Barleywine | Nashoba Valley Brewery

Liked This Beer
3.61 w/ 9 ratings

Brewed by:
Nashoba Valley Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewandbbq on 04-03-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by meathookjones:
Photo of meathookjones
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle coated in some pain in the ass to remove red wax from 05. The poured out a nice dark cherry red color with a decent off white head. No real lace. Light sweet malty notes with some faint caramel over a bigger fruitiness. Light alcohol and mild hops as well. Light fruity sweetness starts off the flavor with a bit of caramel malt in there. A few other things going on here but they were a bit light and hard to pull out. Overall a tasty brew that ended with a slightly bitter fruit finish. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I would like. Drinkability on the other hand was great. Easy going down and the flavor has enough going on to keep it interesting.

 665 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of edchicma
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice copper with some lacing after a good initial head. On the nose there was some fruitiness and bourbon-like notes. Underneath was a hop presence. Initial taste was malty..blending into a bourbon-like presence...alcohol came through a bit harshly. Mouthfeel was a tad astringent. Drinkability was about as expected for a high abv. I've had smoother at this level, though. Decent, dry finish.

 402 characters

Photo of Franchise
4.37/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark wheat color that leaves a thick white head, the smell of bourbon is very apparent. This Barleywine is aged in bourbon caskets from the in house spirits they make. The smell is suttle alcohol, fruit, oak, spicy, just a lot of complex flavors. As I let this warm up a bit since it was served slightly cooler than it should be, a lot of malty sweetness, caramel, wheat bready flavor, mustiness, a hint of lemon that finished with a fantastic smooth bourbon essence that really makes this an enjoyable barleywine. I would pair this beer with Whiskey-Glazed Smoked Spareribs the sweetness of orange, brown sugar, and the whiskey in the glaze would really pair well with this barleywine.

 694 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" light beige head over the chestnut brew. Head hangs around well for the style, with average to good lacing. Aroma is fruity sweetness, with light alcohol notes. Taste is a tart, yet sweet, fruitiness, coupled with medium malting and a very dry finish, that warms the body as time goes on. Mouthfeel and drinkability are great here, this one is very approachable for the style, not overwhelming with booze, even though it rings in at 11% abv according to the bottle I have.

 572 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger off-white head, fades quickly and leaves no lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is woody spices. Starts with a semi-sweet but slightly tart raisin flavor but the alcohol is there (the ABV is 11%), mellow finish. $9.25 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 324 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.41/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant! This beer seemed to literally glow as if a small orange-reddish Christmas light was dropped into the glass. A bit of a white head formed with the pour but quickly became a scuzzy layer on top of the beer. A few spots of lace were around the glass. Nose was a combination of hops, wood and hard candy. Flavor was at first sweet malts but followed by a pleasant hop bittereness. Did not sting quite as much as some other American barleywines. Not overwhelming but tastefully piney. The alcohol was just a bit noticeable. Some candies come through as almost too sweet. Also got some dried apricots in there. Medium mouthfeel that was a bit sticky. Just a little bit of heat from the alcohol. Very nice beer after my turkey.

 731 characters

Photo of OldSock
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance – 750 ml bottle with a cool black wax coating from Colonial Spirits. Relatively easy to remove the cap on this one despite the wax . Despite my great care some of the black wax ended up in my first glass. Pours a surprisingly clear deep reddish-golden, not the “dark beer” I was expecting from the label, but it certainly looks the part of a barleywine. The white head starts off at about a half inch but quickly falls to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell – Light toasted malts with a good punch of alcohol and some citrusy hops. The perfumey alcohol makes it difficult to pick out the esters, but I definitely get a slightly fruity impression.

Taste – Lots of alcohol flavor that is to the front as a result of how dry this barleywine is. Its not a hot alcohol, just a strong presence in the mouth. The alcohol really overwhelms the subtle malt and hop flavors. There is a hint of toasted malt and a solid amount of bitterness, but thats about as descriptive as I can get on this one.

Mouthfeel – Pretty thin body, but it has nice subtle carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – This would be much better if the yeast had cut out a few gravity points higher leaving it sweeter and less alcoholic. This might improve substantially with age although it doesn't seem to be bottle conditioned, either way at this point it is a weak offering at best.

 1,385 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2005, 750ml bottle with the heavy duty wax. 52 degrees from the cellar.

Pours dark copper with a mahogany hue and clear. A short-lived head of a quarter inch fizzled out like cola, leaving behind barely a whisp on the surface and zero lacework in a goblet.

Aromatics lead off with toasty malt, chipped toffee, and vineous fruit. Hints of cherry cola and dried apple skins follow through.

On the thin side of medium bodied, with a stale, flatish mouthfeel. A slight edge of carbonation.

Dried malt and cherry overtones start the palate. Some peppery, earthy hints follow through. Barely a trace of alcohol and zero hops.

Finishes limp and flat with hardly anything thats memorable.

What a bummer. A great looking bottle with 5 years in the cellar has yielded a mediocre "feh". Just lacking any character that is above average, if that.
Nothing like the freshie sample I had at the taproom years ago. I really don't think this is 10% either.

 955 characters

Photo of ILiveOffHops
1.46/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm not normally so critical, but this was so rancid that I had to review it. I may have got a bad bottle, I don't know. Picked up a 22oz bomber at Colonial Spirits in Acton, MA.

This brew looks normal enough, slight lacing, minimal compared to a nice thick barleywine. Smells of cheap vodka mixed with gasoline. Tastes worse. Took a second taste to see if I was exaggerating the tastes. Unfortunately I was right the first time. We didn't finish the bottle, it went down the sink.

Once again, it seems as though I may have got a bad bottle. The taste of alcohol was overwhelming and repugnant. I enjoy strong beers, but this was way off.

 645 characters

Barleywine from Nashoba Valley Brewery
Beer rating: 0 out of 100 with 9 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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