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: 845
Photo of SamJory
4.66/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

650 ml bomber, 2010 vintage poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark ruby, fairly opaque with an off-white head.

On the nose I immediately get the caramel malt and rich fruity esters along with some hops in there too.

On the palate the fruity esters, caramel malt and hops hit you first, which gives way to a vinous warmth. The aging has given this beer such a beautiful balance - not overly sweet with malt and not overly bitter and more like a double IPA like some other American barleywines. The taste is incredibly smooth, rounded with some piney bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full, and the finish lasts and lasts. I had this beer a few months ago when it came in from the warehouse from work, and now it's come back it's even better. A very special experience.

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

Pours dark copper with a large, slowly fading head.
Hoppy aroma, but with a fair bit of malt noticeable underneath. Grapefruit, resinous hops, spicy notes, caramel, bready malt.
Pretty hoppy aggressive flavours. Very sharp pine and grapefruit with accompanying massive bitterness alongside some bready malt. Thick syrupy body.

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Photo of arfenhouse
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage.

A: Dark amber with off white head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Good amount of caramel malt. Spicy hops, floral hops, and pine. Orange peel.

T: Sweet caramel and pine combo upfront. Sweet and very slight bitter grain. A touch of spicy hops mixed with orange peel. Finishes with a bit of bitter pine.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Wet finish.

O: My favorite barleywine so far. Good amount of sweetness and bitterness.

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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 AlCaponeJunior
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Real nice looking, auburn and clear in the glass with a great, rock-steady head that leaves sticky lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, a little fruitiness, and some hoppiness. Slightly subdued on the aroma.

Flavor is pretty bold and malt-forward, plenty of caramel malt and dark fruits, some citrus, a good amount of hops bite.

Slightly slick and plenty bitter, the bitterness follows through on the finish big time. A little less viscous than typical barleywines. Carbonation is smooth and about right for the style.

Overall it's a nice, smooth barleywine that meets my expectations for Green Flash's usual high standards.

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Photo of mpedara429
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours our a very burnt amber color with the slightest haze. A bountiful three fingers of fluffy and sticky tan head.

S: Red licorice, tropical fruit, caramel, and a touch of booze.

T: Very similar to the smell. Good amount of piney hoppiness.

M: Medium body that is creamy with an above average amount of carbonation. A bit warming on the way down.

O: I dig it. It is somewhat similar to and IIPA with it's hop profile. What sets it apart is it's big malt base.

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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 Tone
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of wet hop, citrus hops, slight floral hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and hop oils. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hop oils, hint of roasted malt, alcohol, citrus hops, slight floral hops, hint of wet hop, and a hint of earthy malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, body, and complexity. My only slight complaint is that I wish is had a little more balance in flavors between the hops and malt/alcohol.

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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 duracell
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red/amber body with an off-white creamy head sticking nicely to the glass. Big floral hoppiness in the noze with a nice layer of malt. Hop is really present in the taste with a lot of floral/piney/citrusy notes an a purgent bitterness. Big malty sweetness that gives a full body which balances the hop with raisins/figs aroma. Alcohol at the end gently tickles the throat. Really good barley wine! One of the american examples that is close to an imperial IPA in terms of IBU and hoppy notes. I really love that one, recommended!

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Photo of SerialHiker
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a caramel mahogany color…some very light khaki colored head formed and a thin layer remains…though it’s dark, it’s fairly transparent and I don’t see too many bubbles happening…honestly, there’s not much life here, kinda looks like an average beer…(3.25/5)

Smell: It’s sweet, but not overly candy sweet…I’m getting that dark cherry/strawberry sweetness aroma, but it’s not as strong as other barleywines I’ve had…I’m also picking up some toffee, caramel, spices, pepper, piney hops, earthiness…light dark fruit, a touch of brown sugar and some alcohol heat…I definitely get a little more amber malt than I normally do as well…it’s nice, but not overly aromatic…though as it warms, there is a stronger aroma that highlights more pepper and spices…(4/5)

Taste: Yum! Sweet malts, I’m getting that dark cherry/strawberry sweetness and much like the nose, it’s not candy sweet…it’s more just like sweet caramel amber malts…there’s a good amount of piney, resinous hops flavor there as well balancing and adding to the overall package…it’s almost equal parts sweet amber malts and piney hops…I’m getting some of that brown sugar, fig, spices and booze…I can definitely taste the booze which adds more than subtracts to the flavor...the spices are warming my belly…real good flavor, it’s just a little different from other barleywines I’ve had…it’s got a little bit more of an amber malt flavor than I’m used to…(4.25/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with tons of carbonation…it fluffs up nice bringing more candy sweetness than just in a basic sip, but still it’s not overly candy sweet…it’s mildly chewy, there is some bitterness that hits the outside of my tongue and it ends rather wet with touch of alcohol…(4.25/5)

