Vermilion Barleywine | Perennial Artisan Ales

very good
36 Reviews
Vermilion BarleywineVermilion Barleywine

Brewed by:
Perennial Artisan Ales
Missouri, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 01-13-2013

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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 247
Photo of SinjaminBentek
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Dark brown with very little head.

Nose - Rich dark malt, little barrel, little booze and sweet dark fruits.

Taste - This is the highlight of the beer. Really really nice!

Mouthfeel - Rich, thick and chewy. Excellent.

Overall - Highly recommended.

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Photo of Domvan
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy brown/black color, has a nice full bodied mouthfeel that makes this beer enjoyable from the first sip. It was a great example of a barleywine that wasn't barrel aged. The sweetness adds to the experience as well. A definite favorite of mine now

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Photo of biegaman
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vermilion is a brilliant scarlet red colour - like that of the cardinal on this bottle's label - but, despite it name, there's not even a glimpse of it anywhere in the barleywine itself. Quite dark for the style, Vermilion has a shadowy, highlight-free complexion and severely gloomy tone that is not quite black but close enough. Head formed but slowly dissolved.

Pour, smell and let those rich, malty aromatics wash your cares away. Like the best English-style barleywines, Vermilion is mellow, malty, sweet and mighty seductive - and all that can be gleamed standing several feet away, that's how powerfully fragrant it is! Nutty, fruity, sherried notes abound with coffee bean, fig, date, roasted pecan, orange peel and baking spices.

Nothing I write, no description I provide, will come close to capturing the complex characteristics of this beer. Like aroma, the flavour is nothing short of bewildering: macerated and raisiny dark fruits, butterscotch, dark cocoa and roasted nuts, a dash of Christmas spices as well as nuances of cigar boxes or old oak barrels. It's a beer so rich it belongs on Madison Avenue.

Vermilion is very mild-mannered but offers a whole lot of goodness; it's intricate and elaborate but so smooth. Perennial encourages vertical tastings and, indeed, this bottle speaks to the beer's awesome cellar potential; exactly two years after bottling, this 2014 vintage drinks with a complexity and elegance that rivals high-quality port, sherry or single-malt whiskey.

Vermilion Barleywine is the quintessential contemplation beer and demands total surrender. A fantastically soothing, sumptuous offering, it's one of the finest examples I've tasted in years. So very 'fireside', it completely warms the soul at this so very cold time of year - don't go to bed without a glass. Just be sure to treat it with respect or you might suffer the day!

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Photo of Wobbly
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%

One of the best barley wines I have had in a while, and easily one of the ten best made in the U.S. that I have ever tried. This is one of my favorite styles, one that I enjoyed often when living in Britain. I feel many craft breweries lose the essence of this style looking for innovation, whereas this brew strikes a perfect balance between ambition and tradition. A really satisfying barley wine.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled: 12/2013

2 Years On This One

Poured into a chalice a pretty nice brownish/grapey color, very nice carbonation, with a quick/fizzy small light tan head, which does leave two medium islands and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice malty, with some very nice dark fruit notes (grapes, cherries, figs, raisins, plums). The taste is very nice malty, very nice touch of dark fruits, very nice sweetness. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well. Overall, this is a very nice brew. I would buy again. This is my first from this brewery, would definitely like to try others from them.

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Photo of AppaZappa
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12/2014 bottle into tulip; pours very dark brown / ruby color with generous head that fades into nice thin sheen. Smell is booze, caramel, toffee, plum, raisin, honey, vanilla, bread pudding. Taste is similar, with thick bread pudding, caramel notes, brown sugar, raisin, port, oak, sweet, but not cloying. The mouth is fantastic, subtle carbonation, creamy, rich.

This is a stellar example of the style. Gotta say I'm surprised at some of the lower reviews. Get one, sit tight on it and enjoy on a snow day.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottling date 12/2014 served at cellar temps in a tulip glass.

Poured a reddish copper color with a nice and tall khaki head. Smelled like caramel and hop candy. Vanilla, fig, raisin, tons of malt, low hop character, sweet and malty in both the nose and taste. Slight oxidation but nothing crazy for a 2 year old beer. Very nice representation of the English barleywine. This should be a cellar staple!

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Photo of avalon07
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a medium brown color and thick consistency. There was a small amount of foamy, off white head that quickly dissipated. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A solid aroma of hops, dark fruit, malt, and caramel.

T: Tasted of a lot of different dark fruit ingredients (raisins, figs, plums), some malt, a good amount of caramel, a little butterscotch, a good shot of hops, and rum as well. A big, bracing, complex flavor that gets mellower as you go along. Quite tasty and surprisingly easy to drink.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Vermilion has a couple of minor flaws, but it's an incredibly drinkable beer. Well made.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap at Scion into a snifter glass.

A real nice looker for a barleywine. Cherry wood red and dark with much difficulty to see through. Capped with a coffee and light tan collar that always sticks around while drinking. The body color is to name for real, and real beautiful.

