Barleywine Style Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale
Very Good
846 Ratings
Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 11-08-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 846 |  Reviews: 438
Reviews by lurpy1:
Photo of lurpy1
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First impression...I really like Green Flash, consider them underrated, but they don't grab your attention with the bland, lifeless labels. If you took off the wording, I'd guess it was the label from a bag of organic tortilla chips. Anyhoo. Green Flash. Liked the stout. LOVED the IPAs. Here goes the Barleywine. And how bout you Green Flash people have some fun and name the beer?

Pour is nice, deep amber with a mushy finger of head. Smell is good too. caramel, toffee, oaty, with a challenging amount of hops.

On the tongue, this beer is probably a victim of my expectations, as all the recent BWs I've had are barrel-aged, so my palate is wondering where the bourbon is. After shaking off that downer, I find the cascade hops too present. The sweet notes are very subtle initially and gone in the finish, leaving a watered down version of the West Coast IPA. Not bad. But much room for improvement. I get that Green Flash knows its hops, but they seem to not be able to get out of their own way in turning this into another hop attack. Must be a California thing, Lagunitas does the same thing, make EVERYTHING hoppy.

Nice thick mouthfeel, not as sugary as a barleywine should be, and it is dragged down a bit by the wateriness.

One of the hoppier barleywines I've ever had. Not a miss per se, but probably below average in the barleywine patheon and the weakest of many great beers I've had from Green Flash. Extremely marginal recommendation on this one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a bit of chilled haze a medium to dark brown with a thinner but well retained slight off white head atop,man I love the hopped up barley wine aromas big resiny pine and a bit of pear and grapefruit mixed with heavy alcohol and caramel sweetness.First off I noticed as took a drink that the body was a little light for the style but the flavors were spot on as far as what I was expecting,deeply piney and citric with a hefty sweet malt base with some hot alcohol as it warmed.This beer packs a punch but not enough of one in the body,man this could be awesome.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This poured a nice light brown with orangish hues and a decent head considering the high alcohol content and the style.

Smell – This is more malty than winey. The malts are toasted and complimented with a light sweet ‘n sour smell. I’m not getting the big hop aroma like you do with some ABWs, so this one should be more balanced.

Taste – Oh, yeah, this is big on the malts. There’s actually a touch of woodiness to this one, but it’s the stiff brown malt and snappy booze that give this its signature. That light sweetness from the nose lost the sour and came out just right. Nice.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied and smooth enough. There’s no mistaking the high alcohol content though.

Drinkability – I thought the booze was a bit too strong for an ale that seemed to want to impress with its balance, but otherwise this was a good drinker.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of boston2bburg
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this 22 ouncer at Bailey's in Portland, consumed in Roanoke, VA. Poured 2+ fingers of creamy light tan head which settle to a thin cover all around over an opaque dark amber body. Leaves a whole lot of sticky lacing on the snifter.

Immediately I'm excited by the smell, which reminds me of the malts used in HOTD Blue Dot, my favorite of the beers I tried in Portland. Very big, creamy caramel malt aroma, with some light citrus and earthy hop undertones. A pleasure to smell.

Taste is pretty well balanced for such a big barleywine. The hops seem to have mellowed, but not knowing the bottling date (or year for that matter), I'm not sure how far along this "Vintage" bottle is in aging. The flavor is of sweet caramel and toffee with a citrus hop base. Bitterness is nice, more noticeable on the finish after the malts do their thing.

The mouthfeel is fairly silky and tangy and thick, but not quite motor oil. Seems less drinkable than other barleywines...the 10% really creeps up during the second pour. A good one to share, or have to have instead of dinner.

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Photo of SuqMadique
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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

A: Medium copper with excellent clarity. The persistent tan head of creamy mousse-like bubbles leave a fine lacing on the glass.

S: The light malt aromas of caramel with some bread notes increases as it warms. There is a light citrus and floral hop aroma with some light fruit esters. No diacetyl, no DMS. The moderately strong alcohol aroma is slightly hot.

