Barley Wine
Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom

Barley WineBarley Wine
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British Barleywine
Ranked #111
Ranked #15,191
4.06 | pDev: 8.37%
Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom
Alberta, Canada
Very Good
Barley WineBarley Wine
Notes: Not a wine, of course, but an extra strong ale brewed to 8.7% alc./vol. The last time that we released our Barley Wine was in February 2008. Not to be outdone by this fabulous brew, we decided to take the next batch to another level.

This current release was brewed in January 2009 and has aged for 12 full months. Our Barley Wine is slightly sweet and malty with warm alcohol notes and the colour is a deep copper with an amber glow.
Photo of papat444
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wordempug for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle.

Appearance: A dark leather color which is nice but no head and very minor lacing. Could be better.

Smell: Dates, dark dry fruits, bit of leather and plums.

Taste: More dates, nice herb spiciness and the finish has a combo of peach pits, dry fruits and a bit of sugar. real good flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thin a bit at first though it does open up. A warming, creamy feel though it doesn't quite make up for the body falling a bit short.

Overall: A nice balanced barleywine that doesn't veer too much into sweetness or bitterness. At the ABV it is, the head should be better. Still, it has good flavor and that's what saves it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml swing-top bottle from wordemupg. Served in a Cigar City tulip. No obvious date, but I'm guessing this is from 2010.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam that settles to a thin ring and some wisps, leaving behind no lace. Opaque dark cherry-brown body.

S - Very sweet, with tons of brown sugar, raisins, cherries and other dark fruits, toffee and caramel. Solid barleywine aroma.

T - The taste is unfortunately not quite as good. There's some medicinal cherry cough syrup obscuring the nicer brown sugar flavors. Starts very sweet, then moves to some more neutral malted barley flavors mid-palate. There's a very odd and slightly unpleasant bitterness in the finish.

M - Somewhat thin, even at only 9.3%. Low carbonation, smooth and somewhat chewy texture, and minimal alcohol heat.

D - Pretty easy to drink, even with a few flaws. I'd drink this again if it were local, but it's not something I'd actively seek out over the superior Canadian barleywines I've had.

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Photo of eat
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Last bottle from wordemupg as part of CanBIF6, comsumed summer of 2010. From some old notes: Ruby/copper coloured body with a thin cover of cream-white head, Some bits of lacing and visible carbonation.

The nose is sweet and malty, presenting caramel and prunes. A little butter, some dust and light hops. Pretty nice.

The flavour is quite a letdown. Medicinal and quite bitter, with rotten citrus rind, a little caramel and obvious alcohol on the finish. Powdery with almost no sweetness. Many barley wines are too sweet but, conversely, they do need some sweetness.

Medium body and almost no carbonation.

I'm not sure about this one, seems like maybe there was a problem with this bottle? I have no way of knowing. If I ever run into the one again I'd probably pick one up just to check.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #37 (Feb 2010):

Twelve months in the making, or rather, aging, this is Wild Rose's new winter seasonal.

Dark, brassy red with an off-white lacing. Booze-soaked raisins, leather, pepper and hermit cookies in the nose. Smooth, creamy and malty as hell with deep notes of caramel, toasty breads, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa nibs, semi-sour oak, slight oxidation with sherry and cardboard notes. Orangey, herbal and coarse hops notes. Finishes quite hoppy actually. Warming, but not hot.

Think Barleywine meets Old Ale on this one, and you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

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Photo of kwjd
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-brown colour with a thin layer of head and some lacing. Some smell of hops, but lots more caramel and brown sugar. I get some nuttiness in the flavour too. This feels almost like an Old Ale (or at least of the ones I've had). I could tell this was brewed to more of an English style than American with more malt than hops.

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drunk within six months of production. Small soapy head on mahogoney body. Yeasty. Some good hoppiness. Feel the booze. Tad above average mouthfeel.Drinkable. Not a bad one from this brewery, and thanks for sending Presario.Would have one again with some years on it.

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Photo of pootz
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 release, bottle cellared 7 months, courtesy of fellow malt-head Doug. Greatly appreciated Bro!

Pours a dark copper brown with red highlights, small cap goes to a ring quickly, modest carbonation.

Aroma is demure and undeveloped; some caramel sweetness, dark fruits, cocoa, fusel alcohol. Big whack of caramel and crystal malts in the front, fruits, piney hop undertone lets malts forward. Finish is long and wet and slightly sweet and boozey.

