Birrificio Pausa Cafe

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British Barleywine
Ranked #229
Ranked #42,389
3.41 | pDev: 14.66%
Birrificio Pausa Cafe
Very Good
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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 28 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours hazy, murky brown under a thin tan foating of film.
S: Light cacao but not intense, dark dried fruit and light roast.
T: Big fruit palate with light sherry and traces of cacao, some caramel in the finish, has a bit of dark sweet nut bread flavor with moderate to low hops.
F: Medium full body, medium low carbonation.
O: This is an interesting and unusual beer with complex layers of flavor.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the little bottle in a Rhinegeist snifter, this interesting take on a barleywine pours a hazy brown cola color with a thin head and light lacing. Nose of chocolate, raisins, brown sugars, and strong booze. Flavors are chocolate up front with a light powdered cocoa taste, some dark raisins blended with vanilla in the back, and strong booze in the aftertaste. Slick mouth feel, lightly oily but still with enough carbonation to keep it lively which is surprising considering the head. A good take on a barleywine with nice chocolate accents. Interesting and unique.


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Photo of DIM
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: This was a dark cola brown with ruby highlights. It poured with a small, frothy head.

s: Dark fruits like figs and raisins, brown sugar, hints of vanilla, some chocolate, and mild booze.

t: Sweet overall with a warm finish. Lightly boozy chocolate, brown sugar, and faint fruit.

m: Thin and watery, hard to believe given the elevated abv.

o: Chocolate in a b-wine is something I'd like to try again. While interesting, this just didn't quite come togther for me.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice chalky cocoa nose with a sweet flavor profile. It's a bit tangy, but there is a thick malt body on there. Even after warming, this isn't carrying a lot of complexity at all. For the price, I'd frankly hope for a bit more than this delivers. Not that it's bad; it just doesn't really do much for me. At its best when warmed up.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a light brownish orange color. The head was pretty much nonexistent and didn't have anything in way of lacing. The smell of the beer had a malty and spicy aroma, there was a little bit of booze on the nose. The taste was interesting, there was strong cocoa flavor in this along with some interesting spices. The mouthfeel was kind of on the flat side but it was thick. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark raspberry ice tea. Off-white head with a large bubble structure. Low retention and ok lace.

S - Sweet yellow raisins, milk chocolate, and mellow booze.

T - Prune. Burnt toast. Sweet booze. Bitter cocoa nib character that's soft and not overpowering.

M - Medium/light body. Light spice finish: coriander, pepper.

O - Pleasant with a nice drinkability

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Photo of stcules
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bit explosive at the opening.
Dark brown color, with ruby edges. Cream colored foam, not longstanding, but quite beautiful.
In the smell malt, torrified, coffee, a lot ofo cocoa. Notes of plums, raisins.
Again coffee in the taste, malt and torrified, warming alcohol, plum fruitiness, raisins. The alochol is there, but not too heavy.
Full body, malty, cocoa. Intense.
A good warming beer.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 12/31/2009. On tap at DBGB. Pours a deep red with a small tan head. Aroma of sweet malt, light fruits, and alcohol. Flavor is quite fruity (apple, pear, fig), with alcohol. Dry finish. Too sweet and just not very tasty to me. I didn't get any of the cocoa oil.

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Photo of Perrumpo
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color was a bold red-brown with a light-tan head. This beer was very smooth for the high ABV, but being a Barleywine, you can certainly taste the booze. Barleywine is always on the booze-y side for me, so the mouthfeel and drinkability aren't as high for me, but for a Barleywine, they are. Tastes of sweet, cherry, booze, and other fruit. Not overly sweet though. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
2.79/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Murky amber with a ruby hue. Thin, off-white head that fades immediately. Lots of sediment floating about the bottom of the glass.
Smell is sour, bready malts, with some very subtle hops. Sweet, candy sugar notes follow, with some notes of cocoa, fig, and lime. Pleasant floral aroma that shrouds the finish.
Taste is sweet and sour lactic malts, with some faint, grassy hops. Cocoa and raisin notes follow. Sweet and very slightly tart on the finish.
Here's where this beer really suffers. Mouthfeel is flat and watery, with a very low level of carbonation. Watery, oily finish. Light body. Little bit of heat from the alcohol as it goes down.
Drinkability is poor. The only thing this beer has going for itself is that the 12.5% ABV is fairly well-concealed. I've seen single bottles of this beer for $25 at some stores...fortunately I paid less than half that price, yet I still feel quite ripped off. If I just wanted to get ripped for a few bucks, I might pick up a few of these, if they were a buck apiece.