Overall: I’m quickly finding another style of beer that I’m liking…this barleywine is not as sweet as some I’ve had and while that’s not a bad thing, it just makes it different…the malt flavor is a little too amber malt for me, but that’s the only “knock” I’ve got and that’s probably just be a personal preference…the piney resinous hop flavor is strong and complimentary…this is a solid brew that doesn’t take long to be effective but isn’t too strong to cloud my judgment either…very drinkable and easily recommendable…I definitely want to get at least one more for the future…it’s got a vintage date which usually means it can survive in a cellar for at least a couple of years and I mind as well test that…if you just want a beer to sit back and relax with, this is a great choice…shoot, this is a great choice for disc golfing with and that’s my highest honor! I have to say, the more I drink, the more I like this brew…(4/5)

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Photo of brewskis
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brownish ruby red color with a finger and a half dark tan head that dissipates somewhat slowly and leaves a thick ring of lacing. Smells of lots of carmel and toffee, lots of bready notes from the malt, some brown sugar, raisins, a little dankness from the hops, as well as some grapefruit and pine. Thought there would be more hops on the nose. Taste starts with some resinous hop qualities such as grapefruit, pine, and orange rind. Then in the middle the hop qualities take a back seat to the malts. Lots of carmel, toffee, breadiness, some molasses or brown sugar. Then the finish is more of the heavy malt presence: lots of sweetness and breadiness, as well as some raisins, but more of the resinous hops show through as well. More complex hops flavors show through on the end such as floral, grass, and resin. Some booze on the finish that provides a warming sensation on the way down. Tastes very much like Bells This One Goes to 11 when it warms, as the hops show through much more. A pretty full body with a thick, creamy, and oily mouthfeel. Have had better American barleywines, but still decent.

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Photo of flydudehsv
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber served in a snifter, purchased from Yosemite Valley's Village Store. Deep amber red/brown with a big, thick head. Oily texture. Aroma is hoppy and honey smell. Taste is mostly caramel and honey but still retains a citrus peel, pine; finishing grassy. Good Barleywine worth getting again!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains well before slowly disintegrating to a 1/4 inch head. Sticky lacing that adheres to the glass and then parts down leaving streaks behind.

S- Malty sweetness with a considerable hop sharpness in the back. They mesh together well, creating a citrus/cereal grain hybrid.

T- The bitterness mostly dominates in the flavor with the caramel-like malt trailing behind it. Certainly a hop-forward barleywine with more citrus notes and that signature west coast grassy flavor. The sweetness from the malt is still there but only as a moderator to tip the scale from the hop intensity. I must say though, the alcohol is fairly subdued resulting in high drinkability.

M- Sharp with a lingering hop bite, yet somehow has a soft, slick feel. Medium carbonation.

O- I can't tell if aging would make this one any better due to the fact that the hops are so enjoyable. Either way, I also enjoyed its mild sweetness and would definitely have it again.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I guess I have to talk a little more to get to the minimum number of words for this review to register. on speech to text. We'll see how well it transcribes my voice.
I guess I have to talk a little more to get to the minimum number of words for this review to register.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 220z bomber picked up in Asheville, NC

A - A deep mahogany/reddish amber. Lots of cloudiness, tons of head and sticky lace left all over the glass. Impressive

S - Very sweet aroma, toffee, caramel, brown sugar. The sweetness is typical of such a high ABV barleywine. Nice hop kick at the back. Well balanced. Tasty!

M - Medium bodied, fairly light on the tongue. High carbonation

O - Green Flash impresses yet again. They have not let me down in a long time. Well done Barleywine! Perfect for a Thursday night work week wind down...

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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 smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber bottle into a large snifter glass. Vintage 2012.

A real creamy light tan head emerges, whipped and thicked up with very tiny bubbles, almost like mattress foam. Body color is a dark burnt orange, with hints of red, quite dark. Up to a bright light it has a real nice peach hue, and is a bit transparent.

Nose is real nice and fruity. Big grapefruit mush with lots of juicy zest sensations. Slightly toned down brown sugars, but some noticeable heat that is tolerable.

Palate coats nicely. A good sense of caramel, with the hop forward grapefruit action lingering. Nice mellow bitterness and chewy. Very coating mouthfeel with just the right amount of depth. Surprisingly not as sugar and sweet forward hinted on the nose, almost even dry.

