India Barley Wine | Odell Brewing Company

very good
52 Reviews
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India Barley WineIndia Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 09-20-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 79
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Phenomenal orange pour, 1/2" off white head. Looks more dipa than barleywine. Aroma hit plenty of citrus and hop notes, again, this leans dipa over even American barleywine.

The malt body reveals why the beer is so orange, counterbalancing the ample citrus and hop notes. The bitterness is subdued, the alcohol is subdued, the citrus punch is nice but not overly sweet or acidic. This shows a deft hand when dealing with big stuff. The mouthfeel could have been better, seemed under carbonated.

An elite, 1st tier non barrel aged barleywine, this and Bigfoot, top notch.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet caramel and caramelized malts, grapefruit, tropical, citrus, pine, and grassy hops, touch of dark fruit, bit of booze.

T - Sweet caramel and caramelized malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, pine, and grassy hops, lightly resiny bitterness, soaked dark fruits, touch of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, bitter, warming finish.

D - Nice hoppy barleywine. Held up well.

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Photo of nickfl
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of lightly off-white foam on top of a hazy, golden brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A very typical barleywine aroma with notes of caramel, toffee, pine, and mustardy hops.

T - Sweet toffee up front with some caramel and herbal hops. More sweet, dark sugar in the middle and a finish of spicy yeast and hop character as well as modertate bitterness and lots of lingering sugar.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Not bad, but a bit overly sweet for my taste. The aroma is quite good with a lot of complex sugar and aged hops that pair well with the sweetness. The flavor profile is ovelry sugary with some balancing hops, but not enough bitterness of hop flavor to push the sugar off the palate. It is a good beer, but it seems like it might be better if it was either fresher or with more age.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger frothy head on a murky crimson with golden hues body.

S: nice malt backbone with sour, spicey and hop aroma characteristic of a good barley wine.

T: nice malt profile. musty hops and candied citrus, mostly orange with some toffee and brown sugar notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: very drinkable for the style. the booze arent overwhelming. nice sugar, hop and malt interaction.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just fond this bottle at a local store, it's about 2-3 years old. The bottle was kept in a cold cooler. They don't quite understand cellar temps....hence why I found this beer there.

A - Quite hazy with VERY minimal carbonation. The cork was extremely difficult to remove. Brew is nice orange/pink color, head is proper off-white.

S - Slight fart scent. This could be due to the improper cellaring. I can tell there's great hops under the over lying fart scent. Slight tartness too. As the brew warms, the fart scent fades... opening to a world of warm sugar. boosting the points from 3.5 to 4.

T/M - Very sweet and delicate! Decent bitterness and well done dryness. It brings you back for each sip. Low citrus with heavy Grapefruit. Perfect low carbonation, but I prefer low carbonation. A lighter body B-Wine, but one of the better I've had...

O - Opens very nicely when brought to room temperature. Cellaring has gone slightly too far. 2 years would have been ideal. Still recommended, if you can get the damn cork out ;)

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from 750ml bottle pint glass.

A - Pours a golden amber with a slight haze and a a very slight head.

S - The aroma kicks off with a mild caramel malt aroma and a hint of the yeast character. A slight nutty earthy character also present.

F/M - The beer yielded a full bodied taste, with quite a complex palette. It's an interesting mix of bitterness, malt sweetness, and mouthfeel. It's almost creamy with a great lingering taste.

D: At 9.7% it will put you on your face but it's tasty!

Overall, I am not sure how old or how this bottle was cared for. I was really surprised by the quality in flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, and drink ability. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-25-2011 02:35:29

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

3.5 A: Opaque orange amber color. Took two pours to get a full glass from aggressive carbonation. Ended with three fingers of frothy white head. Retention is good and sparse irregular lacing is left.

3.5 S: Wow, this is still obscenely hoppy. Super floral with hints of pine. Citrus in the form of orange and papaya. More surprisingly, this doesn't smell much like a barleywine. There's some caramel, but there isn't much in terms of the common barleywine aromas such as fruitiness, toffee, or strong maltiness. Pleasant nonetheless.

3.0 T: This tastes more like an old IPA than an aged American barleywine. Mild herbal and citrus hop flavor, maybe some pine as well. Caramel with some toffee and light fruits this time, but overall the barleywine component is disappointing. It's not bad though.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

3.5 D: It's not bad, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I probably should have drank this fresh, but I just never got around to it.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this from the brewery 5 months ago or so.

Pours a deep orange, cloudy, with a big white head that fades and laces.

Smells of caramel, toffee, honey, pine and grapefruit hop, really nice nice, big, and bright.

Up front sweet, caramel notes that fade to a fruit/grapefruit (*Cascade hops?) character and ends on a toffee, biscuit, sweet note that lasts for quite some time. It's sweet but not cloying. Hop forward in some aspects but not in the bitterness, which makes it really nice, as it retains the barleywine characteristics.

