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Single White Friar | Barley Island Brewing Company

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Single White FriarSingle White Friar
20 Ratings
Single White FriarSingle White Friar

Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by emerge077 on 10-24-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by emerge077:
Photo of emerge077
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Pro-Am series release, 12 oz. white waxed bottle.

Pours a dark shade of brown, the light penetrates it and gives off a reddish auburn tone. Bare skim of foam on a strong pour into a snifter. It settles quickly and leaves spotty bits of lace.

Sweet grainy wort aroma. Not especially complex, just sweet, a little toasty.

Toasted nuts, molasses, bready with a strong clove phenolic character. Tangy. Bitterness in the finish compliments somewhat, although it doesn't really feel in harmony with the other flavors. Some slight banana esters. Full bodied and creamy. One is worth a try, the 12 oz. is about all I would want in a sitting.

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More User Reviews:
4.15/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice carbonation is showcased as you end up with nearly three fingers of deep tan head that fades slowly. A speckled wall of lace is left behind. Body is brownish black in color. Nose is zesty and decisively spicy with dark ripe fruit,Belgium yeast and some malty sweetness. It is a very attractive nose. Enters the mouth thick, sweet and with a spicy softness. Dark fruit is there with phelonic malts that create a nice sweet feel. Belgium yeastiness is noticeable and carries into a drying feel on the end of the palate. Mouthfeel runs from thick and sweet to dry and slightly bitter. Drinkability is very good.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
1.93/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours very dark ruby brown in color. There's a sheet of head forming on the pour, but is quickly gone afterwards. Smell is very dark, ripe fruits. Too much plum and dark candy sugar.
Taste is even more of the unfavorable notes from the smell. Has a bit of a tobacco and burnt flavor to it. Whatever it is exactly, is just way too dominant and overbearing. Almost tastes like they waxed the top of the bottle with no cap on it. Not enjoyable by any means.

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Photo of cosmonick
4.5/5  rDev +37.2%

Photo of GbVDave
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz white-wax sealed bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice.

A: Pours a nice and hazy mahogany color with the tiniest of tiny off-white head. Some random spots of lace left in the glass.

S: Decent enough aromas of nuts, raisin, yeasty banana, tangy fruit, toasty malt, a bit of caramel, and vanilla.

T: See above. Tangy fruit and banana butt heads with toasted malt, roasted nut, dark fruit, cherry, vanilla, and caramel. Tastes good but seems a little "unfinished".

M: Starts thick and creamy, veers quickly towards the sweet side during the short middle, and finishes tangy and dry.

D: Drinkability is good. I think that my main gripes with the smell and taste are that perhaps this beer is a tad too young. I wonder if laying down a bottle for six months would do any good?

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Photo of aasher
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 2008 bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter. The bottle is sealed with a layer of wax.

Appearance: Rich copper hue, caramel, cloudy and with minimal head

Smell: Smells sweet and of candied fruits, alcohol scent is mildly present

Taste: Tastes of candied fruits and is very sweet, almost too sweet. Has hints of raisins, possibly figs. Has a caramel flavor as well. can be a little sour at times.

Mouthfeel: very smooth and almost no carbonation. very mellow. medium body.

Drinkability: Is a little sweet, which can be a turn off. It also can be a little sour. It's not overly drinkable. It can seem a little boozy too.

It's a moderate level Strong Belgian. It's very expensive for the quality so I would recommend to go in another direction if you're looking for a beer in this style.

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Photo of ppoitras
1.98/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle obtained via trade with autumnaldave. Thanks for the opportunity. White waxed cap.

Poured into a Chimay glass, formed a scant beige skim above the cloudy red brew. What head there was is gone in an instant, with leggy minimalistic lace. Aroma is leathery and tart. Taste is tough to peg. How about starts with that leathery maltiness, goes grainy tart in the middle, and closes with fruitiness and twinges of rubbing alcohol. Mouthfeel is thin, and drinkability is just not on. Maybe it will grow on me and I can get an appreciation for what they've done, but I'm doubting it.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.87/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a trappist glass (for this review), but also tried on tap with similar notes, only slightly more depth of character.

Pours a dark slightly murky copperish brown. Thin wispy head quickly fades, leaving a conservative splatter of lacing around the glass. Lacks some lively carbonation, but still attractive.

Nose has hints of banana bread, prune, dark grains, soft sweet dough, touch of tobacco, and a hint of phenolic sweetness. Good and inviting, with some delicate complexity. Only lacking in strength - I'm having to work pretty hard to get full whiffs out of the glass.

Nice dark belgian character, with some tight firm grain soaked in dark fruit. Notes of prune, dark bread crust, hints of gooey banana bread, white pepper, and raisin. Leaves with a little hanging tangy bitterness at the finish. Some notes of phenolic sweetness, and a faint lingering balsamic vinegar taste that has some decent character, but leaves me wondering exactly how I feel about its presence. Overall pretty good for the style, on the sweeter end, but with decent results. Nice and bready with dark fruit infusion.

Feel is decent, with a slightly stiff body and just enough carbonation to perk it up a little. Becomes slightly sticky and thicker syrupy during the sip, clinging just a little at the finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. It's very sippable, with plenty of taste and delivery to keep me interested. A little rich to drink a whole lot of, and while I will devour a few rich beers out there, this one doesn't quite have the complexity of flavor that causes me to overlook fullness and strength. Overall pretty good for the style. A solid go at a one-off specialty beer, nice to have around from a local brewer. This one might be interesting to try with some properly controlled age on it.

