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:
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Ratings: 845 |  Reviews: 438
Photo of kwjd
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange colour with a thick white head and lacing all down the glass. Smell had lots of citrus hops and caramel malt, just as you'd expect in a west coast barleywine. A wonderful balance of the malt and hops in the taste. I'm noticing some pine flavour that I wasn't getting as much in the smell before taking a sip. Very nicely carbonated and drinkable. I got through this beer much quicker than I thought and I'm glad I bought a 2nd bottle.

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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 bs870621345
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A fairly standard barleywine. Nothing overly special but worth a try

It pours a dark brown mahogany color with a thin white head. Small bubbles form around the glass. Leaves a small amount of lacing

Smell is malty with dark fruits, brown sugar and faint hops in the background.

Taste is sweet with a bit more bitterness than I would expect.

Mouthfeel is medium but the carbonation is a little much for a barleywine IMO but not excessive by any means.

Drinkability is average. The alcohol is well hidden, but it could sneak up on you quick.

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Photo of beertunes
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very nice reddish brown color with over an inch of tan head that had great retention and lacing.

Some citrus and floral hops on the nose, with a deep malt backbone. The hops aren't as dominant on the tongue as I had expected. The hops and malt are very well balanced, with a surprisingly dry finish. And, at 10.9%ABV, the alcohol is very understated, barely noticeable in the mouth.

The body was a little thinner than I like in this style, but was still very enjoyable. Drinkability was excellent for such a big beer, I shared a 22 with a couple other people, and was thinking that I could have drank the whole thing myself.

Overall, a very nice beer, you should try this when you see it.

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

This barleywine pours a dark burgandy brown with a tan head. Aromas of barley, molasses and a floral presence. Taste is of sweet barley malts, a little caramel and a bit of grapefruit. A fairly strong hop presence for a barleywine but it's an almost cycling of flavors as you finish. Mouthfeel is fuzzy carbonation and a thin mouthcoating. A caramel alcohol finish rounds it out.

This is a pretty easy drinking barleywine. It is much hoppier than most barleywines at the sacrifice of some of the normal spicy complexities of a barleywine. It is certainly interesting both in taste and mouthfeel considering the relatively high carbonation. Overall I would say it was enjoyable and had no problem finishing the bottle.

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

Vintage 2008.
Poured into Allagash chalice.

A - dark brown caramel color, east coast sand color head, with some decent sized bubbles

S - chocolate, earthy hops, bit of alcohol in the back

T - more chocolate/caramel malt, then sharp citrus, bit medicinal, after taste is a mix of bitter chocolate and hops, not overly dry finish

M - on the heavy side of medium bodied, very smooth, good coating on the palette, never hot but abv is felt mid chest

D - just noticed this at the local beer store the other day, have been sucked in by the dipa and ipas from green flash before, but now this 2008 might need to come home with me...dont think they well hold up for another year though, but who said anything about waiting to drink them

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Photo of Stunner97
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage

Appearance- pitch dark brown in color with very little light getting through, medium white foam quickly fades away to a thinner lacing,

Smell- nice balance of malts and hops on the nose, nothing really overally dominated but nothing offensive either, more malts at least at this point on nose then hop,

Taste- good amount of malt up front with a a sharp hoppy finish, nice amount of balance though certainly even still at this point hop driven for the most part, finish is medium and pleasant, enjoyable flavor

Mouthfeel- medium to heavy bodied with bit of carbonation but still good amount of smooth and creaminess, with bitter drying finish very nice

Drinkablility- very enjoyable and quite drinkable, maintains a good up front malt balance with sharp hoppy kick on the back end, a rather enjoyable barley that probably even after 2 and half years could even with stand a bit more aging to be mellowed further a good effort

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Photo of snpub540
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a crystal clear crimson hue with a thin ring of tan bubbles. Very beautiful to look at. The color is just awesome!

Smell is just of booze and resiny hops.

Flavor is the same. Slightly sweet in the beginning, but just become tastebud thrashing bitter. Alcohol burn in the finish. Seems kind of harsh.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin but not watery. Its pretty harsh to drink. Hop bitterness with not alot of flavor from either malt or hops.

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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 FrognutUnl
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazel nut brown with reddish highlights. Hazy with a single finger of head with moderate staying power and a lot of lacing

S- Brown sugar, grapefruit and dark dried fruits comprise the bouquet.

T - Bitter resinous hops with hints of grapefruit dominate the initial taste. Flavors of malty brown sugar, vanilla, and more intense grapefruit poke out as the glass warms to near room temperature. The alcohol is ever so slightly present in the nice warming finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to full body, about what should be expected of the style.