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Photo of farrago
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even if you jetstream the pour into the glass you barely get more than backsplash for a head, the lacing just what's leftover from that. Cloudy brown-orange mud in appearance, there's a good deal of sediment so don't try to get your whole 11.2 ounces' worth, as opaque as non-black beer can get. Soft, gently unfolding nose of sweet cinnamon and ginger, yeast and raw pie dough, almonds, cherry and blackberry fruit, even after letting it warm some you barely get the cocoa or coffee notes, maybe there's more there and it's just too understated. Full-bodied, here the cocoa, coffee is sweet with a light roast and much more evident. The baking spices and yeastiness perdures, Modicum of orange peel, almonds and brazil nuts, the fruit shows cherry, apricot but really just a pureed mix. The carbonation at times feels nonexistent. Doesn't possess the sugary sweetness of many in the "barleywine" style and likely better for it. Doesn't cause any pain to drink but the price is pretty painful for what you get.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

This barleywine has a very dark amber color, almost getting into brown territory. The aroma is really tamed, but brings to mind a variety of different notes: fruit, pears, cinnamon, and redisual sugar. Like the aroma, the flavor is really tamed. Extremely mellow profile for a 12.5% ABV beer. Sweet navel oranges are the first thing to come to mind, even a little strawberry. Nutty. A little whisper of roasted coffee. The alcohol is masked very well. To my surprise, this beer was very low in carbonation, almost like some of the English barleywines. This beer has no problems going down.

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Photo of vacax
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber brown with a hazelnut head, small and lingering. Aromas of toasty malts, cacao, coffeeish acidity, fruit, tart cherries. Taste is lactic sourness with black currants, nutty malts, solvent, bit of funk, finish is heavy on caramel malt. Medium to light body with high somewhat bubbly carbonation. I don't know if Pausa Cafe is intentionally a "farmhouse" or wild style brewery but this is definitely soured. It doesn't really work with the solvent esters and nutty malts.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark beet red with a mild head, no real lace.

S: Intriguing, caramel for sure with Earl Grey tea and some herbs.

T: Dark English style Old Ale malt with cinnamon is the main impression I'm getting here. Some cherry liqueur as well. Pretty well attenuated for the style, not as sweet as I expected, to note the hop complement was light so this was even more impressive, that the sugar didn't go over the top.

M: Full-bodied, very smooth. An easy drinking 13% beer, if there is one, which hides its ethanol quite well.

D: Good stuff, definitely a unique flavour so it's something to try for that alone.

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Photo of Bung
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. A light rusty brown pour, no head to speak of. There are some bubbles in there, but no head.

Aroma reminds me of an English brown ale. Malt, tea, leather. Can't really smell the cocoa.

Taste not surprisingly reminds of an English brown also. Malt, peat, hint of tea. More tart fruit comes through as it warms. The cocoa is very subtle, adding just a bit of sweetness more along the lines of caramel. A slight liquorness to it.

Lighter medium body with just a bit of stickiness to it. Needs more carbonation of some sort. Warming a little bit, but alcohol presence is kept very well in check.

A Suffolk brown ale clone. Too much tea and tart to be a Barleywine. Unfortunately this is must a bit above average regardless of what style it is.

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Photo of Gmann
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750ml capped and foiled bottle. Pours a murky chocolate brown color with some honey highlights and a here and there tan head. Some big yeast flakes floating about. The aroma has honey malt sweetness with a fruity sweetness. Has a fruity sweetness, cherry?, with a light vinegar punch. Perhaps some of the cacao pops through though but very light, which adds an earthy bitter finish. Seems that the flavor is missing some life, taste is flat, nothing exciting. The feel is missing some life as well, nothing pops. Tingly carbonation and a moderate body, finishing with some stickiness. Definitly not worth the price tag. A slightly fruity beer, not much from the cacao except an earthy bitterness.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured into a tulip glass. Pours brilliant semiopaque garnet with almost no head to speak of.

