Barleywine Style Ale
Green Flash Brewing Co.

Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #263
Ranked #16,338
3.9 | pDev: 11.54%
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale
Reviews: 439 | Ratings: 849 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is a review of the 2009 vintage that was consumed round the pool on August 23. 2016. Hit that 7 year itch with this one down in the cellar.

Pours a deep amber to auburn color. Thin head barely around 1/6" at most when it settled. Aroma of caramel, wasn't picking up those cardboard oxidation notes in the nose. Hopping wasn't evident at this stage either.

Taste revealed that this wasn't going to be a heavy boozy barleywine. Also there was minimal oxidation, but what there was you could say was complimentary, the caramel notes bonded nice with a light woodiness instead of a beat up cardboard box kind of vibe. The bitterness was high, but not three digit hypothetical ibu number high. I'd guess around 75 ibu at this point. Caramel not only bonded with the light woodiness but also a light brandy nuttiness to it as well. Dude, I think this aged pretty well.

Jun 19, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a glass.

Deep, dark orange-rust color. Very murky.

Nice offwhite head; a veritable blanket of lace.

Treacly sweet caramel nose, plus some booze; very much of the style.

Medium mouthfeel.

Taste is of sweet caramel with a subtle hop undertone. Not as over-the-top as many US Barleywines can be. Not amazing, but better than average for the style.

Nov 25, 2016
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nearly no head which leaves no lace. Deep copper color. Clear.

Sickly sweet. Good alcohol aroma.

Rich and brownish in taste, meaning there's a slight burnt flavor with string caramel tastes. Not to sweet in the flavor. Good hoppy bitterness in the swallow which makes for a bittersweet aftertaste. I get a Grappa taste in the finish.

Oct 23, 2016
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Early" 2010 vintage. Thanks spry.

Beautiful ruby color. Malt forward with nice toffee aroma and taste. Very dry and mildly bitter. Not an ounce of sweetness here. This has aged gracefully, the hops have receded but still leave mild bitterness to balance the malt.

May 27, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drier and hoppier than historical British barleywine, the American thumbprint on the style takes full advantage of pacific northwest hops and indigenous American yeast with its more tenacious fermentation character. Often times blurring the line between barleywine and imperial IPA gives Green Flash's version its uniqueness and its challenge.

Hazy crimson and carrying a gentlemanly visual density, the ale crowns with a rich ecru lather. Scents of deeply caramelized and nutty malts couple with citrus, pine and orchard fruit for a powerful perfume with a spicy tingle on the nose. Robust sweetness flirts with toffee as its nutty character reflects a "cracker jacks" candy memory.

The beer's hoppy side blossoms on the middle palate as the dryness of the beer begins to pull the reins on the sweetness and the fruit-forward flavor emerges. Grapefruit, orange and apricot pull ahead, doing so with an unexpected taste of ripe red apple. Its balanced taste refuses to prefer the hops or the malt while the taste trails with a spicy bitterness of deeply resinous pine, citrus peel and pith and oddly enough- cinnamon.

Strong and full in body, the ale's spicy, brandy-like burn, it's bitter, snappy hop character and a gentle quiver from the malt structure suggests a semi-dry finish. As pine and citrus mingle deep in aftertaste, its the hops that finally outlasts the malt with a firm grip on the gullet.

May 19, 2016
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 2011 batch. Sampled November 23, 2015.

The pour is cloudy amber-brown with a foamy, light tan head that lingers for some time.

A notable toasted barley sweetness in the aroma along with a slight tropical fruit note.

Medium and smooth body.

The taste might have had an alcohol bite four years ago when this was first bottle but since then it has mellowed into a barley malt and grape forward sweet brew. With a bitter and slightly smoky finish.

Nov 23, 2015
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HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

update on 12/20/2017: Having had it over the summer (about four months ago), I was still impressed at how well it tasted. Five years is perhaps the outer limit on this beer, though.

22oz., 2012 vintage acquired on sale. Good carbonation when opened (from fridge); pours beautifully into my snifter, with a hazy, dark, orange-brown color, and a nice light-orange colored head. Fruits and a bit of malt in the aroma, and quite a bit of alcohol. Taste is very sweet, and it amazingly--considering it is three years old--still has a good amount of hop flavor; it's not too heavy on the tongue. I think I like it better cooler rather than warmer (there's plenty of flavor even when it's cold). It tastes a lot like the other barley wines I have had (mostly young ones), but this one is perhaps a bit smoother (as I would expect for being three years old).

