Pipeworks / Local Option Schlüssel Berserker
Pipeworks Brewing Company

Pipeworks / Local Option Schlüssel BerserkerPipeworks / Local Option Schlüssel Berserker
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American Barleywine
3.89 | pDev: 9.51%
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Pipeworks / Local Option Schlüssel BerserkerPipeworks / Local Option Schlüssel Berserker
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kevanb
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, 2016 vintage, poured into a Pipeworks snifter glass. Enjoyed on 4.20.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a dark burgundy color, garnet hues, quite opaque with a bone colored head with little retention and lace. The aroma is nice, lots of caramel, rich grains, stone fruits, with an assertive hop bite rich grain, brown sugar and fusel alcohol. The flavors are nice, quite hoppy, piney, sappy, resinous with caramel malt, brown sugar, lots of grainy brown bread with some stone fruits and alcohol that linger. The mouthfeel is good, coating, thick, creamy with a nice lively texture and an assertively warm finish.

Verdict: A good American Barleywine from Pipeworks and Local Option. It's aggressive and in your face, as expected, but a bit warm and rough around the edges.

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Photo of darktronica
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent brown with ruby tint and minimal head. Montmorency cherry, plum, and floral hop notes on the nose, with the same plus a touch of fusel alcohol on the palate. I would have expected more hop character and bitterness given Pipeworks' other offerings, except that I had previously had Rohrwerker, the BBA version of this one. At the time, I also noted a low hop presence more reminiscent of a malty English barleywine than an American. This is certainly consistent with that take. Does not display much oxidation despite a little over a year in the bottle.

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Photo of stortore
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 2/9/16, had 10/1/16.

Pours a dark amber, reddish tint when held to a light, mostly opaque, with a one inch foamy head, good amount of foamy lacing. The smell brings malt, toffee, brown sugar, raisins, some cherries, some yeast, light floral hop aroma. Not an intense aroma overall. The taste is malt forward, fig, caramel, cherries, grapes, raisins, some plums. A light hop bitterness, fairly sweet. Smooth, a good, medium body, well carbonated.

Good flavor, but the aroma was a bit flagging for a barleywine and, especially for a Pipeworks effort. It was enjoyable to drink and I think the overall rating is a little low- but I let it age longer, which may have helped. Ah well, not all collabs are outstanding, not by a long shot.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: Malloy’s Finest Wine & Spirits in Naperville, Ill.
Price: $8.99
Purchased: Sept. 16, 2016
Consumed: Sept. 18, 2016
Reviewed as: American Barleywine
Misc.: No BOD on bottle

Was probably the first beer that I saw when I walked into Malloy’s. Price seemed reasonable considering it was a barleywine and it had something to do with Piperworks, which was one of the breweries I wanted to try on my limited budget. No idea about this one besides what I just wrote.

Poured a reddish brown amber-to-light brown murky color with two fingers of khaki tan, frothy head. Some light bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Good spotty, foamy lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled plum, sugary caramel, toasted nuts, very boozy liquor, hints of oak, purple grape, light spoiled red wine and just a touch of toasted brown sugar. (Smell - 3.25)

Tasted better than the nose, but still a bit underwhelming. Really sweet, initially reminding me of a Port Wine. Also getting red apple, plum. sugary caramel, toasted toffee, brown sugar, pecan and other roasty nutty malts, boozy spoiled viney red wine, flat oak and some citrus notes. Definitely tasting the 9.5 pct. ABV, but it smooths out a bit as it warms. (Taste - 3.50)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, boozy, slightly warming finish. (Feel - 3.75)

This was a rather mediocre American Barleywine and a disappointment for my first Piperworks beer. I guess still reasonable for the price of $8.99 though. (Overall - 3.50)

3.48 | 79 | B-

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Photo of larryarms847
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark and slightly chill hazed mahogany red brown with a quarter finger of light tan foam.

Strong sweet aroma of caramel, toffee, and candied sugar, slight nuttiness, and a slight stone fruit/citrusy aroma.

