Panacea | Sly Fox Brewing Company

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18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by blitheringidiot on 01-19-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of JimPottNY
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's back for a brief reprise for the 21st anniversary. Nice balance, very drinkable. Sorry I missed the small-batch barrel-aged.

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Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of micropale
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent reddish color with copper tones and a slightly off white head. The nose has lots of sugar, caramel and some light citric hop notes. The flavor has burnt caramel malts, lots of sugar, a resigny oily hop and light citric note. Full bodied and syrupy, a touch oily and a bit off carbonation. Has some balnace and is drinkable but overly sweet and a few unpleasantries.

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Photo of BlackWednesday
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby-amber beer topped by a creamy tan head. The aroma is quite fruity. Cherry and light plum over a sweet malty base. There is a touch of sweet pale malt, cherry/plum and a sweet tropical fruit hop flavour. There’s also a touch of grapefruit citrus over the top. The bitterness is quite moderate but there is lots of sweet hop flavour. I’d like a bit more oomph in both the hops and the malt, but it’s a novel take on the style. The bitterness is very smooth. A tasty brew.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.56/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Sampled from a growler at PPRBSG09. Pours a cloudy brown with a small head. Aroma and flavor of sweet acetone, sweet fruits, and sweet malt. I really couldn't get anything more out of this....and I didn't care for it either.

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Counter pressure growler from Bierkraft, filled a couple weeks ago. $16 for the fill, along with $9 for a tasty ham, cheese, & horseradish hero that I'm still burping up. :D

Into my Sly Fox paperweight/tumbler it goes. A thick, luxurious pour. A couple inches of coffee creamer head over a cloudy 4C iced tea body with two scoops too many.

Smell is unexpectedly full of melon, pungent wood, & sweet florals. Something curiously odd like lychee fruit. A bit of macerated honey & toast towards the back, but loaded with unavoidable amounts of soft tropicals. Maybe a little plastic, maybe.

Frothy, turning syrupy mouthfeel. Heavy pine resin starts it off, but is followed with a granola-ish sweetness & a bunch of other residuals. More weirded-out fruit, but loads of sticky, bitter resin. The finish goes with some gum & Honey Nut Cheerios, ending just a bit drier then it was.

Alcohol is somewhat tolerable out the gate, but becomes solvent-like once the beer warms up. Feels hotter then it should. Carbonation is a touch prickly, but low overall. Really hefty. Thick.

I like it, but even with big dinner in front of me, I still have some left for breakfast. Price was a bit of a shock too, considering what other Sly Fox beers usually go for.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a five beer sampler of 4 oz, Michelin Man style glasses, beers.

This was the third and perhaps most enjoyable/well done of all the beers I had here.

Cloudy, brown-copper color. Thin, consistent off-white head.

Aroma was an incredibly unique perfume alcohol aroma. I almost felt like a bar back got lotion or perfume on the glass until I took a swig and the flavor matched the aroma. Very unique and pleasant. Pear is the closest thing I can come to describing the aroma and flavor.

The flavor hits up front yet finishes clean. Well done on this one.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
1.85/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Phoenixville, 2/22/2009

What a great name for a beer!

Panacea: [Latin from the Greek panakeia, from panakēs, all-healing : pan (all) + akos (cure)] meaning a remedy for all disease or ills; a cure-all; or an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties.

If only beer was all that!!! (And unfortunately, some people who drink beer do seem to think that way, but I digress...)

Ironically, this beer has a problem in itself.

It looks good with a slightly hazy ruby-chestnut body that displays orange highlights and a creamy off-white head that's short but holds a decent collar once it falls. Lacing is limited, but at least there's some present.

The aroma, however, is off-putting. It's solvent-like with acetone notes. There is some fruitiness that includes pear and orange zest, but that can't compete.

And all of that carries over into the flavor, along with some caramel maltiness and some seemingly piney and sprucey hops. Higher alcohols are evident.

I'm sure there have been better batches of this, and I'll be sure to try it again and be able to bump the numbers up a little bit (or a lot).

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Photo of baldmasterflex
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Recently tapped at the Phoenixville location earlier this week. Freakin $15.50 for a growler fill. $5 more than the brewery down the street that makes the renowned Old Horizontal.

Poured into a wine glass. Gentle pour to avoid wasting a drop resulted in a half inch tan head that recedes to faint patches. Beer is a sludgy dark brown with bits of pink. Definitly the murkiest barleywine ive had. When held to light you cant tell which way its coming from.

Smell is great. Could smell it loud and clear at arms length when i popped the growler. Very unexpected notes, much more light fruit hints than dark his. Of course theres the citrus and a definite smell of peach. To be more exact - peach yogurt.

I swear i taste the peach-ish in the mouth as well, much sweeter than other barleywines with the hoppy bite at the end. Very thick but not goopy.

Alcohol. Wow. Did someone drop a shotglass of vodka in this before i picked it up. You can def feel the alcohol early in the sip.

Needs to mellow, too bad they dont bottle this ... yet.

