Barleywine Style Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

Barleywine Style AleBarleywine Style Ale
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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 845 |  Reviews: 438
Photo of HalfFull
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 22 oz. bomber into a wine glass, this 2008 vintage brew pours a clear deep ruby in color with a quarter inch of tan head. Retention is short but a surface film sticks around and lets off some minor lacing.

Smell is very forward with sweet malts and a bit of orange/cherry, along with a notable alcohol presence when cold. Hops come out after a bit of warming to provide better balance, yet I'm just not finding this to be very hoppy overall.

Taste is sweet with plum and fig, some orange citrus and caramel. Not too bitter, and finishes with a bit of chocolate/spice. The body starts out thin and becomes medium bodied as the beer warms to proper temperature but never really seems to gel. Carbonation is typically light and hopefully will hold in the capped bottle to finish the other half tomorrow. Wish this style was more common in a more manageable 12 oz. bottle.

Edit. 2010 bottle offers notably better carbonation and head retention. Appearance and drinkability adjusted up as a result. Good traditional approach to the style.

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

Tan leather brown with a clingy beige head

A lot of sharp fruit and caramel; first thought is of green apples, then raisins, and then caramel

Complex and layered, with equal parts sharp, bitter hops coated with melted caramel; hints of milk chocolate in the finish; tons of hops still present even after nine months of storage

Surprisingly thinner in body than I expected; low, but fine carbonation--I like it

Love it! This is a great barley wine offering lots to contemplate and dissect with very few complaints.

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

2008 vintage, could definitely be cellared.

A: Deep copper with a light tan head, excellent retention, some lacing.

S: Huge resiny hop aroma; pine; nectarine; toffee; cotton candy. I was hoping this would have a little more dry hopping, like their IPAs.

T: Resiny pine, grapefruit, tangerine, burnt toffee, bitterness is a little harsh, alcohol is well-hidden. Very American, like a bigfoot.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate to full body has hop acidity and an off-dry finish.

D: Big & bold. Could definitely use some cellaring.

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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 hellbilly
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2008

clear auburn brown pour capped with a long lasting frothy cafe au lait colored head. medium amount of drippy lacing but lots of spots. as it sits and warms the carbonation paints a "U" shape on the inside of the glass.

alcohol bites at my nose even though this is probably only 45°. aromas of brown sugar, caramel, floral hops, orange pith, candied orange peel and faint piney character.

the palate is malty but not really sweet or sugary. flavors of crystallized orange peel, orange pith, faint ginger, some toasted nuttiness, brown sugar, flowers, grass, a touch of chocolate, mild pine (though not really resinous) and alcohol on the dry finish. light to medium bodied with creamy smooth carbonation.

it is very easy to drink since it is not harsh, hot or cloying. nicely balanced but not a whole bunch of complexity or character.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008

I've only recently started to venture into the barleywine world. As a Green Flash West Coast IPA fan, it only made sense that I make an effort to taste this brand. Lucky for me a buddy had a bottle at a party last night.

After pouring some into my tulip glass I was shocked by the fresh and bold citrus hop aroma. Certainly there was also a strong sense of sweet malt, but I really was not expecting the bold floral nature.

The beer was a murky dark brown color with some dark red highlights. There was a thin/creamy head that formed then slowly faded. There was just a touch of lacing.

The flavor was equally bold with floral/citrus hop notes as the aroma. Started with this bang, then moved to big bold malt notes that certainly had toffee qualities and brown sugar notes. The alcohol is certainly present but doesn't get in the way.

The body was a little thinner and less syrup like than some of the other barleywines that I've had. But this is clearly still a big bodied brew that is meant to be savored.

We also enjoyed a couple bottles of Old Horizontal and that was clearly a superior BW.

This is a good beer, but not great. Certainly a Green Flash product with the bold Hop character.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A hard pour produces a dark brown brew with a few centimeters of head that dissipates quickly. Floral hops dominate the aroma but a little malt manages to push through. The taste mimics the aroma but with a sourish and slightly acidic aspect to the experience. The hops make themselves known through a floral bitterness that lingers after the beer has departed. A little a too sour for my tastes.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Barley Wine is unique.

It pours a clear red color at first and towards the end turns a murky reddish brown.

The aroma from the caramel-colored head comes waves of toffee, with subtle notes of citrus hops. Very subtle. I can smell the alcohol too much.

