Trainwreck Barley Wine | Phillips Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
53 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
Ratings:
53
Reviews:
23
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
10.08%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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 liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
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 Derek
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Erik-P
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 23/12/11

A clear reddish amber with lots of bubbles of all sizes feeding a large beige head that quickly falls to a thick film leaving a few partial rings of lace

S heaps of caramel with a little booze, some citrus and leafy tea bag with a little rum raisin

T what I smell but somehow there's even more caramel, the booze is completely gone, I'm impressed how well concealed the 10% is, just a little nutty on the finish with a bready aspect

M pretty thick and syrupy, mellow carbonation and a little sticky

O I wouldn't call it an American BW with not much in the way of hops but I liked the intense malty caramel aspect

this fresh bottle already tastes aged with little hop character and quite malty too begin with, also worth mentioning again is how little booze I can taste, very well hidden booze

 843 characters

Photo of Howlader
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rutager
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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 andrenaline
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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 papat444
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
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 bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Rutager in this past summer's box. Always a pleasure dude =)

From a bomber into a snifter.
Vintage: 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, off-white head with good retention. Rust or maroon red with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a film and ring. A ring remains and produces some falling dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, and coconut with toffee and caramel on the nose. Dried fruit with a bit of booze as well. Bold and enticing for sure.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak and coconut up front and through the middle, into a boozy and sweet finish. Bold aftertaste of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, sweet toffee and a touch of bitter-sweet chocolate. Booze and barrel flavors linger on the palate.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a burn after the swallow and finishes a touch sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff for sure. Good flavor and feel and well balanced between barrel and base beer. Another solid beer from Phillips, and I'll be looking to drink more of their stuff in the future. Thanks again Rutager!

 1,163 characters

Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of ZachT
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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 IronDjinn
3.56/5  rDev -8%
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 chickenm
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of LampertLand
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phillips Brewing 'Trainwreck' Barley Wine @ 10.0% , 2016 vintage served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6
A-pour is amber from the bottle to a dark amber in the glass with a small off-white head leaving a fine spotty lace along the snifter
S-oak barrel aging
T-big warming barley wine , lots of caramel malt
MF-decent carbonation , full bodied
Ov-glad I bought a couple to age , as this beer needs some time to mature
prost LampertLand

 440 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition.

Appearance - Pours a dark and hazy mahogany brown with a thin white head.

Smell - Plum, cherry, toffee, spicy notes.

Taste - Plum and cherry shines through, with a bit of the fruity sweetness. The spicy notes are noticeable throughout. Very low bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied barleywine with some good carbonation to it. A little bit of fluffiness to it.

Overall - An interesting take on the barleywine by Phillips. Was really surprised with the plum and cherry notes (more fruit based than hops). The ABV is well balanced within the brew. I would like to see how this ages.

 619 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

New barley wine from Phillips (seems like they either switch receipes or at least re-label every few years).

Dark copper with some mahogany hues. Creamy, desne but low profile head.

Alcohol and malt in the nose; brown sugar, raisins, wine and faint citrus in the nose.

Big wallop of malt taste with a bit of wine, plums and brown sugar. Slight sweet fruit taste. The alcohol is well hidden. Very smooth body, thick but not under-carbonated. A nice night-cap.

 467 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.91/5  rDev +1%

650 ml (2013 vintage) poured into a snifter over the course of an evening's paperwork (quality may suffer). A dark reddish mahogany with three or four fingers of foamy, creamy beige head. Some mucous-like coagulated proteins floating around. Oh well. Aroma is richly sweet, caramel, mixed fruits, nuts, and a decent dose of citrus and pine hops. Whoa. Taste evokes boozy raisins and dates, whiskey, coconut, toffee, peanuts, almond extract, peaches, maraschino cherries, cinnamon ... A given sip morphs from these sweeter flavors, including a little chocolate, to end dry, floral, and woody. Carbonation is quite mellow as advertized, with a fairly thick body even as the beer nevertheless remains quite smooth and drinkable. Some apple skin and flesh shows up late. Has the requisite American barleywine hoppiness, with some grapefruit, peach, and red berry notes floating above the candy bar sweet malts and some resin in the finish. NOT a super hot example of the style, my belly is warm but I taste minimal booze. I also cellared this bottle for almost seven months. Wonderfully balanced barleywine if on the mellow side.

 1,125 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
2.92/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 Edition.

A: 1/4" tan head that dissipated quickly over extremely dark brown liquid.

S: That nutty malt that Phillips is famous for as well as some citrus hops.

T: This may sound strange, but this Barleywine intially tastes like string beans to me. As it warms it tastes like shelled peanuts and molasses.

M: Medium viscosity and low carbonation.

O: I couldn't get over the taste. Not very drinkable.

 409 characters

Photo of 4ster
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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Trainwreck Barley Wine from Phillips Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 53 ratings.
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