Barleywine Style Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale
Very Good
845 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 845 |  Reviews: 438
Photo of BeboThoughts
1/5  rDev -74.2%

Photo of SuperWhite92
1.12/5  rDev -71.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased a 2008 bottle last week.

Pours a lighter shade of "barleywine." What I'd expect.

Unfortunately, that's the high point of the beer.

Smells like wet grass or your basement carpet after a flood. If it smelled like vomit, I'd be more pleased with it. Absolutely atrocious.

Tastes like wet grass and turpentine. Evil eye is better. Absolute trash.

Mouthfeel is thin and acidic, much like either cow piss or turpentine. Maybe a cow pissing turpentine?

Can't drink it. I want to, since I have 22 oz of it, but after 3 oz I'd rather have blood drawn or be hit by a miata or other small car.

This is byfar the worst beer I've had in recent memory. I can only hope that based on the other reviews here that there was something wrong with my bottle. I won't be spending another $6 to find out though.

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Photo of tally
1.5/5  rDev -61.2%

Photo of Boto
1.95/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Mad Mex Robinson: I see a commonality to the reviews of this beer from this location. I love barleywines, but this was simply the worst that I have ever had. The color was good, being a dark ruby colored brew, with a small off white head. The smell was something else. It didn’t smell bad, but it did smell like root beer. The taste was predominately of root beer. This was close to undrinkable. Yuk!

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Photo of BrewMan13
2.07/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

2008 vintage, poured into a Stone barleywine glass.
Cracked this one last night.
Appearance was excellent, actually. Sort of a dirty orange color with a tan head that is much more substantial then you usually find on a 10% brew.

Aroma was ok...can definitely tell this is gonna be a citrusy brew...which means the beer could go either way with me.

Taste And not in a good way. Initially sort of an interplay between some thick caramel malt (probably a lot of 120L) and citrusy hops. Malt then dominates breifly with an unusual quality I find hard to describe. Then the finish is long and is all about a very intense, harsh bitterness. A touch of solvent-like alcohol interspersed as well.
This thing is probably loaded with cascades and centennials. I'm generally not a fan of the more citrusy hops (which can sometimes give a harsh bitterness I dont usually find appealing), but I can appreciate them in a well crafted beer that utilizes them. But I cant imagine the quantity of high-cohumulone hops used in this beer, considering the mountain of malt that it surely took to make it. This is the harshest barleywine I've had since my 1st try of bigfoot (which I now find enjoyable).

I couldnt finish the bottle, I was just not enjoying it at all; it was just hard to drink (and I've had a fair share of american barleywines and DIPA's in my day). Way too much harsh bitterness combined with an unusual malt character lead to a beer I will never touch again.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
2.16/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22 oz. into a snifter/ 2008

P: Very dark amber with a cream-colored head that's quite nice! It's thick and dense with a frothy, yet firm crown of foam that shows very good retention for a 10% brew. Sinks to form a thick collar while leaving some notches of lace in its wake.

A: Huge waves of toasted caramel malts, toffee, piney hops, dark fruits, burnt sugar, and booze are present. Damn, I hope this isn't as boozy as it smells because this is reminding me of hard liquor, which is more than a bit worrysome.

T: And now my worries have come to reality. This over-powering booziness reminds me a little of fresh Old Guardian. Its got that solvent-like, vodka quality to it that just scorches everything in sight. Anyhow, there's a bready caramel malt that proclaims itself king right off the bat. But the citrusy, piney hops manage to make their way to the forefront in spots as well. There are also some pleasant notes of toffee and dark fruits in here as well, but you have to dig a little for them. They are pretty sublte, but they remind me of figs and black cherries. Some slight oxidation noted in this bottle as well, but I'm not holding that against this brew as it's not the brewers fault. The absurd amount of unbridled, unmasked alcohol, however, is!

M: Green Flash Barleywine is a medium-full bodied beer that leans more toward full as it warms up a bit. Its got a sticky, creamy, mouth-coating chewiness to it along with a prickly bite from the generous amount of carbonation.

Notes: This is just a boozy mess of a beer that completely fails to work in harmony right now. It's a shame because there are some really good flavors in here, too. That vodka-like ethanol just wore me down and made it a chore to get through even a glass. And considering that I am a cheap-ass bastard in the worst way, it takes a lot for a beer to become a drainpour. Unfortunately, this one pushed me past the threshold and the rest met its fate at the bottom of my kitchen sink. What the hell happened here? Green Flash makes excellent beers, but this just wasn't one of them! Will have to revisit this to ensure that I didn't get a bad bottle.