The flavor is just like it smells.... lots and lots of toffee...never had that in a Barley Wine.. it's nice. But the alcohol bite is too much.

Iv'e had BWs higher in alcohol than this, but way more smooth. This is not that smooth. One to sip indeed.

As the beer warms a little, the notes of citrus hops come out a little more, wouldv'e like more hops though.

Ok lacing from a head that is fleeting. The three hour boil definentely intensified the malts but I don't know about the hops.

As it warms, the hops come threw a lttle more. Also I get notes of darker colored fruits like, prunes or figs and or raisins.... wow I can also smell bannana nuanses too.

A nice lingering bitterness. Not a bad American Barley Wine.

Thanks Green Flash. The Lord bless the hop harvest!

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

A - pours a reddish brown with a really nice tan head. Dissipated not too quickly, but didn't stick around forever either

S - did somebody say American Barleywine? Right on target here. Floral and piney hops go all out with a nice pinch of citrus in the aroma. Nice malty backbone as well; sort of bready IMO. Caramel and a hint of ABV were also invited to the party

T - taste is fairly similar to the nose. Maltiness dances across the palate initially with a nice bit of caramel, followed by a nice hop blast on the finish/swallow. The order is sort of like floral on the taste->citrus on the swirl->piney on the finish. Definitely a bit of ABV in there. Enjoyable all around

M - medium bodied with what I'd say is appropriate carbonation for this beer. Goes down pretty smoothly

D - pretty good. Definitely an enjoyable American barleywine, and I'm not going to have any problem finishing the bomber. Would recommend to those in search of enjoyable examples of the style. Not too extreme in the flavor department, but I like that sometimes (those crazy hoppy American Barleywines might as well be DIPA's...I love both styles, but this more relaxed hop character compared to many American barleywines is really doing it for me right now). Word up

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Photo of SuperWhite92
1.12/5  rDev -71.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased a 2008 bottle last week.

Pours a lighter shade of "barleywine." What I'd expect.

Unfortunately, that's the high point of the beer.

Smells like wet grass or your basement carpet after a flood. If it smelled like vomit, I'd be more pleased with it. Absolutely atrocious.

Tastes like wet grass and turpentine. Evil eye is better. Absolute trash.

Mouthfeel is thin and acidic, much like either cow piss or turpentine. Maybe a cow pissing turpentine?

Can't drink it. I want to, since I have 22 oz of it, but after 3 oz I'd rather have blood drawn or be hit by a miata or other small car.

This is byfar the worst beer I've had in recent memory. I can only hope that based on the other reviews here that there was something wrong with my bottle. I won't be spending another $6 to find out though.

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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 magictrokini
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Interesting brew. Has the content of a barleywine, but is surprisingly light tasting for the same. Scent is hoppy and acidic. Strong bitterness in the taste, with some piney accents. Sweeter finish. As barleywines go, not my favorite, but it is a good beer.

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

2008 vintage.
Pours a dark ruby red, almost a murky brown, with a nice thick white head that laces the glass fairly heavily. Malty and deep caramel aroma, very sweet and candy like, some dark chocolate and nougat in there taunt the taste buds. Caramel and toffee sweetness hits the tongue first but is eventually overwhelmed by a coffee-like bitterness, almost like a dark chocolate dipped in coffee beans. Very good bitterness in the finish with a warming alcohol behind it, though it is well hidden in this 10 percent brew.

Wow, a really good brew that is pretty easy to drink despite being this big. One of the best American barley wines.

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Photo of bheilman
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best beer I've ever had. It has such an intense hops presence that I would guess that it was an IPA or double IPA. For days after I was thinking about how good this beer was. It does have a significant malt flavor, but it is matched so well with the bold hops freshness that it is less noticeable. I would say its the best balance of hops and barley that I have ever had, making it a nearly perfect beer. Go out of your way to drink this beer, you won't regret it.

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

purchased in 2007- no date on bottle, just "vintage". cellared until this evening. Appearance is dark orange, good lace, appealing. Rich and sweet aroma, subdued hops. Hop bitterness is much more prevalent in taste-- sharp, but balanced reasonably well with alcohol and a caramel sugary sweetness. Mouthfeel is fantastic, very smooth and velvety. Definitely not a swiller. Goes down smooth, not too easy, very fulfilling. above-average barleywine.

