India Barley Wine | Odell Brewing Company

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India Barley WineIndia Barley Wine
79 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of BretSikkink
3.97/5  rDev -1%
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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Photo of bonsreeb85
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazey orangish copper with a soapy big bubbled had and decent retention.

THe nose indicates citrus hops and tropical fruits with a rich matly backbone, very sweet with lots of rich caramel malts and yellow cake.

THe taste is sweet with some hop bitterness. the alcohol is nearly non-existent. lots of fruits both citrus and tropical.Hops liger on and on and on and on....

Medium bodied, sticky feel and moderate levels of C02.

Again, abv. is a well guarded secret. Tasty. Dare I say quaffable???

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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 rowew
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750, corked and caged. Label is a nice looking stone design. ABV is marked, but I don't see a date.

Appearance: Cork did not give up this beer willingly. Once I pried my way in it poured a clear orange color, nice sized tan colored head with good retention.

Smell: Fruit, a bit of apricot and some sweet malt aromas.

Taste: Interesting - lots of fruit flavors, a bit lighter than your typical barley wine fruits .. normally I think of dark fruit, this is somewhere between citrusy hop flavors and those dark jammy flavors.

Overall impression: Interesting beer - a different combination of flavors than I recall having before .. I've had big IPAs that border on barley wines, but they are usually hop dominant .. in this one the hops just work well with the fruit.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Like many of the corked Odells beers, I had issues with cork removal on this one. When I got it out, it poured a nice orange color, with lots of floaties in the glass, and some good white head. Hops were prevalent in the aroma here, pine, grapefruit and orange. Sweet on the palate, with the caramelly malt decently balanced by the piney hops. A good effort, but way overpriced at $16/750 ml bottle.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle poured into a tulip glass. A good way to celebrate getting a visa in Australia with one of my favorite breweries from home. Caged and corked with no bottled on date. Bought at the Odell Brewery in October of 09. 6 months in cellar.

A-- Big time pain in the butt to get the cork off, just like the bourbon barrel stout they also made. Poured a orange Carmel color, just just a bit of tints of red on the sides. No visible carbonation and a short lasting off white color head that just became film. Just a bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S-- Smells like a DIPA at first. Carmel followed by pine, grapefruit, orange and an aroma of dark fruits in this. Interesting smell. As it sits in the glass more the IPA part drops off and the dark fruits take over. Alcohol is well hidden in this so far.

T-- Carmel is the most obvious and dominant taste. Get a bit of butterscotch as well. Hops have dropped off but the taste is still there. Get some orange, grapefruit (soft) and apricot along with plum.

M-- Where it gets interesting... Longer it sits in the mouth it is like the hops wake up and take over from the Carmel and dark fruit taste and then it becomes more of a DIPA again. The strong pine, grapefruit and lemon feel make a good appearance. Bitterness is there and lasts for a good amount of time. Feels heavy and there is very little carbonation .

D-- The ABV is well hidden. Especially at 9.7%. Very scary and easy to drink. Could not drink 2 as that would be a little over the top. I like how it changes from Barleywine to a DIPA and blends the 2 together. The sugars are well hidden and really only come out in the smell. Only real negative is the price of the beer. I paid $20 USD at the brewery and at best it should be in the $10-12 dollar range. Still, this was bought for a specific purpose and it was worth it and for the fact I can not get it in Australia makes it worthwhile
I would seriously suggest letting it cellar for 6 months or more. Much better now than when I had it on tap at the brewery in October. More mellow and complex now.

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Photo of ghebel
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle at cellar temperature.

A - Pours hazy deep orange with a light orange adequate head that turns creamy on top. The head dissipates to a thin ring leaving some lacing on the glass.

S - As the name implies, a mix of strong dry-hopped citrus and floral hops with dark crystal malts. Sweet, dark fruit, orange peel. Alcohol is hidden well.

T - Moderate to high bitterness with lots of hop flavor and malty goodness. The flavor profile follows the aroma. Aftertaste is orange on the breath with a sweet coating on the tongue.

M - Carbonation kept to a minimum. Moderate to heavy body. Lingering bitterness. Smooth drinking. Warm on the swallow. I feel like I should chew this beer instead of drink it.

D - Very drinkable in small quantities. This is a dangerous beer as it is very good and easy drinking, but ABV hits like a freight train.

