Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
Lervig Aktiebryggeri

Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
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Style:
Barleywine - English
Ranked #14
ABV:
13%
Score:
95
Ranked #696
Avg:
4.51 | pDev: 7.76%
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
82
From:
Lervig Aktiebryggeri
 
Norway
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  30
Gots
  11
SCORE
95
World-Class
Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
Notes: This is our once a year brew of Bourbon Barrel aged Barley wine. It’s brewed with Munich, chocolate and caramel malts, and hopped delicately with Golding hops. It's aged in Jack Daniels Barrels for a year to allow the beer to mellow out and mature. The oak provides a dimension of coconut, vanilla and even a touch of Bourbon. Dark red, low carbonation and great depth, this is one of our most special beers.
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 82 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

4.13/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

De 32gp. Versión de 2017. En copa Mahou Barrica. Jugando a Truberbrook. Muy similar a la Paragon, la verdad que no noto diferencias significarivas entre ellas. Sensacion ligera para tanto abv, calidez reconfortantes y muy maltosa, faltandole la presencia a madera que seria de esperar por su paso por barrica. Sin espuma. Se sube mucho a la cabeza

Apr 12, 2020
Photo of janubio
janubio from Spain

4.52/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted at the Situation in a snifter glass. Pours a dark brown colour with reddish sharp to the light. Almost no head and no lace. Aroma of oak, bourbon, wine, raisins, alcohol, chocolate cake. Medium to full body, sticky dense texture, flat carbonation, sweet finish. Taste of bourbon, wine, raisins, chocolate cake. Extraordinary.

Dec 13, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
Beersnake1 from California

4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2017 vintage poured from fridge temp and allowed to warm over 45 minutes. Pours a beautiful dark brown - almost black. Very little head - perhaps a cm at most. Looks gorgeous in the glass. Nose is very prominent, with no need to even put my nose close to get an amazing aroma. Tons of caramel, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, malts, and dark fruit. Taste follows the nose, but is even more complex. Getting caramel, bourbon, black licorice, vanilla, cherry, and dark chocolate. This is incredible. The flavors are really strong, owing to the 13% ABV on this beast. I am truly blown away by this one, and it easily competes the best BA barleywines out there. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, with a beautiful aftertaste that coats the mouth and lingers. Amazing stuff, and one to seek out.

Dec 30, 2017
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moose1980 from Germany

4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Chocolatey aroma and coconut flavor along with a strong bourbon/oak (don't know if they've changed barrels, but not sure how you can label this BBA when it's aged in JD barrels. Regardless...) barrel presence makes this feel like a bourbon-soaked mound bar.

May 20, 2017
Photo of crosenkrantz
crosenkrantz from Switzerland

3.25/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smells like bourbon, tastes like bourbon and burns like bourbon. Basically, this beer feels a lot like a bourbon+soda cocktail. It has all the pleasant and desirable bourbon characteristics, but overdone.
Tasted in parallel to other Barleywines, this was far less interesting that non-bourbon ones.

Mar 12, 2017
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

3.42/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this at Plan B in Rotterdam a while back.

From a bottle into a snifter
Barley wine aged in Bourbon Barrels
Brewer’s Reserve 2016
Best before 18 February 2026

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1 finger, medium looking, slightly foamy light beige head with decent retention. Body is deep maroon, opaque, with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and ring. A slight wisp remains leaving touches of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Wood, oak, vanilla, toffee and some red fruits on the nose.

TASTE: Wood flavors, red fruits and caramel up front. Bold and flavorful. Some more oak and vanilla at the swallow, moving into a bold and lingering finish of bourbon, straight up spirit, actually, oak, some caramel and toffee, with notes of berries in there too.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A touch fizzy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a burn and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This one ticked off all the boxes. The look and feel were decent while the nose and flavor profile were enjoyable enough. I found the wood a little too forward and raw, for lack of a better word, and the general barrel component lacked the character that other examples of the style seem to have. Still, this was the best of the three and not a bad desert beer at all. Give it a chance if you see it.

Feb 12, 2017
Photo of zonker17
zonker17 from Texas

4.72/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark brown for the style, little head. Sweet malt and perfume scents on then nose. Taste amplifies the nose with hints of opium. Incredible barleywine. Heavy body and low carbonation.

Feb 03, 2017
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Unknown vintage; drank 11/12/15 on draft @ Fischman's.

Opaque brown appearance.

Minimal khaki head; minimal lace.

Vanilla, milk chocolate, leather & marshmallow notes in the nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Vanilla, marshmallow & milk chocolate flavors up front; dried fig notes on the finish. Almost no booze heat despite the high abv. A delicious, perfect expression of the style.

Dec 23, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark, hazy mahogany color with tan head. Aroma has sweet malt syrup and some dried fruits, mostly dates. Taste follows with dark fruits, more like dried figs, sweet malt and brown sugar. Finish is more bitter with some earthy hops. Medium sticky body with low carbonation. Overall it's really nice but I would like to get more bourbon flavor.

