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: 842
Photo of rkuhnel
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a rich red to brown color with a medium and spongy off-white head that left good lacing. Big rich nose of caramel and fruity hops. Morhtfeel is smooth and hides the alcohol well. Flavors of caramel, fruits, and some bitterness. Good dry bitter finish. Overall a well balanced and delightful barley wine that should only get better with age. I need to get some more of these for the cellar

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

A 650 mL capped bottle purchased somewhere (Well's or Capone's or State Line).

A: The barleywine is a thick, amber-red color, so dark that it appears a chocolatey brown. The head has consistently poured near 2 fingers and leaves a nice trail in the glass.

S: The nose is full of concentrated malts and a great deal of hops. The malt body is very strong, to the point that it takes on a unique sweetness.

T: This barleywine really strikes a cord. It starts off with a big malt body, thick with grains and dry green grapes and raisins. The flavors are complex and quite deep, showing off some alefruits and a dry medicinal (tylenol-like) finish. Layered on top of the malts are a great deal of bitter, huge hops. They add a citrusy bite that cuts through the thick malts and leave a lasting finish in the back of the mouth.

M: Big hops and strong malts, a very dangerous combination. But also very delicious.

D: The abv is huge, limiting the number of times that you can go to the well with this one. It's a good, big mouthfeel though and easily one of Green Flash's better offerings.

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Photo of ChazMania
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


a) poured into my pint glass, perhaps there is a better glass to drink this from.

s) rather light for such a rich brew, either that or I'm drunk and can't smell.

t) fantastic. Big rich full malty hoppy caramel toffee utter deliciousness.

m) thick and resinous. rather over the top, but in a good way.

d) i used to not like barleywines but this one brought me around. this is maybe my third or fourth bomber and it's consistently tasty.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snow falling, fire burning. good time for a barleywine.

Extreme dark amber body, with homey hued highlights. You might say brown, but I'd say no. Topped by two fingers of tight light tan foam. Thin fil wraps around the glass.

Surprisingly subdued nose, but after a few deep sniffs, a clear aroma of liquid caramel / toffee arises.

Taste begins rich, sweet caramel and toffee. Fruity center. Sweetness balanced by a late hop bite at the swallow. Finishes cleaner and drier than most barleywines. Late arriving warmth, without burning.

Full though not huge mouthfeel. Rolls smoothly across tongue.

Moderately easy drinkability for a 10% abv. barleywine.

A bit less complex than many American barleywines. Could use a bigger nose. Certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle. Pours a deep copper red with a large fluffy orange-beige head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is spicy peppery alcohol, some caramel malt and a little melon.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts and a little fruit, followed by a harsh paint-thinner like alcohol. The finish is a brash bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. It has some metallic notes. The mouthfeel is fairly full with soft velvety carbonation.

Overall, it's too over the top in alcohol and bitterness. It does get a bit more drinkable as you go through the bottle.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this on tap at Malone's in Lexington, Va.
Appearance: It poured a dark brown body with a light brown head. The head was only about 1 finger high, but still had much retention and ended up leaving tons of lace.
Smell: There wasn't much dancing around what this beer was about. Very strong bitter hops and sweet malts. As it warms, the hops begin to win over the sweet malts.
Taste: THe sweetness was over powering at times, but toward the end, the hops poked their head back in to remind me I was drinking a Barleywine.
Mouthfeel: Very stift and ridgid.
Drinkability: Great as a session beer, but not daily.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of Boto
1.95/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Mad Mex Robinson: I see a commonality to the reviews of this beer from this location. I love barleywines, but this was simply the worst that I have ever had. The color was good, being a dark ruby colored brew, with a small off white head. The smell was something else. It didn’t smell bad, but it did smell like root beer. The taste was predominately of root beer. This was close to undrinkable. Yuk!

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

Dark amber , almost brown in the chalis,with a full , tan , almost caramel tinted head , some lacing .

Sweet malt aroma ,with some hops , a lot of hops . Caramel and alcohol make more than a guest appearance .

A little laid back on the bitterness , it dos'nt beat you up all at once as some barleywines have a tendency to do .Seems to be plenty of hop flavor .with a lingering bitterness that fades into the next sip . Some time and I think the malt will make an excellent showing .

