London Balling
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

London BallingLondon Balling
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Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States
Barleywine - English
Ranked #80
Ranked #4,132
4.16 | pDev: 7.45%
Sep 18, 2021
Mar 01, 2012
London BallingLondon Balling
Notes: English style barleywine brewed with Maris Otter pale, Aromatic and caramel malts, then balanced with English Nugget and Kent Goldings hops. Aged in Angel's Envy bourbon barrels for nearly 3 months.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.99 by blissfulNemo from Michigan on Sep 18, 2021
3.79 by Gemini6 from Michigan on Apr 26, 2021
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt orange with a thin cap that fades to a ringlet; legy with dots and a few streaks

Smell: Burnt caramel, vanilla, and earthy hops tones complemented by the Bourbon

Taste: Burnt brown sugar, toasted oak and earthy hops forward with a hint of vanilla; the Bourbon builds, through the middle, but the burnt tones dominate from start to finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: In your face for an English barleywine between the hops and the burnt caramel flavor; has some nice elements but lacks the finesse I look for in the style

Mar 19, 2021
Photo of Eddieeight
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Eddieeight from Ohio

Purchased for $8.99. This'll be the second time i've had this beer, but the first time i'm reviewing it. Pours out into a snifter a rich dark beautiful deep caramel color, with nearly a reddish hue to it. Not much head on it, which dissipates quickly and clings to the edges of the glass with just a light film across the surface. The smell, oh wow, the smell. This is incredibly candied and sharply sweet. A waft of bright red cherry, butterscotch, caramel, a slight sting of alcohol, it's just a very sweet bright smell. Taste is almost exactly like it smells, cherry, butterscotch, caramel, it's like liquid candy. Well balanced with some other dark fruits like dates and plums, figs. There is a wonderful warming sensation throughout the palate as the alcohol gently burns. The barrel aging really shows up. Not a whole lot of carbonation, mouthfeel is generally warm and tingly, and it's like it has little fingers that reach into every nook and cranny of my mouth. Overall, i think this is highly delicious and very thirst quenching. I daresay it's better than that rochefort 10 i just drank, but perhaps that's just my personal palate preference. Outstanding!

Mar 13, 2021
Photo of JohnnyEd
3.49/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by JohnnyEd from Georgia

Bought a can of it (for $9.99) thinking it would be a good barleywine - tastes more like a bourbon barrel aged than a real barleywine - it's not what I was looking for....

Nov 29, 2020
Photo of Fordcoyote15
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

Pretty damn good. Blurs between American and English style, could have guessed either one. Hops are more present than most English and less pronounced than most American versions. Tons of toffee and burnt sugar. The whiskey is there but faint. Finishes with a lingering apricot.

Good value for a ba barleywine at $8.50 for a 16oz can. Definitely not a jw lees but I think i like this more than straight jacket.

Sep 07, 2020
3.8 by JDavidRice from Connecticut on Jun 28, 2020
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

an enormous beer, crazy to see a barrel aged barleywine in a can, what a beast! looks dense and slightly sedimented, brick red in color, frothy khaki headed high rising for the style, lots of viscosity, and some light oxidation in the nose, this may have been in the can awhile, although i didnt look for a date on it. in addition the the light wet cardboard thing in the nose, i also get fresh milled lumber, sweet and boozy whiskey, and some english yeast character, bready and fatigued here. this is really alcoholic and sweet, both to smell and to taste, and it seems almost just like a baseline for the style, nothing overly unique about it aside from the packaging, not at all what i am used to from these guys, who always seem to do something weird to each of their beers. its good, but its a small doses thing for me, palate coating and rich, hot and boozy, and seemingly not really mellowed much by the barrels, only intensified. subtle burnt sugar, rotting wood, and bread crust to this, light molasses and maple notes, and some hops in here too at the end for some contrasting bitterness as it warms up. heavy beer, the whole can would be a mission by myself, so glad to be sharing it. always fun to drink beer from these guys, but i would not rank this among their most compelling. just a big mean beefy bruiser of a barleywine here, not overly well refined or distinctive to me...