Overall - Glad I saved this one for my 100th review. This is a very good beer and as a homebrewer, I am impressed. The balance of malts and hops are superb while the intensity of both is off the charts. A must try.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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 OttoBomb
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged & corked 1 pt 9.4 fl oz (750ml) bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass (February 24, 2010). No 'bottled on' date that I can find. Received this as extras in a trade with vasdef42. Cheers Jared!

It's called "India Barley Wine" to indicate an IPA take on Barley Wine, interesting stuff.

Eyes: Pours a very hazy red-orange, slightly brownish with a massive, fluffy off white head. I couldn't fill the glass to the 12oz mark on the first pour as there was so much foam. The head settled after a minute or two and I was able to finish the 12 oz pour. Lacing was very, very heavy. The beer get more and more hazy with each pour. What a beautiful scene.

Nose: A huge pine, grapefruit & mango aroma erupts from the glass. I'd swear this was a DIPA for sure by smell alone. A hint of sweet dry fruit in there also. I can detect the alcohol fairly easily but it doesn't overwhelm.

Tongue: The malt is much more evident here, with a good balance with the hops. Grapefruit, mango, and a little less pine. The sweet malt is finished off by a soft hop bitterness and a bit of the booze. Could pass for a DIPA in my opinion.

Mouth: Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Good balance here.

Libation: Very drinkable, I finished my 750ml in one sitting and could have had another, the 9.7 ABV would certainly have been a problem though.

I really like when a brewer comes up with an interesting concept and it delivers. in terms of balance, this probably more DIPA than Barley Wine, but it walks the line well, and delivers on taste and complexity. This is my first Odell offering, and based upon this, I'll be happy to try more in the future.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev +1%
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 ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
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 yemenmocha
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium amber with off-white head that is silky smooth. Nose has plenty of sweet malt with piney hops. On the palate a gooey caramel malty flavor leaps onto the palate with good carbonation, followed by a rush of hops that are very piney and herbal. Finishes sticky sweet. Comes across as more DIPA to me but I suppose it's fine to call it "India Barleywine".

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 Wasatch
4.53/5  rDev +13%
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 gford217
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

The cork popped loudly on this one and after a calm first pour, the beer just started to pour out of the bottle and a minute or so. The initial pour was fairly clear amber with a huge fluffy white head, but the second pour was a super murky light amber with a much smaller head.

The most noticeable aspect of the aroma is the hefty citrus hop profile, with oranges and pineapples filling the nose. The malt sweetness is fairly light in the nose and almost bready with less caramel malt and certainly less sugar and toffee than I was expecting.

The taste is more of the same though the citrus hops give way a little quicker to a more substantial caramel malt backbone with some sugary fruits and a slightly bitter, citrus hop finish.

The mouthfeel is slick with soft carbonation and very sticky with hops. It's probably a little bit lighter feel than I would like ideally, but it's not watery.

This a hoppy barleywine that is fairly green right now with lots of hops and a modest malt balance, and overall I think this one will be even better with some age on it. Tastes closer to a DIPA right now.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared at the December BA tasting in Austin...many thanks to bonsreeb85 for the quick & easy trade!

Odell is one of those breweries that does little wrong in my eyes. Granted, I was slightly disappointed with their Bourbon Barrel Stout, but the India Barleywine resurrected their ability to produce quality beer-geek releases in my eyes. IB pours with a golden-orange body, bright and slightly hazy with a big foamy head of spittle-colored bubbles. The aroma is choc-full of the hopness: tangerine & grapefruit zest, earthy pine, and resin. The big hop players are all in attendance (cascade, centennial & simcoe), making this smell like an amped-up version of Odell's IPA...and boy am I loving it.

Pine and citrus hops dominate the palate as well, but thankfully a big caramel malt presence backs the delicious onslaught. Earthy, resinous alpha acids provide a unique profile to the finish that never oversteps its bitter bounds. The label says Odell can't make up its mind with this beer: is it a IIPA or a barleywine? Everyone at the tasting agreed--right now, this is a Double IPA (and a very good one at that), but with a full year on it, India Barleywine will be an amazing barleywine. Kudos to Odell for making another winner.

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Photo of KenGage
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A=Has a cloudy copper color. I poured it into a glass with an etched bottom and the head on the first glass went nuts...nuts.

S=The usual hop arromas...grapefruit, pine, citrus (in that order)

T=Lots of pine...a touch of malt with a little sweetness...some alcohol, and hops

M=Initially very carbonated and my wife enjoyed the show.

D= I like it...great beer. But for the price (lose the cork?) I'll gravitate towards Avery's Dugana or Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot istead.