D - The most enjoyable part of this brew is certainly the nose, though the taste is not far behind. This is definitely a beer that, if found in my area, would be a staple in the ol' refrigerator.

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

2009 vintage. 10.9%

Served cold in an imperial pint glass, it has a slightly hazy redish brown color with thick rocky head. The head slowly settles with spotty lace left behind.

Aroma is sweet and malty with great fruity smell. There's tart pie apples, apricots, raisins and other dried fruits.

Flavor is big and in the same flavors that were picked up in the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lower carbonation.

Overall it's enjoyable but not as big on fresh hops as I'd like.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hazy and brooding brown body capped by two fingers of creamy off-white head that leaves terrific lacing.

Aroma: Brassy hops over a rich caramel malt body with a few whiffs of booze.

Flavor: Up front, a wave of leafy and piney hops that provide lots of bitterness throughout. Underneath, there's a big biscuity caramel malt backbone with great sticky toffee pudding flavors. There's nice alcohol throughout, but never too much. Rich biscuity malt and decent lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with smooth carbonation. Just a hint of warmth from the booze.

Drinkability: A little faster than the double-digit alcohol content would suggest, but still a beer that takes some time.

Verdict: Green Flash's Barleywine has the typical American Barleywine character of bitter hops over sweet caramel malt. A solid example of the style.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very good lacing the foamy off white head is sticking all over the glass almost immediately. the color is a murky amber brown.

S: Smells of a mild pine and caramel. The aroma is rather faint... nothing stands out to a huge degree.

T: Big flavors! don't let the smell fool you. It has the piny bitterness that I have come to love and expect from green flash. I get some citrus flavors namely orange. Also as expected a caramel sweetness. candy coated orange? Still a very nice beer... lots of flavor but great balance as well.

M: effervescent and prickly

D: at 10.9 percent abv this is very drinkable... delicious brew ill have no problem polishing off this bomber.

Note: this beer is now listed (2009 vintage) at 10.9% abv, not 10%!

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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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Photo of 100floods
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wanted to hold on to this and let it age for a bit, but i'm sitting in the shadow of Barley Wine Fest and I couldn't wait!

This pours a dark copper/brownish hue with a light tan, two finger head. The first smell hits you with some citrus notes and dare a I say very, VERY subtle hits of dark fruit. Almost not enough to count.

The taste also has the citrus notes along with a dry hop flavor (noticeably dry). Can you say WEST COAST? I'm having trouble finding some malty notes, but then again, this beer is all about the hops. There is a medium body and reasonable carbonation. This is for sure a good BW but not super complex or original.

Green Flash is good for two things: making great west coast style beers and making a few surprises every now and then. This is very similar to previous batches of Sierra Nevada's Big Foot. This is a text book example of how the West does their Barley Wine.

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

A: A beige/tan head that retains for around a minute. Dominated by red and brown gradients towards the outsides of the glass in indirect light. When looked at in direct light it is very red-copper or amber. Clear appearance with only a slight cloudiness.

S: Strong alcoholic smell. Yet, this is blended with a variety of other aromas that include caramel rich malts, toffee, slight sour/tangy fruits, and I even picked up a bit of cinnamon. Hops smell were not very present

T: Smoky or burnt malt presence at the onset that is followed by bitter hop flavors. The interesting aspect was that there was a citrus and fruity signature that made the overall taste fun to dissect. Love the hops though

M: Medium body with a smooth feel that was not as heavy as I would have expected from the 10.9% A.B.V. Not necessarily a bad surprise. A nicely brisk hop bitterness that settles more and more after the carbonation dissipates a bit. Alcoholic warmth finish is not too overt.

D: Definitely a beer that should be tried, especially if you enjoy what Green Flash has to offer, or enjoy an interesting take on American Barleywine. I sat down with this guy for a bit to try and work through its signatures and after a while got them down (I think for me at least). But it should be noted that it has an alcoholic bite and should not be taken lightly. All in all enjoy!

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.17/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with two fingers of head that dissapates and leaves a nice lacing.

Sweet malt, dark fruits, and alcohol.

A sweet barleywine with a decent amount of hops to help balance, yet still on the sweeter side of American BWs. Some alcohol is present, with dark fruits and christmas candies.

A viscous full bodied palate coating brew, light carbination with a sticky mouthfeel.

One bomber and done. The sticky viscous mouthfeel and % makes this a bomber and done for me.

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

Thick tan head comprised of small bubbles, brown hued with beautiful circular lacing.

A monster of a malty sweet nose. Raisins, fruit cake, butterscotch, toasty, tons of candy. In other words... sweet as can be.

