Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)
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From:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
 
New Hampshire, United States
Style:
Barleywine - American
ABV:
11.6%
Score:
89
Avg:
3.97 | pDev: 10.58%
Ratings:
616
Status:
Active
Rated:
Apr 19, 2020
Added:
Feb 04, 1999
Wants:
  85
Gots:
  61
SCORE
89
Very Good
Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series)
Notes: First brewed in England, these potent, malty monsters were frequently aged before being put into small bottles and sold as strong beers or even medicinal tonics. The American version has been blown up with more alcohol, larger bottles and more hops.

Smuttynose Barleywine straddles these two branches of the barleywine tree. When you taste it, you’ll notice deep, rich caramel malt flavors, balanced with hop bitterness. Fruity hop flavors act as a garnish for its amped-up but classic flavor. For a more refined experience, tuck a few bottles away for a year or two. The alcohol will mellow and the hop aromas will fade into the background, leaving the luscious malt to shine on its own.

65 IBU

2007 - 11.4%
2009 - 11.1%
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of DanO1066
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by DanO1066 from Maryland

Poured fm 'my' growler (64oz) filled shortly before at The Brass Tap here in Baltimore into an "American Snifter"

Apr 19, 2020
 
3.97 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin on Apr 05, 2020
 
4 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on Apr 12, 2019
 
4.4 by liquorpig from Massachusetts on Aug 05, 2018
 
3.97 by QuentinDishaw from Massachusetts on Feb 04, 2018
 
4.13 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Feb 04, 2018
 
4.03 by Tcsox from Massachusetts on Feb 04, 2018
Photo of Brolo75
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Brolo75 from California

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter, beer was bottled in 2013

Pours a deep mahogany color with no head, no lacing, very little carbonation, it's hazy. Lots of malt on the aroma, caramel and toffee, red licorice, no hop aromas, I didn't expect any after nearly five years in the bottle. Taste follows the nose with lots of malts like caramel and toffee, big red licorice notes that add some sweetness in the finish, alcohol has mellowed out, slight citrus peel like bitterness in the middle, finish is sweet with lingering notes of red licorice and malts. Full bodied with very little carbonation, slightly dry finish, slight sticky mouthfeel.

With five years on it all the hop presence is gone and nothing is left but malt and red licorice. I would like to try a fresh bottle but this is the first time I've seen this in my area and it's nearly five years old. I'm sure this has another layer of flavor with some hop bite.

Jan 19, 2018
 
3.79 by mltobin from Connecticut on Oct 07, 2017
Photo of Smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Smakawhat from Maryland

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Bottle conditioned 2013. Big time here…

Rich creamy foam, frothing up slow on a good center controlled punching pour out of the bottle. An almost khaki but slightly picking up the orange body color and making a sort of pink to plum like orange hue of sorts. Thick creamy top, leopard like lacing on the glass. Body color is a real nice orange amber, but still has a bit of rusty and dull tone to it. Very impressive looking brew.

Classic chewy and thick rich hop notes on the nose. Tea and sharp grapefruit mixing herbs, with an excellent thick marmalade rich aroma mixing in. Chewy leafy like hop notes, soft toffee an caramel dipped in hop herbs. Real nice.

Palate is a real nice piece of work. Mouthfeel is still a washing and rich quality, but seems to have peaked quite some time ago. Rich tasting hop earth and soft green herbs on the mid palate. Silky light toffee mixing with an almost creamy ash flavor and muted brown sugar. Light tasting, but with large amounts of hop punch even at this stage.

What a fun neat beer. Some things seem to have lost quality while others might have even gained. Either way it's a great tasting barleywine even at this stage of the game.

Sep 09, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

2013 bottle. This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a rugged burnt dark orange/muddy brown color. A finger’s worth of white foamy head sat atop of the beer for a good minute. Gentle messy lace. The aroma brings forth sweet and bitter grassy and tobacco leafy hops. Bold and up front, oddly enough, I thought those would have died off given the bottle date. Semi-sweet caramel and toffee malts play with the balance. Citrus hops seem to underscore the aroma. The flavor balances nicely between the hops and the malts. Tobacco leafiness still holds quite strong. Grassy to tobacco leafy to smooth caramel malty aftertaste rubbing against the finish nicely. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a nice sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine, fairly mild (but it’s an old bottle, so I’m okay with that). Overall, this one aged phenomenally. Only the citrusy hops have died off. Wouldn’t mind trying to get this again to try fresh.

Aug 01, 2017
 
4 by animal69 from Louisiana on May 22, 2017
 
4.18 by paresis from Massachusetts on May 17, 2017
 
3.75 by RochefortChris from North Carolina on Feb 26, 2017
 
4 by desint from Belgium on Jan 06, 2017
 
4.05 by Mikeluzzjr from Massachusetts on Dec 28, 2016
 
4 by johlac66 from California on Dec 23, 2016
 
3.2 by Roberto11232 from New York on Oct 29, 2016
 
3.52 by oriolesfan4 from Maryland on Oct 19, 2016
 
4 by dcmchew from Romania on Aug 26, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Ciocanelu from Romania

Hazy orange color. Sweet aroma with dark sugar, dark fruits and earthy hops. Taste starts hoppy with earthy notes, walnuts, figs, really nice. Easy drinking, well hidden alcohol, bitter aftertaste.

