Altus Gravitas
Finch Beer Co.

Altus GravitasAltus Gravitas
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Barleywine - American
3.61 | pDev: 13.57%
Finch Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Altus GravitasAltus Gravitas
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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 22 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours hazy red copper color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, raisin, brown sugar, floral, grass, toast, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity of malt and hop notes. Taste of caramel, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, floral, grass, brown sugar, toast, and floral earthiness. Moderate amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, toast, brown sugar, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and hop notes; with a nice sweetness/bitterness balance and minimal cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice American barleywine style. All around nice balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

May 24, 2013
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

2.7/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a hay deep caramel body that is slightly dense and a sticky beige film that breaks apart. There are a few strands of bubbles that point to the surface.

S- The clean aroma has a soft flowery hop note but not much else.

T- The soft candy sweetness is followed by a bigger bitterness in the finish. There is a soft hop that comes through as it opens but the dandelion greens hop bitterness bites the tongue and lingers.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has an alcohol heat on the exhale that enhances the bitterness a bit.

O- There is not much flavor or aroma and the malt character is almost nonexistent. There harsh bitterness is the only hop character and that is a bit abrasive.

May 15, 2013
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a demeanor that straddles that of English barley wines and American ones, the malt character of maple syrup and hop flavor and esters of oranges provide the chauffeur for balance throughout.

The hazy honey-amber ale casts a mild copper glow while releasing a cement-like egg shell white head that's as dense as mousse. Lacing patterns of broken islands coat the glass evenly as a result of the stubborn and persistent head creeping up the sides of the glass.

Chocked full of maple syrup and caramel, the malty influence of the beer is evident well before the first scent. Accompanying esters and hop aroma gives strong impressions of ripe oranges and marmalade. Other fruitcake-like aromas share in the fun with apples, cherries, brown sugar, nutmeg, and dates. Not to be outdone, the hops show elements of grass, pine, and fragrant citrus zest.

Flavors do all that while balancing the malty sweetness of caramel and maple with the zesty citrus flavor from hops. Unable to determine where the citrusy hop flavors end and where the tropical fruit esters begin, this creates an intriguing dialogue with the palate that keeps me going back to the glass far too soon. Citrus turns reisny and broadly earthened bitter in finish and signifies closure. Apples, figs, and nutmeg continue to play on the palate even in aftertaste for a long lasing and complex taste that extends well into the next sip.

Full bodied for sure as the early malty weight plants firmly on the tongue despite the moderate creaminess from carbonation. Instead the calm body creates a fuller and richer effect that only waivers with the growing dryness from both hop resins and alcohol warmth.

With it's well balanced character and full flavors of both malt and hops, I still get the impressions that the taste is tilted heavily in the direction of caramel sweetness instead of malty dryness and with a somewhat complicated hop integration that keeps it from being the port-like English barley wines or the aggressively hopped American versions. It's caught somewhere in between and resonates with contrasting nature to my palate. However some may argue that Altus Gravitas delivers the best of both worlds as well.

Jun 27, 2012
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aefbjo from Bahamas

4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip. Easily a thick two-finger head over a translucent amber body. You can't see through this guy.

Even just on opening the bottle the aroma was noticeable. Big hop and sweet malt thing going on here. Nothing surprising, but definitely making its presence known.

Malts and hops seem well balanced upon hitting the tongue. Caramel malt flavors predominate. Booziness comes through toward the end. I don't know if my bottle is a bit older (bought it today), but I get more of a malt character than the overhopped aspect other reviewers noted. This is basically a classic barleywine to me.

Feel is a bit dry and dusty. Though it showed a great head, carbonation isn't an impeding factor in getting this down.

Overall, I didn't have high hopes for this but it was a totally worthwhile purchase at $9 or so. I can't knock it.

May 25, 2012
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark reddish brown, and opaque orange in the light. A thin layer of off white foam bubbles up and settles to a broken skim after a couple sips. Minimal spotty lacing around the edges.

Aroma is briefly appealing at first with some juicy grapefruit and honeysuckle notes, sweet and sticky with some resinous hop character. Later some woody herbal notes surface, and something vaguely vegetal.

Grassy, resinous, and herbal, intensely bitter. Not all that balanced, more of a bittering hop bomb than anything. Some alcohol and slight malt sweetness eventually surfaces as it warms. Resiny pine aftertaste, aspirin bitterness level. Heavily hopped just for the sake of it. Full bodied with lower carbonation, dry bitter aftertaste and not too sweet. In the vein of Bigfoot and Wild America but not especially cohesive overall.

May 03, 2012
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ChadQuest from Illinois

3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of the body is a orange to amber sunburst fade, there is some lacing along the glass but not a ton. Looks wise it is on the slightly lighter side of color for the style.
The aroma and flavors are a combination of grainy malts that border on biscuit like, a full bodied caramel favor that stops just short of sticky, and some C hops that are so softly present and hidden enough that this drinks like a year old american barleywine already despite being a few weeks old. This is fine for me, since i normally like my non-Bal barleywines aged about that long anyway to let the hops fade back a bit, so its there already.

This is a pleasant drinking average barleywine, middle of the pack, unless you like them super hoppy, then probably not.

Apr 23, 2012
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crossovert from Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650ml red waxed capped bottle.

It pours a slightly hazy reddish orange with a foamy off-white head that leaves some decent lacing.

The smell is very caramally. There is some toasted cereal, dark fruits and some hops. It isn't the most highly scented barleywine but it is pleasant.

The flavor is good. A good bit of hops give a bit of spice and some citrus rind with a nice piney bitteness. The malt give some alcoholic notes among toasted grains and a thick bit of caramel. It gets cloying after a bit but it is decent.

It is an interesting take on the barleywine, with come nice bitterness. It isn't very well rounded though.

Apr 23, 2012
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GbVDave from Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a red wax sealed bomber into two snifters. Thanks to HollyAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice hazy clarity. Sitting on top was one finger of just off white foam that retained for a bit before melting down to a thin bubbly collar. Lace was minimal.

S: Interesting aromas of red berries, pine, and pink grapefruit. Herbal. Slightly scattered but pretty good.

T: See above. Spicy herbal overtones that get tempered a bit by carmel, toasted grain, and sweet grapefruit.

M: Big and sticky with a nice hop/alcohol bitterness during the finish. Suprising lack of heat.

O: Another limited release from Finch's that I think is a good effort. Hopefully they'll be able to translate some of what they've learned about quality from their special releases to their year 'rounders.

Apr 15, 2012
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Bruery snifter.

Well, apparently I'll be the first here... This stuff pours a hazy sunset ruby-amber topped by about a finger or so of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises sharp ruby red grapefruit, mandarin orange, light lime, spicy greens, light mint, sweet buttery caramel, and a touch of booze. I know the booze isn't as big a component as it seems, that it's being boosted by the hops (and vice-versa), but it's sometimes tough to remember that here. I detect a small bit of artificial sour grape in the background as well. The taste holds notes of earthy greens, light cilantro, orange rind, grapefruit rind (both of these coming off exceedingly bitterly), straight chlorophyll, light buttery toffee, and pine sap. A strong, woody and green-y bitterness pervades throughout the long malingering finish. This finish ruins what could have been a pretty decent, if somewhat overly-hoppy, b-wine. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, this b-wine starts off nicely, but ends the race ragged, worn out, bitter in defeat. Not my cup o' tea.

Apr 12, 2012
Altus Gravitas from Finch Beer Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 22 ratings