Dec 01, 2016
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

3.15/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

I was always fond of Lervig's beers while living in adjacent Finland. Couldn't be more excited to open this one up.

PACKAGING: Bottle. Brown glass. 11.20 fl oz. Branded silver pry-off crown cap. Classily minimalist label design. Imported to the U.S. by the Shelton Bastards. BF: 30/01/24.

13.00% ABV.

HEAD: Half finger/~1cmish wide head of khaki colour. 20 second retention at best; that's disappointing, but it is at least 6 months old. No lacing is left on the sides of the glass as it recedes, but it does yield some boozy legs when tilted.

BODY: Opaque solid black colour. No yeast/lees visible within.

Appears aptly carbonated - which is to say it seems barely so. It's right on the money for the style without dazzling; a longer-lasting head with a darker richer colour would be a good start.

AROMA: Bourbon leaps out of the glass, melting into the base beer to such extent the two are one. Marshmallow, toffee, caramel, subdued oak, vanilla, chewy caramels, prune, leather, faint maple, sherry wine, vinous notes, aged tawny port without the sweetness but all of the dryness, grape.

Aromatic intensity is moderately high. Promises a sweet but rough-around-the-edges brew with a nice barrel character. Unfortunately, some cardboard taint is present, and I'm wary of the potential of a rough, draggingly dry mouthfeel.

No overt yeast character, hop character, or booze is detectable. Oxidation is possible given the cardboardy off note.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Maple in the flavour; syrup in the texture. Unfortunately, it's also dragging and rough as feared - possibly even parching as well. Full-bodied, chewy, thick, dry, and more highly carbonated than the appearance suggested.

Sweet, with gushed grape notes. Oxidated and chock-full of coardboardy off-notes; the oxidation might be charming were it more subtle. Molasses. Prune. Raisin. Shoddily aged sherry wine. Booze is obvious, with plenty of warmth if not heat. Some may find it chalky.

Where's the barrel? The aroma promised something approaching a harmony, if not a seamless blend of barrel and base. The barrel seems to lend nothing but alcohol here, unfortunately.

Not oily at least, but scratchy and slightly irritating on the palate.

As it comes to temperature, I can pick out some marshmallow, some toffee, and some caramelization.

So much for balance, and even for depth of flavour. This isn't shallow, but it's definitely wanting - especially for a bourbon barrel aged barleywine from such a reputable brewer. Duration of flavour is moderately high. Flavour intensity is high.

OVERALL: In short, it's a boozy mess of a brew. I don't much care for it, and it pains me to say it given my respect for Lervig. Maybe it's been aged too long (even though it's a barleywine), maybe the barrel they chose wasn't ideal (even though the barrel barely comes through), I don't know. But the result is a brew I wouldn't want a second bottle of, and while it won't be a chore to finish I'm severely disappointed.

In spite of its shortcomings (and faults), this is the kind of brew I could see armchair drinkers enjoying paired with a cigar.

C+ (3.15) / ABOVE AVERAGE

Aug 17, 2016
Photo of PDXAmbassador
PDXAmbassador from Florida

4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An exceptional beer. Huge bourbon nose, but after two years the heat has mellowed in a lovely way. Toffee, dark fruits, bourbon complexity. None of the muddled roasted malt leftovers you get in BCBW. This is sheer dark caramel bourbon delight.

Aug 09, 2016
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Appears to be bottled based on the cap info April 2014, and best before Jan 30th 2024.

A deep mahogany brown, but with some interesting purple to reddish colors in it's body appearance. Slighty muddy but also with nearly no head creation, and a big bubbled collar while settling. Empty puck and quite still.

Aroma really reminds me of something identical. Deep raisin and dark fruits. Plum like brandy with a nicer soft toffee and caramel sweetness. Sticky molasses, cognac and grape heat. Really comes off more wine/cognac aged in the aroma than a boubon barrel. Still it's real nice.

Palate takes a whole different dimension. Silky rich mouthfeel, like fruit cobbler gone through dark chocolate. Excellent play on caramel and milk chocolate richness with raisin and grape fruit mixed in for good measure. Excellent comforting bit of the stomach warmth, without the horrible hot and boozy flavors. Fruited plum and an excellent sweetness that matches the malted silky texture so nicely. Slightly nutty, has an incredible fruitcake like quality to it as well.

This reminds me of Bourbon County a lot, and far more superior than their barleywine. To me this is what Goose Island's Bourbon County Barleywine should taste like. Real dark horse and sleeper here folks, get it if you see it.

Apr 10, 2016
Photo of Marius
Marius from Netherlands

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

33cl bottle. Brown pour with a very thin tan head that disappears in a minute. Smells like bourbon, maple syrup, burnt caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, caramelized cherries, chestnuts and alcohol. The taste is dominated by bourbon, with notes of milk chocolate, chestnuts, dried fruit, maple syrup and caramel, whiskey and cherries. Thick, smooth and silky texture with virtually no carbonation and a hot and caramel-sweet finish.

Feb 26, 2016
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one-finger white head vanishes leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Burnt toffee nose and bourbon, flavor is mostly bourbon, some caramel. Nice barleywine. High ABV is mostly hidden. $8.00 for a 330ml bottle from Tullys Beer & Wine.

