Oakshire Brewing

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American Barleywine
Ranked #281
Ranked #22,593
3.84 | pDev: 9.64%
Oakshire Brewing
Oregon, United States
Very Good
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 47
Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013 bottle, properly cellared. Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a medium to dark reddish orange with a quarter finger khaki head with great retention and solid lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt, dried dark fruit, raisins and mild grassy hops, somewhat boozy. Flavor follows with caramel malt, dates, figs, raisins, aged hops, tobacco. Light hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied with light creaminess. The hopped (American) style barleywines are now off my list for aging because the hops just don’t age that stylishly, although the malt body of these does quite well. And that is true here. The malt is very mellow and well integrated with the dark, dried fruit flavors settled in to a even, balanced background. I don't use tobacco in my reveiew very often, but that note is clear here, more like biting into tobacco leaves than the smoke aroma. I'm guessing it's the interaction of aged hops with the malt. The hops have lost their herbal flavors, but leave a pleasant light bitterness in the finish. As a matter of fact, this is one of the best aged hopped barleywines I've had, with no off flavors from the hops. I like this enough that I owe this barleywine another tasting of a fresher bottle. I liked this one and am pleased it has survived a 5 year aging this well. I don't see any vintages after 2015 reviewed here, but I hope to see this again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big, bold and beautifully malty sweet, the brewers of Oakshire thread together a massive barleywine that celebrates the soul of barley malt at is highest degree. Nearly three years old, this 2014 vintage is showing signs of maturity but still stubborn with its youth.

Dark garnet and faintly hazed, the frothy ale carries a masculine color and stature, equipped with slight brandy legging. Bold malt aromas of brown sugar, maple, molasses and toffee carry a citrusy and herbal hop note with hints of dark fruit and a vinous tang. Those malty sweet flavors extend from the nose and slather the tastebuds with honey and granola.

As the beer's rich sweetness saturates the taste, its rich middle palate is cakey, sweet and savory. Plum, blackberry, currant and fig give bold impressions of fruitcake while a spicy rum-like kick sheds a light on pepper, cinnamon and red wine. Hoppy with a grassy, tea-like, citrusy bite, the beer's bold booziness catches a glimpse of curaçao liquor.

Butter rum, brandy spice and a rich port wine flavor show signs of the beer's age while its hints of leather and tobacco inch toward savory soy sauce and bitter citrus peel. Full and lavish, the beer has a still draw nearing its finish that renders the ale lighter that expected. A long and bittersweet aftertaste offers continued heat well into the next sip.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 2014 batch. Sampled on June 24, 2016.

I'm celebrating the start of my vacation by cracking this open.

It pours an attractive looking reddish-amber under a lasting off-white head.

The aroma has a kind of cellar mustiness with those biting Barkley malt sweet characters and a low hop profile. Still a tad boozy even after 2 years.

Medium body but feels lighter than many.

Same barley toasted bread character in the taste, a vague sweetness, with a rancid sort of bitterness to finish it off. It still holds its own after 2 years but you really have to like Barleywines to take this one in.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle of the 2015 vintage $7.99. Dark amber color, short head. Aroma is malty, raisins, and then hops. The flavor is pretty much a tasty American style barleywine, a lot of malt, bitterness from the hops, raisins, fruits, very enjoyable. If I still cellared beer this would be a good candidate.

