Fathead Barleywine
Nebraska Brewing Company

Fathead BarleywineFathead Barleywine
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American Barleywine
Ranked #195
Ranked #17,634
3.94 | pDev: 11.42%
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States
Very Good
Fathead BarleywineFathead Barleywine
Notes: This listing is for draft/growler reviews only.
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 31 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of 57md
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy brownish copper color with a half finger of head. The nose is sweet and bready. The flavor has plenty of sweet malt that is complemented by a really nice semi-dry finish.

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Photo of hman43
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours a hazy medium brown with an off head head. Head retention is low.

Smell: It has a deep aroma of toast and bread. There are background notes of floral and dark fruits, plums, and sugar. As it warms, the dark fruits and floral elements are closer in balance with the malts.

Taste: There are sweet malt flavors with some floral elements in the background. There are some dark fruit featuring plums and raisins. The notes of whiskey are complementary, not overly done, but provides a solid background flavor.

Feel: It has a full body, not quite chewy. The carbonation is low that is a good deal of alcohol warming. The finish is not hot and does add a bit of bitterness in whiskey in the aftertaste.

Overall, it is balance towards the malts, but the fruity esters and whiskey provide enough background notes to create a complex flavor sensation.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the first beer I've had from Nebraska brewing and hopefully it's not the last. I love a good barrel aged Barleywine.
The appearance is a really pretty opaque dark golden orange with some alcohol legs.
The aroma is a big malt sweetness up front along with vanilla, bourbon, piney hops and caramel malt sweetness.
The taste is big caramel malt sweetness, bourbon, vanilla, pine and alcohol spice.
The palate is full with a big lingering sweetness along with the piney bitterness. Also some alcohol heat lingers nicely.
Overall this is a great Barleywine that I would love to get a bottle of.

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Photo of stephens101
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Perfect in appearance with a boisterous tan froth that settles slowly with plenty of heft left before my patience wears thin and I have to take a drink. Color is a quite hazy dark brown with slight burgundy hues. Aroma is outstanding with layers of fresh brown bread, chocolate and pine just behind it all. Persimmon and a faint metallic nuttiness is also noticed. Sweet fruits and caramel at the front of the palate. Pine, faint beer bread and cherry at the back. Medium to heavy with the big alcohol heat seeping in slowly. Creamy for the most part.

After seeing and smelling this one I think I set myself up for a letdown. But while I initially fel the taste left something to desire, after a few sips it really grew on me, and I finished the entire 750 without hesitation.

Glad I grabbed two. Will be nice to see how this one ages.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle of Fathead while at Nebraska Brewing recently on my road trip to Denver. I hadn't heard of it before, but rarely turn down the chance of drinking a barleywine on my summer trips. One of the disadvantages to be a teacher-beer hunter is that I don't travel during the winter when some of my favorite dark beers like barleywine are available.

Beautiful ruby barleywine in the glass that only reluctantly gives up an off white head at all in spite of a hard pour for the second half for encouragement. Light legs when tilted showing the nearly 11% ABV that is also apparent but not overwhelming in the nose along with cherry, fig, oakiness and a clear, bright hop or yeast spiciness. Elegant nose leads to a lightbodied, fruity ale with a slight oiliness. Spice continues but doesn't live up to the promise in the nose.

As it warms, the 6 months in fresh whiskey barrels becomes more apparent. I missed the vanilla initially but it's clearly there. The brown sugar in the description I can imagine when going back, but looks to be a bit of marketing to me. It's definitely sweet, to the brink of cloying, and it represents that idea just fine. Drink this one slow, or leave it out for a while before tasting, to get to these flavors soon. My beer fridge sits at about 42 degrees and that's too cold for this one.

Description on the website is enlightening as well. The "fresh whiskey" barrels vaguely listed on the bottle are noted online as Stranahan's Whiskey. When on the tour of Stranahan's just a day after visiting Nebraska Brewing, the tour guide said their barrels are used by breweries for aging beer on the strict condition that the Stranahan's name not be used. This is quickly becoming my biggest mistake in that I didn't ask why they prohibit the use of the name since it seems to be good advertising. Plus, had I known, I would've liked drinking this next to the Stranahan's bottle while in Denver or saved for later. Oh well. Maybe another time.

Overall, a very nice barleywine and little to complain about. I'm enjoying it, slowly, as a celebration for finishing the last assignment of my very last class to top out on the salary scale. In theory, I'm done with required formal schooling as soon as I click send to turn in the assignment via email.

Not a moment that I could have imagined in 1989 when I started college at Purdue, nor that I would be drinking a barleywine from Nebraska. When I started college, I was a teetotaler who thought he'd teach physics and math while coaching wrestling and track. While that would have been a perfectly acceptable path, I'm happy to be an English teacher and speech coach who hunts beer on the side. Such is the amazingly capricious nature of life.

Pic at http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/2012/07/fathead-barley-wine-nebraska-brewing.html

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Fathead Barleywine from Nebraska Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 31 ratings