May 27, 2020
Photo of EmperorBevis
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by EmperorBevis from England

Canned in a big old imperial pint crafty craft can
Pours a rich ruby hued hazy amber body with a big foaming white head
Aroma is carob in burned sugar
Flavour is burning wood alcohol tart embers and sherry

Apr 20, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by Treyliff from West Virginia

16oz can poured into a snifter
2016 Vintage

A- pours brown in color with a one-finger foamy off white head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- more hop presence than expected for an english barleywine, mostly faded hops at this point, followed by caramel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet tobacco, leather, raisins and light oaky bourbon

T- as with aromas, hoppier than expected. Plenty of caramel and toffee up front, followed by notes of raisin, fig and tobacco. The finish brings out just a hint of oaky bourbon, lingers of faded hops and caramel

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety, slightly warming finish

O- drinks more like an American barleywine, due to a big hop presence

Apr 01, 2020
Photo of ajm5108
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

Nice balance of hop & malt, lots of suped-up American style barleywine hopiness, underneath plenty of bourbon / carsmel goodness. Maple molasses, overripe peach, sweet / savory

Mar 08, 2020
Photo of kitch
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by kitch from Hong Kong

A 1 pint can, with no clear canned on or best before date. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: A rusty orange brown colour with some floating sediment and a thin beige head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left some spotty lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt, caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, and grapefruit hard candy.

Taste: Sweet, sweet malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, dried dark fruit, raisin, dates, brown sugar, slightly bitter and a touch boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not my favourite English Barleywine as sweet and boozy doesn’t really work for me. It’s ok to sip, but a whole 1 pint can, took me a good while to finish.

Feb 29, 2020
Photo of MikeWard
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

12oz stubby bottle into a goblet. No clear freshness dating that I could find.

When held up to the light, we have a clear dark body with amber, brown, and reddish notes. Initially there is a decent off white head which eventually shrinks to a ring and covering leaving little in the way of lacing.

There is a strong aroma of boiled sweets. It's also a little musty.

Upon tasting, there is a lot going on. Vanilla, dried fruit, toffee, candy. There is a serious warmth from the abv, and it's a little harsh. It's woody at times, and there is a touch of bitterness toward the end.

Mouth closer to full than medium, finish a bittersweet warmth that spreads through the throat and chest.

Overall, a nice enough drink, good example of an English Barleywine with a hint of american bitterness. Would have enjoyed it more without the overburn.

Nov 02, 2019
3.81 by igl from Russian Federation on Sep 28, 2019
3.58 by Houborg1 from Denmark on Sep 23, 2019
Photo of q33jeff
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by q33jeff from New Jersey


Can to Snifter. Welcome back NFL.

LOOK: Brown and clear; hint of red, 20% muddy look. Small head fades fast and has poor retention.
AROMA: apple, spice, fruitcake, brandy, light touch of squash or pumpkin.
TASTE: plum and apple, some oak and leather come a tad later moving this from sweet to bold. Finish is more fruit and brandy, with a little hint of sappy hops that does not clash.
FEEL: a bit of a carbonation kick that is not seen in the appearance. Smooth. Medium to full body.

Yum. Very impressed. Wasn't necessarily looking at this like a world class Barleywine, but it is better than some others I've had with more hype.


Sep 06, 2019
Photo of jkblr
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jkblr from Indiana

16oz can stamped 02/11/24 (best before?) poured into a snifter at fridge temp 12.5% ABV. The beer pours mostly bright medium amber in color with orange/red highlights and khaki colored head. The head recedes to a thin cap and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is sweet brown sugar & caramel with just a trace of bourbon and oak. The taste is more semisweet caramel, Maris Otter malt and lighter amounts of earthy hops, oak barrel, vanilla and bourbon. The finish is mostly dry with low to medium bitterness and a touch of alcohol heat. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation. Overall, very good. Never cloying, with real English malt and the barrel is not overdone. I'm not sure how long this one sat in the cooler at the store, but it's a fall or winter release & could have more barrel influence when fresh.

