Barley Wine | Epic Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
85
very good
47 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Barley WineBarley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The first sip of this brilliant, red-brown beer reveals a robust mouth feel and complex flavors including raisin, dark bread, some sherry flavors sure to increase with age. With the finish comes the flavor of Columbus hops followed by the alcohol warmth that can be felt down your throat.

Added by BigMcLargeHuge on 02-23-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
161
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
21.43%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
25
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 161
Photo of andrenaline
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Release #6

A - Pours a slightly hazy copper colour, thumb of head with solid retention and solid sheeting lacing.

S - Heavy citrus hops and earthy pine, hints of cedar, and a touch of toffee on the finish.

T - The flavour is surprisingly mild, given the heavy nose. A muddled earthy pine hop flavour comes through alongside boozy toffee and some salted roasted almonds. The ABV could be better hidden, but the flavour profile is tasty nonetheless.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and dry on the finish.

O - A tasty Barley Wine and worth a try, but the ABV could be a bit more subtle. Decent flavour profile but could use a bit fine tuning to make it world class.

 661 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #66 in my great Utah Brew Hunt.

At first, there was something really not working about this beer. That quickly faded away. Thankfully.

Overall, this strikes me as an "everyday" barleywine. It's mellow and smooth and carries a nice flavor profile. There could be a more lingering flavor to it all, but it isn't bad or anything. A little bit too malty sweet. Nice to drink, if not uninspiring and uneventful.

 415 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

props to andrenaline for including this treat in our latest trade
A - hazy copper, tight creamy head retained outstanding with lots of wispy lacing all around
S - big piney hops and booze, some grain and candy sweetness, with a bit of a harshness to it
T - starts with a nutty and pine mix, touch of caramel and booze, finishes with a mild mineral quality
M - medium and creamy, just a touch of boozy heat, finishes full
O - the harsh aroma was a bit off putting but the flavour and feel redeemed it, not great but definitely a good barleywine

 543 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Steve, Release #5. 650ml into a tulip.

Dark brown with OK lacing and light retention. Great toffee and caramel right off the bat, light fruitiness and some relatively generic sweet malt character. Taste is about the same, caramel, bitter citrus, dark breads and alcohol. Heavy feel, fairly dense and relatively intense bitterness. Good but not great, pretty average for the style I thought.

 408 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber-brown color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and caramelized malts with some brown sugar with a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar. Through the middle, some grapefruit and pineapple hops come through with some bitterness. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts and grapefruit hops and bitterness with some brown sugar and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice malt and hop balance with good hop bitterness and body to balance.

 744 characters

Photo of aasher
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle batch #3.

This beer pours a medium bodied dirty, creek water brown in color with amber hues and a one finger beige, soapy head. The nose consists of slight dry hoppiness, toffee, and raisins. It's not very aromatic and is pretty muted. The flavors are initially dry and bitter. It has moderate hop character initially. It then falls into deep malt of toffee and caramel. It's ok. It's pretty standard for the style, nothing special. It drinks full in body and is surprisingly dry for the style. This is a decent barleywine overall but nothing over the top. If you like traditional American barleywines this one could be up your alley.

 642 characters

Photo of yamar68
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and dim amber/copper. Swelling off-white head, good looking lacing right off the bat.

I smell all sorts of OG... big sweetness. Some booze surfaces immediately, huge malts dominate this thing. Some honey notes, but the aroma doesn't stray far from the massive malt presence.

For how imposing the nose is, the taste is actually pretty dull, and I poured it room temp. It reminds me of a good barleywine on mute. The booze is still full strength though, leaving this one a bit out of whack.

I probably won't revisit this one. Not a fail by any means, they just need to beef this one up a bit.

 606 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glassy bronze/maple syrup brown, with a bountiful head that thins to skim and crown in a minute or so. Small dots of lace on glass.

One of those super-caramel-y, candy-like BWs, a bit Bigfoot-ish, less hoppy though, with hints of vanilla, mineral, and root beer, and not much alcohol, surprisingly.

Like the nose, there's caramel, vanilla, mineral, root beer, but also showing the hops, and also a bit of a bitter herbal flair, a bit roasty, and somewhat bitter. Alcohol doesn't intrude at all, although there's just a sweet touch of warmth here. True to style, yet also throws a few tolerable curveballs in.

Slightly sticky and thick-ish, yet with plenty of smoothness and bounce.

If not spectacular then quite solid. Very American take on the style, and that's how it's meant to be. Perhaps a bit on the sweeter side, but there's enough depth here to offer a contemplative sipper for all but the most picky-ass barleywine fan.

