Barleywine 2016
Sebago Brewing Company

Barleywine  2016Barleywine  2016
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Barleywine - American
4.27 | pDev: 4.22%
Sebago Brewing Company
United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Barleywine  2016Barleywine  2016
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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice frothy thicker foamy 1 finger head that retains very well for the abv, nice soapy lacing, dark mahogany chestnut brown color

Nose is very nice, a good aged sweet caramel malt aroma, aged malt effect, caramel, toffee, a little nutty, nice bourbon notes and a little vanilla barrel, some dark fruits, little brandy soaked raisin like, very nice

Taste brings a little sweetness but quickly into that soft aged malt again, sweet caramel and candy reddish malt, mild toffee and nutty notes but not much, a flash of alcohol warmth and tingle but not much of that either but a little perfumey alcohol note, mild bourbon not as much as the nose but it's there as well as a little vanilla barrel, hint of baking spices, then more dark fruits, mild raisin fig date like with brandy notes, mild sweet sticky finish flash of alcohol

Mouth is fuller bod, but soft aged malt, decent carb, a little warming tingly booze but not bad for 13%

Overall this was quite a nice beer, the age possibly helped the alcohol presence and aged malt effect, but may have toned down the barrel, so if the taste had more barrel and bourbon this would be outstanding, but still very nice.

Nov 22, 2018
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darktronica from Indiana

4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016 can poured to a snifter. I would definitely classify this as an English barleywine rather than American. It leans much more heavily towards the leather, tobacco, and prune realm; although it has plenty of caramel and turbinado to complement those notes, it does not present much of the hop bitterness or bright fruitiness that distinguishes American barleywines. The closest comparison I would draw is a slightly less boozy, slightly lower-ABV version of Mother of All Storms.

Jun 29, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 on the label.
This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance was a thick dark brown close to black color with a stifled little off white foamy head that slid off at a fairly decent pace. Little bit of concave lace speckled the sides nicely.
The aroma captured a superb blend of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, woody spice, dark fruits, anise, earthy sweetness, leather, refined sweet barrel and a touch of brown sugar.
The flavor matches the aroma sweetly with the earthy edges and spice coming in for a good sturdy balance. Ever so light bitterness from the dark chocolate slid in underneath. Aftertaste was moderately sweet through the milk chocolate, dark fruits and anise.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation seemed to have kept up with the age of the can, surprisingly enough. ABV felt fairly close to par. Some acceptable stickiness in the feel, not cloying.
Overall, who would have thought Sebago would brew a killer Barleywine that can hold up this long. Well, I just need to go back to Five Corners Beverage in Essex to get more of this fine gem.

Feb 02, 2018
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark, rich blood-red tinted near-black color. Two fingers of creamy tan head -- much larger than expected for the style. Solid lacing.

Big bourbon in the aroma, with chocolate, a little toffee, slight mustiness, stale hops, a hint of sherry, a hint of plum.

Vanilla, toffee, hazelnut and dark fruit up front in the taste. The musty yeast and stale hops contribute to a semi-dry finish with just a hint of sherry, wood, chocolate and warming alcohol.

Nice smooth, creamy feel with enough carbonation to add to the slight dryness. Not as heavy or sticky as some other.

Plenty of depth in this one. Maybe I'd prefer a bit more of an aftertaste, but still really great all around. 10/31/16 canned-on date.

Nov 12, 2017
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: pours a dark amber with scattered off white foamy head that dissappates quickly.

Smell: big aroma of caramel, toffee, oak, bourbon, raisin, booze, cola.

Taste: lots going on here - full bodied, big flavors, robust. Caramel and toffee lead off, followed by raisin, bourbon, rum, has a kind of weird finish, almost tart, and short, not a lingering finish. Not overly sweet like a lot of Barleywines can be.

Feel: again, full bodied, great carbonation, sticky, sweet.

Overall: really neat brew in a can - I have never seen anything Barrel Aged in a can before. Very tasty, worth picking up if you come across it.

12 oz can (canned on 10/31/16)
4.25 rating

9/19/20 update - aged very nicely, smoothed out beautifully.

Oct 11, 2017
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Many thanks to SawDog505 for this can.

A - Dark chestnut brown color with a frothy, creamy, toffee colored head and a nice thick foam layer on top.

S - Figs, dates, raisins, vanilla, light bourbon, roasted toffee, toasted caramel.

T - Alot of bourbon up front and hits the palate with vanilla roasted caramel followed by more bourbon.

M - Full bodied, thick, and not much burn for 13%. Lip smacking sticky.

O - Pretty solid!

Sep 16, 2017
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2-pack of cans today at The Beer Store in Nashua, for $14.... here goes!!

Popped the tab and had a bit of foamage coming out of the can. Managed to get about 10oz into a small tulip. It is a deep, dark, opaque brew, with a healthy, frothy tan head, which leaves super lacing behind. The aroma emits lots of malty sweetness and dark fruit. Suggests a rich, strong bier. It is rather smooth, and the body slightly reaches above medium.
Flavor is full-on with caramel and toffee; nice malty semi-sweetness. I am also getting some figs and raisins mixed in there. Though I have not been made aware, it seems to have some barrel-aging.... More flavors evident are akin to rum-soaked brown bread with some dates mixed in. An interesting brew, in the English Barleywine branch of the family. Cheers!!!

4.1/5 rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Aug 12, 2017
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty, fruity, smooth. Odd sensation pouring a barleywine, or anything barrel aged, or a barrel aged barleywine (!), from a can. Even the way the cans were sold - one on top of the other with a plastic wrapping around both cans - was unique but you have to give Sebago props for doing something different and keeping the price low for a BA beer. Cheers to that!

