Centurion Barleywine Ale
Golden City Brewery

Centurion Barleywine AleCenturion Barleywine Ale
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American Barleywine
Ranked #350
not listed
Ranked #40,443
3.56 | pDev: 14.61%
Golden City Brewery
Colorado, United States
Centurion Barleywine AleCenturion Barleywine Ale
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by qchic:
Photo of qchic
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found myself enamoured with the second largest brewery in Golden, so I picked up this barleywine. I'm guessing it's from winter 07/08. Based on previous reviews, I figured this might be better fresher than not. It poured a murky chesnut color, and at first had a 1/4 in. head. It's since disappeared. Smells of malt, dark fruit (cherry), and alcohol, and the flavor is basically the same, with the alcohol more evident. Some nuttiness in there as well. More carbonation would be nice, but it still wasn't too syrupy for me. I wasn't overly impressed by this one, but it's not horrible. Next time, though, I'm gonna stick with their IPA.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of brewandbbq
2.87/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Circa 1998 vintage, 750ml bottle.
Poured absolutely flat, no carbonation, murkey brown.
Unusual on the murkiness, bottle hadn't been moved for years.
Dry malt and age in the nose.
Light fruit, subdued hops,mild residual sweetness on the pallet.
Balanced bitterness, no detractable oxidation, pretty much unremarkable.
Past prime.

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Photo of mikeys01
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a few bottles of the Centurion on a quick stop at Golden City Brewery this weekend, and was glad I did. Very nice looking gold label with a mythical centurion caricature on the front, and a “real beer” bottlecap, which I thought was kinda funny from a homebrewer’s perspective.

The Centurion poured into my glass a fairly murky rosy brown color, with bare wisps of carbonation (less than I’d like), but there was at least a little sparkle there. Aroma definitely had some vintage character to it, with dark fermented fruits, rotting wood, and a hint of red grape.

Flavor was nicely complex, I was quite pleased in fact. It was a bit woody up front transitioning to lots of fruit and sweet caramel malt throughout, and finishing hot and dry. More of an English style to be sure, no particular hop notes stand out, other than a bit of bitterness towards the end. Definitely not one dimensional like some barleywines out there, but could be much improved with a little more carbonation.

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Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thin offwhite head that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a warm and malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It is rich with malts along with a mild hop balance. The taste is decent as well. It has an intensely rich malt flavor that goes down smooth and finishes sweet and slightly bitter. This beer has good flavor, but it's not as smooth or as hoppy as some. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It could probably use some more CO2, but it drinks well despite it. This is a decent barley wine. It has flavor and complexity; a good drinker.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased 2008; Sampled August 2010
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a scant, large bubbled head that barely covers the beer for a moment before receding to the edges of the glass. The beer is a reddish amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, copper amber color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of caramelized malt accentuated by light, nutty oxidative aromatics. There is an almost buttery quality to the aroma somehow, but it is definitely not diacetyl. This has a nice, soft fruitiness to it that is sort of berry like and with a definite citrus hop character that has likely been muted with age. I think this beer is at a good age in its development, at least as far as the nose is concerned.

Lightly sweet tasting, the beer still has a hoppy, herbal and citrus character to it as well as some nutty age malt character and toasty grain character in the finish. A light carbonation adds a touch of fizz to this beer, this pairs well with the viscous, rich body that is not overly heavy for a Barleywine. Some noticeable alcohol adds some warming and heat in the finish. A touch of butterscotch is brought out by the rich caramel malt character. This has a fair amount of sweetness to it, but it is not overly so and much of the sweetness is complex enough to not come off as cloying. This finishes fairly dry actually as the bitter and slightly herbal hop components help to balance out the up front sweetness. While this is still fairly hoppy, the malt character has taken the lead role, even if the hop character still plays a significant part.

This is ageing nicely; it will definitely last quite a bit longer than the two years it has already aged for. The hop character could mellow out a bit more than it has and even a touch more oxidation might work nicely in the future.

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Photo of mentor
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aged a year by the brewery, I think this was made in early 2005. Hard pour gets nothin'. No head over a slightly cloudy liquid. Brown, with a red tinge. Smells alcohol, subtle chocolate, and piney american hops. Tastes of rubbing alcohol, chocolate, caramel. Alcohol give a tang to the sweet malt. Overall the beer is wet, but the alcohol definitely pokes roughly at the malt. Some anise, once my tastebuds have habituated to the malt alcohol conflict. Mouthfeel is thick, but not dextrinous thick, this is syrup thick. No carbonation, but an alcohol sting. The 2006 batch is being made by a new brewer and I'm eager to see how that comes out.

