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 deadonhisfeet
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage reviewed in October of 2012. Poured from a bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Pours out slightly murky, reddish-brown, tawny liquid with a nice one finger of khaki head. The nose definitely says Barleywine. I get sweet, medicinal notes of toffee, sweet malt, and cherries.

Full body and very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Very sweet throughout the palate with little resistance from the hops. Intense malt flavors of sweet cherries, orange, toast, and holiday cookies. Warming bit of alcohol on the finish and lingering flavors of baking spice and orange rind.

This beer was a bargain at 4.99 per bomber. Plus, it's bottle conditioned and should continue to evolve over time. I realize my bottle was about a year old. I must try a fresh bottle some time to see if it has a bit more hop presence.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip. 2012 Vintage.

A: Dark toffey brown. Hazy throughout with a finger tan head that laces well.

S: Nose is Malty sweet and feint. Light resiny pine.

T: Straight after the now. Big malty here with caramel and candy, some hops of pine give a resiny bite. Light alcohol mingles in.

M: Big and chewy as expected. A light bite from the hops leaves a slight tingle to the mouth.

D: A no-frills staple west coast American barleywine.

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Photo of mountdew1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice dark caramel, with a very light brown foamy head. Head lasted a few minutes, but left nice lacing on the sides, and the remainder clung a fair amount. Aroma was floral sweet, a hint of spicy sugar, but you could also smell the alcohol. Flavor was a well balanced sweet, with a bit of hoppy after taste. Coated very well in the mouth. Nice thick and chewy, with a little bit of carbonation in the mouth. Overall a good barleywine. Perhaps just a smidgen oversweet, but outside of that it was delicious.

Bottle said 2011 Vintage

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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 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 jera1350
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009.

Amber colored, sticky head of tan foam that generates some nice lacing.

The smell is nice, but a bit light. Dark Jamaican spiced rum, hops and sweet toffee malt. Mostly dark rum though.

Dark spiced rum dominates the flavor here. Spicy, mellow booze, toasted nuts and spicy and earthy hops. Lingering spice and hops in the aftertaste.

Very smooth, full bodied and dry on the finish.

Very nice barleywine that has done well with age. I think this would have been a hot mess fresh. Very pleasant drinker with a unique spice component for the style.

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

Notes taken from 08/09/12
2012 Vintage - 22oz bomber into a taster flute

A: GF Barleywine pours a deep rich caramel color with red and brown hues when held to the light. The brew looks dense with some haze to it that gives off a sort of brassy glow. A finger worth of dark sandy head formed looking stale and cakey. Practically motionless. Ever so slowly it resides, leaving rooftop lined lace down the glass.

S: Smells of caramelized grains, sugar soaked raisins, some spice, toffee, and leathery earth. There is a decent amount of fruity plum and fig-like esters present with a touch of alcohol. Nice and appropriate for the style.

T: Intense flavors are forward with gooey kettled caramel malts, candied figs, crusty bread, and spiced raisins/currants. There is high amount of bitterness with a nice flourishing hop presence. A bit of caramelized apple and pear met with lesser notes of grass, dry pine needle, and sour orange peel. Beer is on the sweeter side as to be expected with a sharp alcohol bite and warming sensation. A really bold and intense Barleywine.

M: Mouthfeel is moderately heavier in chew but with a nice creamy texture up front and dry prickly carbonic finish. Lends to a more quaffable experience. Noticeable lingering hop residues.

D: Overall a solid American Barleywine with some real complex layers resulting from an extended boil of Pale Malts (English?), high Crystal malts, and perhaps some Special B accentuating that raisin/figgy ester profile. Huge charge of hops here. Not quite as smooth as a SN Bigfoot when fresh but just as good in its own way. Alcohol definitely asserts itself this one could benefit from another 6-12 months on it.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown in colour and fairly cloudy with a biege thin head that dissipates fairly quickly to a thin film.

S - Get of alot toffee, caramel and sweet candy with floral citrus hops throughout.

T - Get caramel malts and loads of toffee, raisins and a little toffee apple and pine at the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation

O - Very impressed with this one. A little on the boozy side but very well balanced and definaitely worth a go.

