Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Barleywine - English
Ranked #58
Ranked #5,012
4.2 | pDev: 8.1%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Notes: Collaboration with Local Option Bierwerker
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rex_4539
rex_4539 from Greece

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Very deep red color, minimal head and lacing, light carbonation.

S: Oak, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Oak, alcohol, caramel, brown sugar. Very good.

F: Full bodied, nicely flavored, smooth.

O: Nice barleywine.

Nov 10, 2020
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark burgundy brown with a finger and a half of khaki foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is toffee, raisins, caramel, molasses and brown sugar with hearty hits of toasty, caramely, nutty, bready malts for support and depth. Light bourbon notes kiss the back of the throat, offering up just a kiss of heat to curtail the sugary start. Despite the focus on sweetness, there is a quality balance within the aroma. Flavor profile carries that balance and focus forward, hitting notes of molasses, caramel, toffee, brown sugar and raisins alongside nutty, toasty, caramely malts. Bourbon adds a bit of depth and complexity, while playing call-and-response with the sugary start, bringing up a twinge of heat. Dynamics are great. Mouth feel is thick with a smooth, lightly creamy texture. Overall, thick and full with a dynamic and friendly display of sugary notes divulging into light heat at the finish. Dynamics at play here are fantastic, netting out a splendid barleywine.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 22oz bottle.

Feb 05, 2020
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a snifter from draught on March 26, 2019. Bourbon barrel aged barleywine style ale. This is a big beer with strong notes of booze, oak and bourbon.

Apr 11, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Batch 666" (possibly a joke).

Bottled June 2017; drank 8/20/17 @ the Yarchives.

Murky brown/orange rust appearance.

A violent pour yielded a small, noisy khaki head; minimal lace.

Caramel, white wine, oak & bourbon heat notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Caramel & white wine flavors up front; dry oak & strong bourbon heat notes on the finish.

A boozy barrel bomb right now, with no subtlety; it might be worth laying one down to see what a couple years could do for some balance.

Aug 21, 2017
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stortore from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Batch # 666, bottled 2/10/16. Looking at the old batch log, it might have been put into barrels 3/20/15. Had 1/6/17.

Pours an opaque, dark amber, with a half inch, quickly dissipating head and some soapy lacing. The smell is grapes, bourbon, light cherries and plums, malt, dates, raisins, toffee, some oak, a bit of anise in the head. Kind of a berry aroma underneath. The taste begins with a bigger malt presence, then bourbon- more as it warms, oak, plums, raisins, caramel, figs, dates, brown sugar, some vanilla. Light alcohol. Smooth, a solid full body for the style, well carbonated.

Drank more like the English style, no hop presence at all. This was at its best when fully warmed. Well balanced, great flavor and aroma, complex. Would like to see this come around again.

Jun 05, 2017
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jrenihan from Canada (ON)

4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big toffee and caramel scent, molasses-like. Some oak. Similar flavour, a rich, full sweetness, fairly ready, with some oak. Bourbon is light but there, some vanilla. Rich body, low carbonation. Good!

Mar 02, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Barleywine and bourbon have an undeniable affinity for one another. That being said, Pipeworks Brewing and Local Option play match-maker by bringing a strong, savory and sweet barleywine ale to be enveloped by bourbon drenched barrels for a sultry, complex and transformative taste.

Rohrwerker's ominous garnet hues are softly diffused and gentleman-like in its appearance. Strong bourbon fragrance wafts onto the nose and bring the beer's toffee, vinous, spicy and fruity scents. As its rich toffee, brown sugar and caramel malts roll onto the tongue, the beer's lavish sweetness soothes the sweet tooth immediately.

As the beer seeps into the tastebuds, the never-ending variety of flavors roll across the middle palate. While the beer's sweet taste holds firm, introductions of stone fruit bring date, fig, prune, apple, papaya and orange early on. A follow of sherry wine, port leather and oak ensue to take an edge off of the fruitiness. Still, the spiciness of bourbon offers its own caramel, oak, pepper and coconut along with on final rebuttal of cherry and curaƧao liquor.