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

Serving Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Serving Glassware 12 ounce gobblet.

Pours medium light-tan foamy head that dies at a medium pace leaving a strong lace that acts like a crown on top of the burgundy & clear pool.
The nose is interesting in that there is some citrus and earth hoppy tones along with a bit of vanilla and herbal nose.
The mouth is interesting in that the citrus and dry finish is only complicated with a cocoa like quality between the vanilla and chocolate. Additional evidence of the alcohol drifts along down my throat.

Definitely one to enjoy during the fall / winter holidays.


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

Consumed at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA on 11/08/08.

Dark but very clear brown liquid. A one-finger tan head quickly settles into a layer of bubbly foam that makes excellent lacing on the glass.

Yeasty bread aroma with a hint of brown sugar.

As it enters the mouth, the beer is somewhat thick and a little astrignent.

On the palate: a heavy malt character is up front, flirting with chocolate before moving to a cinnamon sugar flavor. Bready, like cinnamon raisin. Hot, either from hop spiciness or ABV (or both) I cannot say. Bitter on the finish with lingering oak note.

More complex than this review gets across, and very drinkable despite the bold flavor and relatively high ABV.

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

Two 5 ounce samples at Naja's Place 1st Barleywine Festival in Redondo Beach both today and yesterday, 2008 vintage that is listed at 10.9% ABV this time around, have also tasted this from the bottle before too

A-Color is a mix between an amber and medium brown, there is a 1/2 inch vanilla colored head that stays around for a little bit. decent retention, some lacing
S-Piney and floral hoppiness, bready and biscuit-like malt, sweet honey, toffee, booze, caramel, esters, lots of citrus, charred scents, and herbs
T-First thing you notice is the potent hops, reminded me a bit of Old Numbskull from Alesmith right off the bat, fades into some citrusy esters in the middle, finish is slightly sweet with caramel but also dry with more piney hops than before, calms down a little as it warms on the bitterness spectrum but it is pretty hoppy all the way through, enjoyed the complexity in this one and it is almost balanced which I tend to see is a rarity in barleywines
M-Low to moderate level of carbonation, medium bodied, mouthfeel ranges from dry to sweet, taste lingers a long time with a noticeable sticky sensation
D-The big hop presence make this one a bit hard to drink, it is also strong and you can taste it, nearly eleven percent could catch up to, little heavy on the stomach, taste is complex and keeps you coming back for more though

Green Flash makes some serious beers and this is no exception, this one changes a lot with age I have noticed too, big hop profile when fresh, then sweet and rounded with a couple years under its belt, will be drinking again, hope to try the brandy barrel version soon, recommended

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Photo of Overlord
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber. Inch or two of white foam head.

Aroma is sweet malt ... wow, that's coming across pretty strongly. Also, alcohol. Big alcohol.

Taste is overwhelmed by booze. One of the booziest beers I can recall, regardless of ABV. It's overwhelming. Sugary sweet, some piney hops for balance, but damn, it feels like a mixed drink.

Won't be revisiting.

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Photo of abfraser
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark copper color, not much of a head.

S: Very sweet smelling. Can tell this will be a hop bomb.

T/M: And bomb it is. Tons of hoppiness, that doesn't mesh very well with the sugary flavors. Very bitter aftertaste from the hops. This just isn't well balanced.

D: I couldn't even drink half a glass; had to pour the rest out. I know Green Flash is known for their incredibly hoppy beers, and I like some of them, but this one was just too out of whack for me to enjoy.

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Photo of popery
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good barleywine with a bit too little flavor to properly mask the alcohol.

It's a nice color for a barleywine. There is some mistiness looking through the snifter and a pretty good head. The nose is floral and sweet. The flavor is caramel with a strong alcohol presence. There is a great hop flavor with a good tartness. The hops are mostly grapefruit with the aforementioned floral notes. The beer has a pretty good feel for a barleywine, but the alcohol is a bit dominant to enjoy for too long. It could certainly improve with age.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
2008 Vintage

A- Pours a dark amber color wtih a nice light tan head that produces a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma features a good amount of sweet malt and caramel and hops. Very enticing, let's see how the taste stacks up.