Medium-heavy body and lower carbonation are great for the style. It is surprisingly easy to drink, not too chewy, and the alcohol is present but in the back and masked well by the nose.

I'm impressed with this beer. From other reviews I thought it would be more hop forward, but the malt/toffee notes really come through and meld amazingly well. Just really well balanced and damned tasty overall.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice orangish color with a nice white cap

S: Plenty of ctrus, smell of some faded hops, caramel

T: Citrus hops are big, very light floral, pine and passion fruit notes,caramel, light booze and faded hops but finishes with a nice dry hop bite

M: Big body, acidic, plenty of hop bite on the palate

O: Nice American bwine, sordove reminded me of a Hog Heaven

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Photo of claspada
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of rzinwing from our trade this past weekend.

Pours an effervescent, slightly hazy dark orange, almost amber color with a nice fluffy 2 inch eggshell head. Very nice lacing and head retention.

Aromas begin with a lot of hoppiness featuring the gambit of floral and piney upfront with lesser amounts of grapefruit and sweet citrus as well. As it warms I get a nice bready and slightly caramel maltiness.

The tastes follows the nose with juicy hops and sweet malts. First you get the sweet bready and lighter caramel malts show up again followed by a copious amount of pine and sweet citrus hops. The flavor profile is centered around hop flavor over hop bitterness. Bitterness is actually quite subdued overall at this point, but this was was bottled over a year and a half ago so that is to be expected. As this warms you get a little light brown sugar, almost toffee flavor but the hop profile really steals and owns this show.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied; almost chewy but there is plenty of carbonation to help the drinkability of this higher ABV offering. Finish is mildly dry and crisp, but sticky thanks to the ample hoppiness.

Overall I really loved this beer because of the crazy amount of hop flavor coupled with the lower than expected bitterness. This reminds me of the 2008 Behemoth I had a couple months back but there is more caramel maltiness here; not a lot more, but that beer never approached any toffee or brown sugar barleywine flavors as this one did. Initial reviews of this beer called it a Triple IPA or Super DIPA but at this point it is a balanced really nice DIPA/American Barleywine. Very low on the caramel/toffee/brown sugar flavors. No cocoa or dark caramel maltiness here for sure. I really enjoyed this beer and wish I had a case of this stuff right now (aged of course).

UPDATE: Just drank a second bottle I got in a different trade and it was completely still. Odell once again dropping the ball on carbonation. Review is being amended to reflect both experiences. Flavors are still solid but this is the stillest beer I have ever had; made it hard to completely enjoy.

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Photo of arizcards
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from the Arcadia AJ's at the end of April for $16.99.

Brew poured amber-orange with a nice solid white head upon initial pour.

Nose is wonderful, bready, floral hops, and raisiny.

Taste is big sweet bready malts with some raisin, hops are still present but have faded some over the 21 months since initial brewing.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat smooth, no outstanding qualities.

Overall a pretty good brew, not really worth the outlay but it was fun to try.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

422nd review on BA
bottle to snifter
750 ML C/C

App- A very dark orange with a slow forming, quick receding one finger head. A couple thin lines of cling.

Smell- For me this was very citrus forward with a hop not on the back. A few scents of malts as well. A little sweet on the last few scents.

Taste- A very malty beer with a certain flat hop kick. A little sweet and very grapefruit like. Not at all what I was thinking this would be. Odells always does this to me. Gotta read the bottle.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. A lot DIPA tastes with the residual pine notes.

Drink- More DIPA than anything and more of a malt bomb as well. Probably wont come back to this one.

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Photo of russpowell
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at the tasting room a few days ago, this was easily the best beer I had during my too short visit to Ft. Collins& the most expensive at $17+ a 750 ml bottle...

Pours an effervescent caramel with 2 fingers of ivory head. Great lacing & head retention. murks up a touch at the bottom of the bottle

S: Floral, piney, bready & juicy. Some grapefruit & pineapple as well. It does somewhat as time went by

T: Follows the nose, so juicy & piney & caramel richness up front. As this warms, more pineapple & grapefruit dominate as this warms, along some caramel sweetness. Finishes juicy, piney, with bready & caramel sweetness & a bit of boozey warmth

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & great balance

DIPA or Barley Wine, call it what you will, this is a delicious hop bomb that also delivers great drinkability & balance

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky gold to copper with explosive scary off white head. The aroma is sort of American barleywine like with full hops coming from perfumy floral, spicy hops, some pine and then a bit of sticky nearly dried maltiness. The taste is pretty smooth starting with a mix of pine and floral hops and then picking up notes of sticky sweet malts and a touch of caramel. Sure glad there wasn't something wrong with this as indicated by the pour. Nice stuff.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice one, lacey and a quarter inch of head. Rich malt, decent bitterness, above average bitterness for a barleywine. Rich and satisfying though taste is average for a barleywine though spot on. More sweet than bitter, with nuances of fruit.Carmel, above average mouthfeel.
Had this again in bottle eight months later and not as good. Bottle was one of greatest foamers ever.