Full and spicy, the barleywine trails into a simmering warmth of brandy, bourbon and fine sipping elixir. Light numbing action is highlighted by oak tannin and peppercorn that balances the moderately high residual malts that struggle to retain a malt-centric taste.

Sep 19, 2016
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kevanb from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, Batch #666, poured into a Pipeworks snifter glass.

The beer pours a deep and dark brown color, garnet and burgundy hues, opaque and murky with a thick finger or two of khaki colored head that has good retention and yields nice spots and stripes of lace. The aroma is pleasant, rich grains, stone fruits, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, light bourbon, chewy oak and a big burst of bitter and piney hops, definitely getting the "American" barleywine aspects here. The flavors are right in line, big hop punch straight out of the gate, bitter, piney, earthy, citrusy, but then the more mellow and aged barleywine character starts to take over, fig, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, rich grains and some warm, almost "hot" bourbon barrel stings as it goes down. The mouthfeel is solid, coating, smooth, warming, a bit dry and the body isn't quite as meaty as I'd like, but it's still pretty full bodied and chewy with a dry, bitter and hot finish.

Verdict: A really good American Barleywine from Pipeworks, has some really nice rich character to it, big bold barrel and plenty of hops. There is a nice balance that's struck between all the elements and the barrel character adds some nice char to the beer as well. It's not quite as great as Top Fuel, but leave it to the Local Option guys to brew up a big, bold and bad ass American Barleywine.

May 08, 2016
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, syrupy brown with nice head and lacing. Smells hot and boozy, as if stronger than the 10.5% indicated. Underneath the ethyl burn is a malty caramel bomb with banana esters and sweet cherry. Reminiscent of Mother of All Storms when at its hot-and-freshest. Flavors are intense and quite enjoyable, but muddled--sweet, with low hop character. I'd think it more like an English barleywine than American.

Looking forward to seeing how this ages, but I'd let it simmer down a bit before trying it again.

Edit (October 2017): This ages really damn well. Delightful, and glad I saved a bottle. Much smoother with less booze and more complexity, I would up this to a 4.3 in its present state.

Apr 04, 2016
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larryarms847 from Illinois

4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly rusty/coppery red brown with some particulate (guess I should've pour more carefully) and a frothy two finger head of active tan foam.

Heavy caramel and vanilla sweetness, light raisiny fruit note, oak, piney hop resin, and bourbon.

Subtle dark fruit flavors are overpowered by a wave of sweet vanilla, caramel, and toffee. In the background an earthy oak characteristic with a good amount of sweet and spicy warming bourbon.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, thick, chewy, balanced, excellent.

Overall, it's hard to find a BBA barleywine that I enjoy. They usually lean to sweet or too hoppy, but this beer finds that perfect balance. Picked up another to see how this ages, but it is damn near perfect fresh.

Mar 04, 2016
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mfnmbvp from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, no bottled on date. Batch number 666 apparently; a collaboration effort with Local Option, this one the 'Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine Style Ale' - abv amped up to 10.50%. Intriguing bottle art, as always. Hoping for good things here, since I was underwhelmed by the original.

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter glass.

A - Pours a creamy chestnut / ruby colored body, murkier than the original, a bit darker in body. Creamy khaki color head that leaves good spotty lacing. Looks nicer than the original.

S - Aroma is sweet & boozy, slightly phenolic. Notes of licorice or anise come to mind. Barrel character comes forth in the form of a musty, damp oak aroma. Subtle band-aid, vanilla, cream. No really overt notes of bourbon or whiskey. Gives you an okay idea of what to expect.

T - Ah, there's the barrel. The bourbon, vanilla, oak wood flavors come through wonderfully on the flavor. The flavors of the base beer are amplified infinitely. This beer was made to be barrel-aged, that much is obvious. Sticky, sugary, & sweet, but the bourbon barrel aging has brought out the beauty in this beer.

M - Amazingly smooth & creamy. Hot & boozy at times, but easy-drinking for the high abv. Medium-full thickness. Easier to drink than the original.

Feb 20, 2016
Rohrwerker from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 51 ratings