Vermilion Barleywine | Perennial Artisan Ales

very good
35 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: 35 | Ratings: 245
Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass. Appealing label art. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Bottled 12/13.

10.5% ABV. Reviewed live as a barleywine per the label. Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Pleasant khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Fairly supple. Has an even consistency and a decent complexion.

No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Retention is nice - about 4 minutes.

BODY: Opaque dark brown-black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated.

It's a nice enough looking beer, but is far from unique or special, and isn't anywhere near as good looking as some of the best beers in the style.

AROMA: Cream, vanilla, dark malts, chocolate malt, marshmallow, moderate sweetness, a kiss of subtle anise/licorice, caramel, and light toastiness. No hop profile is detectable, nor is any yeast character, alcohol, or off-character. Some molasses sweetness is present, but a faint burnt sugar character helps tame the sweetness.

Overall, it's a pleasant aroma of moderate intensity and evokes a balanced barleywine. It could do with more marshmallow and vanilla, and a richer more evocative presentation of its flavours.

As it warms, I find some fruit emerging - perhaps plum or grape.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Plum and grape are definitely present, and are more prominent than the aroma lets on. I also pick up on some raisin and a hint of anise.

The malt foundation is comprised primarily of dark malts, the gooey cohesiveness of which helps guide the beer and is complemented well by the marshmallow note, which also carries a gooey syrupy sticky feel. It's chewy as well, which accents the raisin nicely. Still, the suppleness of the fruit gets largely left behind - a missed opportunity.

Sticky molasses is present, adding still more sweetness alongside some almost Belgian tasting malts. I might be finding cherry, but I can't be sure. Some caramel and burnt toast notes help tame the sweetness, preventing the flavour profile from coming off cloying.

No hop profile, yeast character, or off-notes come through. Yeast seems mildly attenuated at best judging by the obvious sweetness.

True to style, it's full-bodied and thick, but I could do without the syrupy feel, which lends the brew a clingy adherence to the palate. Predictably smooth and wet, with slight overcarbonation.

Overall, it's nicely balanced albeit a bit too sweet, and vanilla is sorely missed. Marshmallow could be played up, and the introduction of some bread crust would be nice. It's adequately complex, and the fruit is subtly executed, but there's ample room for improvement. Above average depth and duration of flavour. Average flavour intensity.

There is some alcohol-induced warmth, but it's not a hot or boozy beer.

I do like it, but it lacks any stand-out characteristics within its style. Unfortunately, its sweetness grows more problematic as it comes to temperature.

OVERALL: It hides its (relatively) high ABV well, but isn't a beer you'll be quaffing. Somewhere between a sipper and a session brew. It's not a unique or special barleywine, but while it won't impress, it'll scratch the discerning drinker's itch for the style. I won't pick it up again myself, but I'd be curious to try a bourbon barrel aged variant if they ever come out with one. I'm glad I tried it once, but it's far from world-class. Some (likely American) drinkers may observe a medicinal cherry off-note - which coupled with the troublesome sweetness may be a dealbreaker.


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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber with some reddish tones. Kinda hazy. Small white head.

Smell - Caramel and some fruity aromas. Deep nuttiness and some toffee. Smells very sweet,

Taste - Very sweet. Caramel and apple fruitiness. Toffee. Big sugar bomb. Some specialty malt flavors linger.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This would do well in a barrel. Sugar bomb.

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Photo of tut2528
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a deep chocolate brown with sublte hints of ruby are also noticed. it created a very thin film of light mocha head formation that dissipated rather quickly.

S: definitely a weird smelling brew. big bon-fire like smoke, roasted malt, pecan nuttiness, moderate alcohol burn.

T: definitely more sweetness here than in the nose. it has a nice toffee and caramel body, again the nuttiness comes out making this one of the most interesting brews I have had to date. i still pick up on a big toasted malt and smokiness that lingers during the after taste. it really reminds me of bon-fire smoke. there are some interesting spice (nutmeg?) that also integrates into the beer adding more complexity. there is an ever so faint of chocolate that lies in the background as well, and a fruit character that i struggle to pinpoint

M: strong medium bodied brew, that leaves a touch of toffee and roasty malt on the palate in a fairly nice balance. alcohol is felt here this a slight tingling aspect that is rather delightful

O: 1st offering by Perennial, and this one was just simply weird for its denoted style. i really picked up on a ton of nuts and smokiness in this one which I was never expecting. However, it it is labeled a Winter Ale, so the play on the season is definitely in full effect. I just dont think it is that well balanced for its style.

