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Trainwreck Barley Wine | Phillips Brewing Company

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86
very good
22 Reviews
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Trainwreck Barley WineTrainwreck Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
phillipsbeer.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
On the ale side of the yeast divide, this year’s barley wine, Trainwreck, is set to derail your holidays in the best way possible. Providing a boxcar of big malts and rich, caramel aromas, Trainwreck will run you around the corner on two wheels. Available for a limited time, so don't miss the train.

Added by BDTyre on 12-06-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
22
Ratings:
52
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
15.72%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 52
Reviews by CookstLiquor:
Photo of CookstLiquor
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml bomber bottle. Pours a brownish orangey colour with a thin head. On the nose it's an interesting mix of coconut, chocolate, earth and alcohol. Taste is similarly boozy. There's a plenty of residual sweetness as well almost giving it a liqueur-like feel. Huge bitter finish. Probably will age well. Definitely an English-style barley wine, as it lacks some of the big hop aromas of the West Coast style.

 422 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of trail77
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of chickenm
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle, 2011 version. A good name and imagery for this style.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fat fingers of tight, silky foamy ecru head, which leaves a nice chain mail pattern of lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of weirdly dry biscuity malt, kind of nutty, and very faint earthy, leafy hops - like a big ESB. The taste is really just more of the same - nutty biscuit malt, sweet, but not nearly overly so. A bit of black fruit arises as it warms, and the hops are fairly sedate, of the citrus and earthy variety. I'm questioning my powers of perception, because this has all the 'heat' of a standard brown ale, yet the label proclaims a full sawbuck's worth of ABV.

The carbonation, as advertised, is soft, but still lurking, the body dangling in the netherworld between a solid medium and full weight. The smoothness, well, it's just never in question, as clean as this thing is. It all finishes in kind, somewhat sweet, the nutty malt and mildly bitter citrus/leafy hoppiness slowly ceding the floor to a subtle, sneaky alcohol warming.

Well, not exactly the hoppy, big fruity malt monster that I was expecting, but more of a strong brown ale, or a simple version of an English style barleywine. Still quite drinkable, though, partly due to the booze taking a slow, lazy arc in getting around to making itself apparent - first in taste, unexpectedly, then in effect, in a much more predictable manner.

 1,464 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy brown amber, thumb of tan head retained respectably with some lacing
S - big nutty malt with some toffee sweetness, mildly earthy with a faint hint of booze
T - strong nutty malt with hints of caramel, an light earthy and metallic hop flavour, high ABV is non existent in terms of flavour
M - medium body with a rich feel, no alcohol heat to speak of which is both a positive a negative in terms of what you'd expect for a barley wine
O - I agree with previous comments that this is a more of a strong nut brown ale than a barley wine, but the 10% is so well hidden that you can't help but be impressed

 611 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bomber.

Appearance. Pours a hazy amber-brown with a thin, orangy-tan head.

Smell. Sweet caramel, some floral hops and a little bit of citrus.

Taste. Nice sweet caramel and some smooth caramel malts, the hops have really faded but there's a touch of citrus (mainly orange) and very little bitterness. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with low+, smooth carbonation. Just a touch sticky.

Overall. Very nice, easy drinking barleywine. I'm curious how this would taste fresh now, but I don't think it was a mistake by any means to age this one a while.

 582 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Adam for this bottle.
2012 Vintage to snifter.

A - Medium to dark copper/brown with a thin layer of dirty white head.

S - Sweet bourbon, oak and a hint of vanilla dominate the nose with some sweet caramel, raisins and toffee.

T - The barrel dominates with bourbon, charred oak and vanilla flavours standing out. There is a big caramel presence from the base beer and some lighter toffee, raisin and date flavours.

M - Medium body, creamy. Light carbonation.

 475 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a clear deep almond hue, creamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Toasty, nutty malt on the nose, mild tropical fruit esters.

The flavour is very clean for the style, but also very mild. Dry toasty malt character up front, some nuttiness in the middle joined by spicy, leafy hops, the latter of which carries things to the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, silky smooth, moderate carbonation.

Honestly seems to me more of an Imperial Brown that a Barleywine, American-style or otherwise. Still enjoyable, it's a very clean beer, however misses the mark on the style the brewery was aiming for. The alcohol content is beautifully hidden though, very smooth for it's punching weight.

 736 characters

Photo of pudoo
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of adhallick
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ritzkiss
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650ml bottle thanks to EskimoDave, appreciate you sending this new incarnation of the barleywine.

Pours a reddish ruddy toffee brown, finger of khaki head. Nose is toffee, raisins, dark fruits, booze. Appealing enough.

Falls apart in the flavor dept. - a bit of a train wreck actually (why name your beer this?). Boozy as all hell, rough. Toffee, wood, dark fruits, toast, molasses. A little thin which only highlights the roughness of the booze. Light hop bite in the finish.

Phillips, I find, struggles with some of their bigger beers and this one is a prime example. Worse off than other incarnations, this one is not a bad beer but not a good one either.

 661 characters

Photo of papat444
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

***2011 Vintage***

Thanks to either chickenm or Rutager, can't remember who sent it to me!

Poured from a 650ml. bottle.

Appearance: 2 finger head with average retention atop a copper-brown body that slowly cascades as the pour progresses.

