Barleywine Style Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

very good
845 Ratings
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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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 845 |  Reviews: 438
Photo of thatsfine
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage

Served from a 22 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: This pours a pretty dark, hazy shade of amber, to the point of being a dark brown. The head is very large upon the pour, two fingers. The head recedes quickly to a quarter inch cap leaving sticky lacing down the glass. This is impressive.

S: The smell was evident as soon as I started pouring this. Putting my nose in the beer results in quite a bit of hops and nice caramel malts. The hops and malt combine for a very sweet scent.

T: Upon tasting the brew, the first thing that hits my palate is an onlsaught of hops. Tons of hops. IPA like citrusy hops. As the taste progresses the caramel malts really come through and a bitter finish with a strong alcohol kick. Definitely a West Coast type barleywine.

M: Thick, as it should be for a barleywine of this magnitude.

D: I definitely kept going back for more of this brew. Don't drink more than a bottle though, obviously. It's almost 11%.

I am a hop lover so this barleywine was right up my alley. However, I do prefer barleywines to be big complex malt bombs. This definitely has the huge malts to back up the ridiculous amount of hops. This is a brew to be appreciated and respected. It's very good. Very happy I have a few more bottles to see how this tastes when the hops fade over the next few years. Time to begin a vertical.

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

From notes:
The bottle reads 2008 Vintage.
Look: Pours a deep red/brown with half inch head and decent lacing.
Smell: Carmel up front with a bit of citrus. Not very complex, but not bad.
Taste: Tastes more along the lines of a black ipa. Sweet carmel followd by loads of hops and a bit of bite from the alcohol.
Mouth: Light carbonation, smooth going down.
Drink: I'm not a huge barleywine fan but this one struck me as pretty decent. I'll certainly have to grab a few to cellar.

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Photo of olmatty
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a beautiful crimson amber with a slight cloudiness. The head is moderate and beige with good retentionand nice lacing.

Smell-Vineous port aroma, earthy funk and creamy sweetness.

Taste-Layered with complex flavors: A deep caramel, sherry wine, sweet dried orange peel, earthy herbal barnyard funk, and a stiff hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel-Full bodied and palate flooding.

Drinkability-Enormously tasty, but a huge ABV brings down drinkability a tad. Excellent single serving. Try it with Stilton cheese, dark chocolate and some fruit.

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Photo of diamondc
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber for $7.99. 2010 Vintage.

A: Hazy, red copper shade. Excellent lacing and head retention.

S: Pine trees, grapefruit, toffee, cantaloupe, a bit salty. Heavy on the dried fruits.

T: Initial blast of hop bitterness, followed by intense fruit & caramel sweetness of the malts. Interesting aftertaste of wood and chocolate warming up.

M/D: 10.9% abv is undetectable here. The sweetness might be off-putting towards the end. Still, an excellent barleywine worth the price of admission.

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Photo of Mdog
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Appearance: Brown-orange, good head.

Smell: Caramel sweetness, booze, hint of pine.

Taste: Starts with sweet caramel and toffee. Hits with pine/citrus bitterness halfway through and in the finish.

Drinkability: The bomber went down too easy for a big beer.

Picked this up in Illinois over Thanksgiving. Somewhat similar to Bigfoot, this bottle had been on the shelf for a while but held up pretty well. Nice barleywine sweetness with enough hops to give it some legs.

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

22oz into a Balloon Tulip. 2009 Vintage.

Pours a dark, burnt brown with a healthy off white head. 3 minutes and the head is all but gone. Pretty good lacing.

Nose is heavy burnt caramel. The bottle says they used a three hour boil, and it is obvious in the smell. Muted hops and faint alcohol peek through the aroma.

Taste is much more balanced than the nose. This is still a malt forward beer, but the hops are very present. The label advertises "citrus hops," which might be a bit of a stretch, but the pleasant bitterness is ever present, especially in the long lingering aftertaste.

Mouth is fairly heavy, not quite syrupy. This is a pleasure to sip. Good beer.

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Photo of juhl31
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks The Linkery for the '09 vintage!

-crimson brown body with a white thin head

-still very hop heavy, not as much has died off as i would have thought. some malt background and a bit of alcohol

-again...very hoppy. there is a good caramel melt towards the middle and a little vanilla in there

-all the hops makes for some bitterness. there is a bit of a carb burn and there's almost a buttery taste in there

-this is a good barleywine, but i remember liking the bottle better which was a surprise. would like to get a couple more years on it

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Photo of stimulus
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage.
Poured from 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy brown with a light tan head.
S: Caramel and molasses with hop bitterness on the finish.
T: An initial blast of caramel malty sweetness followed by intense piney hop bitterness. As it warms, the hops fade to the background a bit with the caramel sweetness taking over and bringing out some surprising chocolate notes on the finish.
M: A tad bit sticky but the carbonation is definition there. Somewhat heavy body, but no overpowering.
D: The alcohol really doesn't overpower for 11% abv in the taste, you feel it fast enough. Solidly drinkable for the style, as the alcohol is unnoticeable in the taste and the malts and hops are well balanced.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle bought online from

Poured a deep coppery colour. Creamy head with some coppery tinges poured quite thick and rocky then faded to nice light ring around the edge of the glass. Barely any carbonation... some light frothy lacing...