2016 vintage stored in appropriate conditions, served just below room temp. Cracked open with an audible pop-and-fizz like any other beer from a can. Deep brown-garnet-but-almost-black color with a nice thin head that lingers.

Aroma of dark fruit, light caramel, sticky malt, resinous hops and toffee. The barrel is more prominent in nose than taste: candied fruit, resin, figs, dates, blood orange, caramel, oak, peat. Almost tastes like a BA scotch ale/wee heavy with a pronounced fruit and resin-profile from the hops.

Alcohol brings warmth not heat - super smooth throughout. Enjoyable sipper with that familiar cola-undertone that BA barleywines often have.

Jun 26, 2017
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von_kaiser from Connecticut

4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

vintage 2016....13.0% abv....outstanding barleywine! under the radar worth seeking out! will have a difficult time letting 1 or 2 age as they're so good now.

May 08, 2017
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz Woodstock Inn snifter canned 10 of 16. Pours a dark mahogany, with a light tan head that bountiful lace, as it at snails pace settles into a thin layer of bubbles.

Smell is figs, dates, brown sugar, toffee, oaky vanilla, char, tobacco, smoke, and bourbon.

Taste follows dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar, upfront with Oakyness, smoke, caramel, biscuit, and some nice warming alcohol in the delicious lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty darn large for a BA Barleywine of this size, moderate carbonation as you would expect, a little dry as you would expect, and a sipper the is so complex it makes it hard to put the glass down because you get a new flavor each snort or sip you take.

Overall I have been complaining about the lack of BA Barleywines and then this falls out of no where. World class.

Apr 02, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Powerful, complex, intimidating, and delicious- it's amazing what comes crawling out of a can nowadays. Sebago brewers have no qualms about brewing a massive barleywine, placing it in a bourbon barrel for added flavor, and then housing them in a can for our enjoyment.

Their 2016 Barleywine comes crawling out of the can with a deep and dark mahogany, nearly appearing black in low lights. Tawny bronze edges shine though a soft creme of froth, ahead of a strong and spicy nose that's chocked full of caramel, toffee, bourbon, toast and stone fruit. Its first savory sip slathers across the tongue with an array of malts that carry the sweetness of maple, caramel, molasses, honey, toffee and brown sugar.

As the middle palate unfolds, the tastebuds are completely awash with lavish and decadent malt sweetness. Unwavering in its sugary taste and texture, the complexities of fruit join the fray. Date, raisin, fig, plum, prune and almond all share a soft wine-like twang before the barrels shine in finish. Bold, boozy and spicy with bourbon, the oaken nuances bring aspects of coconut, vanilla, char and nutty marzipan to round out the bold session.

Full bodied, creamy and lush, the carbonation allow for a candied nougat texture to balance the brazen heat of bourbon and to keep the booze simmering in the throat. A long and sweet finish of sherry and bourbon bleed into the next savory sip effortlessly and smoothly.

Mar 10, 2017
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Hoppy_Time from Maine

4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown black tinged with red If held to the light, two finger tan head slowly dissipates to a film and a halo. Big alcohol legs and nice lacing.

Aroma is massive on this beer, oak, vanilla, smoke, peat, caramel, chocolate, fig, raisin, walnut, toffee, like a sweet bourbon. A quick whiff is reminiscent of Bourbon County.

Taste is ridiculously complex. Prominent charred oak and tannins, big vanilla, creme brulee, caramel and walnut. Subtler flavors of fig, dried cherry, almond, cocoa, molasses, tobacco, toffee, raisins, and bergamot. The sweetness up front mingles with the charred oak and is so warm and inviting, the flavors develop and linger and fade into a soft bitterness and light smoky aftertaste.

Medium bodied and velvet smooth with a light frothy carbonation. Little bite of the 13% ABV, drying.

Overall this is a monster BBA Barleywine. Incredibly rich and complex and a damn near perfect mouthfeel. The bourbon is allowed to take front and center but never overpowers the beer, instead mingling with nuttiness and dark fruits creating an evolving palate where the different flavors play off each other.

Mar 06, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a large snifter glass.

Deep chestnut brown body color, with a real nice clarity on the edges, but very dark and a mix of rust red and very dark brown. Head is light khaki to tan in color and fairly creamy and maxes out at about a finger. Thick and tiny tall collar though, and bubbly top. Very nice looking barleywine, and a pretty distinct body color.

Creamy sensing nougat caramel, with touches of rounded thick oak on the nose. Aroma is quite large and impressive, knocking out excellent oak aged whiskey notes with ease. Hints also a little bit of plum and dark fruit like raisin with sharp clove and warm brown spices also. Real big mix, and really well presented.

Palate really sings. Very light bodied almost giving to brown ale toasty body flavors, but the palate really grabs from a creamy rich template. Caramel and toffee light with a good hop blast of mild fruit qualities and sweet sticky toffee. Finishes warm and pleasant, even touches of milk chocolate and candy cherry flavor finish on the aftertaste. Rich, light but still filled with excellent oak character and quality.

A real wonderful pleasing barleywine, they did a great job on this.

Jan 19, 2017
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Boccu from New York

4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours Carmel dark brown with nice head and great lacing that hangs to the sides. Aroma is booze, Carmel and molasses. Tastes follows the nose. Very strong barley wine. I've had had on tap year before but this is better out of the can in my opinion.

Jan 05, 2017
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dpgoblejr from New Hampshire

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sebago Barleywine 2016. Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels.
Pours a dark golden amber hue. Some fizzy off white head forms and retreats. Aroma is sweet dark fruits soaked in whiskey. Caramel and molasses, with the bourbon make up the flavor with the raisins. Pretty full feel, but very sticky. Actually, for 13%, this is quite drinkable. Overall, I found this to be very enjoyable.

Dec 26, 2016
Barleywine 2016 from Sebago Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 32 ratings