.... good thing I have some aged ones to try at some point!

A nice drinkable barleywine which is not something you hit on everyday. Wish it was a little more robust and complex.

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Photo of kjyost
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Poured into a large wine glass, where it had a thick mocha head atop a a deep red, that could be barely seen through when held against light. Left light lacing on the glass as the head quickly dissipated. Nose has sweet malt, fruit (apricot?) and a bit of spice with evidence of the alcohol underneath.

This has mellowed nicely with age, with the strong alcohol character having been muted (although still evident) since I tried one last year. The beer is malty and slightly sweet, with a bit of spice (cloves?) on the palate. The carbonation is quite low, but it coats the mouth nicely leaving a light bitterness, although a mouthfeel that is lighter than I would have expected. I shall sip away at this for a while on this -20C night.

Enjoyable. We'll see how another year does it...

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Burly Wine from Half Pints Brewing Company
4.17 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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