Jun 30, 2019
4.06 by SaisonRichBiere from Michigan on May 17, 2019
4.35 by midlifec from Michigan on May 01, 2019
Photo of drdiesel9483
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

look - clear hazle amber color with a slight head
smell - pale caramel english
taste - easy going pale caramel english slightly sweet a little woddy
feel - lots of body with a light carbonation
Overall - pretty yummy beer

Apr 09, 2019
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

A - Pours a murky amber with a one finger creamy off white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, toffee and raisins.

T - The taste is caramel, toffee, plums, raisins, vanilla, bourbon and some light piney hops.

M - Full body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a sticky dry finish.

O - Very nice BBA Barleywine. Nice sweetness with a light hop kick. Drinks very easy for being 12.5%.

Mar 30, 2019
3.96 by RMW66 from Australia on Jan 13, 2019
4.46 by Sauced4life from Michigan on Jan 06, 2019
4.25 by jjquinter from Illinois on Jan 02, 2019
4 by Zazzi82 from Tennessee on Nov 01, 2018
Photo of mntlover
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by mntlover from Tennessee

Pours a deep rich murky copper hued brown sugar looking brew that just looks thick and sugary with a finger sized darker tan head, doesn't' lace much but a good looking brew.

Aroma is rich big sugary malty goodness, loads of caramel, molasses, brown sugars floating around dark fruits sugar coated figs and plums. All mingled into sweet goodness and topped off with bourbon barrel and vanilla notes just to round out this perfection.

Taste is like the nose big on malts, caramel lots of free floating sugars and dark fruit notes with some good bourbon, oak and vanilla thrown in for good measure. Some hops to keep this from being cloying but but don't do much more then that maybe some spiciness. Alcohol notes blend very well and don't distract and are hardly noticed.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy on this baby carbonation is mellow and hardly noticed except for a mild tingle in the tongue in the finish.

Overall love this beer, why is it so hard to find an English Barley Wine, why don't more peps make this wonderful style. Not sure if I am just in the mood for this on this cool evening or this is a fantastic treat, Either way hoping I can find more of this locally or guess I'll have to be going back to Boone for more.

Oct 25, 2018
4.18 by shelby415 from Oregon on Aug 27, 2018
Photo of BarrelchesterHamfist
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BarrelchesterHamfist from New Jersey

Does a stone fruit jelly cream soda sound good?
Well... its great.

Aug 11, 2018
3.9 by Korbynlehr from Kentucky on Aug 05, 2018
4.27 by rfgetz from New Jersey on Jul 31, 2018
4.04 by DodgerLove from California on Jul 08, 2018
4.25 by psmith161 from Indiana on Jul 05, 2018
3.69 by Sammy from Canada (ON) on Jun 25, 2018
4.18 by Buck89 from Tennessee on Jun 21, 2018
Photo of hman43
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by hman43 from North Carolina

Look: It pours brown with a full light brown head. Head retention is good.

Smell: Thick, malty rich aroma with plenty of caramel and nuts. There are background hints of bourbon, a touch of spice, and a whiff of dark fruits.

Taste: The flavor is full of nuts with a dark caramel flavor. The nutty character carries throughout the finish. There are background notes of plums and a slight bit of spice. The bourbon is also in the background.

Feel: It is quite full bodied on the chewy side. The alcohol warming is quite pleasant without any harshness or being hot.

Overall, this is a malt balance barleywine with plenty of flavor and alcohol without the harness that many in the category display.

Jun 17, 2018
4.19 by 11-52_4hops from Virginia on Jun 15, 2018
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by 2beerdogs from California

Without going into the breakdown, this is one helluva English barleywine. Copper to amber in hue. Sandy foam cap. Good lacing. Smell's brilliant. Malty, a hint of bourbon barrel, and a round rich dark fruit note. Taste follows nicely. Great barleywine, and in a CAN no less!

Jun 12, 2018
4.18 by ummswimmin from New Jersey on Jun 12, 2018
4.2 by GravityKills from Massachusetts on May 22, 2018
3.74 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan on May 04, 2018
London Balling from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 455 ratings