Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Beer Geek Stats:
American Barleywine
Needs more ratings
3.61 | pDev: 4.16%
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: "Our Barleywine aged in V.S.O.P brandy barrels."
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured up on tap at Papago in Phoenix, AZ on April 15th, 2011 with ruty red brown body and copper hues as well as off white head. The aroma emits some raisins, dusty wood, prunes and a thin layer of boozy sweet Brandy. The taste is plum juice, ripe dark cherries and raisins. It quickly builds into firm notes of Brandy sweetness and mild barrel wood notes and roasted malts.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barleywine aged in brandy barrels. Heavily murked up body, served by Papago in a snifter with some spotty bubbles. Brown color in the barlight, but it could have some good highlighting.

Not as sour as the Gatlin Damnosus, but there's definitely an "off" note of vinegar in the nose, with fruity cherry and fig note. Woody? A little. Citric hopping.

The flavor here is well balanced and drinkable, but a little less than stellar. Cherry and toast, maybe a hint of brandy and vinegar. Lightly bitter, finishes sweeter.

Carbonation is about medium, a little gritty with the bubbles. Hot finish. A muddled effort, but fairly drinkable.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(On draught at papago). Pours dark brown with off-white head. Aroma has some caramel, some hop citrus. Some sweetness with a little sour twang and slight, sharp hop bite. Medium to full bodied with a creamy texture. Slightly bitter finish. The base beer seems a little boring, overall, its a pretty nice beer and I’d drink it again.

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Photo of Phelps
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from the tap at Papago during an Anderson Valley event, this was poured into a snifter.

This one is Anderson Valley’s Barkley’s Horn Barleywine aged in brandy barrels for four months.

Filled almost to the brim, the beer comes to me a murky, swampwater brown, completely opaque. It’s topped with a tiny head of orderly cocoa powder-colored bubbles that become a medium ring and leave some spotty lace.

The brewer said this one wasn’t a sour, but the aroma sure suggests otherwise. A light balsamic vinegar tartness tickles the nose, while notes of sweet cherry and grape, vinous oak, caramel and citrusy orange peel mingle in the background. I don't get a ton of brandy, however.

The flavor: dark cherry syrup, with hints of dark, toasty bread and mildly bitter orange peel. I also get overripe oranges and a little brandy in the form of dark fruityness. Loads of sugary caramel in the finish.

Medium, fizzy carbonation breaks up the beer quite a bit as it moves about. Buttery body a shade under medium. Alcohol is very hot in the throat, but doesn't show up anywhere else.

Not bad, but I wish the brandy would show up a little more. As it is, neither the barleywine or brandy shine through, and what we’re left with is muddy confusion.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery. Reviewed from notes. "Our Barleywine aged in brandy barrels."

A: Served a clear, extremely dark brown that was still transparent when held up to even the dullest of lights. Some streaky lacing was left down the glass from a thin bubbly head.
S: Hard to pinpoint, but I get notes of pine needles and licorice. Not picking up any brandy.
T: There's the brandy. Hits my palate with a big brandy syrupy taste mixed with vanilla extract and honey. If this sounds really sweet, it is. Tastes nothing like the smell. I detect a little spearmint or something from the hops in the finish along with some toasted caramel, chocolate and slight marshmallow.
M: Medium body with frothy carbonation that bubbles up in my mouth. Alcohol is detectable but lends minimal warmth to my throat. Clean enough finish.
D: Definitely really interesting. I liked it. I've never had the regular version of the barleywine, but I sure would have this one again.

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V.S.O.B. from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 5 ratings