Barleywine Style Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

very good
438 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 438 | Ratings: 844
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid barleywine, though not exceptional. Great head and reddish brown and lacey, aroma of barleywine and hops.Some citrus taste. A sourish taste. Medium mouthfeel.Would gladly have after two or more years ageing.Alcohol warming.Good caramel.Just not too unique.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Single finger thick off white head with little retention on a murky amber and crimson body with excellent lacing. Nice rich aroma of mostly citrus fruit but also some dark fruits and fig on a caramel malt background. Well balanced flavor with toasted caramel malts and earthy and fruity hops with notes of toffee and pine resin. Not overly sour or bitter. Alcohol is a little strong but not too bad for the ABV. Sooth, medium body and moderate carbonation.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Green Flash Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same along with a weird celery-like flavor. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the celery flavor I am picking up is pretty odd.

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

good conventional barleywine. pours a deep ruby brown color, like an overripe apple. small white head, minimal lacing. smells strong, notes of spice and wheat bread are present, as is some darker malt sweetness. flavor is nice, well rounded, this one might age well. toffee and dried fruit mingle in the flavor as well. feel is good too, bubbly and just short of full bodied. i could drink several of these, and the price was fair. overall one of the more enjoyable barleywine's ive had this season.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I almost think this should be considered an english style barleywine. Its got some bitterness that american barleywines have but theres an overpowering sweetness that is somewhere between english and aged american barleywine.

The beer poured a nice clear brownish color that made a little tan head that was nice and sticky. The smell was a sweet caramel malt with a little tartness noticeable. Not really a lot of hops present in the nose. The taste was a more extreme version of the smell. Good all around, just not what I expected. Real sweet and malty with a good bitterness to match. It had a dryness to it that I'm sure is from the hops. I'm not sure exactly to explain the flavor other than think of Old Foghorn or Old Crustacean that hasn't been aged very long.

Body and carbonation were both good. Definetely drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy brownish red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down and left a bit of lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are strong aromas of malt in the nose along with notes of alcohol and caramel as well as hints of brandy and dark fruits.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, although the taste of alcohol isn’t quite as prominent compared to the smell. There are some hints of sweetness in the initial taste, which quickly transitions over to a light amount of bitterness that persists through the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation and has lots of warming from the alcohol. It has some hints of stickiness.
O: For the most part, the alcohol is masked from the taste, however this is definitely a beer that needs to be sipped given its strength and full-bodied nature.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a thin cap of tan foam that leaves a dancing pattern of lace

Smell: Citrusy hops and caramel malts

Taste: The caramel flavors lay down the backbone and then the citrusy hops take over; plenty of hoppy character that edges into piney territory, after the swallow, though the caramel malt flavors linger into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Clearly an American style barleywine, with a strong hop profile, yet this is a bit middle-of-the-road for the style, with a mouthfeel that is slightly thin and a malt base that is a bit understated; still, quite a nice drinker

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Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber shared by alfrantzell. Thanks, Arne. 2008 edition. Pours a dark chestnut color, in the glass it's nearly opaque. A large off-white head tops the body, retains well and leaves thick rings of lacing as it slowly settles.

Citrusy aroma, still surprisingly hop-forward. Pine, earth, dark malts - not a lot of sweetness. A bit of tobacco and mild papery oxidation.

Robust hoppiness hits the tongue first. There's a strong pine flavor, undertones of grapefruit flesh and peel, dark fruit, earthy notes of tobacco and leather. Alcohol is briefly noticeable mid-palate. Quite dry overall, there's a strong malt character but it's more earthy, leathery, moderately toasty. Medium-bodied with a dry, bitter and hoppy finish with faint sherry-like oxidation. This has aged pretty gracefully.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a medium brown/burgundy color ale with a great foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of caramel malt and light dry fruit is offset by some west coast hops. Taste of sweet caramel malt and subtle dry figs is balance with some citrus hops. Body is about average with some great carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Well done and I have to confess that I did enjoy this even though I usually prefer my barleywine with more malt profile then hop profile.

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Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a two-finger, long lasting, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty and boozy with a touch of caramel.

T - It tasted of caramel and toffee with a nice sweetness. There is a good dose of bitter hops to balance out the sweet.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with an alcohol warmth.