This is a very enjoyable sipper. Barley wines are one of my favorite beer styles, and I would be more than happy to share this delicious barley wine with others.

Sep 01, 2015
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brewskifan55 from Mississippi

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Chimes, Covington, LA

A: A hazy, rich amber with an off-white one finger head that clung on tightly.

S: Caramel, piney hops, a bit of citrus.

T: Caramel malts slide in with a nice citrus hop "ping" following. Smooth, balanced, robust and semi-sweet. The hops keep on into the finish with another round of caramel starting the dance again. The 10.9 quickly mellows you out.

M: Low to medium with medium carbonation. A bit dry.

O: A real hybrid between American and English barleywines. Not too hoppy with a "just right" malt balance. I'd love to try more, especially with age.

Aug 12, 2015
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KShophead from Kansas

4.81/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a 2012 bottle that I recently stumbled across. I never had this year fresh but with 3 years on it, it is what I consider to be the best Barleywine I've had yet

Jun 20, 2015
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Pegasus from Texas

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy dark amber with a moderate tan head, which slowly fades to a dusting of foam, with a scattering of large bubbles. Thin, fine lacing coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Dark caramel malt, pine, and citric hops dominate the aroma, which presents as dense and complex.

Taste: The taste begins with lots of sweet, dark caramel, soon followed by spicy alcohol. As the taste progresses, the hops really shine, offering a wave of citric and pine tar hops to balance the sweetness of the malt. The alcohol is quite warming, with no solvent harshness at all Finishes with a long, lingering wave of grapefruit and pine hops, and an undercurrent of the sweet caramel.

Mouth feel: Very soft and full, even creamy, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Quite admirable, I expected a "west coast" style of barley wine, but Green Flash Barleywine Style Ale presents more like an English Barleywine. Would be fantastic on a cool, dark autumn day, sipped on one's deck while a cold front rolls in.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice, the vintage was 2012.

Jun 14, 2015
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janubio from Spain

4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one is pretty impressive. Hazy brown colour, big head with a full lace and crown that leaves forever. Smell of Pine, allspices, cardamom or clove, citrus, brandy, tobacco, wood (oak?)... Not thick and not light in the palate, not too mauch carbonation, it feels really good. Taste is just like the aroma, maybe with some hints of chocolate and a bit more sweet., though bitterness and sweetness come and go on the same level.Very good indeed.
Note: tasted one aged at home and, within the years, it developes and interesting note of hops.

Nov 18, 2014
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dbossman from Nebraska

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep reddish brown with a huge, dense head and beautiful, intricate lacing

S: Sweet malts with toffee and dark fruits; roasted sweet delicious balanced aromas

T: A touch boozy up front but that harshness fades quickly and is replaced by a slightly sweet maltiness; some darker fruits and coffee--a subtle hop bitterness (this is 2 years old) does create balance

F: A touch thin for a beer this big but still creamy

O: A nice, mellow big barleywine--the 2 years aging mellow out the hops that this beer brings when it is fresh but it also mellows the heat a bit

Jun 13, 2014
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I cellared this one for a year and half. I must suggest that I feel as though my patience was rewarded.

Appearance - The beer was an auburn brown color. It brings to mind the Crimson Tide to some degree. Lacing clung to the sides of the glass, with the off-white head slowly dissolving.

Smell - The aroma was a little bit of a letdown as only the malt seemed to stand out.

Taste- Initially, the gingery and grassy hops make the biggest impression. The malts, with some sweetness, jump into the picture coating the tongue with their thickness. There are notes of mild pepper, pine, and even a little resiny grapefruit. The warming impression in modest.

Mouthfeel - It is here that the beer makes an impression. The malts really coat the tongue nicely and allow this beer to linger with a malty ginger spiciness.

Overall - Time in the cellar did this one good. I might go so far as to suggest this is among the better non- barrel aged American barleywines.

May 18, 2014
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Brewji from Canada (BC)

4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On first pour, it glows with a rich, reddish amber colour, and a lacy white head top. I sniffed this beer like some people sniff flowers (I unfortunately am allergic to pollen). I took in a lot of deep malty scents, and hops, and...that's about it. But not in a bad way, this brew smelled righteous, knowing ahead of time that something big was going to happen. It's like a referee calling a penalty shot in overtime, going in for the big sip was the shot, and the overall taste determined whether or not the deke attempt worked.