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Photo of Domingo
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a ton of foamy head. Looking at the beer in the light reveals about as much hop oil as you can possibly imagine in a beer. It looks almost like an unfiltered weizen because of all of that hop oil! As you drink it, the foam sticks around and coats the glass.
The smell is very up-front. Tons of fruity hops, booziness, and sweet malts.
The flavors remind me of a double IPA, however there is some toffee and dried fruit flavor that usually only comes out in a barleywine. The predominant flavors are peaches, pineapple, and tropical flavors from the hops.
For a beer of this strength it goes down much easier than I expected. I split a bottle and it was gone before I knew it.
Some people are comparing this to Hog Heaven, but I'd place it much closer to Maharajah or Dreadnaught. Thing is, it's just as good if not better than them! The downside is the price. Both of those brews cost about 1/2 what this does. If it were $8-9 this would be in my fridge all of the time. At $15...that's a tougher sell. Still, it shouldn't take away from the brew itself, which is absolutely amazing.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy reddish amber brown with a huge rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is piny resiny peppery hops with a little fruits and sweet caramel malts.

The flavor is toasted sweet caramel malts with some melon leading to a big piny resiny hop finish that has good bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, a fun beer. I've liked this on tap. It reminds me a bit of Hog Heaven. It's a bit pricey ($15 per 750ml). At that price it would be a rare buy (more often on tap).

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A=darker copper color, with a light brown head that laced slightly

S=some sweet malts presenting as banana, but the primary aroma is from the hops, grapefruit mostly

T=crisp pine follows with sweetness and some alcohol

M=initially very carbonated but by the second pour carbonation was mostly gone.

D=enjoyable beer, abv limits repeatability, though i will drink again. Would like to try this aged several more months.

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Photo of bhalter8
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Bitterbill, who traded me a bottle of this, as I have enjoyed many of Odell's brews and love me some hops. This one certainly did not disappoint.
Pours a reddish orange color with nice clarity on the first pour, but a bit cloudy the second half of the bottle. A solid two finger, tan head rests atop.
Love the smell, tons of citrus hops, grapefruit bitterness, but a bit of sweeter mango aroma too. Really love these styles of hops in the aroma. I would suspect this will subdue with age and take on more of a barleywine character, and less of a DIPA one.
First sip greets you with all that hop flavor you smelled, but it is not completely unbalanced, as there is a sweet caramel malt backbone to support it. Bottle does state it is straddling the line of DIPA and BW, and that is the case, as the hops are so fresh in this, that one could confuse it. I am betting with age, this will balance more, and the sherry character will become more pronounced.
A bit tart and thin for a barleywine in the mouth, but certainly still rests easy in your mouth.
In the end, a rather light bodied barleywine, with a huge hop presence. The ABV is well concealed, even if there is a bit of front-end heat. I enjoy these "style bending" beers, but reviewing them to one style might mean you disregard the overall enjoyment of the beer. In the end, good beer, I wanted to drink it fresh with all the hop presence, but now wish I had another to age for a while. Bill, trade me another!

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Photo of GarrisWH
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a free 2/3 full bottle of this today from an Odell rep. Didn't have the original cork, so I'm sure how long it has been opened. Wasn't about to complain about free beer though.

A - Pours a very hazy orange/amber color with a pretty minimal head, probably due to it being opened and re-corked.

S - Sharp spicy and floral hops with a distinct piney and herbal quality. There are also some sweet, ripe fruit aromas present as well as some caramel. A hint of booziness hiding in the background.

T - The sharp, bitter hops are up front in the flavor as well, with the resinous pine, grapefruit and herbal flavors coming through. The hops subside a bit, leading into some ripe tropical fruit flavors as well as some caramel sweetness. A little bit of booze comes through in the finish, leading into a resinous, piney aftertaste.

M - Borders on full-bodied, with a soft feel and light carbonation. I wish I could've popped the cork myself on this one, as the carbonation seems very low.

D - An interesting and pretty tasty brew overall. Pretty well balanced and definitely has loads of hops. However, I do think the $13-15 that most places seem to be charging is a bit exorbitant. I might have to try an unopened bottle though, and see how it compares.

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Photo of tempest
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
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 rye726
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich woody brown with a silky beige head. Excellent lacing and retention as well.

Nose has a bouquet of piney and herbal hops over bready malts, caramel and a touch of booze.

Taste has lots of fresh bitter hops that are well balanced by a sweet malt profile.

Medium to full body has a soft yet crisp carbonation. Very nice American Strong Ale from Odell.

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India Barley Wine from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 79 ratings