Tribute | Renaissance Brewing

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34 Ratings

Brewed by:
Renaissance Brewing
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by danieelol on 12-09-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of biboergosum
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, 2012 vintage, and 11.8% ABV. Nice to see a barleywine from this more than capable Kiwi brewer.

This beer pours a murky, hazy medium red brick amber hue, with one very, very skinny finger of fizzy, flatly foamy beige head, which leaves little beyond a low berm of meniscus lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of sweet caramel/toffee malt, plump raisins, a bit of indistinct, grainy nuttiness, some middling yeastiness, a touch of cream, mild earthy, somewhat citrusy hops, and a burgeoning metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is rather sickly sweet caramel Hallowe'en candies, a further wet raisin saccharine addendum, a sort of isolated musty earthiness, and leafy, weedy hops besotted by a pervasive, yet mostly hidden booziness.

The carbonation is pretty innocuous, the body a hefty medium-full weight, smooth, a tad hot, and somewhat creamy. It finishes veritably sweet, the caramel nougat character large and in charge, while the muddled dark fruitiness - raisin and dates, mostly - and a touch of molasses round things out, in the face of little to no hopposition (yeah, I made up a word), and a politely bristling alcohol warmth.

A decent enough barleywine, if you are predisposed to pandering to your sweet tooth, that is; otherwise it's a bit of a cloying slog to get through this one. Nothing really off, other than a lack of hop offset, as even the big-ass ABV is pretty much sublimated. 'Generous amounts of malt' doesn't even begin to hint at the 'prodigious' nature of this offering.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minor lacing. Aroma consists of heavy caramelized malt with a more than healthy dose of residual sugars. Taste is dominated by a heavy dose of caramelized malt with loads of residual sugars and light toffee notes. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation with light warming alcohol. Nicely brewed though not to be recommended for diabetic people.

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 2013 vintage bottle in Edinburgh in April 2015.

Clear orange-brown body.

Borders on too sweet but becomes a bit more balanced in the aftertaste. Swirling mix of toffee, faint dark fruits, a hint of brandy and spices. Some cinnamon in the nose.

Very smooth body! Excellent carbonation. Well-hidden alcohol (feel).

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Photo of Eziel
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spinrsx
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $10 - 2012 edition

Appearance - Brown colour with a tiny size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for close to 3-4 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, an earthiness, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - There is a very low amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with a peaty/earthy flavour. There is also some dark fruits, chocolate, and a touch of anise.

Overall - Appearance and mouthfeel are not good at all, and the taste is fine but a little too much like a scotch ale or a dubbel instead of a Barley Wine. One thing is for sure, this is not worth the price tag.

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Photo of biegaman
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The bottom of the bottle is caked in such a dark, thick slurry of sediment you can't see through it even when held directly into the sun - what a relief none of it loosened on the pour, it would have totally destroyed this clear, colourful, lustrously tawny complexion. Tribute is a sleek looking beer indeed, one topped by just a sprinkling of white powder.

This barleywine has a bouquet that should entice fans of fortified wines as much as whiskey lovers; it has the candied and dried fruitiness of a port as well as the spicy, grainy aromatics of a rye. Hints of pralines and the overall 'buttered rum and raisin' profile make this a strong candidate for a new Ben & Jerry's brand. It's ambrosial and intoxicating.

This beer could definitely serve in a number of dessert capacities: it has the cream and burnt sugar notes to be baked into a crème brûlée, and also has the dried fruits and baking spices to supplement rum in a Christmas fruit cake. There's even enough marmalade and plum jelly notes to just spread it over toast or biscuits.

This 2012 Vintage shows the poise expected of a year-and-half old barleywine; it has a mellow, sticky-sweet mouthfeel void of any alcohol presence or bitterness. Subtle bergamot-like florals and Earl Grey-like notes creep in on some sips, adding to what is already an exceptionally agreeable, approachable ale for something with this much strength (10.8%).