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Photo of Crosling
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light aroma, balanced with malt and hop yet subtle. Perfumey, fruity aromas, mostly resembling ripe strawberries and raspberries, with hints of chocolate, caramel (malt), grapefruit and pine (hop.) Oily and slick body with a creamy feel. Ripe , gummy fruits parade the palate upon tasting, with hints of caramel and hops, which are very resinous and citrusy. I enjoyed this barley wine, like I do almost every single one.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a murky amber brown with a small off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar.

The aroma is nutty caramel malts, chocolate, molasses, candy sugar, fruits and a little tobacco. It's very decadent.

The flavor is similar to the nose - sweet nutty caramel malts, chocolate, dark fruits and pineapple, and some alcohol, with a medium roasted bitter finish. The mouthfeel medium bodied and watery with very little carbonation.

Overall, a very nice malt heavy barelywine that's got some nice complexities. I only wish it was better carbonated.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the Falling Rock Tap House on the recommendation of the bartender.

It was a murky brown with a very thin white head.

This had a pronounced rasberry aroma with slight malt and hop presence (this was a rasberry Barleywine).

The taste was just like the smell--nice but nothing special.

The mouthfeel was nice and creamy and rich. There is a bit of a hoppy finish.

Overall, not a great beer but an interesting offering. I would rather have a more traditional barleywine.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.97/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from Mentor as part of BIF 33/The Race - Team Spring. Thanks for the opportunity. Label notes brew is "naturally carbonated and bottle conditioned". If that's the case, they have some problems here, as seen in my review.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, even hard, formed no head whatsoever, not a bubble, above the somewhat murky reddish brown brew. No head, no lacing, even for the style this is dead, dead, dead. Aroma is sweet and syrupy, with dark fruits, and alcohol is obviously present. Taste is as the nose indicated, maybe even more syrupy, if possible. Mouthfeel and drinkability are pretty limited in my opinion. I hate to think that carbonation is the end all be all, but I know it would have helped this one in numerous areas.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a murky brown color and was completely flat. Tried a hard pour as soon as I realized it was coming out flat and still got nothing. The color would have been a bit more vibrant if there was some carbonation present to give it some life. Nose is very sweet and syrupy.

That syrup aroma comes out more in the flavor as maple syrup and molasses. Lots of sickly sweet brown sugar too. Kind of reminds me of medicine my mom would make me drink. Strong cherries in the flavor. The alcohol was a bit much and only strenghtened the medicinal flavors. Full body but flat which kin of ruined the drinkability for me.

Thanks to Mentor for the chance to try this beer.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikeys01 for this rare one...
Mahogany in color...clear, but not allowing much light to pass thru.
One of the most still brews I've ever poured...lifeless, similar to New England's Three Judges.
Very nice nose...huge raisin profile, some orange peel too.
Taste is pretty good actually...it does have some carbonation, but I can see what they were going for here.
Rum raisins, vanilla, cherries and a hefty malty sweetness that overcomes any amount of hops that may have been used in the creation of this beer.
Alcohol is subdued...no clue of the abv.
This one may not go over well for some...I liked it a lot.

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Photo of benito
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Cellared at high-altitude-mountain-town temperatures for about 11 months.

A: Still a murky sienna, but it doesn't have the shimmer or rainbow effect of multiple colors that it did when it was fresh. Absolutely zero head or visible carbonation

S: A sweet and syrupy bouquet with a more pronounced hop presence (piney, resinous) than I remember.

T: Very sweet and syrupy across the tongue with an oily, slightly bitter finish. I don't know if I was ignorant of the hops when I first tried this or if it's a different recipe or if I'm just going crazy, but the overall flavor profile is much more rounded out and fully attenuated. It's tasty, though a little one note.

M: Excellent transition from sweet start to lingering, bitter finish. Very soft and oily.

D: A sipping drink to be sure, and one best shared with friends--even 12 ounces! But rather on par for a barley wine.

Overall, this is an above average and enjoyable barley wine, though it would benefit aesthetically (looks and smells) from a better shelf life, and a more complex flavor profile.