 934 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Release # 5.

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. There is some floating sediment in the glass after the pour. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel/toffee, and some herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is the same with some somewhat strong alcohol flavors on the finish. There is also a medium amount of bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slight level of carbonation and a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine with a solid set of aromas and flavors. The alcohol is a bit jarring but nothing too bad.

 717 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber bottle pours correctly into a snifter.

A: Pale tawny brown. Drab. Frothy head fades but leaves a little spotty lace.

S: Very hoppy with some tawny aromas. Hops like fuggles. Wood, big alcohol.

T: Very bitter. Woody, strong. Very astringent. Some banana and apricot in the alcohol warmth.

M: Slight oiliness with overwhelming dryness. Med-low carbonation.

O: Actually a little unenjoyable. Not quite to my interpretation of the style.

 451 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up tonight at Bier Thirty over in Bown... Damn ... $10!! The boys at Epic are growing very proud of their beers. :-) Batch #3.

Pours with a 1" tannish head that leaves tons of lacing atop a slightly hazed amber red brew.

Nose is toasty malts with some hints of citrus hops... caramel and a bit of something that I associate with old malt extract... Does not seem that "American" to me, but what do I know.

Flavor is again very malty with just a touch more than enough bitterness to balance... Hop flavors are again slightly pithy orange zest and move back into the bitterness then lingers for a while after the finish... In between the front and back, a pretty heavy maltiness shoulders the load... dark toast, malty caramel and some toffee essence.. Nothing outstanding, just a pretty okay example of the style.

The body is a touch thick, but a light/medium carbonation is ever present that makes me remember that we are in BW territory... Maybe a bit boozy with warmth, but no nail polish or jet fuel ever shows.

Overall, this is a nice brew right out of the gate... I don't know how well it would age... I doubt for more than a year or so. I still get bits of oxidation... There are hints for sure in the nose and aroma of unfermented malt extract mixed in water.

I guess I dig it... I may buy another just to cellar and try again in 9-12 months.. but I say drink it fresh.

4/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

 1,417 characters

Photo of oberon
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say that I have been really impressed with some of Epic's wares, this is one of them.Poured into an over sized wine glass a deep copper color with a thinner but well retained head atop,a great mix of deep caramel malts and resiny hops,I was surprised at such a hop punch this beer gave off,pleasantly surprised at that.Sweetish upfront with caramel malts and boozy alcohol but it melds nicely into a leafy hoppy lingering finish,there is a bit of leather that comes into play adding to the complexity.To me this is a top notch American barleywine its's big and brash with a healthy dose of hops,I loved it.

 614 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Epic's barleywine pours a mahogany brown with a nice web of foam above it which clung to the glass as it went down. The nose is a mixture of fermented sweet malt and hop bitterness. Fruity alcohol also joins the party. The malt hits the ground running on the palate. Caramel, toffee and dark fruit are joined by citrus rind in the center, some tobacco too. The hops provide some bitterness along with warmness from the booze. Mouthfeel is robust, almost oily as it coats the palate. A fine, drinkable rendition.

 511 characters

Photo of jjanega08
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Release #3 as per the bottle. 1,800 bottle release?

A= Pours a deep hazy brown color. Pretty typical color for a barleywine. The haziness threw me off a little but nothing too bad. I actually think hazy beers look cooler. The head is a finger and a half high with some sticky spotty lacing and the retention is pretty nice.

S= The smell is pretty typical barleywine was well. A touch of hops and a lot of toffee malt. A snigit of booze and a nice kiss of caramel. In all it seems like the nose is a little quiet for a barleywine however.

T= The taste is about what I expected. A touch of malty sweetness and a nice hop bitterness. The toffee malt character plays a little tango with the hops leaving a sort of overripe tropical fruit taste. Again however I notice that the flavors are a bit muted for a barleywine.

M= The mouth is very good for a barleywine. Just enough carbonation. The flavors still don't last though.

O= This is a good intro to barleywines. It has all the components of a good barleywine but it just seems a little quiet. Worth checking out and maybe it will develop nicely into a sweeter treat with time but for now this is just an average barleywine that is a nice intro to the style.

 1,212 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was release number 1. From the 22-oz bottle it poured a red brown color with a fat tan head and a lot of lacing The nose is roasted malta and ripe fruit .Medium body, lots of alcohol, and powerful mourhfeel. The flavor is very intense with lots of rich malt flavors balanced with flavorful hops. The finish showed a lot of fruit and some bitterness. This one appeared to have some age on it and was simply excellent.

 421 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Red-amber, good head, good lacing.

Smell: Surprisingly small aroma. Mild citrus hop aroma.