If Tribute didn't cost $10/330ml bottle in these parts I would have bought plenty more. It is a delightful barleywine with plenty of flavour and is showing good potential for extended cellaring. It was worth every penny. Anyone in New Zealand piling up a vertical tasting - and I'm sure there's a few people doing so - please invite me. This may be a new favourite of mine.

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Photo of deonreds
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of andrenaline
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby red, no head, and no real lacing.

S - Dark fruit, raisins, molasses, and some faint leafy hop scents.

T - Much like the nose with dark fruit, raisins, figs, sweet molasses, hints of burnt sugar and maple syrop and the leafy green notes lingering alongside sugary sweetness.

M - The lack of body on this brew is a bit of a turnoff. Typically I expect little body carbonation for this style, but this is just too little for me. Reminiscent of a syropy liqueur.

O - Tasty and incredibly well hidden ABV, but the mouthfeel really takes away from the experience for me. Surprisingly sweet but enjoyable flavour profile. Enjoyable, but not quite worth the price tag IMO.

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Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly clear, rich red colour with a small, creamy, light tan head. Fair head retention.

Rich and thick aroma full of sweet malt, toffee, anise, raisins and dates. Milk chocolate coated hazelnuts and french toast round out the complex, malty aroma. An English Barleywine to the core.

English Barleywine is a difficult beer to understand. Most of the time they are incredibly sweet due to the combination of lots of malt and lower attenuating English yeast. This is intensely malty with a ton of nut and toffee notes. I get some yeasty brioche as well with the fruit and light anise note working really well. A thin line of perceived acidity (not like an infection) helps to cut through the sweetness as does a reasonable underlying bitterness that remains on the tongue.

Full body with moderately-low carbonation. As expected really.

I can't agree with Daniel's assessment of the beer below. To me, the flavours are what you expect of an English Barleywine and the balance is actually quite good. I appreciate the balancing bitterness and acidity and the interesting anise and nut notes. I'll be putting my second bottle away for a little while as I expect this will age beautifully.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 Vintage.

The beer is a deep red colour, with a very small beige head. Head fades quickly.

Smell is unusual and quite strong. Quite vinous, with a lot of caramel and some oak. Some nice elements, but there is something offputting about it that I cannot put my finger on.

Taste is similar to the nose. Strong vinous flavour, heavy on red grape. Very fruity. Also a lot of sweet malt, with strong caramel flavours. A bit port-like. OK, but doesn't really work for me.

Full bodied and low carbonation. Quite heavy and syrupy.

Overall, disappointing.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Snagged a 0.33l bottle of this at the Weyermann shop in Bamberg (~€4.00) on 29SEP17. Took care of sampling it back home on 01NOV17.

Filled a small snifte with a mostly clear, deep garnet colored brew. Had some haze and yeasty sediment present, along with a beige head. The foam was creamy and thin, ebbing rapidly, with light lacing. Had a malty nose, with rich caramel and toffee. Was smooth and silky on the tongue, with an almost medium body. Could have had more heft, imo.

Flavor had lots of malt, with more toffee and caramel layering on the palate. Also had notes of brown bread and molasses, and then a bit of cherry action. Rounding things out were some rummy, candied fruit cake flavors. Quite nice! Prosit!

4.15/5 rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


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Photo of ZachT
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DaPan
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of byronic
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2012. Quite a nice appearance a dark almost opaque amber with barely any head. Sweet, very sweet upfront. Caramel, dark fruits and brown sugar. Almost a straight up sugar bomb, overpoweringly sweet there are hints of complexities and flavours but unfortunately the sweetness masks all. Very sticky and coating mouthfeel. Lingering warming booze aftertaste. Definitely sip this one as dessert.