O - This is a really tasty barleywine. It leans toward sweet but has just enough balance.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2011 vintage. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big orange rind, grapefruit, orange zest, pine, caramel, toast, floral, grass, molasses, dark bread, light roast, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and hop notes. Taste of big orange zest, grapefruit, pine, caramel, molasses, toast, floral, grass, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, caramel, toast, molasses, pine resin, brown sugar, brown bread, light roast, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barleywine! Great balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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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 TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a short off-white head, that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, fruit, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh burst of hops bitterness followed by an alcohol sting when you sip the beer right away. However, if you let the beer sit for about 10-15 minutes everything tones down and the beer becomes much more balanced. At that point it starts with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and some fruit. The hops bitterness is still there and is still strong but after the beer warms it’s much more harmonious with the other components of the beer. The malt character is hearty and there is still a bit of an alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very nice stronger beer to drink on for a long time and while it’s not a terribly high ABV, this beer is more of a sipper because it improves greatly as it warms.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body with a rather thin ring of beige-colored bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is packed with pine needles and ruby red grapefruit -- any maltiness seems to be an afterthought.

Taste: Dry, biscuity maltiness with the vaguest hints of brown sugar and dark caramel. Full hoppiness with an intense bitterness for a so-called barleywine. Plenty piney and chock full of grapefruit, maybe a bit of wood in there as well. Warming on the bitter, woody finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad DIPA! As a barleywine, it's definitely coming up short in terms of malt depth. Sure, you could chalk it up to merely being "young", but I just don't see enough malt character present to really ever come to the fore..

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

2008 vintage. Barleywine Style Ale is a glorious, glowing shade of cherry red infused with Sunkist tangerine. The upper third of the glass is filled with golden ecru colored foam that features hundreds of sticky bubbles on its upper surface. This much lid longevity and this much lovely lace is unusual with an ABV this high.

The color and the aroma (and the GFBC website) indicate that caramel malt will be one of the beer's major features. Also evident is what smells like a generous amount of American hops. Approximately one year in the bottle will have tamed the beast to some extent, but 85 IBUs was a pretty lofty starting point.

This is good beer. The more interesting flavors provided by the caramel malt (compared to mostly pale malt) help to mask the alcohol. Age undoubtedly helped in that regard as well. In addition, hop bitterness doesn't outrace hop flavor, which is a definite danger in a high alpha acid American barleywine. Nice job all around.

Specifics include English toffee, tea leaves, pine sap, orange and white grapefruit peel, and a shot of white rum. Again, the alcohol is pretty well-integrated, but you definitely know you're drinking a big brew. If you want a decent amount of hoppiness, I'd suggest drinking this particular vintage before the end of this year.

The mouthfeel is built for quick consumption... although that isn't recommended. Time has undoubtedly sapped some of the beer's full stickiness and the bubbles are on the soft and gentle side. None of that is a deal-breaker as far as I'm concerned.

Green Flash Barleywine Style Ale isn't the best American barleywine on the block, but it does more right than it does wrong. If you like caramel malt, citric hops and double-digit ABVs, give this one a whirl. Bottom line: it ain't flashy, but it's as solid as granite.

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Photo of russpowell
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours orange/auburn with 4+ fingers of fluffed up sand colored head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Piney & citric hops up front & that's all

T: Caramel that is quickly cut off by piney & grapefruitty hops. A little breadyness and caramel fights through the hop storm as this warms, but only for a while. Bitter chocolate is also present, but mostly loads of grapefruitty hops, plus boozey warmth. Finishes with a whsiper of caramel, bready, intensely bitter & pretty boozey

MF: Chewy/heavy bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks a little slow, could it be the 10% ABV??? Yes, that & the intense hoppyness. Folks that dig big & hoppy will really like this. Me, I require a little more balance. Maybe this needs a year or 3 to mellow out??

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Photo of billab914
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark caramel color with a sticky white head leaving it's mark all over the glass. Great lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows a good amount of citrus hoppiness to it. I get some sweeter, malty, caramel, barleywine flavors to it as well. Pretty good mix of flavors to it, but it's not as bold or flavorful as the best of the style. Pretty good overall though.

The taste also has a mix of citrusy, floral hoppiness and malty caramel sweetness. I get some toffee and brown sugar to it as well. The resiny hoppiness balances it pretty well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side, but about average for the style. The carbonation is moderate to above average. Overall it was a good beer, but not an outstanding one. It was flavorful and very easy drinking for the style but I just didn't find that it stood out really in any specific category. It was a pretty enjoyable and drinkable beer overall though.

