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Baggywrinkle Barleywine | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 138
Photo of NCSUdo
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

A: Brown body under a small/barely there white head. No lace, no retention.

S: Sweet, dark fruit, vinous, hop character isn't very big.

T: Sweet again, very sweet, vinous, slight woody character, hop character is a little large with a hint of citrus throughout and decent bitterness, warming. Alcohol is very noticeable.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is low. Drinkability is OK, girth of the beer is definitely felt.

I'm a bit on the fence for this beer. I like sweet beers, but this one is a little unbalanced towards the sweet side, yet there is a fair amount of bitterness in the taste to let you know that the hops are there.

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Photo of RedBeerchetta
4.76/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hazy and rusty. Not a lot of head but what there is lingers.

Yeasty, bready, yummy cookie dough smell.

Delicious barleywine! Caramel, cherry, and not too much hops. That's where many barleywines go wrong for me - too much hops. These beers are intense enough. You don't want the hops to be what lingers on the tongue, you want to taste the grains, the yeast and the sweetness.

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Photo of bruachan
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle says 9%, btw. this may explain the comments below...

fruity aromas--pear. a little buttery

dried cherries, certainly. dry and bitter. perhaps even oaky. tastes like blackcurranty and woody british hops. between the hop flavor and fruity yeast element there's not much malt presence

...an i think that's an issue in a BW, right? fermented too warm and too thin. way fruity and not enough caramel and roast

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewery has been appearing with more frequency here in southern Maine/seacoast New Hampshire, and I'm very happy about that. This was a fairly nice barleywine, kind of middle of the road. In a snifter it was a red/brown color with a thin tan head. It had a caramel malt aroma with a little hint of fruit. Taste was mostly hops, a little sweet caramel. The alcohol was not noticeable at all. It had a subdued, unaggressive mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

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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 fruity...like 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 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 bminor7
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 from Westmere.

A - dark turbid brown. veryyy sudsy.

S - sweet malts. weak hops maybe due to the age of this bottle.

T - light sourness, malts. hops not apparent.

M - a bit thin for a barleywine...but again this is only 8.8% ABV.

D - fair. at its freshest, may be better.

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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 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 joepais
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to corey0212 for sending this one along to me
22 oz Bottle poured into a DFH snifter produced a thin white head that faded to a space lace. The body of the brew was a clear amber/copper in color.

I was sitting on this bottle for a while, so I get a nicely oxidized nose. Light hops and a sweet toffee note are also in the aroma. Surprisingly seeing that I know this is an aged bottle I get a lot of hops bitter in the flavor. Not to much in the way of alcohol flavor for its 9%. This is defiantly a bit thin in the mouthfeel department it needs to be a little thicker.
Not a bad barleywine but this thing needs some more age for sure. I finished the bomber while watching the game. I guess that means the drinkability is OK.

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Photo of DIM
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label on my bottle indicates a 9% abv.

a: This was a light coppery color with a slight chill haze, pale for a barleywine. It poured with a fairly long lasting, creamy, sticky head.

s: Assertive, astringent piny hop aromas take center stage. No date on the bottle, but this smells fairly fresh. Plenty of sweet elements at work as well; charred toffee and brown sugar in particular. A little heat and a hint of raisin round things out. As this warms, the sweetness becomes more pronounced.

t: There is a piny hop tingle up front that lingers throughout. Strong, warm toffee flavors emerge in the middle. The finish is a bit hot, with some astringent bitterness. Overall, this tastes like it is a bit young.

m: Medium bodied and a little oily with gentle but long lasting, creamy carbonation. There is a nice, lingering smoky toffee aftertaste.

d: This had a pretty strong hop presence that reminded of an American barleywine, maybe even a DIPA. The toffee tough, was definitely English. This was big, and frankly a little harsh, but its just what I was in the mood for. Thanks to joepais for my favorite kind of beer to get in a trade. A suprise barleywine that I've never heard of.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to indiapaleale for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes, picking up some alcohol. The taste is malty, with some nice hop notes, licorice, caramel. Medium body, the ABV is pretty upfront on this brew, but still tasty/drinkable. Drinkable, a nice English BW, thanks Russ.