Pleasant departure from the style. This is an unpretentious 3 dimensional big beer. Undeveloped...needs cellar time.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, 8.7% ABV. Standard stout Wild Rose black-labeled seasonal swing-top bottle.

This beer pours a hazy dark golden brown colour, with one finger of soapy tan head, which leaves a smattering of cloudy lace around the glass in its brief wake. It smells of leafy, citrus hops, caramel/toffee malt, treacle, and some faint booziness. The taste is biscuity toffee malt, demerara sugar, dark fruit, mild floral, earthy hops, and a soft grainy vodka-esque alcohol edge, if you breath it in just a little too deeply. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body big, viscous, unctuous, and smooth, and it finishes with a pronounced drying hoppiness, as if to almost blank out the heretofore omnipotent malty goodness.

A relatively approachable Barley Wine, the crisp malty character goes down oh so well, and the elevated booze is well integrated, with very little adverse affect on the overall experience.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 500-ml swing-top bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance - amber-copper colour with a thin ring of lace. Little surface bubbles.

Smell - very deep roasted aromas, heaps of barley malt.

Taste - such a full malt taste, thick and deep without comparison. This tastes great! There's no monkeying around or denying the flavour. Finish has some hops bring balance with a dry bitterness but wow! a nice tasting beer.

Mouthfeel - smooth as silk, glides around the mouth. Leaves a nice flavour coating throughout the mouth.

Drinkability - are you kidding? Goes down easy but one would be enough. What a great beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the tap room feb5 2010

A looks quite dark until held to the light where it has a maroon/ruby brown glow with not much head or lace(mind you it was filled right to the rim) but the great color helped its cause

S a little chocolate with plenty of raisins and molasses, some dark fruits and a little booze

T what I smell but a little stronger with some dark toffee and it's just a little nutty, a fairly complex brew once it warms up a bit

M nice and silky but I seem to remember it being thicker out of the bottle, perhaps it's the cold serving at the tap room I'm just not sure

D a solid beer but I got more enjoyment out of it pouring it into a glass in my house at room temperature

my only complaint is the cold serving, this is one of those beers that is better warm. that being said I still enjoyed this beer and would happily drink it again on tap, I may just order it with something else and drink it last after it warmed up a little

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Photo of Derek
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper with a little haze at the end of the bottle, light tan head, some retention, good leg/lace. Seriously impressive, considering its strength.

S: Toffee, cotton candy, caramel, brown sugar, beer nuts, dates, raisins and figs with hints of chocolate, herbs and port-like alcohol aroma. Truly exceptional.

T: Dark toffee, burnt caramel, roasted nut, brown sugar, dates, orange rind and figs; resiny hops are a little piny; slight residual sweetness is balanced with a somewhat assertive bitterness & warming alcohol.

M: Full body has a slight residual sweetness, some hop acidity and a slightly drying alcohol finish.

D: Way too drinkable for a brew of this strength.

Thanks to the Wildone for brewing this, and sending it as a CanBIF treat!

If this was put up against some of the best ENGLISH barley wines, it would seriously blow them away.

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Photo of elricorico
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy deep brown with some ruddiness to it. A fairly aggressive pour brought out a thin tan head.

Smell is very sweet. Molasses/brown sugar, something woody, and a touch of herbal hopping. Very pleasant.

Sweet brown sugar is first to the tongue, a hint of milky coffee in the middle with a fruity slant. Finish mixes English hops with some alcohol spice. Altogether very nice.

Somewhat thick in body with low carbonation. Just a touch more chewiness would be nice, but really the mouthfeel is already pretty good.

Too easy to drink for the style and ABV. I wish I had another bottle of this around, as I'm quite impressed.

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Photo of DrMalt
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served out of a flip top 500 ml bottle. Thanks to a favourite waitress who brought a 1/2 case of this beer back to Sask with her.

A- a snow white 1/2" head with excellent lacing. A shiny, clear, deep red.

S- Malty, bready with notes of date and some floral.

T - Very traditional English sytle barleywine with a balance of sweet malt and spicy english hop. Alcohol is noticable but not overriding.

M - Not coyingly sweet like other high ABV English BW's can be. Carbonation is low but holds throughout the enjoyment.

D - Excellent rendition of a "quaffable" English BW. Drinkability of this beer compares to the way which we drank this brew - savouring this glass of pure craftsmanship.