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Photo of Domingo
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12oz bottle of this from GCB in February 2011. I'm typically not one to hold onto things very long, so here I am a week later. It's worth noting that it's got one of their newer labels on it, so it's probably not THAT old.
Pours a reddish copper color. Not sure how strong this is, but the lack of head is typically telling for potency. Still, it does have a pretty solid foam sheen and it never goes flat.
While this is listed as an American barleywine - the malt character that has come through is more along the lines of a British one to me. Huge waves of sweet caramel-like malts dominate the hops, which add a pine-y character, but not really a ton of bitterness.
I tend to like the sweeter barleywines, so this one fits my needs nicely. I had a few sips of this years ago at the FRTH and I do recall more hop character at that time, but I think I personally prefer the sweeter character.
I split my 12oz bottle, but I think I probably could down one myself...especially on a cold night or with a hearty meal.
I like this beer, but would guess it's probably a bit divisive for anyone expecting giant hop bitterness. This reminds me more of the JW Lee's and even the Bull & Bush big beers where the malts run the show.
Recommended, but definitely be aware that this isn't a Bigfoot type of barleywine.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 poured last weekend.

Deep amber, slightly hazed body. Pretty good head for the style. Settles to a coating around the rim. Quick swirl brings head around again.
Caramel, baked brown sugar and molasses round out the nose. Some hints of pine and plump raisin.
Caramel and pine seem to fight it out. This is fairly sweet in my opinion. Towards the end a bit develops. It's nice as it refreshes the palate and gives it that "ahhh" feeling.
A nice BW. Not sure the abv, but this can pack a good one.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

got this from mikeys01 via trade. Had to confirm it wasn't a homebrew. The cap on this is a real beer cap that I've bought tons of over the years for my own homebrew. As a side note I've been to golden in my early beer years and toured the big brewery there. I loved the label language "second largest brewery in golden".

I struggle with barleywines like this one. On the one hand it's dead flat. Some sediment at the bottom of the bottle but no life at all in the beer. On the other hand, the smell and taste are good and close to the english barleywine characteristics I enjoy most.

The problem is without even a hint of carbonation this comes across as only syrupy and flat. A bit of carbonation, even a light trickle and my score shoots up. As is, it is close but not quite.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Extra thanks to mentor for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours an absolutely clear caramel brown color. No head, no lace, no carbonation. Friggin' lifeless. I spied some sediment in the bottle and figured, "what the heck', swirled it around and poured it into the glass. This got me some gorgeous looking yeasty sediment tendrils as well as a small blob of head, a thick ring, and a little lace.

S: The big player here is caramel. Rich homemade caramel. Also noted were some sweet red apple, brown sugar, cherry, and a smidgeon of dark chocolate.

T: Big flavors of caramel, molassas, and red apple. Cherry and chocolate are still there but there's a creeping alcohol flavor that, while certainly not out of place for the style, I felt stuck its' head up out of the fray a little too much. As it warms, the caramel gains even more dominance and picks up a hint of citrus and some dusty hops along the way. To me the taste lost a little of the focus of the smell. Still quite respectable, though.

M: Unlike some of the other reviews on here, I didn't find this to be too syrupy. In fact my first few sips were very dry and bitter. As it warmed it began to exude a creamy smoothness that was kept from crossing the line into syrup-land by the obvious alcohol content.

D: Drinks good, but for me this was a "one and I'm done" kind of beer. Certainly nowhere close to the biggest Barleywines I've ever had, but by the end of this I didn't want any more...or anything else.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into my favorite New Belgium snifter. There is absolutely no head on this beer and I poured it hard and fast. The color is dark, cloudy, and red. The smell is a little fruity and a little chocolate. The taste is actually quite good but the lack of carbonation is bothersome. The alcohol is not noticeable at all. This was probably really good fresh but the bottle I picked up was pretty dusty (I thought barleywines were indestructible?). Maybe I can get this on tap if I ever get up to Golden.

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Photo of biking4beer
3.02/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2006 vintaged aged for a year in my "cellar"

Deep copper in color. Looks syrupy. Not many bubbles and hardly any head. Just a wisp.

Smells mostly of dark fruit (raisins), and alcohol. Minimal pine.

Taste is pretty sour. Very strange for me and my experience with barley wines. After my first sip I realized what I didn't like about this beer a year ago. It didn't really fade in a year's time. There is also a pretty good alcohol presence, but the sour pretty much overwhelms everything.

