Sweet Evil Barley Wine | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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Sweet Evil Barley WineSweet Evil Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ChadQuest on 08-01-2012

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 93
Photo of Brutaltruth
3.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 22 oz bomber in a snifter. This intense barley wine pours a beautiful and luminous medium dark amber with a moderately light head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, subtle thin layer, and streaking light lacing. Nose of heavy brown sugar coated cherries mulled in brandy. Flavors follow the nose with sweet candy and lightly tart cherry notes on the front to middle, middle to back shows brandy, apples, and warming booze. Slick sugary mouth feel with low carbonation and a sweet fruity aftertaste. Substantial. Would be interesting to lay one of these down for a few years.

A malt lovers dream.


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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours light brown with ruby highlights under a very thin light tan head.
S: Very fruity nose – hinting at cherry
T: Very fruity and porty palate, peppery finish, dark fruit flavors, cherry, dark black cherries, rich malt flavors, some grape. Hefty hops but malt driven and overall fairly sweet.
F: Chewy, medium low carbnation with some alcohol burn on the finish.
O: The bottle identifies this as a Belgian style barley wine but there is very little Belgian about it. Some wild yeast might bring it up a notch – right now it is too sweet.

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Photo of Florida9
2.63/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear chestnut brown in color. No head. No lacing. Appears flat. Aroma is sweet with notes of caramel, candy, and brown sugar. Taste is rather unappealing. Excessively sweet, yet the sweetness fails to mask the variety of off flavors: cardboard, candy apple, aunt jemima syrup, and a mild woodsy characteristic. There's even a slight note of mint, which is entirely out of place. Low carbonation. Almost flat, which does nothing for the syrupy mouthfeel that just compounds the sweetness. Yet somehow, the alcohol comes through like this a 10 or 12% beer.
There's little positive I can say about this beer. It really is rather atrocious and a regrettable purchase.

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Photo of jlindros
3.17/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to friend Elijah for sharing, I guess...

No head, candy apple red caramel hazy color.

Nose big sweet candy malts, caramel, toffee, nutty, aged soft malt but mild oxidation, candy all over, sweetness.

Taste sweet candy, toffee, caramel, nutty, red candy, some warming booze, thick sweet syrupy, fairly sweet little oxidation, and aged sweet malt. Finish is syrupy sweet candy, little bitterness, candy syrupy, toffee, etc.

Mouth us heavy syrupy fairly thick, some warming booze, lighter carb.

Overall meh. I guess when they say sweet evil thye sure mean it, so friggen sweet I think it gave my kids diabeetus just byproxy. I can't even drink this, it has more sugar than a bowl full of sugar covered in syrup.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.13/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one lives up to the title. Can't even describe how sweet. Tastes a lot like apple juice. A little apple cider like tartness, faint alcohol, some other fruit, and very light yeast. Honestly too sweet to notice much of anything. I wouldn't really say bad, a sweet or blush wine drinker may enjoy it, but not good for sure. Don't know if some age would help, but certainly can't hurt. Going to let it continue yo warm to see if I can finish it. Doubtful.

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Photo of Brenden
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color, depth, clarity, smoothness and brightness of this beer's appearance serve to amplify its somewhat whiskey-like overall character. It does develop a bit of tan head, soft and foamy, which leaves spotty lacing on the wall of the glass. This seemingly thick dark orange brew with a bright fire in its depths does give me the impression that I'm pouring whiskey rather than beer but for the head and lace.
There's no denying: this beer is sweet, and extremely so for a beer. It's understandable that it would be sweeter than some could handle, though I imagine the brewer's intent for this beer is certainly slow sipping, and I would suggest nothing else. It's got that distilled grain spirits quality about it from the get-go, and really the best I can think of it as is a whiskey-mead hybrid. It's very honey-like in the sweetness, with grains underlying, some barley-like malts but not heavy, with lots of dark fruits. Think very sweet plum and raisins that are just overripe. Toward the end there's a bit of a toasted brown sugar/burnt caramel element under the white sugar and honey sweetness. It does have a light hoppiness to it, very little bitterness just cutting through with some steel and herb (English?) a bit.
It's thick but less sticky and syrupy than I'd expect, though it leans in that direction. There's a very gentle but still noticeable crispness up front that, while soft, doesn't fade. It's fairly smooth, and a little dryness cuts the sweet, heavier body.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.73/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Based on the reviews, I thought this barelywine might actually be able to peel paint off of the walls. While I do not think the style fits the profile, I enjoyed the beer. I think it would really good if it were poured over some vanilla ice cream.

