Baggywrinkle Barleywine | Cisco Brewers Inc.

84 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-09-2001

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 139
Photo of barrelman
1.21/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is a tough one. 8.8% abv. on the bottle. The beer was overcarbonated and had way too much butter scotch aroma and taste (Not one of my favorite things).

I didn't get a good read on the mouthfeel because I really could not get past the taste.

This beer obviously had something very wrong with it. I wanted to say something good about it but I can't. I cannot finish this.

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Photo of macster
1.67/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Really hate to rate an infected or poorly handeled bottle of beer but since I live in FL I’ll not have the availability of re-sampling this beer anytime soon. Poured a somewhat thin looking and fizzy black color. Produced a thin off-white head which disappeared in a flash. Aromas of figs, raisins, prunes and roasted malts which were unfortunately spoiled by a subtle whiff of vinegar. Mouthfeel was thin and fizzy; not a texture one would expect from a Barley Wine. Flavor profile was a disaster; a underlying vinegar sourness dominated the taste. Unfortunately this $6.99 bomber ended up poured down the drain. At 12% I’d love to try a fresh and uninfected botlle of this BW, but there was something amiss with this bottle for sure.

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Photo of winetrdr
1.79/5  rDev -49%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is the 2004 release of their barleywine. The label has changed from the one shown and the ABV is now 12% listed on the bottle. The nose is coconut, pineapple and scotch. In fact, it reminds me of a Pina Colada with a scotch float. Mouthfeel is very syrupy. I'm trying this at about 55 degrees. Taste is exactly as it smells(think Pina Colada once again), not a good thing in my book as I hate coconut...and scotch. I'm not sure what else to say about this virtually undrinkable...drink. I hate to call it barleywine. I will drink just about aything as I don't believe in pouring beer out but this one goes down the drain.

$14.95 for a 750 ml is alot for any beer. $14.95 for this one is criminal.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
1.96/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked up an un-numbered bottle from Super Saver in Somerville, NJ.

First the nightmare began when I popped the cap with hardly a *fwsk* then the pour: Dark stagnant midnight topped with nada.

Scents were of a sour lemon. Reminds one of a stout.

First swigs: Not worth much more time than to say porter meets lemon juice. Oh, and flat porter. This was a disaster. Actually, I was all happy bringing a bottle to a fellow BA barleywine appreciator and I only choked down the rest of the bottle to be a manly man watching the Flyers win.

If you tell me that this was a "bad bottle" I will stand by my review because this is the third Cisco bottle that I've bought in the past fw months and if thy are all like this, I've earned the right to gripe.

Only one thing makes this situation worse: I bought 2 bottles.

Last swigs: *GAG!* Boo hoo!

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Photo of goz
2.31/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy orange-brown color, minimal head and very little visible carbonation in the body. Aroma is strongly alcoholic, almost like a weak scotch, some light caramel and sour apple aromas in there, too. Flavor starts with some sweetness, then turns sour, then the scotch like alcohol comes in and takes over. Body was very thin. Not a very impressive brew.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
2.32/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Tawny in color. Murky. White head settles into a thin cap quickly. Spotty lacing.

S: Runny caramel and bread crust. Stiff alcohol, strong tropical estery component. Lots of pineapple and pureed mango. A touch earthy. Floral hops.

T: Thin, runny caramel. Toasted biscuit and bread crust. Stiff punch of solventy alcohol. Tropical esters. Mild floral and citrus pith hop tastes. Biscuit and alcohol on the finish.

M: Lighter in body than expected, but still creamy and chewy. Low carbonation. Alcohol heat.

O: This is simply not a good beer. The malt backbone lacks richness and character, and it is far too boozy. A harsh beer to drink, and lacking in any redeeming qualities. Misses the mark by a wide margin.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.4/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Body is slightly light on color for the style and an amber hue. decent head.

Hmm, i just noticed my bottle says 9% alcohol and the info on BA says 12%. I WANT THAT 3%.