Carbonation is super low, and this is a syrupy beer. Had a hard time getting a whole bottle down. I have one more. We'll see how it goes next year, but I don't have much hope.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Jeff for the samples.

a: Murky orange body, thin white head.

s: Wonderful fruity malt aroma.

t: fruity malt upfront with spicy, herbal hops. Displays the same medicinal flavor I often notice in barleywines. I would say this lies pretty firmly in the center of the malty - hoppy barleywine spectrum. Good balance.

m: a touch thin for the style, more carbonation might improve it.

d: very sippable. would make for a great introduction to the style due to its balanced nature. you may be seeing this and the Golden City Oatmeal Stout on the shelves of Mile High in a shortly.

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Photo of rye726
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber with a thin tan head. The nose has fruity hops, candy malts and lots of residual sugars. The taste is also quite sweet, but well balanced by the hop presence. Medium to full body fits teh style well. A good brew from golden city. Glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of riored4v
3.12/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to a tulip. Lightly hazy, dark copper color. Very thin head that faded quickly.

Smell was raisiny and pruney. Lots of dark fruit and caramel. Noticeable amounts of alcohol along with sweetness. Lots of malty aroma, some noticeable hop aroma that was slightly earthy and floral.

Taste was fairly muddy. Definite signs of dark fruit, raisins and caramel. Pretty strong on those flavors. Some mild hop bitterness that was floral and earthy. Good amount of sweetness as well. No real "wow" factor". This had also been aged about 1 year and there didnt seem to be an increased complexity to it.

Mouthfeel was full body, medium-low carb and a sticky finish. Some pretty heavy/chewy mouthfeel.

Overall it was decent, but the complexity that should be in a BW just wasn't there with this one. Lots of heavy dark fruit and sweetness.

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Photo of murdoch22
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured at about cellar temperature into a red wine glass. I know, i know. I should do dishes *before* drinking. Too late, it's poured. Having read the previous reviews, of course without absorbing any prejudice whatsoever, i tried the hard pour down the middle; i think the carbonation problem mentioned in many previous reviews has either been corrected in this batch (laid down either in '06 or '07) or my bottle has by some miracle been stored with more care than those of other reviewers. I'm more inclined to believe the former. Anyway, my high gravity pour produced a thick, light brown head with an aggregate of bubble sizes and something of a gelatinous look--it jiggles when shaken. The foam still blankets the top even as i let it sit too long while i type. Oh, and it's chunky. When left to settle, a spattering of little light brown bits appears on the bottom of the dark brown liquid, leaving it to look a bit like the fading edges of last year's cheap Easter chocolate.

It smells sour, alcoholic, and fruity. I wonder if it would be a good base for one of those beer shampoos?

Like any barleywine, it's an acquired taste. First, it makes one flinch. Then, it makes one want to try another sip. The bitterness and thick, smooth mouthfeel mask the alcohol, while the sweet and sour promised by the smell are delivered in job lots. It leaves a sour, somewhat metallic aftertaste not unlike that experienced with an earthy, tannic red wine.

Again, like most barleywines, this is not a session beer. The unpublished ABV can sneak up on you, and three bottles in a sitting at high altitude are apt to make you think you're a far better hiker than you actually are...

Overall, i would recommend this to any barleywine drinker. If you don't like it at first, try it again in a couple of months and see if it's grown on you like it has on me. I would also recommend that any who've tried it in the past (especially before '06) give it another shot. The carbonation seems to have improved since then, though i can't say for sure that anything else has.

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Photo of birchstick
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours an amber orange without much of a head

S - very sweet, sticky caramel malts with a load of piney hops

T - a lot of caramel hops jump out at first and are balanced by some piney and citrusy hops. Nice flavor profile - I feel a lot of barleywines can be overly bitter or too amped up, but this one hit a nice stride of being more balanced with a smoother flavor.

M - watery and thin body. I was hoping this would be a bit chewier.

D - this is a really good barleywine. I really enjoyed this and am glad I grabbed two bottles. Will look for this again when I am out in CO.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle at the brewery. Poured hazy; reddish-gold with a nice creamy head.

Slightly oxidized on the nose, with dark fruits and just a hint of citrus. On the palette this was full of caramel and sweet, warming alcohol.

Overall this was a very nice beer; fruit, caramel sweetness and warming alcohol combine to make this a very pleasant experience, although not up to the level of the 2003 sample I had on draft a few weeks earlier.

Following this sample, we tried the 2009 Centurion aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels. This sample poured almost still, producing a heavenly aroma of coconut, pineapple and whiskey.

Although the whiskey was evident on the nose, it was strangely absent on the palette, although the tropical fruits were very evident. This one was a huge fruit/alcohol bomb, although a very pleasant one.

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Centurion Barleywine Ale from Golden City Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 40 ratings