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

I picked this up at Wegman's - good deal for a bomber- under $8. Enjoyed chilled in a tumbler.

The color is deep caramel amber with ruddy hues and thick frothy 3 finger puffy cream of light beige. The lace sticks in a thick lace pattern. The smell is a mix of pine and floral hop notes with a sweet and slightly alcohol influenced aroma with mild hint of toffee and citrus with a mild herbal perfume type hop scent. The feel is good, very rich and bitter with a warming alcohol finish and moderately full body with slight acicidty balanced by a moderately high sweetness anchoring the intense hop element, very complex and spicy.

This Barleywine has everything for Fans of the West coast style wrapped up in the flavor. There is a blast of pine with slight fusel alcohol in the taste and hint of spice with a light caramel dose of malt in the deep lasting middle which leads to a bitter and slightly warm finish. The taste has slight citrus/grapefruit tinges but mainly pine oriented hops and gentle caramel from the malt combine with a strong taste of alcohol but not overboard as it mainly comes through in the finish. I enjoyed this one a lot, a pretty solid example of an American Style barlewine -very fresh and full of hops, but not really trying to be an Imperial Ipa in disguise -it has the malt backbone you expect in a Barleywine.

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This bottle was a 2008 Vintage.

A: A dark amber color with a fairly large off-white head, which was rather surprising for a barleywine.

S: Lots of malt, toffee, caramel, a bit of hop bitterness.

T: This is where this beer really falls short. I normally enjoy barleywines, but this beer is overly boozy, and the malt/caramel dominate all the other flavors. I was hoping to taste some of the hop flavors and dark fruits (that are normally present in a barleywine), but was sadly let down.

M: Full bodied and very light on the carbonation.

D: Dissapointing flavor and the incredibl presence of booze make this beer not all that drinkable.

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

A – Maybe the best looking barleywine I’ve seeen. Cornmeal colored head stacks nicely above a beautiful maple syrup / cherry wood body. Great lace.

S – Brown sugar and mandarin, on top of soft booze. Light walnut note.

T – Herbal, cilantro bitterness and booze builds aggressively through the profile, but instead of spiraling out of control, it stops just short of imbalance, and plateaus to hold up soft brioche, maple, hazel nut, and honey flavors.

M – Creamy, soft, medium body. Boozy, scotch-like finish.

O – Surprisingly soft for the strength of the booze on your palate, with a flavor profile balanced between sweet, bitter and booze.

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

Appears a deep clouded plum amber body slightly clouded forms a large cream off white forms thick lacing evenly strung. Aroma has a deep caramel plum and raisin tartness with fresh cut green apples and vinous grapes, touch of a woody character a bit herbaceous. Flavor is raw and herbaceous very upfront in your face with west coast hops, pine, and citrus with herbal qualities a flowing. Fruity alcoholic with charred caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Again some tree bark qualities with unwavering hop bitterness throughout much not as pure extreme grapefruit as their DIPA. Mouthfeel is big full bodied malts with oily raw resinous textures galore. Drinkability is nice a unrefined not as established west coast barleywine that really reminds me of Big Foot. Great stuff glad that I sampled it, the more I try from this brewery the more impressed I become.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage received in trade from RickSawyer, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange amber with reddish highlights when held to light. Fluffy 2 finger Beige head sticks itself to the glass going down. Smells of citrus and resin, caramel and biscuit. Slight earthy wood aroma as well. Very malty taste, more of an earthy woody taste with some orange and pine in there. Dry finish. Very little lingers in the end. Mouthfeel is oily/creamy Body is medium, carbonation is ample. This is a really good Barley wine, not cookie cutter like some of the others I've tried lately.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for bringing this to the Barleywine tasting.

A - dark, murky amber with a thick, huge, brownish, foamy head

S - candy sugar, tropical fruit, faint medicine

T - mango, bread, alcohol, caramel, faint dark fruit, faintly bitter

M - full bodied, well carbonated, warm

This is a solid, hoppybeer that has a great flavor and good complexity. The balance is there and it has scary drinkability. It's a borderline DIPA with the tropical fruit notes from the hops, but it packs a nice barleywine-like malt character. This was a nice all around. It's definitely worth a try.

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Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 844 ratings.
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