Taste: Sweet, sugary, and thin at first. As it warms up there is some orange and grapefruit coming through along with some more caramel.

Drinkability: Seems pretty light for a strong beer.

The bottle says it is one of only 1800 released. Wow, a lot fewer than Darkness or other limited release beers. Release #2 from January 2011. This is a decent barleywine, leans toward the sweet side but not as much malt body as some of the better English BW's, and also not as hoppy as most US barleywines.

 602 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(22oz bottle from Total Wine Desert Ridge. Release #2). Pours a clear red-copper color with off-white head. Some small lacing patterns appear when the head falls. Low carbonation. Thearoma has spicy hops, rum (?), pumpernickel, and some dried fruit. Rich and unique. Taste is bitter with a sweet malt backbone. Full bodied with an oily texture. Finish is a bit harsh with the alcohol being noticeable. So far, my least favorite of the Epic beers I’ve had.

 457 characters

Photo of alexhahn82
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release #1

Appearance: Medium Amber with a very thing head.
Smell: EXTREME. From smelling the bottle after opening to the glass after pouring, this barley wine screams HOPS! Very pleasant suprise!
Taste is semi caramelly with a favorable hop flavor with a tame ending.
Mouthfeel: Almost as light pucker of vinegar with a very nice effervescence.
Overall: An impressive almost "west coast" interpretation of a hoppy barley wine, a must try!

 440 characters

Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy dark copper with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like strong copper and citrus zest, with lots of sweet caramel and a little honey wheat.
T: It tasted like citrus zest and orange hops, with sweet caramel and a little copper and honey wheat. It had a mostly clean and bitter aftertaste with some heat and sweetness.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice body.
D: This had a very nicely balanced scent and taste with good body. The alcohol was noticeable, so drinkability drops a bit. But age would really help mellow it out, and barrel aging would probably really benefit the flavor profile (adding a lot of complimentary complexities). There is really nothing wrong with this beer. Enjoyable barleywine.

 745 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good take on a US barley wine. Eenough range without too hefty a hop punch, while maintaining the overall character.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Paper label with a simple light cream and soft brown range, with name of the brew and series branding . Side narrative Offers a small note about the special and limited character of the brew (1800 numbered bottles, although the number is not apparent anywhere), and encourages to check their website for more details. Notes release #1, and 10.1 % Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Hazy deep amber pour, short frothy head, moderate retention, good surface memory, and some splashes of lacing.

S - Soft fair nose, malty touches, caramel, toffee, floral touches leading to the hoppiness.

T - Flavor is long and delicate with a nice malty undercurrent punctuated with hoppy notes. Caramel, toffee, resin, pine, orange peel...

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation with a smooth emerging booze sense caressing

O - On par with a good version of a US barley wine, without an overtly aggressive hop side.

Notes: Fair offering from Epic, while nothing memorable this is a good standard.

 1,148 characters

Photo of TheFlern
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up two bottles on my way out of SLC. Back at my pad in Ketchum on my birthday I decided to crack a bottle open. Lets see how it stands up...

Appearance: A decent amount of white head forms leaving an average amount of lacing. The beer itself is a light amber color and very clear.

Smell: I was a little thrown off here. This barleywine isn't bitter smelling but sweet! It is really sweet in fact much like the English style barleywines. Having had little experience with the English style I was intrigued to take my first sip.

Taste: This brew is sweet up front with a bitterness on the edges (if that makes sense). The taste is very strong and I imagine that with age this beer will become a favorite among English style barleywines that are American brewed by enthusiasts here on BA.

Mouthfeel: Very sharp alcohol. This one needs to be put away for at least a year.

Drinkability: Its hard to drink too fast given the alcohol content and how prominent it is at such a young age for the beer. However, I can feel that this beer was designed to be aged and not drunk immediately.

I suggest picking up a few bottles if you've got the extra cash and putting most of them away in your cellar. Epic brewing has yet to let me down!

 1,242 characters

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of douglas88 over on ratebeer. Pours clear deep copper with tan head. The aroma is full with tart grapefruit, spicy hops, earthy hops, a touch of floral hops and faint maltiness deep in the background. The taste is full up bitter hops with bold citrus, floral, pine and spicy hops rider over the top of lesser notes such as earthy hops and faint molasses. The hops have robust bitterness and only a mild level of hop flavor. This hop profile has far more floral in it than almost any hoppy barleywine than I can think of. After having the pleasure of trying countless dozens of hop forward barleywines that are almost exclusively pine and/or citrus this floral component here seems out of place.

 704 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Barley Wine from Epic Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 161 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!