Mouthfeel is as it should be , big and chewey , excellent carbonation with an alco bite on the gums that fades almost immediatley . I like to have at least some warning ...

I really like this style of ale , its nicely complex and I think with some aging it will really shine . I served this a little warm about 64 , my cellar temp this time of year .

A pleasant memorable barleywine . I'll buy it again


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

Pours a dark murky brownish copper with a good sized buttery yellow to cream colored head. Strong citrusy hop aroma, pineapple, some alcohol evident in the aroma and a light fruity and berry sweetness. Taste is also quite hoppy with strong citrus notes and a big bitter and dry finish. Malts are evident in the background with some nice caramel bready sweetness and a hint of pruniness. Big dry and bitter finish also shows a quick warming alcohol pinch. Fairly rich and creamy soft with a medium to heavy body. A very nice barleywine, at first still somewhat cold it was very dipa like but as it warmed, the nice rich body and some malty flavors came forward. Very nice agressive hoppiness is great fresh but I imagine this one will age well. Thanks Christian for the opportunity.

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

Appearance: Pours a deep brown mahogany color, nice clarity, small off white head and little notable lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts, zesty spice and citrusy bitter.

Taste: Pine sap and hop resin balance nicely with a candy sugar caramel malty base. Some dark fruits and almost chocolate flavors hide most of the evidence of a 10%ABV.

Mouthful: This body is medium though a bit thin for the style but the spicy flavor and the warm alcohol in the finish helps make up for the feel.

Drinkability: It is what I expected. A no surprises barley wine.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of orsulacp
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a little hints of orange when held up to the light. There was a small white head that disappeared quickly. I am picking up the smell from about a foot away from the glass, very fruity; apples, oranges, some grapefruit and a little pepper. The biting alcohol dominates the taste, there is some cherry and strong bitterness. There is long lasting bitter solvent like aftertaste. The solvent is really turning me off.

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Photo of matthewfuchs
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at Fatheads in Southside Pittsburgh. Poured a nice bubbly head, and had a light caramel color. Aromoa of frswh hops, very green. Same with the taste, lively hops and malt, could use some aging, if green isn't you. smooth somewhat sweet mouthfeel. Like was said prior, it does make you want to lay down and nap, but hey, that's a good thing sometimes.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nvsblman for send this as part of my ba anniv. package. Appreciate the opportunity.

Pours a very murky dark plum color with a soft looking one finger cream colored froth head. Held up to the light it's a deep dark maroonish red. Excellent retention that holds perfectly. Citrus fruit hop notes are very strong with an excellent spicyness to them. Pine sap and needles get stuck to the face as you inhale. Juicy and resiny. Subtle sweet caramel malt notes.

Starts of with a sticky thickness that almost immediately gets dried up by a bitterness that scorches the palate. Citrus fruits, spicy hops, piney needles and sap. Sweet caramel malt background, but not one that plays a large role. Quite a hoppy barleywine, just as I like 'em. Extra long sticky citrus laden bitterness that finds it's way into the aftertaste. Abv is up there, so one of these is about all for me. A very nice bitter, alcoholic, hop bomb without the huge spicyness that's associated with barleywines. One I would love to get my hands on again.

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Photo of rabsten
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Fatheads, South Side, Pittsburgh PA

Red-brown, rich colored pour into a 12oz wineglass. Thin head due to pour but some lacing.

Sweet malt with hop backup. Slightly smoky, like an Ilse whiskey.

Caramel malt, with good hops in background again. Anise and whiskey notes. complex. Good flavor experience.

Round and heavy mouthfeel. Very soothing.

Drinkability: sleep inducing, soothing, relaxing. You want to go to sleep after one, so drinkability is somewhat limited.

Bottom Line: Great "22oz and go-to-bed beer." Tasty, soothing, sleep-inducing.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep scarlet red tone. Great clarity. Frothy and thick dirty white head. Lace comes in sheets. Aroma has some sweet malts and citric hops. Fairly light nose though. On the palate, the hops are grassy and resinous. Malts produce a nice sweet base. The alcohol is barely noticeable. A little fruit punch feel to it due to the nice fruitiness invloved. Body is about medium or so and the mouthfeel is smooth. Decent enough barleywine, but I like the IPAs from Green Flash better.