Feb 22, 2016
Photo of pagriley
pagriley from Illinois

4.44/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into a snifter

L - pours murky brown. A touch of foam dispersal to leave absolutely no head or ring
S - Rasins, sherry and booze. A fair bit of oxidized brown sugar / caramel
T - Caramel, bourbon, sherry and dried fruit. Really tasty. Very surprised this is great!
F - medium full feel, with slightly low carb, but not inappropriate given the style and ABV.

Overall this was a very plesent surprise. I recently had a 2013 Bourbon County Barleywine and this is very similar. Lots of oxidized sherry / dried fruit, but not too much, and well balanced flavors. Highly recommend you try this if you find it.

Feb 19, 2016
Photo of KillerJigger
KillerJigger from Iowa

4.76/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth as silk. Great balance between sweet and alcohol slash bourbon. The taste is barely sweet caramel/molasses oak barrel. One of the top Barleywines in the world hands down!

Feb 08, 2016
Photo of bowzer4birdie
bowzer4birdie from Illinois

4.62/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one reminds me of Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine but a little hotter on the palate due to the 13% ABV. Hard to believe this is a shelf beer in my parts! Bottled in 2014. Balanced sweetness, love the lingering alcohol on the palate and it's not a nuisance, either. Just a great BBBW overall and worthy of a pickup if you like them at higher ABV like this one is...prepare for the onslaught.

Jan 28, 2016
Photo of Bung
Bung from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 picked up in Orlando on vacation.
Aroma has a ton of booze to go with the malty caramel and brown sugar.
Taste has no where near the booze. A ton of caramel maltiness, tobacco, prune. Vanilla and oaky tannin. Still manages to finish a little dry.
Warming but no indication of 13%.
Really excellent.

Jan 25, 2016
Photo of Rimbimhoot
Rimbimhoot from Illinois

3.96/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage

Taste is super boozy, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, very rich, dates, caramel

Mouthfeel is lower carbonation.

Overall the huge booze makes this a sipper.

Jan 21, 2016
Photo of spoony
spoony from Colorado

3.99/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle (illegible code printed on cap) into a snifter.

A-The beer pours a deep, murky, dark brown. It is pretty much opaque and still. A short tan head fades quickly to a collar and film of foam. No lacing is left behind.

S-The aroma is intensely sweet and malty. Along with a dose of cocoa, I sniff dark fruits like fig, prune (lots of prune), and raisin. As it warms and my nose adjusts, I pick up some caramel, molasses, and toffee notes. The alcohol heat is medium, but not invasive for a 13% monster.

T-The taste is also intensely sweet. The beer borders on cloying, actually, but the flavors are nice for a sweet tooth like me. Cocoa powder and similar dark fruits give way to just a little bourbon-barrel note of caramel. There is a slight hint of grape acidity and a little alcohol burn on the finish.

M-The beer is medium to full in heft with a nice, smooth carbonation. Maybe a bit syrupy, but not out of place for the style.

O-This is a nice big beer. I don't think it holds up to Bourbon County in terms of finesse, but it packs a nice bit of flavor and the heavy body makes it easy to sip on all evening.

Dec 17, 2015
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drpimento from Wisconsin

4.07/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Has a small fizzy head that disappeared right away. Aroma is typical barley wine enhanced with oak, bourbon is quite faint, .Flavor is like nose huge bittersweet, very little carbonic tang. Alcohol warmth comes on towards the middle of the long finish. Little more carbonation, I think, would've helped more here.

Dec 07, 2015
Photo of jkrug5
jkrug5 from Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A decadent treat for sure, this pours with very little carbonation. The nose was like my dream dessert, I could list all the typical adjectives for this one. Once it hits your mouth, you get one of the most complex barleywines out there, nothing overpowering, just a pure masterpiece. Almost quad like with the raisin, caramel notes. Hides the 13% ABV well, while drinking I should add, just don't plan to do anything productive after. If you see this in your area, I highly recommend grabbing one.

Oct 23, 2015
Photo of lohyewcheong
lohyewcheong from Singapore

4.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this after Pannepot Grand Reserva, and it still held up. Which is saying a lot, because usually after having a Pannepot Quadrupel, other beers that come after that seem low on taste and complexity.

Oct 16, 2015
Photo of markcp
markcp from Iowa

4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany in color, low carbonation, with pretty much no head. Smell is roasted marshmallows, white grape, some hop bitterness. Taste is roasted marshmallows, toffee, white grapes, caramel, spicy hops, and plenty of barrel. Totally hides the 13%. Really opened up as it warmed. Great sipper.

Oct 12, 2015
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The nose seemed to be excessively boozy so it never gave me a clue as to how good this would be. Strong toffee, caramel, butterscotch, more toffee, chocolate and peanut brittle. Even so often I'd catch hints of sweetness, raspberry, red wine and port. Drinks with almost no alcohol or heat. Amazing!

Sep 06, 2015
Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from Lervig Aktiebryggeri
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 82 ratings