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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 VaTechHopHead
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012, 22 oz. bottled poured into a Stone tulip glass

A - Deep brown in color, slightly hazy, and has a thick light tan head that lasts.

S - Very sweet, as evident of the 4-hour boiling process, but not overly sweet. Hints of toffee, caramel and molasses. Zero hop presence in this one.

T - Very similar to the aroma but with a little less sweetness. Great toffee/caramel flavor and just a hint of toasted biscuit in the background. Again, hardly any hop flavor in this one. Finishes semi-sweet with a great roasted acidity.

M/O - Medium to big body on this one and no alcohol taste/burn. Leaves the palate clean and slightly chewy. Overall it's a great barleywine in my opinion that tends to the low-hop characteristics of the style. Will be a regular in my fridge/cellar.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle

Green Flash Barleywine Ale poured into a snifter at 550. Body was a dark brown color with a red cast producing a nice looking bubbly tan head and spotty lacing. The nose is of caramel malt, toffee, and citrus hops. The taste is toffee, some brown sugar and a sweet caramel upfront followed by a generous grapefruit citrus hop finish. Mouthfeel is a little sticky but also smooth with a fuller body and a nice alcohol warming builds as consumed.

Green Flash Barleywine is not my favorite American Barleywine however, it is good nonetheless. .. Nice ‘warming’ winter ale.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2011 vintage stated on label.

appears a dark hazy amber copper color, with 1/2" creamy khaki colored head. decent head retention. smells quite boozey, slightly fruity alcohol esters. taste definitely starts very caramely, then a bit of earthy, piney, hops. sweet lingering aftertaste. medium thickness, smooth, soft carbonation. nice mouthfeel.

overall - if aroma was improved, it would complete the beer. solid though.

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Photo of daledeee
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 oz bomber

Pours perfectly. Nice light tan head and pretty dark brown body.

Nose is spicy, hoppy and malty.

Taste is more balanced than some other brew I have had from this place. It comes across as slightly creamy, pretty hoppy but a good dose of malt as well. The hops don't take over until the finish.

Carbonation is really nice and overall I like this beer.

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

Split a 22oz bottle of the 2012 vintage, poured into duvel glass

A: pours a hazy tawny/ruby brown with about a finger of brownish head that leavs some nice lacing... Good looking brew.

S: sticky malts, toffee, caramel. A hint of rasin and a load of citrus hoppyness, brown sugar

T: much like the nose loads of sticky malts, toffe and caramel, balanced out with loads of pine and citrus hops, notes of grapefruit and brown sugar, touch of alcohol , yummy.

M: medium body with crisp stinging medium/high carbonation, dry finish, Not overly sticky or syrupy. The alcohol is present and this is deffinatly a delicious sipper.

O: this is an excellent barleywine, nice balance between bitter and sweet, nice finish, very tasty

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

2012 bottling

A: deep amber brown with red-orange highlights; fat head left lotsa lace

S: caramel malt, dark fruit

T: pine, resin, robust malt, subdued sweetness, a little solventy

M: medium body, bittered caramel feel; slightly sticky

O: a good barleywine - but not much else; nothing really exceptional to set it apart; a worthy buy and try

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with Vintage 2012 on the bottle. Pours a dark mahogany color with an inch of frothy tan head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of booze, brown sugar, dark fruits, caramel malts and bread. Taste has a surprising amount of citrus hop flavor upfront followed by the caramel malts, earth, booze, and burnt brown sugar. Nice amount of alcohol burn. Afertaste of caramel and booze along with some dark fruits. This is a barleywine with a fair amount of hop flavor to it. Interested in aging one now. Overall, this is a solid barleywine worth seeking out.

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

Pours a beautiful, rich, dark amber color with a fat, fluffy taupe head that seems to linger forever. Toasted malt, caramel, and mown grass make up the aroma. Smooth, thicker consistency contributes to a pleasant mouthfeel. In true Green Flash fashion, there's a lot of high alpha acid hop resin that cuts the grain about midway and coats the palate. Despite the 11% ABV, there's very little alcohol warmth or taste. This is a fun Barleywine.