The appearance was a murky brown color which seems to fit the profile reasonably well. The nose might suggest an artificial fruit sweetness. On the initial taste, one will detects sweet fruit. It is an exaggeration to suggest it is as sweet as fruit cocktail syrup, but it is very sweet. English barleywines are supposed to be sweeter than their American counterparts, but this one is like a port. With the sweeter fruit toward the front, darker fruits lay toward the back. There is a syrupy thickness that allows this barleywine to linger. Of course, this is not an all-the-time kind of beer, but it was better than expected.

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Photo of weonfire
2.3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

A - Amber, light head-dissipates quickly, opaque, carbonation bubbling, zero lacing

S - Dark fruit, real sweet sugary pineapple

T - Sugar, ripe pineapple, aged fruit-raison, plum, nectar

M - medium body, low froth, more of alcoholic juice, boozy finish

O - Hella sweet, gross sweet, sweet like you put sugar on overly ripe pineapple slices sweet- then add some booze flavor. I fully do not recommend this. I got through maybe 4oz of the bomber. Complete disappointment. 12 bucks. down the drain. literally.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Transparent amber color with a one-finger head that slowly settles, light carbonation
S: Sweet, like everyone else has said. Fruit cocktail covered in caramel
T: Also cloyingly sweet - again I'm getting canned fruit cocktail with maple syrup and toffee
M: Somewhat thick, cloying. Think toasted simple syrup
O: This needs hops in a very bad way. And more fermentation time to lower the amount of sugar. I honestly could only finish half the bottle.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.69/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours copper color with a 1 finger tan head. Small bubbles of lacing on the glass.

S- sweet caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits

T- sweet toffee and caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits

M- medium body and carbonation. Thick, syrupy with a smooth finish

O- very sweet Barleywine. Almost no bitterness, and more doppelbock like.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured dark brown in color with pale dark orangish highlights and almost no head that virtually left no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: like the label reads there was definitely lots of sweetness in the aroma consisting with a little caramel, dark fruits such as prunes and raisins. Burnt sugar an top of cane sugar, mabybe a little toffee coming through and signs of booze.

T: plenty of burnt sugar caramel sweetness was leading this sweet bomb alongside prune plum raisin dark fruits, a littel toffee undertones, a touch of cane sugar, mild booze and muted brown sugar as well.

M: the body was medium to full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had sugary, mild dark fruity, slightly boozy and very sweet finish.

O: just a decent barelywine to me and was just too sweet for my liking. It was still worth trying, not bad by any means.

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Photo of Treebs
2.33/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle served in a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours dark amber color with a thin light tan head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to a thin ring. No lace is left behind.

S: Very sweet. Sugar glazed prunes are right up front. Caramel with a burnt sugar bitterness. A little booze with a sweet, fruity yeast component as well.

T: Wow, this is like drinking sugar dipped sugar, which is glazed in sugar. It's got an intense saccharine flavor with dark fruity flavor. Sweet roll malts with a odd fruity juice flavor as well.

M: Syrupy body with a medium low carbonation level. Very hard to get down.

O: Hard to put down and immensely sweet. I'm definitely not a fan at this time.

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Photo of maximum12
3.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks again to Torgo for opening yet another Hoppin' Frog bottle I probably wouldn't have been able to try otherwise. 22 oz. bottle.

Pour is flatflatflat, orange; no carbonation is evident. Smells - holy crap, like you stuck your head into a Krispy Kreme donut. For an hour. Sweetsweetsweet.