Aroma - Lots of spicy piney hops, peppery, herbal notes, caramel / toffee sweetness, some burnt sugar notes, spicy fruits (raisins, oranges, some light figs, grapefruit), strong resinous notes, some saltiness, toasted bread, biscuity malts, woody, some faint leathery traces, grassy, quite a lot of alcohol coming through...

Taste - Very strong peppery / spicy / piney hops to the fore followed by lots of toffee and caramel malt sweetness, earthy notes, spicy fruits (bitter oranges (strong marmalade hints), tart apples, some figs, raisins), dark muscovado sugar traces, burnt sugar, yeasty traces, herbal, some anise, toasted bread, alcohol is noticeable..

M&D - Quite sharp initially then mellows to quite a syrupy smoothness. Medium bodied... At 10.9% certainly not the most drinkable beer and one bomber is a bit much...

Overall - A pretty good barleywine although nothing groundbreaking... certainly worth a try though...

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

bought this mostly becuase it comes from
and didn't regret it a bit!

Poured from the 22 ounce bomber into my New Belgium goblet.

A: Nice show on the pour: brings up a sticky 1.5 finger head that settles to a nice film leaving a generous lace. Deep red brew with very little clarity.

S: Sweets dominate the nose: malty toffee with a hop background

T: love me my barelywine that's for sure. this comes thru sweet and leaves a nice firm aftertaste. You know you are drinking without a doubt.

M: Big big body - solid apperance by the - alcohol - and the buzz is not far behind

D: this is no session beer that's for sure. Loving every minute of it but cant give superhigh marks in the drinkability dept. THANKS to Green Flash for this.

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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 emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Picked this bomber up for less than $5, a pretty reasonable price indeed for a barley wine of this caliber. Pours a dark mahogany color, with a big, fluffy tan head. Nice big hoppy nose, with pine needles, earthy hops and some light maltiness. This one is very drinkable, almost like a DIPA. Pine, citrus, a little caramel, but no noticeable alcohol, whatsoever (although the label tells me it is there). A very nice barleywine, especially at that price point, but not up there with the greats.

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

2009 vintage. Consumed March 2, 2010

Deep Hazy amber, ruby highlights. Small tan head. dissipated into a pool of oils and a small collar. Some sticky sparse lace patches.

Bold sweet toffee and booze. Toasty, buttery, earthy, whiskey. Some herbal and citrus hop notes.

Toasty sweet toffee. earthy woody pine and whiskey. Ruthless resinous spicy earthy bitterness.

Thick, sticky and chewy. Full bodied. Still harsh from the booze and bittering hops.

Big Boozey beast, reminds me of a whiskey. Very tasty, but could benefit from some more aging to take some of the bite out of the alcohol and smooth it out a bit. Big bitterness.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 Vintage. Got this ages ago as an extra in a trade. Thank you whomever it was!

(A)- Pours a hazy dark blood red color that produced a minimal tan colored head with decent retention.

(S)- A good malty backbone with a little toffee, fig, and raisin sweetness. A tad dry with a subtle vanilla background to it.

(T)- Same as the smell. A malty rich full barley backbone with a good caramel-like sweetness.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Sweet and malty as expected. A light warmth as it goes down with minimal bitterness.

(D)- A good barleywine that has smoothed out pretty well thus far. Could even use a bit more time to age, but it is tasty now.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a dark ruby brown with a light brown head that dissipates quickly to a crown with a light smattering of bubbles on top of the beer. Smell has a healthy dose of malts up front with some definite sweetness and alcohol as well. Taste is sweet caramel malts and alcohol. Feel has crisp carbonation with the warming alcohol, medium to full bodied. Overall a very good drinking barleywine.

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Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Vintage 2010) Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 2010; coming in a 6 FL Oz. brown bottle, served mildly chilled in Gulden Draak's branded tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: dark ruby-brown-ish hue with good clarity and a creamy light beige froth, fed by rather light
S: pretty sweet and densely juicy in terms of maltiness yet supported by a good backbone of citrus hop fragrance and longan-fruit tea; the secondary layer of notes include berry-fruit jam, thick honey, light hints of toffee, marinated plums, and melted brown sugar. Very rich/dense in terms of the overall mixed aroma.
T: better than on the nose - softly effervescent, the flavour evolves from the lusciously bitter-sweet malty and richly & sour-sweet citric-fruity entry to an expanding bitter aftertaste full of tannic hops, crushed lemon seeds, bitter-sweet dried lemon peels, and a touch of peppery spice... The finish is marvellously soft and yet also chewy, like a sip of lightly sweetened semi-fermented dark tea, also quite warming as well (the alc. does manifest itself unreservedly).
M&D: full-bodied, lightly warming, softly carbonated, all in all a surprisingly easy drinking and richly hoppy barley wine (or, more like a darker DIPA to be honest) with good potential to age.