Taking the first sip, I expected a train wreck of malty hops. However, I was greeted by a strong, pleasant malty tone, followed by a nice transition into an intense malty flavour, and a crisp, clean after taste. I was so impressed by the after taste, the clean-ish feeling that I got, that it made me want more. This is finally a brew over 10% that will leave you wanting more! Imagine Datsyuk with a highlight reel goal on a breakaway...naturally you'd want more (so long as he's not scoring on your team).

The first, middle, and end tastes are phenomenal. There are no complaints, as everything flows together, while still leaving a memorable taste that would definitely make me want to order this again. If you (or your friends) are new to barleywines, this is a definite first step into the world of 10%+ beers.

The Green Flash Brewing Co. BarleyWine gets a phenomenal penalty-shot-goal-in-overtime 9.5 / 10

Mar 25, 2014
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cratez from Canada (ON)

4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Green Flash Barley Wine Style Ale – 10.2% ABV – 2012 Vintage, consumed March 28, 2013.

A: pours a deep and clear ruby red with three fingers of cream coloured froth and big globs of lacing on the tulip glass. Several bubbles in the body. Fantastic look.

S: red grapefruit, caramel-drizzled dates, pine resin, grassy and herbaceous hops, burnt sugar, toasty malt, navel orange, toffee, faint melon, and ethanol. Absolutely gargantuan nose.

T: rich caramel, toffee, and date-like sweetness, mango, toasty-roasted malts, alcohol, pungently citric and lingering resinous hop bitterness, some warmth going down. Tasty overall, but the flavour doesn’t quite live up to the aroma.

M: thick, silky-smooth, and full-bodied, bordering on syrupy, massive tongue-scraping bitterness lingers on the palate with some alcoholic burn in the throat (though not harsh).

O: an excellent, hop-forward U.S. barley wine; one of the better examples that I’ve tried.

Mar 10, 2014
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ItalianPisces84 from Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First off, let me just say this: not only is this not a barleywine, I'm not even sure I'd go so far as to call it "barleywine-style," whatever that may be. Any "-style" usually raises red flags for me, whether it is for a beer or "beef-style stock" or whatever. That said, I'm glad it didn't, because this is a solid beer. But it isn't a barleywine. If you are a barleywine fan, as I am, and are expecting one, you may be disappointed.

So before tasting this, pretend instead that you're about to taste a malty IPA... because that's what this is. Except of course there's nothing pale about it, owing to the strong malt character.

Anyway, the basic rundown... it poured a medium caramel, almost a deep amber color. Left a decent head which subsided fairly quickly to leave persistent lacing. Hops are the most apparent scent, and similarly are the strongest component in this beer's flavor, although the malt is a close second. There is enough malt to make this beer a little sticky, though it is surprisingly not at all viscous... at least not for a barleywine. As with the flavor, and especially the scent, this beer's viscosity (and overall texture) more closely resembles that of an IPA than a barleywine.

If I were to rate this beer as a barleywine it would get a very low mark, and that shouldn't happen because this is a very good beer. So I will rate it simply as a beer, regardless of label or sub-label.

Feb 18, 2014
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MaillardRx from Kansas

4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass

A: A rich, auburn color that beautifully demonstrates the character of the malt color, great head and very lacy

S: Hops aplenty and many malts in the nose. It smells like a brew day.

T: It didn't really taste a whole lot like a barleywine, but rather, more like a deep, hoppy IPA. Some notes of fig, the alcohol taste is noticeable, which portrays a slight ammonia taste

M: Very full-bodied, a great mouthfeel

O: A very craftsman beer. It is complex, yet not overbearing. It is drinkable, yet gives you something to consider. I liked it.

Jan 20, 2014
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barleywine pours a reddish amber color with a very small lacing head. The aroma is is very sharp, with an aged malty undertone. The taste is very sharp as well, noticeable bold malty undertone, with boozy flavors. Good full and bold flavors. Overall its a very nice traditional barleywine.

Nov 10, 2013
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chugalug06 from Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Murky orange/red brew with creeping growing straw colored head. Lacing is decent.

