Leon's Grandson's It's My Birthday Barley Wine-style Ale | Cigar City Brewing

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14 Reviews
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Leon's Grandson's It's My Birthday Barley Wine-style AleLeon's Grandson's It's My Birthday Barley Wine-style Ale

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.79%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bartos on 01-03-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 94
Photo of chinchill
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 can
Feel: medium body; good carbonation; a bit hot.
Plenty of dark soaked fruits in the nose.
O: decent, but poorly hidden alcohol. Would probably benefit from aging.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%

Can as a trade extra. Thanks! Pours insanely thick from the can, dark brown amber, with a big creamy khaki head. Big brown sugar aroma, lots of figs, sweet toffee maltiness, and some hay. Flavor is sweet toffee and biscuity malts, some brown sugar and figs, light grassy hop notes, very sweet and rich. Huge body here as expected from CCB. Not mind blowing by any means but solid and rich, and my first canned barleywine.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is dark cola brown with a lot of tight tan head. Nose has a decent malt presence, some dry chocolate, musky caramel, a bit sugary, notes of oxidation and booze. Taste is the same, some decent malt up front, gets sugary and sweet mid palate, cardboard and booze in back. Full bodied, assertive carbonation, body holds up well.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown pour, muddy and opaque, with a finger of off-white head that receded to a wispy layer, lacing the glass heavily. In the aroma, caramel malt, bread dough, piney and floral hops, with a touch of licorice. Taste of dark malts and some gritty unsweetened cocoa, pine and floral hops still coming through, caramel and bread, black licorice. Decent, but kind of weird. Body was a lot thinner than I like a barleywine to be, with the hoppiness making it coming off more like a generic strong ale than a barleywine. Worth a try, but nothing really special going on, and honestly I couldn't even finish the can.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz can courtesy of RateBeer's very own markwise, thanks Mark!! It pours with a murky amber colored body that supports a tan head of foam. The aroma offers up a mix of sweet molasses, some caramel malt like sweetness and then mild yet rich dark fruity esters like ripe plums and blueberries. Nice. The taste has a pleasing mix of smooth molasses sweetness, some slivers of pine hop bitterness and then sweet dark fruity esters. It stays thick and smooth while the pine hop bitterness ramps up to midway and rides into the finish. Solid 4.0 score but since I’m a “homer” that will make it 4.2.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can acquired from the recentish math trade (or so me memory thinks). Enjoyed from a ccb teku.

a - brew pours a deep brownish purple with a super generous head, filled half the glass! Off tan in color and massive, the head hung out and was solid, creamy even. Lacing coated the glass in a big way.

s - nose is all American barley wine, hoppy with a nice caramel malt backbone. Sticky, resin.

t/m/o - taste is as the nose suggests, but a bit more chocolatey in the background. Super silky feel, goes down to easy but still has a bittery finish to slow ya down a touch. Overall, a nice American barleywine nothing earth shattering, sort of like Ccbs take on Bigfoot but not as good. The feel though...so silk.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into a snifter. Thanks to Jeff for throwing this one in as an extra in a recent trade.

A: Dark ruby, almost black; huge three-finger head that leaves sticky lacing all down the glass

S: Floral and resinous; lots of citrus

T: Opens with a jolt of fruity, citrusy resin; transitions to faint vanilla and lots of sweet burnt toffee or caramel; finishes with lots of bitterness and roasted coffee

M: Thick, viscous, and creamy; heavily carbed

O: A fantastic American barleywine. It has tons of floral, resiny hop character and equal amounts of sweet, roast malt. Sometimes the strong hop presence in American barleywines is a no-no for me, but Cigar City really nailed it here.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received in trade from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity!
Barleywine from a can in honor of the tasting I didn't make tonight. Pours a slightly cloudy dark brown with a creamy tan head that makes this look more like a stout than not. Rich brown sugar covered fruits with a fair amount of earthy citrus make up most of the aroma. Big sweet brown sugar flavor mixed with lots of dark fruits make up the heft of the flavor. Earthy citrus and a hint of chocolate and alcohol round things out nicely. Lingering stick sweetness with a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly syrupy mouthfeel. Its a nice barleywine, I enjoyed it but something is missing to make this world class.

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Photo of dvmin98
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from can into snifter. Thanks Madnismo.

Honestly, if I didn't know this was a barley wine, I would have sworn it was a stout. The taste was of roasted malts and I swear there was some chocolate tones there. Couldn't taste the ABV at all. Very solid. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Netdigger2
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Despite some lackluster reviews I have heard about this, I figured I'd pop one open before they all got sent out as additional extras in CCB trades.