Hops play a pivotal role in keeping this monster from being cloyingly sweet and undrinkable. A burst of bitterness hangs around, like a pleasantly quiet guest after dinner. Alcohol heat is noticeable, but hell at above 10%ABV thats to be expected. Some toasty, nutty flavors are present as well. Maybe some rum soaked fruit as well. Well balanced and a good example of a Barley Wine.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium/full bodied with some nice weight on the tongue. Very drinkable for such a boozy, assertive beer. Strong enough to keep you from gulping, but balanced enough to keep you sipping!

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

Split a 2008 bottle with my wife - I think bvc sent me this older bottle. Served in my Stone pint glass.

A - Pours with a big tan foam that dissipates slowly and leaves plenty of splotchy lacing and a thick cap. Transparent amber color with no obvious bubbles. Pretty nice looking barleywine.

S - Caramel apple, toffee, brown sugar, maybe a touch of maple. Alcohol seems to have mellowed out a bit in the past two years, as have the hops that are present in fresh bottles. I think this may be a little one-dimensional on the sweet side of things, but it's still quite pleasant.

T - The taste is quite similar to Half Pints Burly Wine, with the dark fruit and chocolate notes emerging a bit more. There's also a plethora of caramel, raisin, and burnt sugar. The finish is mildly bitter and there's the faintest trace of residual citrus hops. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden at this stage, and there's only the slightest hint of oxidation.

M - Smooth, medium body that might be a slightest bit to thin for the 10% ABV. Fairly warming - nice brew for a snowy February evening in Chicago. Some light residual stickiness.

D - It gets a little saccharine after 8oz or so, so I don't think I'd want to drink a bomber on my own. The alcohol buzz also creeps up fairly quickly. Otherwise it's a pretty enjoyable barleywine - not sure if there was bad batch/vintage, because this tastes much better than some of the recent reviews would indicate.

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Photo of saccro
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - darker amber in color. Hazy. Thin film of bubbles. Some foam adheres to the glass. Also small bits of particles cling.

S - nutty. sherry. malty. sweet. alcohol. soy sauce. not too hoppy in aroma.

T - sweet muscat-grape flavor with big hoppy backbone. Oxidation and autolysis flavors of sherry and soy sauce. Nutty.
Perfect malt-hop balance.

M - a little cloying. Medium carbonation.

D - I'm not a fan of oxidation and autolysis flavors, but the beer's flavor grows on me. It's a pleasant malty taste.

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

Poured from a 2008 vintage bomber into a tulip glass. My first beer from Green Flash.

A: Mahogany color with a foamy head that settles down to "lilypads" and sticks to side of the glass.

S: I couldn't pull anything else from the nose besides alcohol...and maybe some toffee notes. Still needs another year to cool down?

EDIT: As it warmed up, I started to get the typical barleywine aromas: dark fruits, vanilla, and malts.

T: Surprisingly still a little hoppy, nutty, buttery, caramels, and raisins, with a bitter finish.

M: Good carbonation and just thick enough. Slides down the back of your throat very easily. A little "chewy" as it starts to warm up.

D: I usually have trouble finishing bombers of barleywine, but this one was not so bad.

Overall, a nice representation of the American barleywine. Because it's fairly priced I may just seek out another '08 and lay it down for a year. Cheers Green Flash!

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

vintage 2009

pours a brick red with a large yellow-beige head, and very good lacing.

smell of barley, some caramel, pepper, a little spice, and a little sweetness in the back.

taste has an alcohol bite at first and then smooths out, burnt caramel, malt, pepper, some spice, and hops in the back, ends nicely bitter.

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

2009 vintage on trade from jwinship83.

A - Dark amber/brown in color. Small foamy head.

S- Big caramel malt and a sweet tangy fruit aroma.

T- Large burnt caramel presence up front and overall dominance followed by a bitter citric piney hop middle and then finishes with a pineapple fruit finish. The near 11% ABV is fairly well woven in and not to overbearing.

M- Not o sticky which is mostly rare in a barelywine. The taste covers the palate well also.

D- Overall easy drinking. Unique by its amount of caramel malt.

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

the beer is an intersting american barleywine that in my opinion has a heavier hop complexity that doesnt mesh well with the malt characteristic.

perhaps my bottle was extra ester-ie but it was bit off-balance but delicious still as well.

the smell blends the plum and dark berry, as well as toffee style notes with that northwestern citrus hop character.

the 200- vintage was an interesting buy but i wouldnt go into a beer store with the sole purpose of purchasing this beer, but its a good beer for a sampling session

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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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