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

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Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
81 Ratings
Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)

Brewed by:
Lervig Aktiebryggeri

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of SayBoom
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of janubio
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 332 characters

Photo of Highlake78NL
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of KaeptnBlaubaer
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of tittyfish
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Dutchcraftbeergeek
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Beersnake1
4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 783 characters

Photo of shelby415
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sporeg
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


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Photo of moose1980
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 257 characters

Photo of crosenkrantz
3.25/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

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Photo of TGS
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jeffo
3.42/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

 1,351 characters

Photo of zonker17
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 188 characters

Photo of thatsmyspot
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of FBarber
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of leitmotif
4.06/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Ristaccia
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of artoolemomo
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CTJman
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -29.8%
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.


 3,138 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Brewers Reserve Barley Wine (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from Lervig Aktiebryggeri
Beer rating: 4.49 out of 5 with 81 ratings