SBW #5 Pacific N.W. Barleywine | Fremont Brewing Company

very good
17 Reviews
no score
Send samples
SBW #5 Pacific N.W. BarleywineSBW #5 Pacific N.W. Barleywine

Brewed by:
Fremont Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by 510a on 05-11-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 62
Photo of cherche
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to @texwild for the bottle, 22 oz, poured into an oversized, stemless wine glass

L: deep copper, tan head, solid retention and lacing
S: mix of caramel, malt, apple and pear with other hoppy scents
T: on point with nose, thick, full and delicious
M: full bodied and very nice, just where a barley wine should be
O: very nice beer, seems like some age has done it very well.

 383 characters

Photo of Moose90
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle

A — Pours a deep ruby red hue into the glass. There is a puffy off-white colored head that forms and leaves behind sticky lacing in it's wake.

S — Smells of bitter piney hops and caramel sweet malts. Very bitter, herbal, earthy, vegetal, fresh and bright, with a balancing caramel and vanilla sweetness underneath it.

T — Tastes quite bitter and boozy, lots of pine, pithy herbal character as well. Little bit of a chewy sweet malt profile, but not overly sweet.

M — Medium-Full bodied overall, very nice lingering finish.

O — Great overall, lot's of hop and caramel.

 595 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orangey amber in the little tulip. Not too sticky and actually a rather slushy body that is fine for sipping. Plentiful aroma of pine with a touch of honeysuckle. Spritzy on the tongue.

Rather sweet but the bitterness shows up to add some balance. Quite hoppy in a big aromatic way. Label notes the hops as Amarillo and Super Galena. This just tastes like a freshly cut pine board. Smooth and mellow with the bitter aftertaste that doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. Caramel with burnt sugar and the most intriguing leafy hop taste. Not at all dank and dirty, this is a well-chosen hop concoction. Less alcohol tasting than a lot of other giant brews.

An unusual double IPA sort of beer that maybe has some traits of a Barley Wine, like alcohol. It does seem better with some sipping, and it's an interesting brew for a strong jolt. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at the brewery in Seattle.

 901 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep copper. Small khaki head. Leggy. Thin wisps.

Smell - Very hoppy. A hint of lemon. Otherwise grapefruit. Deep caramel.

Taste - Grapefruit. Lots of caramel malt. Pretty sweet. Lingering syrupy malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation. Sweet after a while.

Overall - It just gets too sweet without any interesting flavors. Aggressively hoppy, but not enough to keep my interest.

 450 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/26/2013. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy orange amber color with a 2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of orange peel, tangerine, lemon zest, golden raisin, candi sugar, light caramel, biscuit, toast, light pine, floral, grass, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of pale/bready malt and citrus hop notes; with good strength. Taste of orange peel, tangerine, lemon zest, golden raisin, light caramel, candi sugar, biscuit, toast, light pine, floral, grass, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Light floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, golden raisin, light caramel, candi sugar, light pine, biscuit, floral, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of pale/bready malts and citrus/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly slick, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice American Barleywine style. All around good balance and complexity of pale/bready malt and citrus/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,503 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep orange with a nice white whispy head, good head retention but the lacing is amazing. Bubbles and curtains everywhere!

S: Dominated by pine and caramel with a light citrus backing

T: Upfront is a initial malty presence, sordove sweet, light heat and then the piney hops just kick right in and continue. The finish is a little slick, sweet, lingering, light bitterness, piney with a small dose of orange peel

M: Great body for this beer, well carbonated, pretty heavy and sticky but that's good for the style.

O: Another well crafted artisan beer from Fremont!

 579 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, floral, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance of sweet caramel and hop aspects.

 602 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kevin for sharing. Rusty copper brown, dirty and murky looking, borderline lagoon water with some brighter, orange and deep amber hints near the bottom of the glass. A hard pour results in no head, just an extremely thin tan ring that outlines the beer. And when I say thin, I mean thin. We're talking outlined with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil thin.

The nose gives me a quick hit of caramel malt sweetness; plentiful and sticky with some toffee and fruity esters following right behind. Light green apple sweetness and peppery phenols are secondary, but still very much noticeable and large contributors to the aroma. I'm not getting huge hop bouts like many others are describing, aside from a very, very faint citrus peel that gets buried in the back.

Lots of toasty, warm caramel bursts with each sip; at first, that's almost all you can taste. Very sweet and almost residual sugary to a degree, with lots of graham cracker reminders and toasted bread from the malts. Toffee and a touch of molasses should be noted as well. The fruit switches from lighter to darker, as the green apples from the nose seem more like sweet prunes and dates on the palate.

There's a touch of hops; a little bit ashy and coming on with a touch of citrus peel. Not really all that "hoppy", though I don't know how old this particular bottle is. The finish is still caramel and toffee heavy, with a coating mouth feel that'll have you suckin' caramel covered dates for a while after you've swallowed. Medium-heavy bodied, smooth and viscous all around.