 2,144 characters

Photo of wowbagger
2.39/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep, deep red, thick head that lasts. Smells like a brewery, but I don't detect anything specific. Very deep strong flavors of wood, and barley. Strong enough to mask the alcohol, but it dries out the mouth a bit. Very interesting, worth a try but too strong for my palate.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.47/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imbibed out of my Stone IPA tulip glass. Pours a murky, burnt-copper color.

Smell killed this beer for me. Smells like a bad version of a rebujito, which you won't know unless you've lived in southern Spain. It's basically a gross alcoholic smelling mixed drink.

Tastes a little better than it smells, but that's not saying much because I doubt it could taste much worse. Overly sour flavor, warming alcohol effect dominating. Where are the (in)famous Green Flash hops to mellow out the rest of this beast? It's like they brewed a beer, subtracted most of the malts, all of the hops, and left the alcohol. I'm struggling to finish my first glass, and am not looking forward to finishing the bomber.

Mouthfeel irrelevant, because it tastes and smells so foul.

Not drinkable. As I said, I'm probably not going to finish this bomber. It takes a LOT for me not to finish a beer. I don't know why Green Flash has the reputation it does. I haven't had a single beer that I would drink again from them, but at least I was able to actually finish those beers. I won't be finishing this. Been an hour since I poured it into my glass, and it isn't getting any better with temperature.

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Photo of PatronWizard
2.49/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage the missus brought home from Bevmo.

Pour looks great. Sticky mocha head over a deeep shade of caramel. Little lacing to boot.

After the good looks, the smell is disappointing. Very faint green apple, caramel, and acetone.

Uh yeah, taste is a stronger version of the nose: very faint green apple, caramel and acetone.

Thick and fairly smooth but ... meh. Total bummer actually. I like Green Flash (the IPA and Hop Head Red are both awesome) but this beast tastes too much like paint thinner. I won't waste it but I won't get it again.

In fact as time goes on, this becomes a fucking chore. Good thing it's 10% - at least I can drown my sorrows.

Overall: not right

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Photo of JupiterJesus
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of hitshtwithsticks
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of argock
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear tapered glass goblet. 2009 vintage. Purchased at Skee-Vue Liquor (Breckenridge, CO) for $5.99.

A: Hazy pithy amber-caramel hue with 1-1.5 finger light tan head with decent retention and good lacing.

S: Major solvent aromas of fusel alcohols mingle with earthy, floral hoppiness and a substantial caramel malt backing. The alcohol dominates the nose and detracts a lot.

T: The flavor is poor with tons of off flavors including astringent, solvent-like flavors of fusel alcohols. Hops are earthy and floral and the malt bill must be large, but something went very wrong with this brew at some level. I am a little suspicious that this is a bad bottle, but this style is usually sturdy, and I just think this is a bad vintage or way too young.

M: Full body is undeniable with boozy aftertaste.

D: Barely drinkable due to the above-and-beyond booze factor. I'm not sure that aging will help this vintage. Not at all enjoyable.

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Photo of bbeane
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2008 Vintage

A- Poured in 16oz pint glass with about 1/2 inch brown head that leaves heavy lacing. Dark crimson in color

S- Very malty smelling with hints of toffee or caramel... and alcohol. Can't really detect any citrus notes

T- Whoa... burns alittle bit. Very malty tasting, with more toffee than caramel. Slight hop "bite" also. Finishes with an alcohol sensation in your throat

M- Very little carbonation, slightly heavy with a touch of hoppy bite

D- Not real drinkable in my opinion. Tastes ok at first sip, but has an overpowering alcohol taste to it. Anybody who does find this very drinkable is gonna have an interesting night


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Photo of pokesbeerdude
2.54/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins. Around $6 if I'm not mistaken. 2009 vintage.

A: Deep red in color, leans a little more towards brown, cream colored head, right at half an inch, densely packed, nice lacing. Pretty decent looking beer.

S: Green apple is the most notable thing at first, followed by some caramel flavors, and some citrus hop tones. Really lacking on this beer. Hot booze.

T: Acetaldehyde bomb. Pretty much all I can taste is green apples even long after I've swallowed the beer. If you can look away from that there is a big caramel malt profile, and a nice hoppy bitterness at the end, but the over powering green apple flavor really hurts this one. Slightly astringent alcohol, hot alcohol flavors. Can't say that I'm impressed.

M: Fairly heavy body on this one, alcohol heat in the mouth as well as in the chest. Medium carbonation. Hits those notes okay. Minus the astringent alcohol.