Interesting nose, hints of some old ale fun but really hits of the winter warmer like spices. Cherry, clove and good woody like hop bitterness that matches. Hints of peppery cinnamon angles also come out nicely too.

Pretty decent and diverse palate. Licorice and hot cherry, with lots of root beer like sasparilla warmth and spice. Light bodied palate for easy drinking but integrating and coating flavors nicely all around. Spice angle really turns into a lot of different things, rosehip tea, and some faint floral hints and dark chocolate.

Quite a neat take on a barleywine and drinks very nicely to match and easily. Great solid brew from these guys.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a thick khaki cap that dissipates to thin patches with little lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, fresh and dried dark fruit, particularly plums and raisins, concord grape, fruitier than expected for this style, but pleasant. Flavor is similar, dominated by plums, raisins, dates, currents; light red wine notes of oak tannin, caramel malt, earthy. Medium to heavy bodied with light carbonation. Not an American barleywine (little hops) and not a traditional English one either, with more of a dark fruit profile rather than caramel malt. A nice change of pace flavor for a barleywine. Well integrated flavors and moderately complex. Nicely made and different. Each taste surprises me with the fruit flavors, which I'm still not expecting from what is clearly a barleywine. ABV well covered, but this is warming. The carbonation is a bit weak, and that is the only flaw I found in this. I'm hoping to find a second bottle for ageing, since this has such an interesting flavor; usually the malt is the dominating flavor change in aged barleywines, here it will be the other flavors. Intriguing.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable barleywine with a lot of properties that I would relate to a good Belgian quad. Pours with a thick, dark reddish hue. A latte colored head, no more than half a finger. Smells and tastes of dark fruits: raisins especially. Get a bit of bitter chocolate on the back end. Nose stands out a bit more than the flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Overall, a damn good barleywine.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Northdown Taproom.
$8 for a goblet.

From the menu:
Vermilion is a big, rich, English style barleywine that, as its name suggests, has tints of ruby around the edges of its brown body, with a toffee, caramel, toasted pecan sweetness that is kept in balance with a smooth alcohol warmth an slightly fruity American hop note. 10.5% ABV.

Thick luscious body is velvety and smooth, nice carbonation-- firm. Some boozy warmth on the lingering sweet finish. Mild bitterness.

Smells and tastes slightly nutty, with caramel and toffee malt flavors. The hood seem to primarily add bitterness, but I get a little floral character in the flavor profile that blends quite well with the beer.
There is even a little note of bitter cocoa and some dark fruit on the finish.

Overall-- this is tasty enough to drink another. Part of me wanted to not like this beer... But to be honest, this is worthy of a try. It isn't nearly my favorite English barleywine, but it is a more than acceptable effort.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into snifter at flying saucer in Kansas city. Pours a deep brown amber with a finger of tan head. Nice chewey sticky head. Great boozey fig and dried fruit aroma..some slight oaky vanilla notes. Nice warming dried fruit...lots of date and sweet vanilla. A bit boozey and sweet but nice.
Overall, nice strong brew.

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Photo of Pencible
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This poured an opaque dark mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like nutty malt and copper hops, with some toffee and raisins and a little honey wheat bread and alcohol.
T: It tasted like raisin and honey wheat bread, with some copper hops and earthy toffee. It had a clean and mostly sweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was thick and oily with a little carbonation. Great huge body.
D: This was a great English barleywine, with solid scent and taste, and an excellent body. The finish was smooth, but it was a little hot, so it was better to sip. Age may help mellow. Very nice brew, but pricey.

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Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty and boozy.

T - Malty - caramel and toffee with light hints of chocolate. Sweet and boozy with a hint of bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale.

O - This is really good. Another high quality brew from Perennial.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark brown body with lace patches stuck to the glass on top of an aroma that is figs and dark fruit along with touches of bourbon and wood, along with some sweetness. The beer is thick/full but smooth and easy to drink thanks to some oakiness (body is chewy at times), and has a real good sweet edge thanks to vanilla/caramel taste notes and possible dark fruits along with figs. I have a sweet tooth and this beer seemed to hit it often and this was complemented by a slightly hot boozy finish. A very enjoyable barleywine.

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Photo of John_M
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Graciously gifted to be my Casey from Max's.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is rich and impressive in this beer, as I get considerable molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee and black cherry. The beer really smells great, albeit a bit on the sweet side as well. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, and while the beer is indeed pretty sweet, there's enough hoppy bitterness to counter it (for the most part). Mouthfeel is fairly full, and the finish is long, sweet and lightly boozy. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can certainly tell it's up there.

Very nice beer from this "new to me" brewery. Thanks Casey!

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, capped.

Hazy dark brown in color, tan head. Rich malty aroma of molasses, rum, raisins. Similar taste, but not too sweet. Sticky mouthfeel

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Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle, no freshness date though this beer is cellar strength.

Dark rusty brown color, some haze. Thin lacing but it sticks around. Caramel, booze, anise, taffy, hermit cookies, toasted bread and ripe figs make for a complex nose. Super creamy, thick body with a light level of carbonation. Very figgy, suggestions of chocolate, brown bread, grapenuts and caramel. Very warming but not hot at all. Balance hopping with a slightly sweet boozy finish.