T: There is an intense hops bitterness and a prominent almost equal malt flavor of caramel, toffee and slight notes of crusty bread. The moderate hops flavor is mostly citrus and resinous pine. The flavor balance is fairly bitter with a strong malt close behind. The finish is medium dry with a an aggressive bitterness and grainy malt flavor.

M: A smooth medium-full bodied beer with a moderately-low carbonation. There is a substantial alcohol warmth and a light creaminess.

O: A West Coast styled American Barleywine that features substantial hops bitterness, alcohol and a surprisingly high amount of malts flavors. It's a great beer to sip on a cool Autumn night.

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

A: A beige/tan head that retains for around a minute. Dominated by red and brown gradients towards the outsides of the glass in indirect light. When looked at in direct light it is very red-copper or amber. Clear appearance with only a slight cloudiness.

S: Strong alcoholic smell. Yet, this is blended with a variety of other aromas that include caramel rich malts, toffee, slight sour/tangy fruits, and I even picked up a bit of cinnamon. Hops smell were not very present

T: Smoky or burnt malt presence at the onset that is followed by bitter hop flavors. The interesting aspect was that there was a citrus and fruity signature that made the overall taste fun to dissect. Love the hops though

M: Medium body with a smooth feel that was not as heavy as I would have expected from the 10.9% A.B.V. Not necessarily a bad surprise. A nicely brisk hop bitterness that settles more and more after the carbonation dissipates a bit. Alcoholic warmth finish is not too overt.

D: Definitely a beer that should be tried, especially if you enjoy what Green Flash has to offer, or enjoy an interesting take on American Barleywine. I sat down with this guy for a bit to try and work through its signatures and after a while got them down (I think for me at least). But it should be noted that it has an alcoholic bite and should not be taken lightly. All in all enjoy!

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Photo of SanFranJake
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After nearly a 6 month hiatus from reviewing, I'm trying to get back into it a little more. I picked this one up several months back.

Poured into a snifter. Dark in the glass but a vibrant, garnet-cherry red when held to the light. Small quarter inch off-white head on the pour that reduced to a ring around the glass. Nice clarity, fairly low carbonation. Occassional spots of lace.

Alcohol rich cherries, plums and raisins throughout over a faint grainy background. Good dosing of hops as well offer up some grapefruit and citrus. No doubt this is an American barleywine.

Flavor is more malt oriented with a good malty backbone that barely fights through the hops. Some tea and tobacco notes coincide with a faint touch of toffee and dark caramel. Dark stone fruits and some raisin come in just before a lasting piney bitter note. Alcohol is definately noticable.

Low carbonation as expected, medium to medium-thin body, seems some sugar was probably employed, helping reduce the residual sweetness and upping drinkability. A bit of stickiness on the palatte allows the malt and dark fruit flavors to linger with the bitterness.

Overall a pretty good representation of the style, although the alcohol could be a bit tamer. Some additional time on this one wouldn't hurt to possibly smooth things out just a bit.

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Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Lazaro
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Beaver13
2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a deep copper red with a large fluffy orange-beige head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is spicy peppery alcohol, some caramel malt and a little melon.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts and a little fruit, followed by a harsh paint-thinner like alcohol. The finish is a brash bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. It has some metallic notes. The mouthfeel is fairly full with soft velvety carbonation.

Overall, it's too over the top in alcohol and bitterness. It does get a bit more drinkable as you go through the bottle.

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Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of merlin48
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce bottle, 2008 vintage, pours a crystal clear copper amber body with a medium sized khaki head that hangs around longer than expected. Lavish creamy lacing clings to the glass. Quite a looker for a barleywine.

Succulent aroma has lots of toffee and caramel, accented by citrusy esters of orange and pineapple, with some pine hops in the background.

Medium body has a low medium carbonation.

Taste has ample hop bitterness that is pine and grapefruit. Some earthiness present, as well. Solid malt backbone serves up toffee and caramel flavors. Alcohol is cleverly concealed.