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Photo of jason_nwx
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Score for the 2014 version. Rich caramel, sweet, with a pleasant finish of bitterness and booze. Great color. I think a year did this bottle some good.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 edition, i found this one to be on the thin side in terms of feel. i am used to and appreciative of the huge grain spectrum in these, ranging from sweet to biscuity, cakey, tannic, always layered in all nice, but this is a little one dimensional compared to that standard. saturated bronze color, doesnt look thin at all, and it holds a little tan head for awhile. aromas of bittering hops and molasses come out first, with the booze well behind it. not quite as nuanced in the nose as others, but it smells pretty yummy, especially on a windy chilly gray afternoon. the taste is good, it just doesnt have all that much going on, and because (at least in part) of the bitter hop finish, it seems dry, almost too dry for the style, not lingering and warming quite the way the style usually does. that said, it tastes very good, woody in some way, sticky malty like a high gravity wort before yeast is pitched, and the lightness of body makes it easy drinking for what it is. the thin body hurts it though, the big flavors have less to cling to, and the booze is way more exposed, this finishes almost hot when it comes up to temperature, and it seems to bring out the weird grain proteins in the middle before that. a worthy brew no doubt, maybe cellar time will help it a little, but not one of the more complex barleywines in the game.

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Photo of Floydster
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, 2013 vintage

Appearance is muddy brown with two fingers of beige head, some red tint when held up to the light, decent carbonation at first but fades fast with no lacing

Smell is full of toffee, caramel malt, booze, raspberry, faint Northwestern hops, bread, and honey

Taste is pretty boozy all the way through, sweet finish with a slightly dry start, definitely more malt forward than hoppy, could be due to being over a year old in the cellar now, taste is fairly one dimensional but has a nice inviting toffee flavor

Mouthfeel was a bit thin with more bubbles than most barleywines I have tasted, got a little cloying and needed some more body

Overall I liked the toffee notes but it needed something else going on in order to shine some more, I would love to taste an extra hoppy version of this as I think it would drink more like a well balanced Triple IPA

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Photo of snaotheus
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a large snifter. 2014 vintage.

Pours cloudy reddish amber with a small head and some fine, very slow carbonation. Smell is mild, barleywiney -- alcohol, a little dark fruit, yeast, a little wood.

Taste is not dominated by alcohol, but it's a strong theme. There's actually some light colored fruit -- not exactly pear or apple, but in that neighborhood. Definitely some oaky/woody characteristic.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and surprisingly light. Overall, good.

Same beer, seven months older.

Hop presence is very strong. Wood character is much more prominent. Less light fruit, more dark fruit. Strange for a barleywine to be so bitter.

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Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared 2013 bottle.
Flavor: Fruity. Sweet, but acceptably so.
Feel: Exceptionally smooth.
The aroma is too boozy but the alcohol is otherwise well hidden.

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Photo of jdense
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Medium brown color, minimal visible carbonation and not much present mouthfeel wise. Still some hop presence, not too sweet, a bit boozy, which Matt had barrel-aged this ala Hellshire.

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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%

Dark amber in the big goblet. Nice pile of suds. Plenty of spritz on the tongue. A little burnt sugar.

Kind of herbal and a little dank on the hop side. On the grainy side, it's warm and malty with a big, chewy caramel mouthfeel. Pleasantly woody without the usual barrel routine. Not as hot or alcohol-tasting as expected. Rather bitter aftertaste.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Haggen's Market in Burlington, Wash.

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Photo of RickS95
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky brown color. Like muddy water, it's dark, menacing and opaque. In contrast, the head is very white, maybe a finger thick. However, it doesn't retain well and the lacing, if you can call it that, leaves much to be desired.

It has the standard barleywine scent to it. A combination of extreme malts and caramelly vanilla scents. While it's par for the course, it's still an outstanding smell.

While 10.1% ABV isn't necessarily extreme, it's still a force to be reckoned with. The flavor reeks of alcohol. Very malt forward as you can imagine, the hops are simply a bit player. Caramel malts dominate, along with some spicy hops in the background, but it's really about the alcohol. Maybe a bit too much so.

A bit too in your face for me. I drink beer over spirits because I don't care for the alcohol forwardness of spirits, this beer comes close to crossing the line. It's hot. It's spicy. There are alcohol esters here that remind me of rubbing alcohol. Full bodied with a slight sweetness early on that's immediately trampled by heat from the alcohol. A lingering bitterness.

