Headcracker English-style Barleywine | Mad Fox Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Mad Fox Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by blackie on 01-17-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 5
Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cjgiant
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap and brewpub:
Pours golden, ok. Nice white head, with some lacing.

Cold this shows a little alcohol, along with a slightly higher carbonation than I'm used to. Nose is mostly devoid of character, with a light maltiness and a little raisin that I have to search for.

So I let/helped it warm...
Nose actually hade a little wine-grape note to it, maybe golden raisin.
Taste turns earthy, with a definite sweet edge. There's a little fig-like note, I guess.

This is seeming more like an aged double IPA than my definition of a barleywine. Oxidation is replaced by that earthiness, which is definitely more pleasant. Bitterness is balancing, and there seems a little wooden note to it in the end.

Lightly warming feel, very slight astringency in some sips.

Not what I was expecting from an English Barleywine, especially from Mad Fox. As mention, it seems more like a nicely aged double-IPA than either English or American Barleywine. An ok beer style-independent. But unexpected is my thought, and definitely let it warm a tad.

 1,042 characters

Photo of Cpmitchno1
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of 21Maestro8
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of billab914
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of ipas-for-life
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of cfinch2
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of MarvinSnyder
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of fields336
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: A golden english barley wine, it is light caramel colored, with a bubbly white head that dissipated quickly, as a cask typically does.

S: caramel, earthy, grassy hops, citrus, and slight booze. sweet toffee is also present.

T: huge waves of toffee, treacle, brown sugar and caramel followed by a big punch of earthy english hops with a slight citrus undertone. yum

M: thick and chewy, it is served almost flat which is great for a traditional cask ale.

O: one of my first english style barleywines, taste and mouthfeel stand out.

 538 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Pencible
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear gold with white head.
S: It smelled like lemon zest and sweet sugary caramel, with lots of bready yeast and a bit of grassy hops.
T: It tasted like grassy and waxy hops with sweet sugary honey and caramel. It had a delayed aftertaste that was straight bitter and crazy strong.
M: It was oily with a little carbonation. Nice and slick from the cask.
D: This had great body, but it didn't have great scent or taste. The lasting bitterness was harsh, so even though the alcohol was fairly well hidden, it still wasn't really easy to drink. This seemed more like an ESB than a barleywine, since the malt profile was so light. Not recommended.

 661 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The English portion of the barleywine series. On cask at the brewpub a few weeks back. Reviewed from notes.

Pour a moderate golden color with a bit of haze. Not too cloudy, but certainly can't see through it. The head is pretty good, especially for the style. Color is white and it has pretty good retention, eventually fading to a thin collar. The nose is a bit one-dimensional with a bit of bready malt and accompanying sweetness. There is a slight fruit presence in the background, but not near the depth of malt complexity that I would expect. The taste falls victim to the same problem. While this doesn't seem to be designed toward the caramel-ish end of the spectrum, it's still fairly one dimensional. Mouthfeel is medium and pretty decent. Decent enough right now; hopefully they held a keg or two back to see how this develops in time.

 846 characters

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

described as an English-style golden barleywine

a: served in a nonic half-pint, the beer is a pale golden-amber in color, slightly hazed, something of a surprise given the style expectations, with a cream-colored layer of carbonation that shows good retention

s: lots of pale malt breadiness, sweet fruits - pineapple perhaps, dessert pudding, pulpy english hops, okay but the beer seems to employ a very basic ingredient set - or at least a combination/procedure that doesn't yield much complexity in a style where such is often expected

m: medium in body with a low, creamy carbonation

t: bready pale and base malts seem to comprise the bulk of the flavor, hence the "golden" moniker, sugary but with plenty of earthy hop pulp flavors to compensate, not much yeast output here - quite clean, pretty basic raw malt and hop flavors - they blend well together, but without creating a beer greater than the sum of its parts

d: drinks well for a barleywine, alcohol pretty much absent to the senses

firkin at the brewpub

 1,023 characters

Headcracker English-style Barleywine from Mad Fox Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 17 ratings