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Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the 5th Annual Philly /BA gathering we had the opportunity to try the 06 and the 07 side by side. My review here will be of the 07 because that this the fresh one but I must say we discovered something strange. The '06 version actually seemed like it had more hop character. How bizarre is that? I am beginning to think the recipe changed and maybe '07 should be entered under a new category. I will make some phone calls and do the research to see if this is actually the same beer. I would have guessed the '07 was more of a English Barley Wine style with the sweetness level and the reserved hops.
Here’s my review:
The panacea named after the Greek goddess of healing, Panacea, was supposed to be a remedy that would cure all. @ 9.6% ABV It won't take long till all your worries fall away.

Appearance: served a copper brown color with a tan head.

Smell: sweet and warm and very light on the orange rind hops. They are present but hide behind a sugary alcohol and barley attribute.

Taste: Definitely not very hoppy. Based on other reviews I am certain this must be a different recipe. I would not describe this as a hoppy BW as much as vinous barlrywine, sweet and malty, that simply has a floral hop element, especially on the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Medium body decent carbonation and the sugars and alcohol tickle the cheeks.

Drinkability: It is certainly a drinkable BW as much as you can consider the style drinkable.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to egajdzis for this hand bottled treat off his kegerator. The barleywine keg has been aged in his cellar since January...
Appears a crimson toned haze of amber with a fluffy white cap that fades into a collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of heavy malt, alcohol, roasted nuts, peanut brittle, cream, ripe black plums, peach, vanilla, caramel, toasted barley with some traces of solvent, over ripened cherries, and doughy yeast.
Taste is of complex flavors that overwhelm the palate...perhaps a bit too much to handle. This still seems a tad too hot despite the aging.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet up front, with a caramel, vanilla, and fruitiness clinging to every nook and cranny of the mouth with nice carbonation highlighted by earthy, piney hops. Mildly hot with alcohol and tough to handle as a sweet, sticky brew.
Drinkability is decent, delicious, creamy, fruity, yeasty, malty, nutty, with the abv packing a punch. It's just a bit hard to drink. Well done but the abv is the abrassive factor with this one.

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found two charecteristics of this beer to be pretty unusual. First, this is one of the hoppier tasting Barleywines I have ever had. While obvioulsy not overflowing with hoppiness it sort of stunned me upon first sip. The nose was a bit weak but pleasantly sweet and floral..and then the taste was much less sweet and malty than I was expecting (for the style).

I found this one to be a real treat and very easy to drink compared to some of the more traditional barleywines I have had recently. I would love to see this be more than a one-off, but either way it was a real treat.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came a cherry amber color with a thin uneven head.

Smelled of dry green grapes and a hint of prunes. There’s a dry orange hops as well that’s butted up against a wisp of alcohol.

Tasted smooth and easy with heavy burnt caramel that is quickly covered up by a wave of fruity citrus hops that then pull out some blueberries, dry crisp grapes and cedar.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with a light crisp carbonation that accentuates the hop character.

If you’re a fan of hoppier barley wines, then this one’s right up you alley.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to nolangti for this filled growler...very much appreciated.
Mahogany in color with less than half a finger of white lacing to be had.
Decent aroma...sugar candy, cherries, vanilla and a hint of cough syrup type alcohol.
The taste does has some alcohol heat, but it is balanced enough not to distract from the flavor...fruity hops and carmelized malt shine through to make the experience enjoyable.
Mouthfeel is thick yet not cloying...the finish has some lingering flavors that sit well on the pallet.
Respect this one...a growler split between 3 of us and it will be mostly all I consume this evening.
Very nice offering in the style from Sly Fox...right up there with a fresh Smutty BW.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

According to the 'keep, this was tapped 01/13/06. Some beers don't quite live up to the name, but Panacea does and is quite the cure-all with this kickin' barleywine well welcomed to the beer community:

Perhaps the proper presentation at a brewpub tickles my fancy as this barleywine was a sight to behold in a tulip with a deep vitreous, dark copper hue pour topped with a 1/4 " densley packed head cap that settled to a wafer thin even coating, carbonationless offering.

Inital aromatic scents of bubble gum & quite a mixed floral bouquet that when warmed became spot on boozy gin orange peel.

First swigs: Broad citrus tangerine & Tang spreads out to a warm essence of fruit cornicopia explosion of fresh oranges, and disperses the heat immediately towards a disapated bubble gum and cherry. Awl-kee-hawl warmth characteristics stay, leading to a dry long lingering aftertaste. Hops prescence is citrus and staying followed by a gullet warmer. Hoo! Heat in there and juicy!

Feel is clean and super slick falling onto a deceptive thin to medium side. Correction: Super slick.

Last swigs: This heat seeking missle needs time to breathe and cool. Inherent to the brewpub big beer style offering is the heat. Sly Fox Barleywine is a local goldmine offering that is just a touch hot but the overall delicious fruit and Americana blend is truly ezquisite. Reminds me a lot of FFF Behemoth and even a nod towards the all English General Lafayette Inn but this seems to be as American as Apple Pie. Worth the drive t'nite. The ABV seems to be an awful lot higher than the website declared 9.6%. I snaggletoothed a growler for a meager $15. What a friggin' steal! All American all the way.

Beer is good. Happy local BarleyWine beering.

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Panacea from Sly Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 18 ratings