Smell: Musty, leather, dried apricots, pungent fruit, cranberries.

Taste: Light candy, dried plums, brown sugar, dry herbs, earthy minerals, mild candy flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average. Medium body (barely), lacks fullness though does have an initial good impression.

Overall: Decent but nothing more really. Good aroma though.

 575 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WalterWalter
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very powerful, of course. I'm not very familiar with barley wine but the character is quite different from other really strong beers I've had (e.g. Belgian Trappist ales).

This has a nice deep orange-red colour with just a little bit of foamy head with a good pour. Complex smell with suggestions of cider and caramel. Flavour is very malty and thick, with just the right carbonation - not fizzy, but not too flat. Full feeling. Slight hints of wine and fruit hiding behind the stronger tastes; reviewer below says "plums" and I could definitely detect that after thinking about it a bit. Bitter hops shine through after the initial malt attack and persist in the aftertaste; the hops taste is basically just bitter without citrus or cannabis tones (which is good, because it would probably clash with the heavy malty flavour of this beer).

Lots of alcohol, at 10%. The label warns you to be careful not to "lose your caboose!" which is an appropriate warning. I had a whole bottle to myself and it practically knocked me off my seat. I'd recommend sharing it!

 1,062 characters

Photo of Vandelayindustri
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Voonder
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle
2013

A - very dark brown with copper notes. foamy thick tan head, very beautiful, dissipates slowly lots of lace.

S - sweet, yeasty, earthy. some dark fruit flavours (raisins, plum). alcohol isn't evident. good solid nose.

T - very balanced, starts very sweet, almost chocolaty, a lot of sweet malts, chocolate and some caramel. nicely followed by bitters notes, plums and raisins present all the way through. Alcohol is perfectly hidden within this very flavourful beer.

M - carbonation is on the spot, beer is very smooth and balanced.

O - well, I enjoyed it very much. did not have high expectations and really it was very good. Not as yeasty as I would expect from barley wine, I would even say milder than an average barley wine, but very well balanced, smooth, very drinkable for ABV. Definitely having this again - winters in Calgary are cold and long, so probably on more than one occasion. Great job Phillips!

 938 characters

Photo of LongRoad
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Svingjo
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This poured a nice dark reddish brown with a head that stuck around and laced the glass well. The nose was a sweet caramel, with some dried fruit and malt. Taste leaned towards a sweet brown sugar, molasses with dates and figs coming to the forefront, like a nice plum pudding. There was a hint of chocolate and vanilla as well. It was lightly carbonated and the 10% ABV was pretty well hidden.

 394 characters

Photo of Derek
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of JonCorbett
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brand new 2016 Vintage... couldn't wait to try it.

Appearance: Dark and rusty red oxide like the body on a 1949 Ford pickup truck that has spent the past half century alone and forgotten beside a 2 century old oak tree in the back 40 of a farmer's field in Perry, Alabama. The head is an average finger of sun-faded white, loose, and craggly with an medium-slow dissipation and the constant and deep that leaves a finely knitted mesh of lace during the swirl, but settles back down onto the surface.

Aromas: Good sturdy oak logs that have been freshly chopped (probably from the big oak tree that was camouflaging the Ford). Some sweet caramel malts, but plenty of fruit vinuous tang as well. The Ford engine that is the 10% is completely missing.

Taste: I think the oak is the shop head here - slapping around the junior mechanics - Malt and Hop - keeping them in line and working together, they like to horse around, giving each other a few friendly jabs of coffee or dark cacao. And Ms. Yeast, the shop's receptionist, drops by in the middle of the work day to drop off some freshly baked and slightly toasted bread. Very delightful.

Palate: The body is still fairly sturdy, though I found a few spots where it's shell had thinned a bit. But the wheels of carbonation have not seized up at all, retaining plenty of fine and smooth effervescence. And once the ol' bitty starts to be roll out of the pasture, there is very nice warming feel, as the sun finally breaks the shade of woody oak to warm up the back of the palate and throat.

Overall: Aesthetically I loved it (can you tell?), though because I had to try it right away I do want to compare what it will taste like in 2 or 3 years. So I hope I will remember this, the next time around - that it was really great, but you can tell as well that it could still use a few more years of maturing.

Pairing: I like barley wines because they are easier to pair sometimes just because of their wine-like demure. So I think just a cheese-focused hors d'oeuvres platter is the way to go with Trainwreck this year.

 2,073 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huge props to joemcgrath27 for this gem... Looking forward to checking out another Phillips brew!

A - Pours a nice ruby red colour, two thumbs of big bubbled, fluffy beige head, solid retention and chunky lacing with little visible body carbonation.

S - Sweet caramel, musty greens, leafy hops, subtle spice notes with hints of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg with a peppery finish.

T - Nice caramel malt base, the leafy hop notes come through nicely as well, some raisins, and plum notes also coming through. Some mild molasses and hints of vanilla with a touch of ABV heat and sweetness on the finish.

M - A tad thin, which could be the result of its travels and aging. A carbonation lift would be nice, finishes wet.

O - A tasty barleywine and another winner from Phillips. These guys are cranking out some top quality ales, and this is no exception. Worth seeking out, and at 10% the alcohol is nicely hidden, making is dangerously drinkable.

 948 characters

Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Howlader
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Trainwreck Barley Wine from Phillips Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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