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

The beer poured a beautiful deep amber hue with a small off-white head that turned into a small lace. It was crystal clear and gleamed when I held my glass to the light.

The aroma of the beer was immensely malty, caramelly, fruity, and alcoholic. A large amount of hops were there as well.

The flavor of the beer was full of rich caramel malt with burnt toffee notes in the finish. The hops were very assertive on this beer and had nice herbal and citrus flavors. While this barleywine is young, it is certainly one of the more drinkable young barleywines I've had. In comparison, I woulnd't touch Bigfoot before 1-2 years. There were some dried fruit flavors present, but nothing too intense. The finish was nicely alcoholic and warming.

The mouthfeel was pretty thick, but this was still one of the drier barleywines I've had. The carbonation was dialed in just right.

This is a very well balanced barleywine. Definitely a good winter sipper. While I mentioned it's tasty young, I'm sure this one will age well. I'll crack my next bottle in a year.

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Photo of asabreed
4.59/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Thomas Hardy's snifter.

Appearance: Ruby-colored with some spotty lacing and a slightly off-white head.

Smell: One of the juiciest barley wine aromas I have ever had the pleasure of taking in. It smells like I just ripped to hell a peach, a grapefruit, and an orange, and smashed them together viciously. Transcendently rich and aromatic, this is unreal. Even the pulp is in there somehow. Is there some malt present? Yes. Does it matter? Not as much as maybe it should.

Taste: The citrus is here to the point where I'm having a problem commenting on it. Where's the hops that should be so present? Or is this all hops minus the bitterness and all flavor? Usually I'm anticipating something insanely bitter, but this is maybe the freshest, most drinkable barley wine I've ever encountered. And as it warms the citrus and slight berries start to emerge, with the finish insanely long, rich, fruity and complex.

Mouthfeel: Juicy, luscious, somewhat creamy, full-bodied, and coating.

Drinkability: Honestly, I'm not sure what kind of a beast this barley wine is, but I love it. The ABV is extremely hidden, the taste is balanced beyond belief in its green state. I think this may actually be detrimental to lay down (as it's fantastic fresh), but alas, I'm very interested to see what will happen, and I'll definitely be buying another bottle or two to see what happens in the future.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a De Ranke glass. Basically a long stemmed snifter/tulip thing.

A - Very, very deep translucent ruby red color, approaching plum colored with a two finger tan head. Looks very nice in the glass.

S - Smells sugary sweet with alcohol aromas.

T - Lots of alcohol in this brew along with some caramel and toffee flavors. The hop bitterness comes through, mainly toward the end.

M - A nice feel, not a huge body but fairly full.

D - Definitely a nice barleywine, some good flavors to chew on and goes down smooth on each sip.

Notes: This is a pleasant surprise. Definitely a nice sipper here. I'll definitely pick up a couple of bottles to age as it is fairly harsh alcohol-wise. Still a nice Barleywine fresh, let's see what a year or so does to it.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle of San Diego Barleywine, I hope its good. This one has a decent head on it and a dark reddish brown body. The taste is slightly fruity, alcoholic, and delicious. As it warms up, it begins to smell a little like caramel (and maybe chocolate), which is nice. I can definitely taste the hops in this. I also taste a faint hint of chocolate. The first glass went a little too fast but it just keeps getting better the more it warms up. The alcohol will catch up with you if you aren't careful. Maybe you are smart enough to share this bottle with a friend, but I wasn't. I was a little afraid after my experience with the Imperial IPA but this one was well worth the purchase price. I am definitely buying more to see what another six months to a year will do.

-update 11/14/07 2006 vintage

So I decided to crack one of these since it is almost been a year since I purchased these bottles. The first smell is perfume and hops, weird and reminds me of an aged Ruffian I had a couple weeks ago. The flavors are like a bitter orange rind. The more I think about it this beer seems like a Ruffian copycat and it would be interesting to have a blind taste-off. This is different than it was fresh and I am not sure i like it aged. I still have five more bottles so maybe this one will improve in the next year or so.

