Brandy Barrel Barleywine
Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Beer Geek Stats
Barleywine - American
Needs more ratings
4.01 | pDev: 10.47%
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Each instance of this beer was aged between 6 and 12 months in Brandy barrels.
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 8 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo from New York

4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap into a standard chalice at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived a deep burnt sienna color. It held a half finger tall head of tan bubbles, showing low retention. This left little lacing throughout the tasting. Carbonation appeared light, and a thick haze permeated the liquid. The aroma opened up with big molasses and roasty malts. These melded together with a honey sweetness, big booze, and bittering phenols to get a robust punch to the beginning. There were also notes of wood and a light nuttiness which mixed with buttery diacetyls and chemical notes, cutting the initial sweetness. Adding to the sweetness, with warmth, came vanilla and brandy, with candied fruits and syrupy sugars. As we sipped, the flavor began with buttery diacetyls mixing amongst thicker and darker malts. There were notes of caramel and subdued coffee bean. A bittering hop pine came in, but this was brief. The middle washed through with dark fig and candied cherries soaked in booze. The malts here were even, and that hoppy resin comes back for a quick peek. The finish is with a souring mash of grain and booze. The final note is a not-so-sweet coconut, affording a more nutty flavoring to stay with the drinker. The aftertaste breathed of darker, almost coffee malts, rich strawberry sweetness, and chemical phenols. The body was full and the carbonation was low. The liquid is fully coating, with decent slurp, but little smack. There is an eventual metallic dryness, and a satisfying oiliness. The abv is appropriate and the warming effect is unmistakable. This beer is a definite sipper.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the insanely complex nose. There was fruit, nut, bittering, liquor, and a smattering of grain. The flavor holds up nicely, corresponding to this outline, but we wish that the brandy and wood came through more in the flavoring. This is a nicely warming and inviting beer for a cold winter day.

Jan 26, 2012
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waltersrj from Washington

4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brouwers Big Wood.

Pour: Dark cola brown, reddish hues and a creamy, frothy tanned head lingering around the glass' edge.

Nose: Sweet chocolate, toffee, rich, decadent vanilla and coconut. Not a lot of oak but it's there. Cherry cordials, and a rich tobacco presence.

Taste: Same as above but almost reversed. The tobacco hits early with the vanilla, chocolate and cherry cordial. Toasted coconut comes in as well.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not too syrupy. Like lost abbey brandy barrel but actually carbonated.

Overall: Fantastic stuff here. I love it. If this is the shaggin in the wood that they're putting in bottles then be ready to get some!

Dec 10, 2011
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Silva Stout 2011 (re?)-Release party during SDBW.

A: Pours opaque dark amber with a light stone head which recedes to a ring. Good retention, no lacing.

S: Dark fruit, red wine, oak, vanilla, and bright cherry. Some caramel, but mostly fruit-forward. Subdued with balance and nice complexity.

T: Dark dried fruit (plum, dates), some brandy, malt, and just a touch of oak and chocolate. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium-full body with medium carbonation.

O: Really tasty, definitely a sipper. Well balanced and nice flavors all around.

Nov 10, 2011
Photo of ehammond1

3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap

Green Flash Brewing Co.
Mira Mesa, CA

Dark brown with golden, glowing edges and a thin light brown head. This leaves an oily residue and small spots of lace down the glass.

This is certainly a transformed beer and a much different beast than Green Flash's untreated barleywine. The brandy notes are strong and come in waves of raisin, prune, and dried cherry. There's also a ton of caramel and toffee sweetness, along with a bit of earth and oak. Complex, and probably my favorite aspect of this beer.

The flavor isn't quite as successful as the aroma. It's dominated by dark fruits, namely raisins and figs. There's a moderate to high level of bitterness and a very earthy character as well. While all the components are nice, they don't seem as well incorporated as I would like--everything seems somewhat muddled.

Moderate to heavy body with ample carbonation.

A tasty, transformed barleywine, but not particularly drinkable or even that enjoyable.

Nov 09, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Stone's Chuckapalooza during San Diego Beer Week 2010.

A: 8oz pour into an 8oz glass. It's dark outside, but by the light of the fire this looks cola colored with a frothy light brown head. Good retention.

S: Strong brandy and toffee notes with lesser notes of caramel. The brandy is very strong, which I think is pretty great. I detect dried dates and light prune notes. As the beer warms the brandy really begins to dominate, but at the same time other aromas, once masked by the cold, reveal themselves: grapefruit, earth, and oak.

T: Toffee, brandy, some caramel, dates, prunes, and a moderate earthy hop bitterness with a little citrus. The beer has a nice balance of American Barleywine hop characteristics and sweet brandy notes. Oak is light on the palate, mostly evident through a drying sensation in the moderately bitter toffee brandy finish. Alcohol is subtle and well integrated.

M: Dry, creamy, sticky, and lightly tannic with drying oak and some alcohol warming. Carbonation is at an upper moderate level. Body is upper medium - lower full.

Overall: A delicious brandy barrel aged barleywine that I'd like to see around more often.

Nov 09, 2010
Brandy Barrel Barleywine from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 8 ratings