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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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Photo of CountLupulus
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a gnarly red-amber, cloudy and ripe with mystery. Thin head, spidery lacing.

Smell: Probably the highlight of this brew: a big, bright, rounded fruit aroma that roils round the nostrils and beckons one closer.

Taste: Jagged and unmodulated: a throaty rash of booze with dark fruits up front, sweet, sweet, sweet; rolls back, leaving a bubbly fizzing sensation along the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thin and ephemeral: surprising for a barleywine, which can afford to hang and cling. Carbonation is spiky but awkward, emphasizing the finish, and not the start, like a dying star.

Drinkability: More sport than leisure, this one lacks the hop snap and malt range that would make it a pensively pleasurable sipper, but it's fun and loud. Drinks more like an imprecise imperial experiment than a classic quiet, complex, introverted barleywine.

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Photo of hopdog
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a deeper and hazy copperish color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of raisins, plums, caramel, citrus, grapes and had a peaty/earthiness to it. Very nice aroma. Tastes of dark fruits, brown sugar, some citrus and caramel. Somewhat vinous. Medium alcohol presence. Over carbonated body.

Notes from: 6/8/06

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taste first of orange, and with some sour apple and some oaked characteristics, a bunch of caramel, some raisin and sugar. A small off-white head on mahogoney brown body, a medium mouthfeel, an OK balanced barleywine, leaning on the sweet side.Fizzy carbonation.

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Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.8% abv on this label.

A: Hazy, amber-brown, light tan head (a little fizzy).

S: Dark fruit, orange rind, cotton candy. Definitely British.

T: Toffee, caramel, grain, bready, slight spiciness, balanced bitterness, modest alcohol.

M: Moderate body & carbonation.

D: A decent drinker.

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Photo of corey0212
4.09/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky iced-tea color, some nicer ruby highlights when held to light, foamy tan head fades pretty fast, and leaves a few stray spots of lacing on the glass. Smell is powerfully hoppy, big juicy grapefruit aromas, lots of sticky-sweet caramel malt, and a goodly amount of alcohol on the nose. Taste kind of comes out of nowhere in relation to the smell....some apple, caramel, and a bitter, but not unpleasant taste of alcohol. Maybe a little thin on the moutfheel, but with some nice lingering bitterness and spice. I'll certainly pick up a few more of these for my paltry "beer cellar". Might be fun to see how this one ages.

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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 OtherShoe2
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red with a thin head that left some decent lacing on the glass.

Has an aroma of candied sweetness, sweet dark grain, some yeast.

Tastes of candied fruit (how about booze-soaked fruitcake), brown bread, some dry wood notes, raw grain.

Alcohol is there in this one. Firm body, good smooth finish.

Many separate flavors here. Not alot of flow/natural growing progression, but that's ok. All elements enjoyable. Worth a try.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a goblet.
This edition is labeled at 9% abv.

Pours a deep muddy maple with amber-copper highlights. Creamy, porous white head that settles as a stable, creamy sheet. Thin and patchy lacing with pretty good strength.

Creamy caramel and rich toffee. Complex, sherry-soaked vinous fruit: red apple, plum, grape. Very oily hop profile with notes of pine, citrus, and tropical fruit.

Semi-sweet, creamy caramel base that is quickly over-taken by a slick, gaseous alcohol and tartness. Abrasive grapefruit, lemon, orange, and green apple sour-bite. Artificial sour quality with a waxy alcohol comnponent. Big flavors, but too young and unbalanced.

Full bodied; as slick as any Barleywine I've had on account of the hop oils and the gaseous alcohol presence.

A bulky, unbalanced Barleywine. Unusual as the aroma is so inviting. My guess would be to lay this down for 12 to 18 months for the balance to develop and the flavors to round.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001 as reviewed on 9/14/06.