The aroma and flavor profile is fairly matched so ill list the overall nose/palate. Really mellow and melded but i have no idea the age, low alcohol heat even perhaps for 9%, melded Big C hops in the pine and resin type, light caramel but not really sweet more a dry caramel, honestly tastes more like a 1-2 year old american barleywine then an english barleywine.

Mouthfeel is dry for calling this an english BW.

BW Tick. I'd pass.

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Photo of jamie2dope
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This Barleywine pours a hazed orange color, with little heading. It is nice sometimes to see Barleywines that are lighter in color. In the smell I pick up some rye, hops, and some dark fruit. Ouch, taste is really dry, hoppy, and very boozy. It really is difficult to get past the alcohol with this beer. Mouthfeel is pretty thin for a beer of such strength. Drinkability is not good, not quite a drain pour, but not far from it. Cisco is one of my favorite breweries, but this is simply not a good beer. Avoid this beer, and save yourself the ten dollar price tag. Cheers

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.53/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a muddy, watery brown with burnt orange highlights with a quickly dissipating sandstone head that failed to leave much of a lacing. Visible effervesce was hard to determine but a fairly strong sense could be detected beneath the murky waters.

S: The nose was boozy, to say the least with a sour whiskey mash aroma best describing things here. Jack daniels, evan williams is well sensed here. Very limited complexity wise with the boozy nature dominating.

T: The flavor opened up with brief glimpses of sweetness of grain juice runoff (wort) starting things off before a boozy sense of whiskey sour mash moves in. Over fermented fruit (apples) brings a dry, mushy fruitiness of prison hooch punch to the mix. Much like the aroma, the flavor comes off one-dimensional lacking complexity and was hindered by a hooch fueled alcohol experience that was near unbearable at times. I like my beers big, and my barleywines with some complexity and smoothness, this was just mess with sour, mushy, rotten fruit that came off with a prison hooch mentality whos only focus is to brag about its abv and to get you drunk with no regards to any taste value.

M: light bodied, with a light oily texture, coming off rather unexciting and boring.

D: There is just no way in hell i can drink a bomber of this by myself. As the label suggest its best shared with a friend (perhaps with one whose friendship you dont value much). This went down with a fight, a pure boozefest that was heavy handed alcohol wise with little regard to balance or flavor. Maybe this would be better served by some aging, or perhaps better served as a heating fuel. pass on this one. endnote: overall an average rating to me is one that i could either live with, or without, this beer certainly provoked several areas of personal dislike and aspects that lacked in some of the more finer barleywine examples. needless to say , save your money on this one unless you are the curious type who wants to personally see how bad an example can be.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.55/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours cloudy orange/brown with a small almost non-existent white head. The aroma of alcohol dominates the malts and fruits. First sip is spicy apple with a strong alcohol bite. Apples and pears notes are present followed by a grapefruit like bitterness.

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Photo of haazer
2.57/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

A- Dark orange, apple juice like color. Nice ring of off white bubbles.

S- Smells a bit muddled. Some orange, coriander, a bit of pine. Smells a little bit like burnt malt though with a touch of booze.

T- Flavor is pretty jumbled together as well. Coriander, toast bread, then a rush of burnt malt. Almost like this was boiled too long. The booze is not well masked either.

M- Full bodied, chewy mouthfeel. Mid level carbonation.

O- Overall not what I expected after reading the description on the draft list. In the lower rung of barley wines for me. The burnt malt and booze flavor throw me off.

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Photo of levifunk
2.58/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra in a trade (thanks jedwards). Opened it up to share with some friends.

A - Hazy golden color with no head. Looks a lot like apple cider.

S - smells grape juice or wine.

T - this is where it went down for me. It was very sharpe, sour, and hoppy. It smelled a lot better than it tasted.

M - Higher carbonation than I would like.

O - Its not something I'd get again or spend too much money on (no idea how much it cost). Also, I did note that the beer settles in the bottle. Later pours were much thicker/heavier.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.8/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Drew for giving us this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Color is a slightly-cloudy orange-copper color with a half-finger off-white head that fades almost immediately and has just a few bubbles around the edges. The nose has a bit of caramel and some slightly-sweet malt along with a bit of cherry. It's a bit plain and I have to struggle a bit to really get into this one.