It pours a crazy dark brown with a huge dark tan head that does not dissipate. The depth of color is so much so that it only shows red hues when backlit. Completely opaque used motor oil brown. Mountains of sticky lacing- beautiful.

The smell is nearly non-existent. All I can really pull out of it are some earthy hop aromas and a bit of roasted caramel. Nothing off-putting though.

The taste is absolutely sublime. It features plenty of coffee and caramel notes, accompanied by layers of earthy hop and resin (imagine- in a positive way- a blend of Bourbon County Stout , aged Bigfoot, and a bit of Jai Alai). This seems like it would clash, but it is all very well melded with an obviously deft hand.

The mouthfeel is thick and viscous with a full amount of carbonation that is in no way spritzy.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this and hope they make it again.

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Photo of Brenden
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a heavy-looking barleywine, a dark brown with a deep thickness through the body and even held to the light does any actually get in to show a violet-brown hue. The head is very thick and tight despite its short stature, with lots of resolve to retain almost its full form for the whole of the session. Lacing deposited is a thick ring with broken sheeting followed by patching.
The smell is surprisingly muted; even after more has come out of it with warming, there's not as much as I would expect. What I do get is bready malts, toffee, caramel, earth and leaf with a slight earthiness.
The taste delivers more, as the malt sets down a strong foundation with breads, sweetness of toffee and caramel balancing a big leafy and raw green sapling resin bitterness. A little more sweetness of something like brown sugar evens out an otherwise dry finish with lots of lingering pith.
This full-bodied, thick beer is semi-dry and easier on the palate than it would seem, avoiding too much heaviness and offering a good bite of crispness as a creamy smoothness rolls over the tongue, each on the finish in equal measure.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade with GatorLCA. Didn't know this beer even existed. I'll give it a shot. Poured into a tulip. Was not prepared for the aggressive head I got on the pour. Bit of a spill over. Once that settled, nice dark brown with a thick tan/beige head. Aroma is a bit toasty. Smells a little sweet too, with caramel and toffee. Maybe some dark fruit in the smell too. The taste is strong, more dark fruits than in the smell, kind of a nutty taste too. Somewhat sweet on the end. It's a sipper for me, heavy on the flavor, but not as sweet as some barleywines. There is also a little bitter aftertaste. I'm not a huge fan of barley wines but there is enough here to keep me interested. Hides the alcohol well. Mouthfeel is creamy and somewhat thick, nice for the style. Pretty interesting and nice beer

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Photo of jbwimer
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extra from a trade with Chad. Apparently, not much of this was canned. Thanks, man! Never heard of this beer, so this is an unbiased review. Once in a blue moon, right?

A- Poured from a 12 oz. can into a Great Lakes 25th Anniversary tulip. Might have been the smoothest, most silent pour I've ever done. The beer didn't make a sound... But we're talking about appearance here. Really deep, rich mahogany color. Light-brown head has some pretty good retention. Fades after a couple minutes, leaving a film on top. Some legs are left on the glass here and there.

S- The nose is really understated, but very smooth. Caramel and toffee. Some raisins, too, methinks. Slight presence from the hops, but hardly any at all. Really nice, just wish it was a little more bold.

T- One ups the nose by just a little bit. Initially dominated by caramel and toffee flavors with a hint of chocolate. Then, it's all washed down with just the right amount of bitterness from the hops. Actually, based on the aroma, I wasn't expecting as much hop flavor as I got adds a nice element to the beer. Also, I wouldn't have guessed this was as high as 11.79%. Pretty well masked alcohol.

M- Definitely a heavier mouthfeel. Not super viscous by any means, but certainly last medium. Carbonation is medium. Nice warming feeling from the alcohol. Butteriness lingers on the palette. Nice.

O- Glad for the chance to have tried this beer. A nice take on the style. I think it's even more fun to review a beer when you've never heard of it. Cheers!

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Photo of brother_kenneth
3.22/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This Barley Wine-style ale pours a very dark, lightly carbonated brown. Nice head and lacing. Nose is really underwhelming. As it warms, a little more comes out, but it's pretty mild really. Some hints of roasted malt and hops are detectable, and perhaps a bit of toffee as well. The taste is also a bit underwhelming. It's malty, with some bitter hops in the background and some alcohol heat. It lacks the caramel-like sweetness I would typically expect for the style. Really not a lot going on with this one at all. Mouth feel is nice though. Medium bodied and creamy. Ultimately, it's a let down for me. Not a bad beer, by any means, just not very memorable.

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Leon's Grandson's It's My Birthday Barley Wine-style Ale from Cigar City Brewing
3.82 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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