Sweet Evil can't be accused of trying to pull the wool over a buyer's eyes, since it's right there in the title. Saccharine welded onto apple juice, then given a cane sugar booster shot, then with more sugar added. Maybe caramel? No, that's just more sugar. Flatness means it's almost wine-like. A few ounces is more than enough.

Did I mention this was sweet? Overwhelming. Decent enough, but for someone without a sweet tooth (& I have the cavities to prove it), this would be torture.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.16/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear amber. Some nice deep gold hues. No head. Tiny white collar. Minimal carbonation. Still. Looks on point.

Smell: Incredibly sweet. Toasted edge mingles with caramel, toffee, vanilla, and some touches of something that reminds me of oak. So very sweet. Caramel malts. Almost white wine level of sweetness. Some deep fruitiness. Apples, grapes, and even some mealy pear. Butterscotch. Some underlying spiciness from the Belgian yeast. Touches of bubblegum.

Taste: Incredibly sweet. Loads of butterscotch, caramel and English toffee. Vanilla and touches of oak. Caramelized biscuity malts. Caramel malts. Caramel candy. Cooked malts. Bananas, pears, apples. Crazy malt aggression. No hops to speak of. Dessert. Crazy levels of vanilla and butterscotch. Almost like a brûlée. Bubblegum and ripe banana.

Mouthfeel: Slick and pushes full for the body. Almost no carbonation. Smooth.

Overall: Big Evil does not approve of Sweet Evil.

The Undertaker does not approve of the Evil moniker. Super sweet. Incredibly sweet. Nice depth, but so sweet it's distracting.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this. At the time of this review, there are only 7 other reviews. Weird.

Consumed 10/12/12

Appearance: Dark orange with a some red highlights - remarkable clarity - small white head, leaves a nice array of spots

Smell: Weird - maybe it's just the name of this beer priming me, but this smells sweet - like, sugary candy - spicy Belgian yeast - sugary bread with powdered sugar - sweet jam - did I mention this is sweet? Sweet, sweet, booze

Taste: Sugar and booze - malty, but in a very sweet way - sweet bread sprinkled with sugar - so, so sweet - caramel, sugary candy - Belgian yeast with some sugary banana and sugary bubblegum - light fruits and more sugar - some musty British notes

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, oily, syrupy, with booze

Overall: Would you like some beer with your sugar?

Sweet Evil. This is one of the most accurate names for a beer ever. I've eaten sugar packets that are less sweet than this beer. It's absurd. Interesting, but not great.

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Photo of matttttYCE
3.39/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is very viscous, almost like a big stout, but this is a hazy deep copper hued barleywine. Head is small, maybe half a finger. Lacing is light, but present. Holy sweetness, Batman was this one aptly named. Tons of candi sugar, molasses, toffee, dark fruits, grape and vinous notes, almost jam-like qualities, along with Belgian yeast and maple notes. Sweet syrupy sugary taste all the way. Like candied dark fruits in liquid form, mixed with Belgian yeast, molasses, and vinous qualities, slight vanilla extract, and with some more sugar thrown in for hell of it. The mouthfeel is overtaken by a syrupy, sticky body and consistency. The carbonation is low and the finish is still very sweet.

I can't lie, the nose had me excited about this one but the taste left me feeling like this one is rather lackluster. I'm still not sure whether the big mouthfeel helped or hurt this one, but I gave it a little better than average rating. That would be the overall too, I suppose - A little better than average, but way too sweet in my book. Thanks to Ryan for this to sample.

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Photo of menkros
4.53/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a golden color. The smell is like liquid brown sugar. The taste is a perfectly sweet barley wine. I heart it so much. his beer is the non-barrel-aged version of Naked Evil, and you don’t see the barrel-aged version of a beer released first too often. The beer is a clear dark copper-amber color with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly to an outer ring. Spotty lacing. Aroma of sweet malt, caramel and fruit. Medium to full body with a very sweet caramel malt flavor along with flavors of fruity yeast and hops. The finish is nearly cloying in its sweetness and leaves a lingering toffee and malt aftertaste.