I think aging this might have helped. It's a 2013 vintage and a time out in the cellar may have softened the sharp edges a bit. Not bad, just lack sophistication.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange/amber with a slight offwhite head that leaves lacing and bubbles.

Smell is Caramel and brown sugar, with some hops mixed in. Also some dark fruit smells here and there.

Taste is similar with Caramel and malty sweetness. Molasses creeps in, and also dried figs and dates. Not a very bitter beer but there is a decent hoppiness to it as well.

Feel is low to medium carb with a definite slickness to it, its perfect for 10%. I can't detect alot of heat from this, so its nice at this point in its age.

Overall I like this offering and would buy again.

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Photo of John_M
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled on a number of occasions, most recently in a snifter at the tap and growler.

The beer pours a fairly dark brownish amber color with pretty decent head retention and lacing. The nose is text book BW, and frankly, I didn't pickup as much brandy as I was expecting in this beer. Otherwise, the beer had some nice caramel, toffee and vanilla, along with some underlying dry citrus. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, but there's some noticeably underlying hoppy bitterness as well, which helps to buoy that sweetness. Mouthfeel is fairly full with a long finish, but with some noticeable heat from the alcohol as well.

There's no doubt this is a solid beer from Oakshire, but right now it's a bit hot and I think could use some time to improve in bottle or keg. I actually found it a bit of a chore to make it through my entire glass, and the sweetness coupled with the noticeable alcohol was just a bit much for me. However, woiuld love to try this beer again in a year or two to see what develops.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which appears to have pretty good retention. The head is a light tan while the body is a dark amber which appears as a medium amber when held up to the light. The lacing that has been left tends toward sheeting.

Nose- Very American Barleywine. Starts off with a mustiness that hints at grapefruit, then transitions into caramel, and then burnt caramel, followed matchstick and hard candy sugar. A good amount of pine and resin as well. Suggests that the palate will be too much bitter hops but up against too strong of a malt bill. Hints of peach. Swirling shows more grapefruit and matchstick.

Taste- Starts off with citrus (mostly orange) and raisins but quickly dives into matchstick and grapefruit, lots of earwax, lots of oak, lots of pine and resin. Some caramel but it mostly tastes burnt. It's a stereotypical American Barleywine through and through and I'm about to write off the entire style. Too bad I've have two more waiting in the wings. Does mellow out a bit and showcase more normal caramel notes matched with rounded orange flavors. Much of the bitter hop notes start to fade and newer and juicier hop flavors seem to take their place. Huge citrus, light stone fruits, some cherry, some honey. Really balances out the bitterness which has a bit of a linger. Slight touch of alcohol but nothing that says 10%. Mostly good beer that suggests possible cellaring.

Mouthfeel- A little more than light bodied, almost between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Some zing as well. Seems closer to an IIPA than a barleywine. May not bode well for aging.

Drinkability- Fairly well contained in comparison to the boisterousness of some American Barleywines. 8-10 bucks a bomber is fair but I'm not sure this beer is worth it. I don't think I would buy it again.

Overall- Pretty much just a good beer. Nothing spectacular, some promise, no real flaws, and pretty competent. Worth a try but it does seem a little pricy to me. You would almost think that it would have to be barrel aged to command the price but it isn't.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Found this gem at the Boise COOP over the weekend... Pours a little hazed deep orange/light amber... great off white head shows nice retention and messy spots of lacing.

Nose is very balanced... but VERY PNW... Thick resinous citrus hops with a bit of pine and a nice smack of toasty/lite caramel maltiness to round things out.

Plate has a great bitter backbone that helps keep the malts balanced... the hops are again pithy citrus with a little piney essence... A light EtOH presence helps move the bitterness off the backend a bit.

I like an aggressive American Barleywine right out of the gates... This one delivers... Very nice.. I will buy again certainly assuming I can find it.


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Barleywine from Oakshire Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 47 ratings