A really nice American barleywine featuring west coast hops in a starring role.

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Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta love a bomber of barley wine for $3.99. remember what those tiny bottles of Old Crustacean used to cost?!? This one pours dark almond amber into an oversized DFH snifter, under a nice looking deep tan head that is initially puffy, then simmers slowly to a thick and mottled bubbly foam, leaving respectable, fine lacing behind on the glass. Nose is the expected wiff of sweet malts, doughy bread and some alcohol. Sweet, nutty, pleasant,heady and malty brew. Quite smooth, as the malts flow over the tongue, warming alcohol present, and snarling in all its glory. Bottom line....should have bought a case of this stuff instead of just one shimmering and tasty bottle...oh well...

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Scored a pair of these at Stateline Liquors in Elkton, MD.
Chestnut, almost auburn colored with a finger and a half of creamy, light tan head...leaving behind some very attractive lacing as it fades.
Not sold on the nose...some inviting aromas filled with rum raisins, oak, cherries but has something in there that strikes me as odd...almost perfume-like.
Good thing the taste makes up for the scent. Magnificent malt to hop ratio, keeping the sweetness in check and bittering it up enough to stick with America's interpretation of the style.
Flavors of green apple, bubble gum, citrus, burnt brown sugar and an earthy quality to finish it off. A slight amount of heat, but not distracting.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied...carbonation is a touch high and could be sneaky if the abv goes un-noticed.
Looking forward to sitting on the other bottle for six months or so...could benefit from a bit more sweetness for me.

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Photo of ElSid
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Beers of California


Bottle Date: None

A: Deep amber brown with a nice head of stone wash khaki head that simmers to a sheet that wraps around the edges of this beer.

S: Syrupy sweet, caramel, and breadiness along with a wininess and leather earthiness.

T: Leather and earth comes through with tinges of wine grapes and thick berry syrup sweetness. There is a nice leafy bitterness and hop spice, which adds to the moderate alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body and built with a moderate amount of carbonation. The linger is long and lace ample.

O: As straight forward as the name, this is a no-frills barleywine that is solid but lacks enthuiasiasm. Strong but without complexity and interest. A good introduction to the style and a worthy stepping stone to greater brews.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the alcohol and the brown sugar. I also get some pine from the hops and some dark fruit. The flavor is more of the same. I get some cherry and plum notes as well as some pine, toffee, alcohol and brown sugar. Low to medium bitterness and a decent amount of warming from the alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very tasty American barleywine.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JupiterJesus
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of mattster
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened 22 oz. bomber 2008 vintage bottle, poured into snifter glass.

Pours a light tan head atop a dark reddish brown opaque brew.

Smell is of dark malts with a slightly piney overtone.

Taste is sweet with slight candy. Hints of coffee and mild mocha notes. Bubbles are a little attacking at first, but mellow out and make for an easy drink with a really great finish.

This brew really needs to be enjoyed with a nice strong cheese or maybe meat, but is still pretty solid on its own.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Crosling for this bottle. Bottle is not dated so its age is unknown. It pours a little foamy but settles quckly. Darker in color than most barleys. Smells sweet and a bit hoppy. Taste is dominated by piney hops with some malt. Easy to drink for a 10% ABV. Solid barleywine but not spectacular.


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Photo of westcott
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of amidabha
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage taken out of the frig 45min earlier. moderately poured into an imperial pint glass produced a HUGE head with some mild lacing. leveled out to a decent head covering the top of the brew.

this smells sweet, malty and not too hoppy but within the style of barleywine. during the drink the hops smell more pronounced and balance out the barley nicely. alcohol burn is minimal with just enough to make me crave another sip. there is a bit of bitterness after swallowed.

this is not as thick as i like from a barleywine but it's not too thin and again falls within the style. overall i like this and wish i had looked at the price when it was offered to me. i'd drink it again and buy it if it's not too expensive.

i may edit and add info after i finish the other half with a maduro cigar on our 55 degree night.

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Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 846 ratings