ADDENDUM: When eating with this beer, the alcohol gets expressed more prominently.

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4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22fl oz bottle. Snifter glass. Renjoyed on may´12. Pours mahogany in color. Beige, small bubbled, froth creates a thick & lasting crown. Spotty lacing on sides. Yeast & chocolate with hints of floral hops to the nose. Dry bitterness, toffee notes & toasted coffee. Viscous & creamy mouthfeel. Full body, moderate carbonation.Wood & pine on the aftertaste.ABV is felt just at the end to confirm it is not necessary to be a hot Barley Wine to be a Top one. Very nice drinking experience.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Creamy-dense head. The beer is darkly clear, an umber brown.

S: Sticky molasses malts and a touch of roast. Some vaguely metallic hops.

T/M: A pleasantly thick beer. Heavy malt base and some piny hops to bitter out the burnt toffee maintaste. The hoppiness grows as I continue drinking, along with a citric tang that is an interesting counterpoint to the strong alcohol and aforementioned heavy malt. Full-bodied and hefty. A sipper.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I'd drink again, and recommend to others. A great example of an American barleywine. Extreme, but in equal measures; bittersweet, as it were.

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Photo of capeannbass36
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a snifter....
A- Pours a fairly clear amber, reddish orange, topped with a 3 finger sticky, soapy beige colored head that hangs around for awhile.

S- Typical barleywine scent. Malt, toffee, caramel, some dark fruit. Some hops.

T- Follows the nose quite similarly. Some raisins. Yum.

M- Medium light carbonation. A touch slick and oily.

O- Finally a Green Flash that I like! Wish that I had another to sit in for a year to compare notes.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. Lots of head, maybe five or six fingers. Color was caramel coffee and cloudy lacing on the top. More cappuccino than anything else. Wet, tan and even film on the sides.

Smelled a potent whiff of wet citrus hops up front. Caramel and toffee malts as well. Some spices as well, which I couldn’t put my finger on.

Tasted caramel toffee malts and citrus rye hops. Very bitter on the tongue after. Pretty malty.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

Not bad for my first taste of barley wine. May come back and rate this again once I’ve had a few.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: Lots of hops, as you'd expect, with hints of caramel and malt in the aroma.

T: Tasted of hops, a bit of malt, a little citrus (grapefruit), and caramel. Not quite as hoppy as I would have guessed, but still a balanced, straightforward flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Another solidly made, drinkable beer from Green Flash.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Great Divide snifter

A-- Poured a dark toffee with orange splashes. Quite clear. Small carbonation bubbles are visible in this. One and a half light brown finger head that worked its way to a thick layer of film.

S-- Orange, grapefruit, pine and booze. Malts a a bit buried in this early but with air the backbone slowly overtakes the hops. More candied orange with toffee.

T-- Pungent orange and grapefruit mixed with a nice carmel backing. Slightly sweet and jammy once I got through the hops. More of a bigger malt bodied DIPA to me.

M-- Let this sit on the mouth for a bit and get a lot of the malt. Lots of strawberry orange jam. Booze is apparent but this is a 2011 so that figures. Showing signs of smoothing out. Medium bodied and low carbonation.

O-- Think this barleywine is on the turn to the good stuff. Hops are not as apparent and the malt is slowing taking over. ABV is very obvious in spots and in others quite smooth. Probably will be a staple in my cellar for a while

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

Bottle from Beer Deluxe. 2011 vintage. From notes.

A - Poured deep ruby with a three finger beige head. Thick head on top of a bright body left thick lace rings and half a finger of retention.

S - Hops, caramel, vibrant punch hops. Booze, sweet dark fruit. A bit floral, honey, and lemon candy with candied orange too.

T - Strong IPA-like flavour with maltier backbone. Dark fruit, booze. Floral with citrus and sweet malt too.

M - Mild carbonation, full body and a sweet tingly finish.

O/D - Subtle version of an American Barleywine. Less aggressive hop profile than usual in the style which I liked. Rich malt yet hoppy and aggressive. Good.

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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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