S - Candle wax, red apples.

T - Metallic, coppery blood clot tasting with some interesting spices in there. I know this is brewed in a prison and I wonder if a body got dropped in the vat. Not a criticism, just an observation. What hops would best compliment corpse? Hmm....

M - Watery. Mediocre.

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Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn, NYC.

Poured a murky medium amber hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and little lacing.

The smell featured a a surprisingly neutral aroma. A trace of champagne yeast noted.

The flavor was equally neutral.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with no trace of alcohol warmth.

Overall a bland experience. Good drinkability however.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
2.55/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This one pours a light brownish orange with a thick head that dissipates quickly. The smell is very sweet, almost like a sweetened iced tea. There are some sweet fruits and a slight toasty malt. The taste is nothing like this. There is a bad off-putting unsweetened taste that is somewhat bitter and metallic. There is no detection of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thin and watery and this combined with the off taste makes the drinkability low.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark clear copper with a weak white head.

Nose is full and fresh apricot, cotton candy and sweet "shoe polish" and sweet light whiskey.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery with no creaminess whatsoever. However, also can't begin to taste, feel or even believe that this is a 12.5% abv. It's just no there in any respect. Candidly, I don't believe it...until most of the bottle is gone and you can begin to feel the alcohol that you would swear was just not there! There is no large alcohol character in any respect and even the flavors and body are on the thin side.

Flavors are medium carmel and candi sugar, light sweet whiskey and a light Sherry character. This is actually a well balanced and pleasant drink that is somewhat unique with pecan whiskey/pecan pie character.

Very drinkable and with a Sherry/whiskey stone fruit finish. Somewhat unique and worth a try. Consider as an after dinner beer with flan or custard. Might even do well with cheese. All in all nice.

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Photo of John_M
4.17/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with OK head retention and not much lacing. On the other hand, the beer smells attractive enough, with toffee, chocolate and some noticeable booze. The combination actually works pretty well. Flavors replicate the nose, with some cherry as well. This beer is actually surprisingly delicious (not sure what I was expecting, but not this), and the slight booziness, coupled with the sweetness, if anything adds to the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and if anything, is a bit lighter then expected in this flavorful. Drinkability is very good, though it's hard for me to believe the abv. is only 7.2 (though that's what it says on the beer menu here at Max's as well).

This is actually a pretty tasty beer...

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Photo of jgasparine
2.63/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A- Poured from the tap with a thick creamy tan head. The head actually looks like fresh cream from a cow, and slowly recedes to a hazy layer with some nice lacing left behind. The body is a beautiful deep garnet color with no visible carbonation from the sides of the glass.

S- Smells strongly of almonds/marzipan. Perhaps these aromas are from high alcohols being misperceived at colder temperatures? There's a nice background of caramel malt and candy sugar on the nose as well. Don't know if I'm going to love or hate it.

T- A Perfect replicate of the nose for the first few sips. Tastes delicious. But then, as the beer warmed, my fears came true and the distinct presence of fusel alcohols emerged. The aroma and taste of these high alcohols were so prominent that they began to elipse all other flavors... and ultimately became flat-out unpleasant. I don't want to drink anymore for fear of a raging headache tomorrow... What a letdown.

M- Fusel alcohol issues aside, the mouthfeel was nicely firm and somewhat oily. The carbonation was super-soft and added a "creaminess" to the body. Quite nice in the mouthfeel department.

D- The high alcohols killed this beer, and absolutely ruined the drinkability. I think this beer has great potential. Given the opportunity to sample an untainted batch, I could thoroughly enjoy it.

Note: This review only lasted for about 3 ounces before it became a drain-pour... and sure enough I had a headache for the rest of the night.

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Tosta from Birrificio Pausa Cafe
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 28 ratings