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Photo of khumbard
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to codewarrior for this awesome bottle!

Pours a deep copper/amber color, small dissipating head, leaving a continuous ring around the glass throughout. Smell is a bit disappointing compared to the description on the bottle, seems a bit weak. Taste is much better. Not sure how old this bottle is, but the hops are not as forward as the description leads you to believer, but the malt base is really good. This is a tasty barleywine, I'd put it on par with something like Old Ruffian. Mouthfeel is decently thick, but doesn't finish sticky. Drinkability is decent, but you can tell it's a big beer. The 750 is going to take a little bit of time, but the first half hasn't been a problem.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dansting for this one. 750ml, corked and caged bottle. Poured a light copper with a finger of white head. Big, citrus hop aroma along with plenty of malt. Medium to full bodied. Great malt presence and lots of hop bitterness. Long lasting hop finish. Dangerously drinkable. Great example of an American Barleywine. I wish this one would have made it to Kansas City.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured a massive 4 finger head. You can smell the hops as you open the bottle. Color is a dark orange coppery brown. Thick lacing. Excellent retention. Massive carbonation.

S. Smell is big hops. Room filling hop aroma. Citrusy, floral hops. Grapefruit. Caramel malt lies beneath giving it somewhat of a barleywine aroma. Smell is a combo fo a DIPA and a Barleywine. Some toffee, vanilla notes. Its a workout for the nose.

T. Taste is a nice bitter piney hop flavor. Mouth coating bitteness. Taste is definitely more DIPA than barleywine. Definitely more malt than most DIPAs though.

M. Medium/full bodied. Almost chewy. Lingering bitterness.

D. Drinkable. Its a big beer that went down easy. I would say that this is a unique take on the DIPA style more than anything else. Pretty damn good beer.

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Photo of prototypic
3.51/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to JessetheHutt for sending me this one a while back.

India Barleywine pours an attractive copper color. It's a little hazy, and has an orange tine when held to light. Carbonation looks to be very active, yielding a vanilla colored head that easily stands over three fingers tall. Retention was impressive. Lacing was thick and very stick. I like it...a lot.

The nose is alright, but is far from a stunner. It kicks off with a rather strong caramel/toffee scent. Definitely smells sweet and sugary. Despite being quite a few months old, there's still a rather prominent hop presence. It smells more resiny than anything at this point, but there some grapefruit, orange, and pineapple notes. There are some apple and pear scents, rather than dark fruit. But, they're subtle and light. Alcohol is noted, but isn't too strong.

The flavor is alright. It's an interesting Barleywine to say the least. It kicks off with a sweet caramel/toffee flavor. The malt base is very sturdy, but has a little too much of a caramel flavor for me. Golden fruit flavors of apple and pear are in the mix. I'm not getting any dark fruit at all. Hops are noted and have a very resiny, bitter flavor. There are some light grapefruit and orange flavors, but they've faded to some degree. Alcohol is noted in flavor, but isn't warming or hot. Finishes bitter and dry.

India Barleywine is medium to full bodied. It's a little chewy. Carbonation is mid-range and contributes to its smooth feel. Drinkability, on the other hand, is a little limited. This is a big, very bitter Barleywine. The flavor grows a little old quickly. I might finish the 750, but that's way more than enough. A 12 oz. would've been a better serving size.

If I recall correctly, this is my first beer from Odell Brewing Company. It's alright. Frankly, it's much more DIPA than it is American Barleywine. The bitter hop flavor (even after a few months) is rather intense and resiny. I also would've preferred dark fruit, rather than gold. Eh. It's worth a try.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to forgetfu for this one!

750mL brown glass cork & cage finished bottle. No date that I can find.

Pours a murky brown amber with creamy off-white head that leaves lots of lacing. Nose has lots of creamy barley and pine resin hops buds. Smells fairly leafy (green) with some agave nectar and amber maple syrup notes.

Palate is exactly what it sounds like stylistically. Big and rich with some chewy caramel sweetness balanced by nice bittering and some faint flavor hops. Bitterness is right up front and then lets go to the creamy carbonation and sweetness. Loooong finish.

Notes: An excellent beer and exactly what I hoped it would be! Should be considered a cornerstone example of the Modern American Barleywine or an American Old Ale. Would love to lay a few of these down for about 5 years.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful vibrant orange pour. Average head produced, nice cone of lacing. Aroma was citrusy, I guess the opposite of "dry".

