Baggywrinkle Barleywine | Cisco Brewers Inc.

Liked This Beer
3.53 w/ 139 ratings

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of mikesgroove
2.83/5  rDev -19.8%
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 Lldeegan
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper, with a soapy khaki head.
Some brown sugar, molasses in the nose with dark fruit and an earthy hop aroma.
On the palate, sweet malt, toffee, and then fruity sweet that fades to a bitter and warming finish.
A sticky mouthfeel and a good harmony of malt sweet and piney and earthy hops. This beer was really easy to drink and really tasty.

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Photo of DrJay
3/5  rDev -15%
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 Thorpe429
2.8/5  rDev -20.7%
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 donkeyrunner
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light amber with attendant white cap. Lil' bit of lace left by better retention. Looks like ginger beer.

Aromatics are highly floral: clover honey, ginger, golden raisin, treacle. Nice. Taste follows the floral scheme with sweet white grapes, floral honey, ginger-esque hop spice and a gingerale fade.

Has a summery feel to it, like a big malt forward pale ale. THe website doesn't mention ginger but specifies the hop bill as Northern Brewer and Chinook. Didn't see that coming.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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 +34.8%
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 -1.7%
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 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 +13.3%
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 -26.9%
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 Freshie
3/5  rDev -15%
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 +10.5%
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 -28.3%
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 -30.6%
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 -3.7%
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 +13.3%
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 +8.5%
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 -5.1%
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 +11.6%
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%
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 +2.8%
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 +3.4%
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 +15.9%
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 -27.8%
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 +3.4%
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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Baggywrinkle Barleywine from Cisco Brewers Inc.
Beer rating: 39.6% out of 100 with 139 ratings
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