Overall a real pleasant straightforward barleywine, very good.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great offering from Green Flash!

Pours out a deep mahogany with ruby red highlights and 2 fingers of off-white head.

The aroma has a lot of citrus hop notes, dark fruit like plum and fig and toffee and caramel malt notes.

The taste is mainly dominated by the dark fruit notes, but the citrusy hops are prominent too. There are a decent amount of sweeter malt flavors like toffee and caramel. Balanced between bitter and sweet.

The body is medium-full and it has a rich mouthfeel. There is not taste or smell of alcohol, but a strong warming affect.

This is a really tasty Barleywine and very easy to drink considering the high ABV, but not the best I've ever had. Worthy trying especially for the price.

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Photo of DrewV
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A finely balanced beer here, well-executed and smooth as silk, in traditional Green Flash style. Utilizes their signature malt base with some very fruity hops to set off the balance. Definitely leans more towards the fruity style of barleywines, a' la Founders Bolt Cutter, but I prefer the sharp Simcoe flavor in the Bigfoot / Old Guardian vein. Green Flash has definitely produced a fine brew here, but a bit on the mild side for me. I'll give this a B+/A-.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight tulip glass, color is amber to light brown, head presents about 1/4 inch thick.

Smell maple sugar, light fig, caramel and some moderate bitter notes.

Taste is pretty solid, not overly sweet nice flavor presence in the maple, caramel type with some very strong bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little cloying, but expected from a brew like this. Paired well with the leftover desserts.

Overall solid bwine, a little bitter than most but not too cliying, nice mix of flavors

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

Ba Review #231
Served On: 10/26/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 10.9%
Date/ Code: 2011 Vintage

This was a 22oz. bomber from Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick.

Look: This heavy brew poured a rich clear copper color - bordering on ruby red. The head was a sandy tan color of froth - was an initial 2 fingers that dissipated to a thin patchy film. The lacing was incredible and very sticky looking on the glass.

Smell: This one had a very robust hop aroma. Huge onionskin notes with some pine. The malt sweetness was also very pronounced - all within a very resiny character.

Taste: First up was a malt sweetness that lead into a charge of pungent hops. A harsh hop bitterness hit with some hints of floral and onion trailing behind. A warming sensation appeared on the back-end. Then the huge malt bill made itself know with an almost cloying sweetness that cleared away the hop profile and created a lingering sweet aftertaste.

I enjoyed this brew. It was a very well hopped interpretation of a Barleywine that seemed like a SN Bigfoot that was taken to the next level.

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Photo of stlunatic15
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber to a Tulip.

A - Dark mahogany with a 1/2 inch head. Standard lacing.

S - Molasses, maple syrup, caramel, and a light hint of chocolate.

T - Definitely a deep, malty flavor. Slightly boozy at the end, but that's a given since it's still young (2012). Also getting some dark berry notes - almost tastes like chocolate covered cherries, with a hint of raisin.

M - Very well carbonated, medium-bodied, but the thickness is still there. Still a slight burn at the back of the throat due to the booziness and its young age.

O - A very dense, complex barley wine with lots of noticeable flavors occurring. I am trying it fresh for the first time, and now I'm thinking about picking up another bottle to lay down, because I believe this beer has great potential for aging well. Will report back in a year or two.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased from Smiley's in Dover NH before they closed this past spring. Green label, Vintage 2011. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

A: Cloudy brew the color of apple cider. A moderate pour generates 1/2" of dense rocky foam, very creamy-looking, surprisingly good retention given the high ABV. Tons of lace, impressive!

S: This might seem odd, but my first impression is GIN. A distinctive spicy juniper aroma. This fades as it airs, but I still get it lingering behind other things. Aroma is a super thick sweet malty body, full and rounded, covers all the malty sweet spots in the nose. It smells like something you'd have to eat with a spoon. The OG must be absolutely massive. A distinct caramel/ toffee note leads the charge. Also smelling some green apple, of all things.

T/M: Significantly less complex than the smell. Less of a clean malt sweetness, more of a muddy caramel struggling to keep peppery alcohol under wraps. The high ABV was well-hidden in the smell but definitely makes itself known in the taste. Feel is a tight balance between thick malt body and thin sharp alcohol, again with the alcohol winning out.

D: Not the best drinker, largely due to difficulties in keeping the high ABV under control in the taste. I've had other brews just as strong that do a better job at that task.

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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 845 ratings.
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