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Photo of Etan
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a beautiful light amber with a small white head.

S: Extremely vinous with notes of sticky grape, sugary maple, cidery hop oil.

T: Overwhelmingly sweet esters - dried apricot, prune and grape, molasses, cooked sugar, vanilla, apple juice.

M: Medium-bodied, slight carbonation, a little syrupy.

O: I like sweet barleywines, and this is still too much. It's amazing that putting this stuff into a barrel yielded Naked Evil. Unbarreled, this beer isn't disgusting, but it's barely drinkable.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper body with a flat appearance. There was no head at all.

Smells like a loaf of bread with some kind of sugar glaze. More sugar, dates, sugar, raisin, sugar.

Holy crap it's sweet. Sugar, dark fruit, brown sugar, bread. Doesn't play well with me.

Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy.

Well, it lives up to its name but I'm not convinced that's a good thing. It's cloyingly sweet and bready with no bitterness to cut it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Chris (spycow). Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - White foam settles to a thin collar and minimal lace. Transparent dark orange-red body.

S - Bread, red fruits, Belgian yeast, marmalade, some lightly burnt sugars. Somewhat cloying. Seems boozier than the listed 8.8% too.

T - The taste is a bit better, as it's less cloying. However there is a mild vomit note mixed in with the sugary malts - not sure if it's phenolic yeast or some English hops. In any case, it dissipates a bit as the beer warms up.

M - Medium-full body, with lower carbonation and a sticky texture to it. Some warming alcohol presence, but not inappropriate for the style.

D - This is way to sweet to drink in even modest quantities. I'm also surprised the ABV is only 8.8%, as that means Naked Evil picks up 2.5% from the whiskey barrels. In any case, Naked Evil is a lot better and I'd recommend spending your money on that instead.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Tanish brown with a ruby red tint. 1/4 inch head with very little lacing.

Smell - Malts, belgian yeasts, caramel/toffee. Dark fruits, spices, has a roasty aroma along with some mollasses and brown sugars.

Taste - As expected, very sweet and sugary. Loads of yeasts, and sugar coated fruits. Malts are very caramel/toffee and sweet. Alcohol is buried under the sweetness. Not much else can be said about this.

Mouthfeel - Tounge gets nailed with sweetness and fruits. Palate gets sugars, malts and fruits. The finish is very light, and the aftertaste is sweet and dry.

Overall - Its straight up sugary with no balance. Very forgetble taste fresh. Now the label says to age this one for complexity and depth of flavor. I bought another bottle, going to cellar it for atleast a year to see what it will do cause it tastes like it needs time to mature. DO NOT DRINK THIS FRESH! I will update this review after i drink the aged bottle.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.04/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Adding my first beer to the BA database, destiny would have it to be a barleywine. I put the availability as rotating only because BA naked evil has been released yearly twice now, i have no information on the future releases of this.

The color is a medium gold faded to amber, lighter then i expected for a barleywine, but then again this is not a big dense high alcohol beer at 8.8%.

Nose is sugary and fruity. The Belgian yeasts are really prominent right now fresh. Alcohol is mild but appreciated on the nose, one of the reasons i like these beers fresh is i hope for a warming touch. Dark fruits delivered from the various yeast strains.

Of everything i listed on the nose the sweetness really comes out fighting the strongest on the palate, fruits coated in sugar. strawberries dipped in sugar, raisins covered in sugar, et cetera. The alcohol is more subtle here mingled with a toffee side, and sweet fruits, not even that dark of fruits, just sweet fruits overall, play the biggest role. This one could be cloying for a lot of people, and it is borderline for me.

The mouthfeel is rather syrupy and sticky, lingers around a long time. It loves you long time.

I might grab a bottle or two to forget for a few years, but not any to drink in the next 2 years. In short it is simply too sweet right now.

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Sweet Evil Barley Wine from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
3.27 out of 5 based on 93 ratings.
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