Pours murky, dark chestnut, with barely any head coming out of solution.
Meager amount of beige bubbles of various sizes dissapate to just a ring around the edges, with minimal dotted lacework.
Aromatics are largely dried malt, dark fruit, raisins, and some very nice vineous notes.
A small wet paper hint detracts minimally.
Very barleywine-esque in the aromatics and subdued hopping, with heavy-ish malt nods to the brits.
Body is fullish with plenty of chewy, syrupy, malt.
Light carbonation adds to the "wine-like" character.
Pallet is very raisiny, with malt and dark rum.
Underlying citrus fruit is there when you look for it, and bitterness is to balance only.
Finishes with cocoa dusted dark malt and some lingering warmth.

This Baggywrinkle has held up well on it's side for 5 years, but the more current versions are superior, as they are barrel aged.

Edit 1/25/08
another vintage 2001 bottle sampled, and this beer is fading.
Mostly just dry malt and hints of raisins. The vineousity is holding up, but there's some wet paper-board that's starting to detract.
There are some decent sherry notes that are becoming prominant, though.

Vintage 2002 as reviewed on 4/28/08

A boisterous whisp breaks through the cracking of the cap.
A carefull, slanted pour shows dark amber and hazy, with a lively, two-inch head. Dense froth of beige which fell slowly and left some errant dots of lacework.

Dark malts, brown sugar, and caramel lead off the nose. Belgian-like phenols make an appearance. Cloves and a hint of bubblegum. Some faint citrus, leather, and raisins follow beneath along with a hint of smoke and wet cardboard.

Lively, creamy mouthfeel. Sticky and tacky.

Malt-forward on the pallet, with sweet toffee, caramel, cocoa, and figs.
Raisins, dark rum, and alcohol follow through.
Finishes with warmth on the throat with lingering sugary malts and underlying orange oil.

The best aged example I've had, and resembling a large Belgian Dubble. Probably infected, but to a benefit for my tastes.

Vintage 2003 as reviewed on 3/6/09.

Pours dark amber with a slight haze and an inch-plus head of beige into a tulip glass.
A solid skim coat remained on the surface of the brew for the duration as well as some decent lacing.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of vineousity and bourbon. Very Sherry-like and boozy. Cherries, malt, and whiskey. Very nice.

Medium bodied with a tacky but creamy mouthfeel. Crispish with a chewy edge.

Ripe fruit, Sherry, plump malt, and bourbon start the palate. A very high level of vineousity builds and nods to red wine. Hopping is only found in some balancing bitterness, which is followed by some earthy tannins.

Finishes with a lingering warmth, extreme vineous overtones, and boozy-bourbon caramel.

By far this is the best Baggywrinkle I've had. Incredibly complex and probably peaking at six years old. A great example of the art of barrel-aging.

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Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy ruby, dark amber color. Small head that dies out quickly. Low level of lace.

Powerful. Super sweet brown sugar aroma...mild alcohol in the background. No hop.

Potent and sweet, this beer has a surprising hop bite that is completely missing from the smell. Strongly warming from the alcohol level. The body is full without being sugary. The carbonation is seemingly low.

Here's a beer that malt liquors envy. It wasn't designed to get you drunk--the flavor is too good. But it will knock you on your ass. I suggest sharing the 22 oz bottle.

(Note: my bottle says the ABV is 9%, not the 12% listed here. Frankly, the "feel" is closer to the higher number.)

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Photo of orfeu
3.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

8.8% abv, 750 ml capped bottle given to me by a friend last year (September 2006). Not 12% abv, so I'm assuming this is older, like 2005 maybe... Glassy chestnut with way too much sand-colored foam. Head dies incredibly quickly for its initial size. Candied hazelnut scents mix with boozy date and prune aromas. Some concentrated cherry notes peek through in the taste with a cloying alcohol spiciness interrupting the sugar cookie, dark fruit, and toffee flavors. Fairly overcarbonated. Somewhere between slick and chewy. Tastes far more alcoholic than the 8.8% listed on the label. Nothing I'll seek out again.

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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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Baggywrinkle Barleywine from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.51 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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