This beer came with high expectations from past experiences of enjoying this brewer's award winning home brewed English BW's. For Paul & I it brought back some nostalgic memories of "Old 99". Spot on!

A fitting brew for the arrival of Santa.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - low carbonation nets very low head, but a swirl of the glass gives it some life. Very red, clear.

S - boozy malt, dark fruits, rum, bread, nuts, very much like fruit cake

T - taste pretty much follows the aroma, some earthy english hops and an extra dimension. Finish is alcohol and dry biscuit, even a little almond-like.

M - maybe not quite as full and syrupy as I had hoped, but the medium body actually makes it more drinkable. Alcohol has quite a burn at this point, which works against itself, but is still not a turnoff. Carbonation is very low, perfect for style.

D - pretty good attempt at the style, definitely drinkable at over 6 months of age, and will only get better.

Mr Neilly has done very well for himself with this brew. Already the best barleywine in Alberta, keep pushing for these interesting seasonals! Can't wait to see how this one ages. It took me well over an hour to drink this, the alcohol disappeared as it continued to warm up.

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Photo of bobsy
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby body with a generous cream head that laces like there's no tomorrow. A beautiful looking beer, and that's for sure. Slightly herbal aroma, mixed in with some chocolate and wood. Chocolate, raisins, coffee, caramel and pit fruit all vie for attention in the full flavour of this delicious brew. The body is medium, yet slightly syrupy at the same time with light carbonation. Warming finish. An excellent barley wine from Wild Rose and highly recommended.

Thanks to the brewmaster himself for providing this bottle as part of CanBIF4!

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Photo of Cwrw
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recall months back visiting the brewery and asking if they would be doing a barley wine ever. Now they've answered. Had on tap at their brewhouse, this is worth seeking out. Served in a brandy snifter. Lovely ruby colour, topped with a worthy draught head. Aromas typical of the style: plenty of hopping, sweet sweet malting, some alcohol, a little dash of maple syrup, and some lovely licorice. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and very syrupy, but with enough carbonation. Flowery, medicinal qualities. Herbal. Not overdone. Not underdone. Balance is key here. All in all, a treat. Finally Wild Rose weighs in with the big guns and creates a strong beer. Let's hope this successful experimentation continues.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Previously sampled this on-tap at the brewery's front room, but didn't take notes. A pleasant surprise to find they bottled this batch as well. Comes in a tall 500 ml brown flip-top bottle, simple labelling, but no frills are necessary with this stuff.

Poured out into a chalice, a deep mahogany tone, with bright garnet highlights when held to direct light. Creamy off-white head that settles to a thin cap.

Aroma immediately reminds me of authentic Turkish Delight, sweet dates, powdery sugar, even a hint of mint and rosewater. Elegant!

Um, wow! Flavour is even better than I remembered on-tap. It's subtle but savoury, malt is soft and chewy, dates and figs, icing sugar sweetness, spicy hops, slow alcohol burn on the aftertaste. It's not overly complex, but it hits all the right buttons, is so smooth that it'd make a great session ale if not for the abv% that would knock you on your ass after a few--yeah, even you tough guy. This seems refined already, would be curious to see how this ages another half year to a year.

Silky and velvety mouthfeel, it's the alcohol presence itself that gives it a bit of a lift, but like that of a fine cognac, there's no bite, just heat.

Cheers to Wild Rose for this seasonal, so glad they decided to bottle it as well and share the love to a larger demographic. One of the most easily approachable and rewarding barley wines I've had in a long time. Hope they do it again next year too!

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Photo of BigBry
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been wanting to try this one ever since Wild Rose started hinting about it on their website. Finally got the chance to try a glass on tap at the brewery. Served in a tulip style glass, but at the same temperature as the other draft lines. This info was told to me by the server, and suggested that I order another pint while I allowed the barley wine to warm uo a bit - good advice.
Deep mahogany brown, thick cap of beige foam. A classic looking beer. Thin sheets of foam coat the glass with each sip. Rich thick creamy head. Initially, the aroma is light, but as it warms the wood and aclohol come through. Flavor has some caramel and toffee, along with some spicy hops. Earthy, oak barrel-like aftertaste. Thick, full bodied, perfect to sip and enjoy slowly. A very nice brew, who needs port?

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Barley Wine from Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 18 ratings