The flavor is a lot of sweet malt, bordering on becoming a bit cloying. There are some cherry notes as well as toffee, stone fruits, and a bit of fig. There is a bit of strawberry, especially strawberry seeds. Some light alcohol is there as well. The body is medium with low carbonation. It seems a bit thin. I don't find this to be terribly offensive, but it's a pretty average brew and certainly doesn't stand out in a crowded field.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The pour was decent, nothing earth shattering here, with a ruddy copper color, light reddish tint to it, but again nothing really standing out much for me. Light crown of white was on top initially but that also faded quite quickly leaving the top essentially bare. Aroma was a bit hot, lots of caramel and bready malts, hints of what may have at one time been a piney hop bite had faded into a mellow, and messy malt monster. Again the flavor misses the mark for me, too hot and not enough balance for me to be honest. Almost a medicinal quality to the taste as it warms, light candied sugar tries to save it but really does not come across well. Light carbonation, almost old ale like, but again, not very interesting.

Overall not bad per se, but nothing to write home about either. I just think it tried to be too strong and that really drown out any hope it had for a mellow and balance feel. A bit of a mess.

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Photo of alaimoa
2.86/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
-Appearance brown with a lingering brownish/white head about a quarter inch
-smell was ok...fruity and pungent although my wife said it smelled repulsive/mold and she likes the smell of other barley wines
-tasted fruity boozy but the after taste left a bit of acidic dryness and coated my mouth with molasses taste
-overall I would probably avoid it as my go to barleywine (dogfish olde school and green flash are much better)

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Photo of Freshie
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

With a style like Barleywine, it is hard to make an average brew. Unfortunately, Cisco has seemed to have done the trick.

While it is heavy on the hop bite and up front sugar, there is little malt back bone, and the mouthfeel is light on the palate. This makes the alcohol burn heavier as you drink.

Still, it doesn't taste bad, but lacking in critical areas, making it heavy in others.

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Photo of DrJay
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy tawny brown, muddy looking, with some fine bubbles coating the beer's surface and some soapy ones forming a collar. A bit of spotty lacing, fair head retention for the little that's there. Sweet aroma, bread and caramel, fruity and spicy, light alcohol. There's some leafy hop flavour, but not a lot of bitterness to balance out the caramel and toffee sweetness. Lots of bread and fruit notes, light alcohol, slightly spicy in the finish. Full bodied, lowish carbonation, fair texture but a little dry even with the sweetness. Overall, this one was pretty average. Not quite cloying and the fruity/spicy combo didn't play especially well together.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark toffee/almond/tea color, pretty unique appearance. Nice head too.

Smells hoppy in a dark fruit/grass kind of way. A nutty, tangy maltiness as well.

Taste follows the nose. Nuts, dark fruits, grassy hops.

Pretty average example of a hoppy barleywine. It's not a hop bomb but it's also not as sweet and candy-like as I want my barleywines to be.


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Photo of scottum
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out dark brown with a nice light head. As for taste... this is a good beer, but I'm only giving it a 2.5 compaired to other barleywines. This beer does not, I repeat, does not justify the high price. This is a subpar barleywine in a big bottle. Maybe it will age well, but for now this is just chaos in a bottle. The yeast, grain, hops, alcohol, and fruit flavors don't know what to do with themselves. Buy any other barleywine; your wallet will thank you!

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Photo of johnniemarg
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's a 1 Pint 9.4 oz bottle. I like the bottle and label. Classy. Limited release and my bottle is stamped No. 2458. I bought this last weekend at Half Time beverage.