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Photo of Buck89
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Random find in a CA bottleshop. 2011 vintage poured into a snifter. A rusty, hazy copper-brown color with a minimal tan head. Plums, raisins, cherries, and burnt toffee on the nose. Very sweet tasting. The stone fruits were there, along with leather, tobacco, toffee, and maple syrup. Finished with a bitter, candied cherry flavor. Almost still with low carbonation and heavy on the feel. Warming on the finish. A bit too sweet for me.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled served well- chilled into glassware. 2012 Vintage 341 ml bottle purchased for $9.95 CDN from LCBO. Steep price, but it's not everyday one can try beer from New Zealand. Begrudgingly after seeing this a few times, finally caved an picked up a bottle.

Appearance - Brown with red and orange hues depending on how the light hits the beer. Very hazy. Only 1/2 finger of head that dissipates into a soapy residue and slight foam collar around the glass.

Smell - Candied sugar, dates and dark low-hanging fruit. a sort of earthy vinous grape aroma seeps through after repeated whiffs. A full-bodied aroma but not necessarily the most intense one.

Taste - The candied sugar and dates shine through transitioning to an earthy grape flavor. Slightly bitter finish with a sweet sugary aftertaste. Quite malty at the end. Booze is fairly well masked by the high sugary content. Overall though sweetness prevails and dominates this brew. Perhaps a bit too sweet for my liking. Elements of other styles in terms of sweetness (here's looking at you Dubbels).

Mouthfeel - Syrupy, sticks to your lips and the insides of your mouth. Lingering aftertaste. Nice warmth in the back of the throat assuring you that the ABV is quite significant.

Overall - Something I'm glad I tried once, and while this is definitely a "big" beer, it's not something that can be consumed quickly. Would try again if offered, but overall impression of the beer doesn't warrant the price.

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Photo of BT_Bobandy
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of SebD
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice deep copper/amber color to it. It has a small creamy beige head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves next to no lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet caramel, candied sugar, dark fruit (raisins, figs, dates) and some nuttiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a loads of sweet candied sugar, dark fruit, sweet caramel/toffee and some nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas. Maybe a bit too sweet but an enjoyable Barleywine.

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Photo of RedAleMan
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of ajzy
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Beersnake1
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage poured from fridge temp. Pours a nice dark brown with very little head. Nose is really inviting. Huge toffee, caramel, and malt upfront. Super smooth nose. Really smells like a thick English barley wine. Taste follows the nose. Lots of caramel, fig, nuts, bread, maybe a bit of licorice. Mouthfeel is creamy and robust. A really nice beer.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for a ridiculous $8.00 on a discount no less for a 341ml bottle. Served at 7deg C in a tulip

A- Opens poorly and pours no head at all. Dark brown color.

S- Lost of malt here. Fig, caramel and lots of heat

T- Thank goodness I let this one sit for a year and a bit to get more of the edge off it. Has some nice serious sweetness to it. Lots of fig and plum tones. Not horrible but just so sweet that it detracts

M- No carbonation but being a barley wine that's no excuse

O- Glad I only bought two. Will not buy again. This one will sit for a couple more years before I try it again.

Food Pairing

This ok beer went well with..... BBQ'd T bone steak. The sweetness hammered right through the BBQ smoke which was nice. Tough beer to get used to


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Photo of danieelol
2.25/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours red gold with smallish head and lacing.

Smell is fairly classic barleywine. Licorice, gingernut cookie, nuttiness, breadiness. Bit orangey/apricotty. Alcohol is quite well hidden behind the rich malt which also brings an earthy element. Brandy soaked raisins.

Taste is quite sweet. There's breadiness and ethanol. Sweetness grows to cloying levels with the alcohol providing some escape.

Mouthfeel is quite thin. How can it be so when there's so much residual sugar? Sugar's really getting cloying...not in balance.

C'mon, not a beer of appropriate quality for its price ($20+). Smell is nice, at least, and the residual sweetness is tamed if you eat with chocolate. Still not impressed by this overpriced effort.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

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Tribute from Renaissance Brewing
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 34 ratings