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Photo of cvm4
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled December 2013

A - Pours a dark, murky brown with a tan head. It's not pretty, but it definitely works.

S - Sweet, toffee, caramel malts and dark fruits.

T - Sweet taste that follows the nose to a T. Not overly hoppy.

M - Medium bodied and carbonation.

O - To me, the beer is a bit overly sweet. Not something I'd normally go after.

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Photo of Etan
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Maria's, into a snifter. Bartender said it's a barleywine made with peated malt.

A: Pours a woody red-tinged brown with a nice light tan head.

S: Light peat, roasted malt, figgy sweetness in the nose. Interesting.

T: The taste is a balance between sweet barleywine and smoked malt. The smoked grain presents as peaty and a little earthy rather than meaty like many smoked beers. Other than that, there's lots of sweet figgy and raisiny notes, plenty of residual sugar.

M: Thick-bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: This is interesting, but I'd prefer it to be a little less sweet. As it is, the sweetness clashes with the peatiness a little bit.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 12/2012. Consumed 16 months later.

Pours mildly translucent. Nice tan head. Very malt-thick nose. Raisin and a mild maple thing is on there also. Seems a bit boozy also, unfortunately. Flavor is pretty decent. Kind of seems a bit too clogged with a mild boozy edge and a whole lot of malty sweetness. A shame really as it exhibits a lot of characteristics you want to see for the style. After 16 months I wouldn't imagine it to be like this though. Maybe it's just not a good barleywine for aging.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good representation of an English barleywine. So many barleywines are now the American version and heavily hopped. This was a nice sweet, malty English version through and through.

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Photo of mactrail
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This may be in the English style but it's still quite bitter at the finish. Very dark and charred grain. Smooth and sweet without being syrupy. The Raisin and prune flavors are quite lovely. Deep fruity aroma of fig jam and boozy fruitcake.

Hot alcohol aftertaste. Kind of a plum liqueur taste and a dose of sweet Vermouth with that herbal bitter finish. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Special Brews in Lynnwood, Wash.

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Photo of richj1970
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into Old Guardian glass. No visible bottle date.

A: Pours a deep chestnut brown with slight tan head that settled immediately to a thin ring around the edge. Zero lacing.

S: Caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg.

T: Sweet caramel malts mixed with a subtle spice mix. Some cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Maybe a touch of clover honey.

M: Fairly thick with an almost syrup quality to it leaving a lingering sweetness of the tongue. Alcohol fairly well hidden. Very lightly carbonated.

O: Enjoyable but missing that little something to make it outstanding.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Pours a deep burgundy that really appears almost a red-tinged black. Head is minimal, thinly collecting at the edges. Initial nose was of grape and raisin. Dark bread notes come out more with warmth, as well as some licorice and hints of the alcohol behind the beer.

The feel is a tad thin, bordering on light, but the dark fig/plum notes are nice and strong. Molasses, licorice, dark cake bread come on to back up the dark color. There is a bit of candy (separate but related to the licorice), but it only peaks through, about as much as the alcohol. The finish is a tad oily.

This is another case of a beer that grew on me. Will definitely have to try this again and expect my rating might rise. Or maybe the fact "the next batch is always worse" will balance that out.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sweet label. Love the Cardinal.

Low and slow growing yellow-white foamy head. Brew is damn dark, nearly black. No lacing, no legs.

Sweet aroma. Tons of caramel, bubble gum, mild pine, nice booze bite too. Kinda too sugary and oddly belgian.

Nice smooth sweetness with great drinkability. Prickly carbonation is well placed and prevalent. Lots of mouthy sugary caramel. Wet, not bitter, not a typical BWine... Lots of Ginger. Good brew, easy drinker especially @ 10.5%. No heat. Still though, some funky Belgian flavors come out... Weird; its like a Belgian BWine.

This is a great-off-the shelf Barlywine, a definite go-to for me in the future. It's a bit out of the ordinary for a BWine, but it still nice and refreshing.

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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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Vermilion Barleywine from Perennial Artisan Ales
4.02 out of 5 based on 245 ratings.
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