Buffalo Head Barley Wine | Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop

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10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop
Alaska, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by grumpy on 05-12-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by BigMcLargeHuge:
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Toronado 2009 Barleywine Festival and called Buffalo Head Barley Wine.
Pours clear amber with gold edges and thin off white head. The aroma is mild with hints of molasses, dark fruitiness and a background of malts. The taste is rich and delicious with a pulse of both deep dried dark fruitiness and sweet smooth molasses. It remains that way into the finish allowing for independent cherry, plum and sugar stewed raisins to be identified. It approaches being peppery but never actually gets there. Maybe a year or so will improve it from very nice to stellar.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance was a dark brown/black color with a semi-thick two finger white to off white head. That damn head must last at least for a good 3 minutes before it dissipated and once it did, the lacing was adequately lacing the glass really nicely. The smell had a super rich sweet candied sugared fruits over top of some sweet raisin bread. The taste has a very nice, sweet fruit, candi sugar-ed toastiness. On the palate, this one sat about a medium in body with more of a sipper aspect to it, but that’s okay since this is a Barleywine. The carbonation was there but subdued a bit and the way this came across my tongue had a decent sharpness but also allowed a nice sweet dark fruitiness to run over it. Overall, good barleywine worthy of coming back to.

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Photo of itracy63
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. A 2013 properly cellared bottle. Pours a slightly hazy, medium to dark caramel orange with a wisp of a head that dissipates to nothing but a thin ring around the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, plums, raisins, dates and bread crust; very close to a classic English barleywine profile. Flavor is caramel malt, dried plums, dates and a hint of marizpan with rapidly developing grassy hops into a rather well hopped finish with light residual dark dried fruit. Medium bodied with light creaminess and good carbonation despite the quiet pour. A rich, full bodied American barleywine. Although the aroma leaned British, the flavor is distinctly American with the robust hopping. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to think I like American style barleywines fresh rather than aged, because the hops lose their herbal flavors and often become dry and grassy with more bitterness than flavor. That's not a negative for this barleywine, but an observation across many aged bottles. The base flavor in this is very, very nice and even in taste hews to dark dried fruit like a continental barleywine, but supplemented by the good hopping. Well balanced and supports the hops well. I haven't seen this barleywine offered in my area for a long time, but this is a good one and I'll look forward to trying and comparing it to fresh. This bottle lists the ABV at 13.0%, so bigger than the standard here. The ABV is warming, but well covered, which is impressive because that's a big barleywine. I like this brewery a lot and have enjoyed everything I've had from them.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of _morandi_
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of randawakes
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Kassik's prepare this for the annual Barley Wine Festival held in Anchorage in January (15th and 16th of 2010). Each year they release a new barleywine. If you stop by the brewery you have the great opportunity to try the '07, '08, and '09 all at one time, side by side.

This calculated review is of the 2007 Buffaloe Head Barley, although I will review all. It is only fair to review the '07 because of its time to age.

2007 Buffaloe Head Barley:

Had as a pack of the 4 oz samples at the brewery, they don't fill up growlers/pigs due to the upcoming Barleywine Festival in ANC. The 2007 is my favorite, excellent aging in the form of brown sugar and maple sweetness. 2-3 types of hops that are somewhat balanced with the butterscotch-tasting flavors that are known so well in the Caribou Strong Scotch Ale. Alcohol is well hidden, the barleywine is thick and overpowering with sugars.

2008 Snow Angel Barley:

This tasted so similar to the 2007, only off by a few ticks. Perhaps aging another year will bring it up one notch to the level of the 07. Again I found the sweetness very enticing, you may not feel the alcohol in the taste, but you will feel it a few min after.

2009 Name TBD:

The 2009 was not aged long enough to give it a proper review. Trying side by side to the 2007 and 2008, I found this one to be lacking the maturity through less apparent sweetness and more dominant alcohol smell and taste. The barley was much more evident however, as if a double dosage was required to do this batch. Heavy on the barley, full on the malts, just needs more time.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DucksFan16
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from crowler, 11/25/2016.

The 2015 GABBF gold medal winner.

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Photo of grumpy
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The remnants of their batch of Barley Wine, dispensed from a PartyPig. Sampled at the brewery.
Pours a deep amber color with a nice ring of creamy, tan foam. Aroma is nice, with a butterscotch malt thing happening, and hop influence detectable.
Taste is top notch. Sweet caramel/butterscotch/ chocolate malt flavors perfectly balanced by a combination of Williamette, Galena, and Cascade hops. I couldn't detect the Cascades, and I was tempted to put this beer in the English Barley Wine category, instead.
Mouthfeel is pleasant - medium/full body, a little oily, muted carbonation, creamy.
Drinkable? I'd like to drink a growler of it, and I normally don't repeat beers. Goes down the beerpipe all too well.

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Buffalo Head Barley Wine from Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 10 ratings