T- As the aroma suggests, this is definitely an "American-style" barleywine as the hops play a large part in the taste. The taste starts of smooth and malty with just a touch of caramel, but the hops quickly make their presence felt and stick around long after the finish. This is a delicious beer, the hops provide a good amount of bitterness and there is a lot of malt to back up all the hops.

M- The mouthfeel is spot on for the style. It is smooth and medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D- The higher ABV limits the drinkability a tad, but this beer is far too drinkable for being 10%.

Overall, this is another fantastic beer from Green Flash that is highly recommended!

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of the bottle this beer was a deep garnet color approaching brown. The head was huge, three fingers of tan bubbles that descended back to a rocky cap after a while that laced well. The aroma weres quite nice, ripe fruit, figs and raisins, rich hops, toffee and alcohol esters. The flavors followed suit, I was first rushed by the flavors of fermented cherries and raisins, quite sweet. This was soon followed by pine and grapefruit notes from the hops and at last the alcohol heat and caramel malt at the end. As big as it was the balance was well struck. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth helping to make it rather drinkable. Though sweet it never became cloying even as it warmed up and I think the sugars helped control the 10% alcohol punch. It was a good example of the style and I recommend it.

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Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008

Appearance: It pours a nice looking, hazy brown color with plenty of garnet highlights. The head is creamy, off-white, and about two fingers deep in color. Retention was very good and left a nice thick coat of lace on the glass. Pretty impressive.

Smell: The nose is initially dominated by citrus grapefruit and pineapple scents. They're sweet smelling and enticing. It's followed by a heavy, sweet malt smell. Smells like a good mix of pale and caramel malts. Hops are strong, piney, and citric. Definitely a lot of west coast character in the hops. Hops are very strong and seem to overtake the malt aromas. That bodes well for this one. It's worth noting here that the nose opens up quite a bit as it warms. Alcohol is noteable, which is no surprise. My bottle indicates the abv is 10%. That's tough to hide. Nonetheless, good job here.

Taste: It is sweet and fruity up front. Citrus grapefruit and pineapple flavors are sweet and strong. It's pretty sugary. I probably never want to know how many calories are in a bomber of this stuff. It has a very nice malt base. It's sweet and does taste like a good mix of caramel and pale varieties. Hops are very strong and flavorful. They're mostly piney and citric. They give it a really nice bitter flavor and do overtake the malts in terms of strength. On the secondary level, it does feature some nice dark fruit flavors. It's mostly raisin and plum, but they do add quite a bit of character. Too bad they don't really come through on the nose. Alcohol is easily noticeable and has a bit of a warming effect. It finishes sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: No doubt this one's full bodied and features a smooth feel. Carbonation is low, which helps. There's not many bubbles in there at all. But, it's definitely a sipping beer. Drinkability's okay, but not quite good. It's too big, too strong, and too filling to drink more than a bomber. I'm actually struggling with this bomber as it is.

Green Flash did a pretty good job with this Barleywine. It's got a good flavor, but could use a little refining. The nose is good, but could use a little work to bring out more of the flavors it has. Frankly, I love the strong hoppy flavor, but would be very interested in trying this with some age to see how it gels. As it is right now, it's almost a little too hoppy. There's a sentence I never thought I'd say. But, for the style it's true. I suspect it's better with some age. Perhaps even dramatically so.

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Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After nearly a 6 month hiatus from reviewing, I'm trying to get back into it a little more. I picked this one up several months back.

Poured into a snifter. Dark in the glass but a vibrant, garnet-cherry red when held to the light. Small quarter inch off-white head on the pour that reduced to a ring around the glass. Nice clarity, fairly low carbonation. Occassional spots of lace.

Alcohol rich cherries, plums and raisins throughout over a faint grainy background. Good dosing of hops as well offer up some grapefruit and citrus. No doubt this is an American barleywine.

Flavor is more malt oriented with a good malty backbone that barely fights through the hops. Some tea and tobacco notes coincide with a faint touch of toffee and dark caramel. Dark stone fruits and some raisin come in just before a lasting piney bitter note. Alcohol is definately noticable.

Low carbonation as expected, medium to medium-thin body, seems some sugar was probably employed, helping reduce the residual sweetness and upping drinkability. A bit of stickiness on the palatte allows the malt and dark fruit flavors to linger with the bitterness.

Overall a pretty good representation of the style, although the alcohol could be a bit tamer. Some additional time on this one wouldn't hurt to possibly smooth things out just a bit.

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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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