A great "balance" of the citrusy hops, fair bitterness, and malt body. Definitely not over the top in any respect, the alcohol, malt, hops (tastes like they really tamed the bitterness hopping, and really did a great job with the flavoring and maybe a tiny fraction of dry hopping). I went into this expecting Bigfoot (high hops, high alcohol). While I love that beer, this was a completely different experience. Citrus, w/o bitterness, hides the alcohol a lot.

My only complaint would have been the lack of carbonation, when I removed the cage & cork, there was a barely discernable pop to it. I did hold on to this bottle since April, transported it about 4000 miles etc. . . so its probably on me, not Odells.

I'll definitely be getting one more of these and drinking it w/in 72 hours. This has the potential to become my favorite bw (all due respect to Pike, SN, Central Waters).

A little pricey ($15), but outside of that issue, this is probably the most drinkable BW I've ever crossed.

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4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From tasting notes:
A: Hazy body, with a thick head. Good head retention.
S: A nutty aroma, with a high intensity.
T/M: A full bodied taste, that is very chewy, a good amount of bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel, with a great lingering taste. Also notes of caramel and roasted aspects.
D: Two great styles put together and one really great brew.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled November 2009
This is definitely excessively carbonated for an IPA, much less a Barleywine. It pours with a four finger thick, light tan colored head that lasts a long time in my 25cl tulip glass; the head leaves a lot of thick, creamy lace on the sides of my glass as I drink this beer. It has a nice amber hue that shows an almost brilliantly clear, copper hued, amber color when held up to the light. A big, American C-hjop nose is quite evident with an ample supporting crystal malt like backbone. The hops remind me of grapefruit, tangerine zest, a big lychee component, a touch of a pine-like edge, some candied orange zest and even notes of something like orange scented honey. The malt, while playing a supporting role, is quite noticeable and somehow contributes a perceived thickness to the aroma; aromas of toasted grain, biscuit like aromatics, and a caramelized malitiness that accentuates the fruit notes from the hops. This picks up some touches of a green-hop note that is slightly vegetal as it warms. The nose is nice, it smells quite similar to a lot of hoppy American Barleywines, in fact the "India Pale" heading on the label seems unwarranted based on other American examples of Barleywines.

My first sip is a mix of flavors, spicy, super fruity, smoothly bitter and even a touch hot from some alcohol. The bitterness grows in presence as it lingers on the palate after each sip, but the thick, chewy caramel malt notes are more noticeable on the sticky palate. I didn't really expect any different, but the sticky malt character is big enough to muddle the brightness of the hop character; there is still lots of hop character noticeable here with flavors of tangerine, lychee, grapefruit, more pine than was in the nose, as well as some herbaceous almost hemp like notes at times. The herbal notes combines with some hot alcohol and an astringent bitterness to form a bit of a harsh note in the finish. This is a hop dominated beer, but there is still amply noticeable malt flavors; lots of toasty grain character, a fairly big biscuit like note, some sweet tea like crystal malt flavors and lots of caramelized, pale-malt sugar notes. This beer isn't overly sweet though, and in fact the malt sweetness is nicely complex for the level it is at, but there is also a slew of hop character to easily balance the malt. The body of this beer is quite nice for a Barleywine (it is as heavy as many of the thicker examples of a Double IPA even), thick and chewy, but still somewhat drinkable.

This is not a bad beer, it does seem to not be as integrates as it could be, and, despite the hop focus, it needs a balanced that it doesn't quite have. I would definitely prefer a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot to this, though this is still doing quite nicely for me right now.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked tightly, but there's not a lot pressure or carbonation to be found. Color ranges from orange to ruby to gold. No head remains after the pour, no lacing is left.

Nose is relatively well balanced, as it is quite malty and sweet with caramel, but the hops are definitely in the game. Grapefruit is the top vote-getter.

Mouthfeel is full, a little slick, but not overly syrupy for the size. Well done. Flavor is hoppy, but muted; some citrus, some pine. Malts are caramel sweet, with hints of toffee - but not much. Booze is delightfully well hidden.

I'm sorry to report that I find nothing new or interesting about this beer - not that justifies the price tag anyway. For $15, I could have gotten multiple barleywines that are plenty hoppy. Mild disappointment doesn't take away from the fact that it is well-brewed and delicious.

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Photo of Pencible
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy bright copper with moderate light tan head. It smelled like sharp orange and grapefruit hops, with some sweet honey malt and a bit of alcohol. It tasted like lots of citrus and resin hops, with a little honey malt. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste with some alcohol warming. Overall this was a very clean and tasty beer that seemed more like a 2IPA than barleywine, with tons of hops. It had good body too, but the alcohol was quite noticeable, so this was better to sip. Age might help mellow out the alcohol, but it would also fade the hops that the brewer is obviously trying to showcase. So its taste and drinkability perpetually at war with each other, resulting in an awkward brew. If it tasted as good as it smelled, this beer might be worth the price.

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India Barley Wine from Odell Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 79 ratings.
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