D: I think this would be a pretty good beer if it wasn't for the overbearing green apple flavor, that absolutely doesn't fit with the rest of the beer. Hot boozey mess even after some aging. This is the first beer from Green Flash I've truly been disappointed with. I think they need to revise this beer.

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Photo of abfraser
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark copper color, not much of a head.

S: Very sweet smelling. Can tell this will be a hop bomb.

T/M: And bomb it is. Tons of hoppiness, that doesn't mesh very well with the sugary flavors. Very bitter aftertaste from the hops. This just isn't well balanced.

D: I couldn't even drink half a glass; had to pour the rest out. I know Green Flash is known for their incredibly hoppy beers, and I like some of them, but this one was just too out of whack for me to enjoy.

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Photo of njmoons
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This one is a miss for me. Had a 2010, so maybe it needed some time to mellow, but this was a Pacific Northwest Hop Bomb. Way out of balance.

A: Hazy unfiltered reddish brown. Look like a well made homebrew, poured a resilient reddish head that held up well. Look pretty good.

S: Malty and Piney. There we was a balance in the aroma of malty/fruit aromas. It was pleasant, the hops overpowered the subtle aromas that may be been present

T: Up to here we were in pretty good shape, but the flavor had a piney hoppiness that overpowered the flavor. Underneath there was some heavy malt, and maybe a little cidery. There was also an alcohol burn in the after taste. Together this all seemed flawed to me, and not what I am looking for in a Barley Wine.

M: Appropriate to style

D: I finished it, but would not buy another.

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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 CmBanaszak
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of jraaaaanger
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of ubenumber2
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of 3Hops
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of DIM
2.76/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

note: The bottle reads, "vintage", but doesn't say which one.

a: This was a clear ruby tinted copper color. it poured with a short lived, sticky off-white head.

s: This was very sweet smelling for a barleywine. The nose is dominated by smoky, mildly acrid brown sugar, molasses, and toffee. There are some very faint dark fruit aromas as well.

t: This tastes like I might be having it at the wrong time. When fresh, I'll bet it was hoppy as hell. Further cellaring might have yielded something better. Right now though, whatever vintage this is, it's a bit of a sugary mess. Acrid molasses flavors with some faint dark fruit notes are blunted somewhat by a faint, piny hop tingle. There is also a long lasting charred toffee after taste. This reminds me of a DIPA that is a bit long in the tooth rather than a barelywine.

m: This has a decent body, but the carbonation is short lived.

d: This was a bit of a mess and difficult to finish. They make a great IPA, but this one isn't for me.

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Photo of BlindPig
2.82/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Big tan head on a clear deep amber body with hues of brown in it. Nice lacing that sticks to side of glass.
S- Hops slam the nose immediately. Big citrus and pine hops with grapefruit also. Pine hops beat out the citrus. Smells more like a really big hopped DIPA. Very light malt in there too. Almost like they put pine straw in the fermentation tank. The pine straw just seems to effect the smell not so much the taste.
T- Follows the taste with the big piney hops. They come through right away. Malt backbone. Light alcohol also. Dry aftertaste with a bit of pine in it also. Bitterness is left tingling on the tongue. Doesn't taste much like a barley wine as it does a big DIPA with a tiny bit more malt than usual (also a darker color). As warms the caramel malts come through a bit more as warms.
M- Full body with medium to high carbonation (more on the high side especially for this style).
D- It would be alright if I wasn't in the mood for a barleywine (like I am now). The smell of the pine is overwhelming every time you go to take a sip.

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Photo of Lars3
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

It's been snowing since I woke up today, and after a long walk talking photographs I need a sturdy beer to warm me up. Unfortunately I chose this one.
This is a 22oz bottle from 2008.

The appearance is perhaps the best aspect of this beer. It is a deep mahogany/ruby color that you'd be hard pressed not to love. There is plenty of lacing on the glass as I struggle to down this one.

The smell is a very sweet and malty, with a hint of caramel.

I don't know why, but this beer tastes burnt. I've read other reviews refer to the hops, but this one is about two years old and the hops have obviously faded, I detect very little of them. There is a malty sweetness underneath the taste of burnt malt. I've never tasted this in a barleywine, or any other type of beer.

The mouthfeel isn't bad or great. Just another barleywine.

I can't ever see myself drinking another one of these, so the drinkability isn't going to be very high for me.

I'd like to try a fresher bottle of this. I know some barleywines age very well, but this one appears not to have.

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Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 845 ratings
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