 1,819 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 2008 bottle a dark and hazy mahogany color with just a sliver of tan head around the edges of the glass.

Aroma of raisin, dark ripe fruit, honey, vanilla and brown sugar.

Taste is on the sweeter side with figs, raisins and dark ripe fruit along with vanilla, brown sugar and toasted caramel malts. The malts and dark fruit linger in the finish.

Medium bodied and sticky with little carbonation.

A pretty decent take on the Belgian Strong.

 456 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of inhoc00
2.17/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Found this a West Lakeview Liquors. Looked interesting.

A- Pours light brown becoming darker as the glass fills up.

S- Not great. Burnt plastic with mixture of artificial bananas and wet dog.

T- Follows the smell with an overpowering bitterness and alc burn. Not balanced well at all. A real mess.

M- Trying to forget it.

D- After 4 sips I dumped it. Glass of water later I still can't get that burnt plastic taste out of my mouth. Not good.

 447 characters

Photo of Brettster
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This was presented in a wax dipped bottle and dated 2008. It poured a thick copper brown that produced a small off white head that faded very fast. This beer clings to the side of the glass for quite some time. It smells sweet and puts of a strong alcohol odor. Tastes somewhat tinny with a fruity finish. It has a pretty smooth thick feel.

This beer grows on me as I drink it, but I think one will do. I am glad I took a shot at this one.

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Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown with a small light-tan head. Aroma is bready and fruity, with caramel and booziness evident. Sharp bright fruity taste, sorta tart, sweet booziness, brown sugar, esters galore, a bit of spiciness. This has magnitude but no direction. Like a scalar.

 268 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
2.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: nice deep copper/dark brown color
S: reminded me of hints of a Belgian double, yeasty, candy sugar, caramelized malt, a bit of alcohol
T: decent, and actually not a bad attempt at a Belgian double, a bit "tinny" in the taste and lacking balance and malt, something odd in taste with noticeable astringency
M: ok, but not anything special, slightly sweet and lacquerish, not as bubbly and lively as other dubbels from Belgian
D: decent attempt but I'm good with only one

 472 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Bitterpachyderm (!).

Pours a hazy brown with tinges of orange/amber. Long lasting, two inches or so of light tan foam.

Smells ... sweet. Like dark fruits and belgian candi. My cavities are hurting already!

Taste is overwhelmingly sweet, though there is some balance from bready yeast. Almost makes me think of a too-sweet and simple quad than a belgian strong dark ale. What the beer lacks is complexity. It is decidedly one-note, and the heavy fruit and sugar content gets wearying after a while. A bit boozy, too, despite the fact that it's only 8.5% ("only," ... bwhaahaha, how jaded am I?).

Not awful, not good, just mediocre and palate wearying.

 661 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft sample at IBG Winterfest.

A - Poured a clear brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

S- Moderate toasted nutty malt and yeast aroma.

T - Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

M - Medium body with a slick texture and flat carbonation.

D - This beer met my expectations.

 365 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, chestnut brown body with no real head formation beyond a few stray bubbles.

Smell: Toasty, dark caramel maltiness with a constant undercurrent of rich fruitiness and sweet-smelling candi sugars. Light dash of cinnamon on top.

Taste: Toasted bread crusts crumpled into gooey caramel sweet. Hefty amount of candi sugar. Moderate sweetness. Lightly tart fruity plums and raisins spiced with, well, spices. No more than an extremely faint bitterness. Touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A fairly pleasant sipper. Worth at least picked up a bottle. What's the worst that could happen?

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Photo of ballewblake
3.87/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

White wax capped bottle into my Duvel glass. Think I picked it up in Chicago.

No head on pour, dark body. Great fruity nose, a little alcohol ester in there. Warm on the palette, sweet. You get the yeasty flavors there. Smooth mouth fill, not a lot of carbonation here but decently balanced. Easy to down, but I don't think I'd do it in rapid succession. Not a bad belgian strong dark.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. extra courtesy of seanpachefddfa - thanks!! Split w/ dkachur, w/ my portion poured into a 10 oz. cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a dark, murky, hazy reddish brown, fairly dark, and initially capped by a good one-finger of tan white head that fades relatively quickly, leaves a bubbly, soapy collar of lace, and a nice, persistent dusting of lace. The lace on the side of the glass is where this one loses points - hardly any sticky at all, with only a few faint, glittery eruptions of lace.

Aroma: Very faint, and a little odd. I get some faint, heavily roasted bread, very caramelly, some strange off notes, and - buried pretty deep in the mix - a few light fruity, apple and pear-like. Not too much to like. Just decidedly average.

Taste: Very straightforward. Candi sugar adds a definite kiss of sweetness, but there're also a few dried fruit-esque notes - pears, raisins, apricot, perhaps - in a sea of thick, slightly cloying and heavy heavily roasted malts, slight hints of coffee, chocolate, toast, caramel. The fruits add a slight dose of sourness - at least, I hope that's the fruits?

Mouthfeel: A very even, fine-bubbled, and both crisp but creamy body. The body itself is relatively thick, though the amount of carbonation does fit in pretty well with everything else. One of this beer's best aspects.

Drinkability: Not a bad brew. It's a little bizarre in some places - the nose isn't great, the sourness of the mouth begins to task you after a while - but overall, it's just a pretty simple, average Belgian strong dark. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, and it might not perhaps be worth the 8.5%, but it is what it is.

 1,643 characters

Single White Friar from Barley Island Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 20 ratings
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