India Barley Wine | Odell Brewing Company

very good
79 Ratings
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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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 52
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 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 jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

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

Poured into La fin du monde tulip

Pours an extremely hazy orange copper. Pours a nice amount of beige head. Great retention. Leaves some splattered lace.

Aroma: Smells like a DIPA. Tons of earthy and floral hops. Lots of citrus blend flavors. Some sugary malts. I really like the grapefruit and pineapple flavors in the nose.

Taste: Now comes the barlywine flavors. Lots of malty flavors. Caramel and bread notes. Floral and citrus notes. A lot more comes out here than in the aroma. A little heat shows as well.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, creamy, and smooth. A nice feel to it, but it brings a little heat with it. Medium bodied, but really like compared to a regular bwine. Decent amount of carbonation however. Ends really sticky from all the hops.

Overall, this beer was kind of what the bottle said. The nose was all dipa, and then the taste was all bwine. It was good, but not anything worth going crazy over. Fairly drinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.85/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the brewery in August 2009. Poured a dark copper color with minimal head. The smell contained some hops, but not nearly what I was expecting given the name. There is a significant malt presence, but the malts themselves don't blend terribly well, and the hop overlay is not enough to disguise that fact. The beer itself is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is average.

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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 nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Wasatch
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.


Poured into a chalice a very nice ruby reddish color, very nice carbonation, awesome thick creamy off-white three-finger head, with some also awesome thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, citrus, pines. The taste is very nice as well, malty, with some nice hop notes, citrus/piney. Full/Medium body, nice warming effect drinking this gem, the ABV is hidden pretty well, goes down smooth. Very drinkable, an awesome brew, I like. Thanks Bill!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Falling Rock awaiting the PyT tapping.
A light brown, clean mahogany pour. A nice, solid white foam created the head, which then left a great lacing all the way down.
Piney aroma, but not overpowering. Some sweet malt calms it down and quick whiff of citrus evened it out.
This seems like a rather good IPA. A soft bite comes from an introduction of citrus hops. A very quick move through pine to a light donut finish. Clean aftertaste.
This is really easy drinking. At the abv level this can be dangerous.

The "India" no doubt refers to the IPA influence, but having lived in India, you won't find anything like this over yonder.

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

Poured from a caged and corked 750ml bottle, the beer was a hazy amber with a tall white head that left lacing down half the glass. Citrus, pineapple and mango pop right out of the glass in the aroma. Very in your face hops, but no sign of malt. The hops continue with dryer, more orange-peel and grapefruit flavors in through the taste with only a light hint of caramel malt and toasted dark bread. The label claims to balance the barleywine and DIPA styles, but this is more DIPA and likely falls into the Imperial Red category. True, there's a little more malt than your typical DIPA, but it's not far removed from the style. Still, this is quite a tasty beer and worth trying (and splitting with friends).

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Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is some fruit as well as caramel malt and some hops. The flavor is very hoppy with some dark fruit and caramel malt. There is just enough malt presence to call this a hoppy barleywine as opposed to a DIPA. The alcohol is slightly warming. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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 JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure who brought this over last weekend... but thanks!! Pretty nice ABW and it tasted fresh.

Nice white head atop a pretty standard amber brew.... okay lace and retention.

Nose shows pretty heavy caramel malt... some toasty elements with a good push of pine and citrus hoppiness.

The maltiness is a tad higher on the palate... hints of tropical fruity hops seem out of place... a bazooka of other C-hops make me wonder how old this is.... again, still seems fresh... but I would be hesitant to even remotely put this in the ABW slot... some alcohol hotness on the finish barely gives way to a sweet piney goodness... nice body and carbonation.

I worry (probably unsubstantiated) that American BW's will go this direction... more and random hops don't make for a better beer.. The hops were too much even probably 4 months down the road.... We're not looking for a hop delivery device, we're searching for the perfect balance.

Did Jeremy bring this? He's the Odell hook-up lately... I liked this one, but it needs a lesson in restraint.


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Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a couple of bottles as it showed up today in Casper.

750ml caged and corked bottle, 9.7%abv.

A nice pop when I removed the cork, it pours a hazy(it turns cloudy 2nd half of the bottle on) orange red with +2 fingers of foam.

The smell almost overwhelms me with how hoppy it is. Huge notes of kind of reminds me of what I get out of their delicious IPA but amplified big time. Looking or rather smelling for some malt presence right now and I do get a faint whiff of something sweet or at least sweetish and maybe leaning towards the fruity side. Interesting. In a blind smell test, I'd swear this was a DIPA.

Taking my first sip and there's some balance to this puppy. The hops, again are a huge factor in the taste with lots of grapefruit and a bit of mango or some other tropical fruit. The malt brings some caramel to the table and a light fruity sweetness but in all honesty, I've tasted more DIPAs with this kind of flavour profile than I've had from BWSAs. Hey, this is *really* fresh so I'm going to go with the flow for how it is now but I betchya this one will age nicely.

This is really close to being full bodied..heck...I'll give it the nod and say it *is* full bodied and the carbonation is on the light end of medium. Head retention is very good and the lacing isn't half bad.

Drinkability? The first sip or 2 and I thought this was a very hot brew but further sips in and things seem to have calmed down.'s a potent brew so small sips is all I can and want to handle. That said, it's an ok drinker and I'll have no problem finishing the bottle. This is a very interesting and different example of the style. I recommend it.

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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 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 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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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 ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the falling rock. orange-brown color and super piney, hoppy smell for a barleywine. the taste was more of the same hoppiness with a bitterness that was similar to a double IPA. i can see why this got its name but its nothing fantastic and there are other west coast barleywines that are a much better value such as Bigfoot, Green Flash and even our local Old Ruffian. At $16 who does odell think they are fooling with this beer? I'm honestly kind of disappointed with the direction Odell has taken with their pricing and its one of the reasons I never buy their one-offs and only occasionally buy a sixer of IPA or red ale..

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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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Photo of Gatordaddy
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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