-05/03/08 2006 vintage

Dark, ruby red, almost brown, with a thin but soap-like head. Subtle smells of citrus and toffee, chocolates, a little alcohol. More citrus in the flavor followed by a cereal-like barley flavor and flowery notes with a little bitterness. The only complaint I have is that it gets too easy to drink as it warms.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Crosling for this bottle. Bottle is not dated so its age is unknown. It pours a little foamy but settles quckly. Darker in color than most barleys. Smells sweet and a bit hoppy. Taste is dominated by piney hops with some malt. Easy to drink for a 10% ABV. Solid barleywine but not spectacular.


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Photo of rallison
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark ruby red/brown with a wonderful 3 finger off-white head that persists.

S: Sweetness mainly - toffee and malt.

T: Very rich. Nice caramel toffee sweetness followed by a nice piney hop bitterness. Figs too - this does have a very fig-like sweetness. Alcohol is apparent and does make itself known toward the end of the sip. Talk about a malt bomb, this is one!

M: At first, this was a little too thick. As I get used to it though, it's enjoyable. Very full-bodied, with a nice little carbonation kick.

D: Really a bit too rich and slightly on the sweet side to be too drinkable. Splitting a bomber? Just the right amount. A whole one to yourself? Ehh, not the best idea in the world. Although, not the worst either.

A nice attempt at a barleywine by Green Flash. This is a good solid example, if a little on the heavy side. Could use more balance and a little less sweetness in my opinion. Also, aging could help smooth this out.


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Photo of cbl2
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/30/2007 $5.25 22 oz. 10.00% No best by date.


Pours a murky brown with a hint of orange sneaking through when exposed to the light. Has a thin film of tan head that settles rapidly.


Dark jammy fruit overtones with a robust hot alcohol aroma.


Nice chewy mouthfeel kicks off this barleywine, that improves as it warms, developing a rich chocolate flavor that is cut by some hot alcohol. Dark, ripe fig essence battles with a floral hop bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this via trade! definitely a mixed story with this one. One quibble which has nothing to do with the taste - love the Vintage tag but what year??? Apparently its current but if you're going to go to the trouble of printing the word vintage and leaving space above it for a date, put a date in. Ok, off the soap box now

A - Brilliant colors on this one. Deep burgandy color with a light tan head that billows and hand out forever!
S - Strong citrus and pine hops dominate with an underlying malty caramel/toffe aroma.
T - similar to the smell. Odd but the initial sips came across as wet hops. Haven't really had that happen before. a quarter into the bottle and the malts begin to climb up to the hops and create a pleasant mix of flavors.
M - medium to full bodied. a tale of two halves on this one.
D - hides the ABV well, takes your taste buds on a back and forth trip. A slow evening drinking beer.

I have one more in the cellar which I will come back to in about 6 months or so. Curious to see what happens with this one. All told I'd lean towards enjoy it fresh versus aging.

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Photo of Gavage
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown color with a a spotty surface head. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel sweetness and hints of bitterness.

Taste: caramel, raisins, hint of chocolate, alcohol, and a bit of piney bitterness. Some citrus tones lingering around here too and feeling a bit out of place. A touch of dryness hits at the end.

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied. Smooth throughout. Slightly dry at the finish. Relatively short aftertaste.

Drinkability: decent barleywine. Worth giving this a shot.

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

"Vintage" label 22 oz'er that explains: "...three hour boil to intensify the caramel malts and enormous PacNW hop charge..." 10.0% ABV. Label displays a notch middle left bottom? Hmmm...

Pours with a clear yet mahagony hued pour topped with a beige sandy deflated splotchy dense head cap leaving some drippy lace in the glass.

Nose is robust with a spice cake and orange peel zest that is rather citrus over malts. A boozy hint peeks out with a butterscotch toffee.

First swigs: Chalky citrus orange start. Pastry sweet bready with a peach schnapps suggestion. Middle of spice wafer cookie and dried apricot floral yet grainy chewy bite. Bubble gum and floral aspects. Finish is a lingering dryness with fig and cherry notes.

Full bodied thick syrupy offering. Soft carbonation that blends with a lingering lemon peel sweetness.

Last swigs: Toes the line between 2IPA and barleywine American style. Balance leans 70/30 towards hop citrus. Hidden 10% ABV leads to some easy drinkability. Leaving this one rest in the hole might balance it out, but this seems to be at its peak fresh. Almost could pass as a highly hopped Stone offering.

Beer is good. Happy big beering.

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Barleywine Style Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 842 ratings.
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