Okay, the appearance of this is comical for me at first. I poured it into my Duvel tulip (freebee last weekend from half time when I bought this) and the head came up and out to the point where I had a 5 inch head on a 2 inch pour. Because of the shape of the tulip it looks like a mushroom cloud. Despite the fact that the head is hanging out above the top of the glass, it's not falling down on the outside of the glass. It's sticking together so I guess that's a good sign. The glass is brand new and I rinsed it well with hot water and let it dry thoroughly, so I don't think it's the glass. To chill it I put it in the freezer for about 35 minutes. Does that make beers pour with too much head? I don't know. I kinda like this look though. I just hope it doesn't mean I'm sucking all the carbonation out of the beer. Almost opaque but I can make out that it's very cloudy and reddish-brown when held up to a light. It's taking me forever to pour this thing but I'm ready to have a taste. That head is firm and persistent. Lots of nice lacing. After a while it does fall down for the most part but stays thick and consistent enough to never let you see the dark color of the beer while looking down into the glass. The head is a nice golden brown.

Smell is plum, chocolate, maybe toasted malt and generally typical barleywine aroma that I can't figure out how to describe.

Tasty at first but I'm having conflicting thoughts. The chocolate is there for sure along with raisins. But the alcohol flavor is a bit unbalanced. I like a beer with alcohol flavor but with this one it doesn't seem to be part of the brew. It almost tastes like grain alcohol, as if it's fortified rather than brewed. After I'm half way down I don't notice this as much.

Way too much carbonation for my taste. It has the same effect hitting my tongue as it did hitting the glass- almost explodes from the carbonation.

I don't know if I got a bad one or what. One day I may try this again. But there's plenty of other barleywines out there that I know and love so I don't need to risk it anytime soon.

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Photo of cbl2
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10/15/2006 $8.99 750 mL 12.00% Limited release No. 1456.


Pours a murky dark brown with orange highlights adorned by over 3 inches of foamy tan head, which has me worried, since I've always had carbonation issues with Cisco beers.


A heady mix of plums, cherries, robust sweet malts undercut by some hot alcohol presence.


Chewy, sweet burnt raisin malts intermingled with a burst of alcohol. One glass of this is ok, but I'm struggling with the entire bottle, it's just too much of a not so great thing.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.27/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle #0001578 fall 04 release

what a murky, muddy, brown mess.

pours solid and syrupy into my glass.. head is there but limites, the beer's body is a true sign of strength.. fortitude! lacing is so viscous and barely moves.

aroma is purely barleywine. hoppy. burnt sugar screaming out at me. toffee and licorice among layers and layers of caramel sweetness. this beer says "i dare you to drink me"

extremely surprisingly light in taste. predominant thick biscuit breadiness and vanilla cream highlights.. butter leads to a bit of maltiness and that's really it. lacking in the flavor department. good for a dessert beer though.

ridiculous thickness limits drinkability. 6 months mellowed this beer, maybe too much? will try fresh again next year. would like a little less of an ice cream mouthfeel and aftertaste.

this beer wants to be weyerbacher insanity, but goes too far in an attempt to reach that level of complexity. good substitute for a meal perhaps.

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Photo of WesWes
3.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a muddy dark gold color with a towering offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of roasted and crystal malts. It's got a nice burnt toffee aroma and as well as a high alcohol kick. The taste is decent also. It has a warm malty flavor that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It goes down easy and finishes with some residual caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel is average. It is full bodied beer with way too much carbonation. This is an average barleywine. It looks terrible, but the taste is pretty good. I think their beers are way overrated. The price is way too high for the quality of the product. It's one and done for me.

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Photo of beernut7
3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one has a complex flavor profile, sweet adn fruity. Not as strong as the usual BW, and not nearly as smooth due to the higher than necessary level of carbonation. Not one of the best I have experienced.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - this barleywine is a hazy, ruddy, brown, that reveals an inner red when held up to the light

S - rich in malts up front, kind of brown sugary, partnered with some rich hops

T - less malty than most barleywines, missing the earthy roasted flavor i love in barleywines, kind of metallic and a bit sharp in the finish

M&D - also thinner than higher rated barleywines, lively on the tongue and not at all offensive, maybe i expected a bit more than i shouldve

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Baggywrinkle Barleywine from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.51 out of 5 based on 139 ratings.
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