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Photo of dgilks
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick sweet malt is teemed with the aroma of piney, resinous hops. Quite good.

Great, clear mahogany colour with a creamy, thick light tan head. Very good.

Intensely bitter with lots of oily, resinous hops. There is a large amount of toffee like malts as well. Well built. Noticeable alcohol.

Full body with moderate carbonation. To style.

A nice American Barleywine. Lots of flavour here and a nice interplay between hops and malt.

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

A - Pours beautifully into the glass a nice rich copper color with two fingers of head that dissipates into a nice little layer and leaves nice lacing.

S - Mostly just sweet malts, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and booze.

T - Taste if of toasted malts, sweet caramel and toffee. Bitter notes at the end meshed with grapefruit hops and alcohol.

M - Thick and creamy, pretty heavy in body that really coats the mouth.

D - Although this beer is indeed drinkable, I wouldn't have more than one in a night. Pretty good, but not the best Green Flash has to offer and not my new favorite Barleywine.

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

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a nice muddy mahogany color with some reddish hues and a nice .5 inch head that is nice and dense and off-white.

S - Starts off with an extreme sweet malt character. Fruits, slight caramel, boozy. There are some grassy hints as well that indicate a hop presence.

T - Wow. Very surprising. Not as sweet in the taste as teh smell would indicate. Starts of with some toasted malty bread flavor that is quickly overwhelmed by some nice bitter and dry hop flavor. There is some grapefruit sweetness s well as some malty caramel in there.

Edit: As the beer warms there is some nice vinous flavors that develop and add to the complexity.

M & D - This beer is actually quite delicious and very well balanced for a Barleywine even though the flavors are intense. Very drinkable. It is a bit dry int he body but still good and refreshing.

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Photo of atsprings
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage 22oz bottle into a Hopus glass pours a murky muddy copper with a thin khaki head that diminishes to a ring and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice balance of burnt caramel and citrus and pine hops. The taste is loads of burnt caramel and slight dried fruits with a nice kick of pine hops leaving a nice bitter finish. The beer is a bit heavy with slight sticky alcohol, but it is a relatively easy sipper. This is a respectable Barleywine, one I would like to try with more than one year's age on it.

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Photo of chaz410
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this bottle at the Flying Saucer.
Pours a dark amber body with a half finger length khaki head.
Smells of biscuits, toasted caramel malts, chocolate and raisens.
Taste is similar to the smell but heavier on the roasted malts, particularly on the chocolate. Theres a very roasted finish and it has a bready back bite with some alcohol sting.
Smooth, silky mouthfeel with some dryness at the finish.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter) 2009 Vintage
A- This beer has a dense warm brown body with a strong microbubble carbonation with a yellowish-tan head that last and last.
S- Herbal pine hops has a caramel malt richness underneath.
T- The alcohol bite with a slight fusel note mixes with a green pungent hops. The caramel sweet malt flavor is very subtle underneath. A pungent bitter bite finishes the beer with a slight green woody note.
M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that burns slightly in the back of the throat. The fizzy finish boost the alcohol and the hops flavor.
D- The malt flavor is nice but buried under the alcohol heat and hops. Age might help the hops and alcohol settle down. The bitterness of the hops just grows and grows whereas the other flavors do not.

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Photo of drpimento
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. A little over the top, but more in the way of excess than excellent. Poured with a nice foamy frothy. thick, tan head and a little lace. Color is a pretty, clear, orange red amber. Aroma is massive malt and hop with yeast and fruit, plus fruit rind. Flavor's like aroma and very bitter without hardly any sweetness. Body is full and carbonation is good. Finish is like flavor and quite long with the bitterness lingering for a while. An appertif maybe.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a one finger frothy head which gives way to some decent patchy lacing. The aroma is of a caramel malt backbone with a slight dark fruit presence finished off with some piney and citrus hops. The taste has a caramel malt backbone with hints of toffee present. The middle of the beer has a slight dark fruit characteristic and the end is finished off with piney hops and a slight citrus hop bite. The mouthfeel is low carbonation and creamy. The drinkability is good, the alcohol burn is non existant, there is a nice malt backbone blended well with the hops. It is an easy drink for a barelywine. The flavor is slightly smashed together however, it is a good barelywine.

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Photo of Lunch
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle (2008) acquired in a trade with AleWatcher (Thanks!) into my DFH snifter (06/30/10).

A: Pours a hazy chestnut brown with one finger of an off-white head that left some sticky and patchy lacing.

S: Certainly a nice mix of hops and malt. Lost of pine and caramel in this.

T: Taste mirrors the nose and the palate is hit with a full-bodied BW with a heavy does of hops and a hearty caramel/toffee malt backbone. Not the most complex flavor profile, but a good one.

M: Fuller-bodied and fairly thick with low and somewhat creamy carbonation.

D: Not the most drinkable BW, but certainly not the worst.

Overall this was a nice BW and also another quality offering from Green Flash. Thanks again Jeff!

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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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