Huge malt character. Slight smokiness, roasty, caramel, toffee, candied sugar, and vanilla dominate much of the other flavors, but a slight citrus like character lingers on the back end.

Full-bodied, low-medium carbonation, earthy, sweet, sticky.

Overall, leans a bit too sweet. A few tweaks and this could be great, but for now it's okay.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

With certainly a different take on the style, the collaborative efforts of Pipeworks and Local Option brewers ease into a malt bomb of a beer with esters, hops, booze and curious collections of flavor for complexity and intrigue.

Schlussel Berserker's pour is one of murk and mud as its brownish maroon darkness is viscous and silt-like. A full display of fruit and caramels pull from its depths and take the nose on a brandy-soaked ride. Its sweet taste is of caramel and toffee with light toasted nuttiness.

As the beer warms and the palate acclimates to the strength, waves of flavors reveal citrus, grassiness, bruised apple, grape candy, toast, pecan, peppercorn, orange and grapefruit peels and a hint of vinyl in the beer's late palate. Spicy with fusal rum, brandy and cognac, a spicy bite is as challenging as it is balancing.

Full on the palate, the sweet linger of caramel and toffee lay weightily on the finish but broken up by hop bitterness, carrying a peppery, stemmy, leaf-like host of vegetation. Lingering with caramel and grass leaves this barleywine somewhere between English and American varieties- on which will require a well-vintaged program to tame down.

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Photo of snaotheus
2.87/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle served in a glass that's halfway between a tulip and a snifter. A lot of beer was left in the bottle, so I shouldn't have too much of the sediment. I don't see a date on it.

Appearance changes greatly based on lighting. Over in my kitchen, where I poured it, it looked like an unattractive, dingy, grayish-brown. Here in my family room, it looks like an attractive reddish brown. I'll go with that. Fairly dark, at arm's length it doesn't appear to be very translucent. Small ring of light tan head with lots of fine slow carbonation. Smell is sweet and fruity (plums/cherries), maybe a grape koolaid note. Now that I've said grape koolaid, that's all I can notice.

Taste is roasty and dark, it definitely does have that grape koolaid flavor and it's hard for me to get past it. There are some roasty characteristics and some other dark fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is pretty normal for a barleywine. Thick, maybe a bit more effervescent than most. Overall...something is wrong with this beer. Grape flavor is not supposed to be there.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! A pretty great beer. Astonishingly appetizing in looks: very dark brown, nearly black. Aroma is vanilla and some woody qualities. Taste is similar, though there's a slightly sweet molasses quality. For a bourbon barrel aged beer, the bourbon is pretty subdued. Yet there's still a mild underlying bourbon sweetness to it, as well as a bit of vanilla. A very slight yet pleasant alcohol burn. Texture is thinner than you might expect. Glad to see a successful collaboration between two Chicago brewers.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, no bottled on date or batch number present. Pipeworks collaboration with Local Option. "Barleywine Style Ale".

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter.

A - Pours a very dark ruby red body. Very dark, one finger of tan color head. Spotty sticky lacing.

S - A sweet & sticky nose. Notes of sugar, & toasted caramel malts. Molasses. More molasses. Overly sweet smelling, and fairly bland, and one-dimensional. Notes of alcohol fumes.

T - Taste follows the nose - extremely sticky and sweet with notes of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, some minor alcohol bite. Again, almost cloyingly sweet at times. No real dark fruit flavor to speak, mostly all sugary sweetness. Not bad, but pretty bland and one-dimensional.

M - The feel is smooth & easy-drinking, especially for the high abv. Sticky, thick, & sweet. Full-bodied, with low carb.

Overall, not a bad beer, but much too sweet for the style, I would say. A bit too sugary for the style, for me, but perhaps a bit of age would do these bottles some good. Interested to see how the barrel-aged version fares.

Pipeworks Schlussel Berserker -----3.5/5

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Pipeworks / Local Option Schlüssel Berserker from Pipeworks Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 26 ratings