Pretty decent barleywine here, though I didn't get the crazy hoppiness that some others were describing. It's fairly easy drinking, considering the style. Tasty and enjoyable, though it doesn't do much to discern itself from others. Something I'd definitely drink again, but wouldn't go out of my way to get a handle on.

 1,866 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.20.13

A - Pours a cloudy, light brown with a two inch light tan head that slowly bubbles away.

S - Carmel, malty bread, orange peel.

T - LIght carmel-malt, then some orange hops, creamy.

D - Good carbonation with alight body. Smooth.

O - Session Barely WIne, ok good flavor and easy to drink. I would grab it again.

 339 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't remember who shared this... maybe another Francois beer.

Very light fizzy head, semi clear amber orange red color.

Nose sweet candy malts, young fresh malt, nice fresh fruity hops, light spicy slight tropical fruit hops, light fresh mineral water, light salty mineral, sweet candy malt.

Taste candy malts, light booze warmth, caramel, toasty reddish malt, light mineral slight salty water, hint fruity esters, toffee and caramel, slight nutty. Finish brings nice earthy chewy spicy hops fairly bitter, fresh malt and hop characters, more toffee and caramel.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, lighter carb, light warming booze

 629 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a reddish gold into a snifter. A bit lighter in color than your average barleywine. Healthy amount of white head with nice retention and thick lacing. Decent clarity on this. The nose is all American Barleywine (read: intense hops/intense malts). The nose starts with significant pine hop profile which leaves a great deal of bitterness and is paired with a crackery/biscuity malt profile. Sweet malty notes come in towards the end. Taste is very hoppy up front with heavy pine/grass/resin bitterness. This intertwines with heavy malt profile which brings some dark fruit, brown bread, and molassess to the table. The finish is incredibly bitter with a slight booze kick. Mouthfeel is well carbonated with a medium to full body. Overall, the bitterness is a little overboard for my liking. Otherwise, a solid BW.

 819 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Scored at Chucks

It's copper with a solid quilt of light cream foam. Smells like vitamins, lots of malt, some citrus, some more malt, a little tea. First whiff reminded me of Flying Mouflan or AK Barleywine. Flavor is sweet, some caramel and toffee, a touch of alcohol and some almost mineral quality, kinda get a freshly baked pretzel flavor as well - not the chain kind, legit. Medium on full bodied with low carb and a sticky finish. Meh.

 442 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a medium reddish-orange amber with a half finger, very light tan head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, citrus, piney and citrus hops and dark fruit, a bit boozy. Flavor follows aroma closely with the same citrus and piney hops, light caramel malt, light stone fruit, finishes with light herbal and citrus hops and ethanol. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A warming and citrus influenced barleywine with a light to medium malt body.

 501 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a clear coppery golden color with a quarter inch off white head that laces. The nose is very hoppy with notes of pine/earthy hops, candi sugar, caramel, and a faint hint of booze. The beer drinks smooth with complex hops playing off the rich malty body. I'm definitely happy this beer is more malt and hops than booze, which contributes to the beer's great drinkability. I'd say it's probably better to consume this fresh while the hops still pop compared to letting it mellow out (it's already quite smooth). This is a great beer and gives me more appreciation for the style (which I've long detested).

 618 characters

Photo of laminam
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

It's like a giant DIPA with some sweet barley wine flavor.

I wouldn't recommend this as a barley wine, per-say, but I would recommend it to my DIPA loving friends as an entry into barley wine territory.

Being a huge fan of Fremont's brews, I snatched up all my local store had of this beer, and I don't regret it.

 315 characters

Photo of draheim
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz into a tulip. Pours a clear coppery orange w/ a big fluffy head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. Lazy carbonation.

Aroma is a nice blend of piney and tropical NW hops and a blend of fruity caramel and biscuity pale malts. Smells pretty dank and sticky, resinous. Almost a cross between an American barleywine and a DIPA. In fact I might argue this is more DIPA than barleywine.

Taste follows nose. Dank sticky tropical hops, solid caramel and pale malt. Alcohol is well hidden. This one will sneak up on you.

Full-bodied mouthfeel coats the palate while remaining as light and drinkable as possible.

Overall another solid beer from Fremont. It's almost a cross between an American barleywine and a DIPA. In fact I might argue this is more DIPA than barleywine, at least right now. The other one will stay in the cellar for a while.

 857 characters

Photo of 510a
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Seattle Beer Week
Color ,a nice copper with a clean light diffused through a clean appearane with moderaty present bubbles rising through the middle to form a weak slightly soapy looking head

Smell is not my strong suit , but some caramel, slightly bready, and no hint of booziness , but a slight hop aroma reminds me of Bigfoot.

Taste is slightly sweet ,but not sticky or overbearing. The hops tingle but dont evoke much bitterness. Clean finnish and you want that next drink because you cant believe your drinking a barley wine.

Overall, this is dangerous like a good wee heavy or DIPA that hides its alcohol and then comes back to smack you when your not looking, so worth the $10 for a follow up bomber. $15 for the barrel aged version, limit 2
Get it while you can!!

 792 characters

SBW #5 Pacific N.W. Barleywine from Fremont Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 62 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.