Aug 19, 2016
 
4.74 by shigg85 from Japan on Jul 28, 2016
 
3.73 by Johnct from New York on Jul 05, 2016
 
4.48 by Prost76 from New Hampshire on Jun 22, 2016
 
4.22 by Boca-X from Missouri on May 03, 2016
 
4.78 by nathanmiller from New York on Feb 07, 2016
Photo of Ri0
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Ri0 from Wisconsin

Poured 22 oz bottle into chalice. Vintage 2013. A rusty color with a 1.5 finger dirty white head. Decent retention that slowly fades into a collar and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Thick caramel and toffee make up the sweetness. Dark fruits with a nice earthy, piney aroma from the hops. Two years later this still has a bitterness to it along with some alcohol. It is pleasant because of the caramel and toffee mixed with some dark fruit. Hints of citrus and pine make up a bitter finish. Medium body with soft carbonation. A bit warming. Well done BW that reminds me of a favorite from Central Waters that is no longer made.

Jan 17, 2016
 
4.45 by gobuccos from Ohio on Jan 06, 2016
Photo of JMS1512
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by JMS1512 from New Jersey

On the docket: Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale (part of the BIG BEER Series). Bottle conditioned, and brewed in 2013. Excellent- pre-aged. No waiting needed.

Poured into: Jester King Snörkel snifter.

S: An opaque tawny, brown body sits below a quick-rising khaki head. After a minute or so, the head dies down, sitting tight and sudsy. I’ve not even had a sip, and there’s lacing on the glass, medium bands of beauty.

A: This big beer boasts fig, caramel and pine in the initial aroma. Further inhalation provides sweet malt and certain fusel booziness. It smells characteristic of an American Barleywine.

T: The taste mimics much of the aroma, adding a bit of earthy, spicy hop signature. The malt sired toasted brown bread and caramel. When on the cold side, the alcohol is masked. When warm, it’s easier to detect. Bitterness helps balance out the sweetness.

F: Some carbonation present, enough to keep the sweetness from dominating and creating fatigue. Medium body, dry bitter finish that lasts and lasts. Woo!

O: In addition to being a favorite style, I also appreciate that this example produced by a respected American brewer bridges the gap between treacle-sweet English BWs and hop-bomb, abrasive US versions (fresh Bigfoot comes to mind). Thus one hits all the marks- hoppy, boozy (in a good way- not hot and solventy), nice initial sweetness. A fine example of the style.

Dec 14, 2015
 
4.09 by ummswimmin from New Jersey on Dec 05, 2015
Photo of KensWorld
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by KensWorld from Florida

2013 vintage bomber. Nice 1 finger cream colored head. Somewhat unusual to see this head on a 2 year old barleywine. It leaves nice big bubbles and nice creamy ring. Color is cloudy reddish Amber. Smells great! Candy and shall I say buttered popcorn. Very interesting smell. Carmel dominates the tastebuds. Very sweet at first then leaving a very bitter hoppy aftertaste. Overall a Very strong and powerful barleywine that is somewhat one sided lacking balance. 4.00

Dec 01, 2015
Photo of smanson56
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by smanson56 from New Hampshire

Poured from a 2013 bottle bought from the brewery and aged at 50* for 2 years. This poured a nice reddish orange color with a nice malty nose. The 2 years of aging has really mellowed this beer from when it was fresh. A nice true barleywine now. Looking to getting another year or two one the rest of the bottles I have.

Oct 10, 2015
 
4.4 by myuncle from Illinois on Oct 03, 2015
 
3 by DuaneL from Delaware on Aug 17, 2015
 
3.94 by bluehende from Delaware on Aug 16, 2015
 
3.23 by connecticutpoet from Connecticut on Aug 06, 2015
Photo of mlockman
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by mlockman from Indiana

Even after two years of cellaring, the flavor was still a bit too hop-forward for my taste. While I did grow more accustomed to the flavor as it drank down, I felt the hop presence really overshadowed the malt flavors I was looking for. That being said, I am unusually averse to the flavor of hops, so this perhaps doesn't reflect poorly on the quality of the beer, it just isn't for me. Honestly, I think this is a great candidate for bourbon barrel aging. As I was drinking it, I kept picking up a lot of similarities to the underlying notes of Bell's Saturn (which I found phenomenal, by the way) only sans the delicious bourbon flavors.

Jul 17, 2015
 
3.45 by rderedin from Maine on Jun 13, 2015
 
3.96 by Auror from Massachusetts on May 30, 2015
Photo of SABERG
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by SABERG from Massachusetts

Poured from the 22 oz bottle 2013 version into the test glass
A - Beautiful dark amber color, excellent clarity (it is 8 years old) Carbonation is determined and at this stage gentle.
An off white this cap recedes quickly. A lovely little archipelago replaces the cap for the duration.
S - Grainy, with yellow rasin, toffee, alcohol, black pepper, all in the mix
T - Suprising hop presence, bitter orange peel, spicy, grain expression is not sweet but earthy. A tobacco component with that bitter orange peel is quite nice
M - Hefty on the palate, bitter start quickly pivots to semi sweet, alcohol lifts off the sweet leading to a dry finish.
The pivot is almost magical
O - A very good American Barleywine, hefty, boozy, bitter and smooth on the palate

May 25, 2015
Barleywine Style Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 616 ratings