Very tasty and definitely comparable to many of the old school English Barleywines, no many beer get "better" with age ... most just evolve. My guess is that this will do both though it is great to drink right now as well.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

rock solid barleywine ale here, pouring a decadent toffee amber color and sporting over an inch of yellowish fluff. the nose on this is all brown sugar and maple syrup, one sugar layer cuts through the next, deep and rich for sure, with all the grain in your face you could ever want, fresh and strong, wintery, sexy. the flavor is similarly robustly flavored, with more molasses this time around, even honey, i taste a million sweeteners without a ton of residual sugar, tough to do, and in this case done beautifully. the grains are fresh and anywhere from lightly toasted to close to burnt, its also got a strange but enjoyable candied orange peel flavor towards the finish before the booze comes in. i like to taste the alcohol just a bit in my barleywine, and this one has that aspect dialed. long rich finish cleaned away by alcohol. huge body this is a slow sipper, but it improves with warmth so no rush. perennial can do no wrong right now.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Bottled 12/2013.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, and honey aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice caramel, toffee, and honey qualities all around.

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Photo of Suds
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml bottle, this beer is a rich brown color with a nice tan head. Woody scents...heavy on malt and alcohol. Low on fruit scents, but very earthy. The taste is intense, but pleasant. Warming and stong. Not overly sweet. Not has a sweet spice flavor. Full mouthfeel. Great barley wine.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 12/14.My first Perennial beer to try.Pours into an imperial nonic a deep tawny color with a creamy thick beige head atop.Aromas of port and caramel,big rich and sweet,mild nuttiness comes into play as well.Very thick but still smooth in the mouth,near chewy.Cakey and port-like on the palate and it gets a bit sweet in it's richness after awhile,feels all of 10.5%.Maybe not the best beer to drink when in the upper 90's here in NC but it's good and Iam glad I got to try it.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

December 17, 2015

750 ml bottle, snifter

A – Deep brown, thick and opaque. Maybe a quarter-inch of chocolate-tan foam forms and disperses immediately. Some very light lacing remains, but the beer is mostly still.

S – Rum raisin and crème brulee, bread pudding. Raisins and plums, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. Sweet alcohol esters like pears. Very rich but doesn’t smell particularly heavy.

T – Brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, a bit of cherry and bourbon. Alcohol is present, fruity, almost like sake. Minor hop notes, a bit woody and spicy. Only light bitterness, a bit sweet.

M – Medium-full body, lighter than I expected based on the pour and its overall appearance. Carbonation is low to medium-low, which is NOT surprising, in line with the style. Balance is heavily toward malt sweetness, only light bitterness on the finish.

O – Overall, a very well-done Barleywine, just doesn’t quite hit the mark on the flavor.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed both the 2012 and 2013 vintages on tap at Bier Station as part of a celebration of Perennial's one-year anniversary of distributing to Kansas City. This review will include notes and scores for both vintages, but the "official" scores provided will be for the fresh version. Poured into small Belgian-style tulip glasses.

Appearance (4.0 fresh / 4.0 one-year) - Here, there is no appreciable difference in appearance between the two vintages. Both have a body that is deep oxidized brown, like rust or dried blood with some notes of deep garnet red that only become visible as I drink the liquid down and light has an easier time passing through. The head retains slightly longer on the older vintage, contrary to my expectations. The foam is about a finger thick and dusty white. Lacing is spotty and sticks to the side of the glass for a bit before slinking back down into the liquid leaving no trace of it's former existence.

Smell (3.75 / 4.0) - Honestly, these aren't as different as I expected, but the main difference is in the detection of booze in the younger version. Both give off notes of toasted oats, dates, caramel malt, toffee, and a sort of mineral spirits type characteristic. I suppose that's just a fancy way of saying that it's boozy.

Taste (4.0 / 4.25) - Many of the same characteristics from the smell are present in the taste, but a little more separation has occurred between the two beers on the tongue. The older version has matured quite nicely, with the fruity notes becoming more prominent alongside a sweeter candied fig element. Not overpoweringly sweet, but just a little bit. Hints of maple syrup in the older version as well. The younger version lacks that sweetness, instead having a bit of boozy heat alongside the notes of burnt caramel and dried figs.

Mouthfeel (3.75 / 4.0) - Both are slightly viscous, with a slightly clinging feel. Medium-bodied and low carbonation. Finish is semisweet and there is just a hint of lingering bitterness. Just enough to balance the sweeter characteristics.

Overall (4.0 / 4.0), a really solid barleywine that, if I had my choice, I would drink with about a year on it. I like the added sweetness and the fact that the booze has blended in to create a more cohesive beer. Both are great though--I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to try them side-by-side. Having tried them both, I will definitely be sitting on my 2013 for a year or so.

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Vermilion Barleywine from Perennial Artisan Ales
4.02 out of 5 based on 247 ratings.
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