Nice strong pine aroma. Nicely resinous too. Aromatics are nice and developed.

Strong upfront flavors with faded bitterness. Slightly awkward dryness on the finish. Lots of pine resin. Dank. Strong weird sweetness has yet to fade. Carbonation is high and fits, but isn’t blended overly nice. Drinks harsh and needs to be more.

If this brew went back to the drawing board or maybe a barrel (cough-cough) it may shape into something wonderful. However, as currently sits, it’s forgettable, but at the price point ($6/22oz) it’s worthy.

Nov 08, 2013
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a0lbudman from Alabama

4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark copper with a large tan head that fades slowly and leave a heavy lacing on the glass
S-good caramel malt and dark fruit with some hops
A-caramel malt and dark fruit hit me at first then the spice flavor took over. The aftertaste was a warming alcohol taste with hops bitterness coming in along with a great caramel finish
M-medium body with good carbonation
O-It was a very complex beer. You get caramel malt to spice then hop bitterness then you get a very good malt finish and every sip gets better

Nov 03, 2013
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Scrapss from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a wide-mouth, large mason jar. 2012 vintage.

A: DEEP amber. Beautiful two finger soapy top/rocky bottom head of off-white color. Persistent head.

S: hoppy and malty. toffee. Alphas, acetyls, rich malt. seems like caramel malt is present. There's even some tart fruit hiding in there. Complex.

T: Very nice smooth hop bitterness after a blast of smooth malt. Very smooth. There's some of the fruit in the nose present. yeast is hiding.

M: big complex finish with the malt and hop playing with each other in a little dance. moderate carbonation stays in solution until the finish, where it presents a creamy hit followed by a slightly metallic upfinish followed by a spicy, boozy ultimate finish. Malt fights back after ultimate finish for the last word.

O: Very nice balanced barleywine worth trying. Green Flash shows extreme competence in this style with this brew.

Oct 16, 2013
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pkalix from California

4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep malted aroma in a very cider-red color with a little bit of foam on top.
some tartness in the taste, related moreso, I believe, to the alcohol content than any hops. but lots of sweetness on the palate first, a kind of bitter and sweetness from the malts. but some hop presence too.
overall, a great high octane brew. I appreciate the taste and like the different variations of barleywines and other high abv brews but I cant help but wonder why those idiots keep drinking that manure 4loco or whatever it is when this is just so much greater when one may want a higher abv-ed beverage....?

Sep 14, 2013
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BlackHaddock from England

3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Two small tasting cups at Cotteridge Wine during a 6th July Black Country Bus Trip (sorry if I stole someones cup, but I needed two to rate/review it correctly).

Impressed: poured a good clear amber, on top a white crown of uneven foam.

Intense semi-sweet malty aroma: caramel and toffee notes leading the way.

Taste is also semi-sweet (at first) before the hop content kicks in and you finish with a fine bitter and dry mouth.

Nice Barley Wine and thanks to Cotteridge Wine for the free tasting.

Jul 23, 2013
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Smurf2055 from Washington

3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Winner of a four way barleywine blind taste (against Full Sail, Crit Hit, Dick’s).

Pours a copper color with minimal head.

Lighter smell than the color would suggest. Fig and raisins.

Decent carbonation. Pretty sweet taste, with a bit of cherry. Not that sticky. Fruity and very complex.

The most unique of the four that I tried, and I wouldn’t mind getting one again.

Jul 15, 2013
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SmashPants from Australia

4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: solid brown 650mL longneck, with an acceptable non-macro label.

Appearance: deep golden amber-brown in colour, low- to- mid carbonation with a one finger head. Great lacing as it drops slowly over time to a thick, rocky cap. Wonderful!

Aroma: a rich, powerful combination of caramel malts and heavy fruits. The nose alone whets the palate. I'm looking forward to this one!

Taste: where the nose whet my apetite, the palate picks up and delivers. Dark fruit esters combine with those caramel and treacle malts and some spice over the top.

Aftertaste: a lingering light bitterness and some warming alcohol. Overall, a wonderful beer.

Mouth feel: full and lasting, this is a beer for a night-time session. Amazing.

Overall: I've only had one barleywine before (Moylan's Old Blarney Barleywine Style Ale), this was my second. Both are absolutely exceptional. I get the feeling that this will be my favourite style from here on out.

Jun 02, 2013
Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 849 ratings