Chessie Barleywine
Union Craft Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Barleywine
Ranked #300
Ranked #23,574
3.83 | pDev: 8.62%
Union Craft Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 71 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lucular
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap and at first I wondered whether I had been poured the right beer. Huge pillowy head, lighter than expected, almost nitro-like mouthfeel, totally hidden ABV, almost made me think I was drinking a pale ale but for a bit of sweetness. Not what I was expecting but quite good for what it is.

 303 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle 575 of 800.

2015 vintage; drank 12/26/15 @ the Stained Carpet.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Semi-opaque dull orange appearance.

HUGE eggnog head (careful pouring!); frothy lace.

Caramel, pine & resin notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Caramel, pine & resin flavors up front; mild booze heat on the finish. Not my profile but still enjoyable.

 385 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby amber color. Nice caramel and dark grape notes with a hint of plum in the nose. Taste is the same but with a light citrus hop note. Heavy body but fairly slick. Light carbonation to give it a bit of texture. A bit hoppy at the beginning. Pretty good.

 256 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Westover Beer Garden. A very thin mouth feel for a barley wine. The alcohol bite, though not overwhelming, is not balanced by enough malty goodness. Underwhelming to say the least.

 191 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Believe it or not, this is not the first thing named Chessie to enter my life - I also have a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Temujin (or Timmy). This will be a side-by-side comparo between the beer and my dog.

The beer Chessie pours a beautiful clear copper color, and has three fingers worth of dense, long-lasting head that's off-white in shade. As I said, retention is excellent, and incredible amounts of lacing stick to the glass. My chessie Timmy is very dark brown, almost to chocolate lab levels. He's also really big, and likes to stretch his front legs when he's happy to see me. Both are just as cute as the dickens, and no more needs to be said about that.

I smell a lot of citrusy, pungent hops coming from the aroma of this barleywine. Like any good barleywine worth its weight in frankincense, the hoppiness has a pleasant candied character when combined with the thick, sweet maltiness. It smells bitter, but it doesn't have the sharpness of a SN Bigfoot. The malts, meanwhile, seem to have a bit more nuance as well (bringing notes of caramel, brown sugar, raisin, cherry, brown sugar, and graham cracker). On the other hand, Timmy fucking stinks, and needs a bath right now! YOUR TIME IS COMING, MISTER.

...I am NOT licking my dog, you crazy horn dogs. But the beer is a tasty brew. It opens up fairly malty, with intense notes of caramel, pumpernickel bread, toffee, and even a little rye spice. I don't get as much ester character as the nose suggested, but there are some subtle cherry, raisin, and apricot qualities. This doesn't assault the palate with bitterness immediately (looking at you, Bigfoot...), instead it seems to sneak up on the palate, waiting to strike right at the swallow. Even still, it's nothing too harsh. There is a modicum of depth to be found, but I could certainly use a touch more. This brew's trump card lies in its razor-sharp balance instead of its complexity.

I'm surprised how agile the beer Chessie is on the palate. It starts off with a medium-full texture and an airy density, but finishes wonderfully dry - and it doesn't rely on intense carbonation to pull that off. I've had some single IPAs that were less drinkable than this. On the other hand, while petting my chessie feels great, he's got flea medicine on right now, so I won't do that.

This beer is NOT more lovable than my dog, even with his annoying quirks and general over-excitement. But this barleywine has the drinkability of a good IPA, with a bit more depth and complexity (though it's not the deepest barleywine I've ever sampled). Union, please put this stuff in cans!

3.9/5: Huh, a barleywine that's drinkable? Like hell, you say!

 2,662 characters

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

American barleywine, indeed. Nice clarity in the rosy amber body. Aroma brings caramel, stone fruit, and citrus. Flavor is comparable with more depth as the balance of hops and sweet malt also present a tea-like quality. Stone fruit in the finish. Nice balance here to keep things drinkable.

 291 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic barleywine flavor here - strong, sweet, boozy, heavy on the malts with not much discernable bitterness or hop profile. A bit fruity, and not too sticky on the palate. Pours a nice head too, which interjects a bit of smoothness into the drink.

 252 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from mwrecording so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Bottle #683 out of 1000, poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, citrus and other fruits. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and creates a very good balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a long time.

 835 characters

Photo of bluehende
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a bit strange. I had it on draft at a tasting. It was 1 yr aged sample. Think hoppy barleywine. The bitterness is there. Being a hop head I actually really enjoyed this. It tasted of an old DIPA. The difference would be the complexity of the barleywine aspect. Very interesting and good beer.

 312 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Shroud0fDoom for this one from his NBS BIF #1 box. Bottle #782/1000. Shared with OKComputer. All-around, a fairly typical example of the style. Nice color, scent and flavors. The body was nicely smooth, and finished with just a touch of stickiness. I'd like to see what a couple years would do for this beer, I bet it would be fantastic.

 347 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure if this is retired. This is the 2nd anniversary ale from Union Craft. Blue Label and bottle 666. Hazy copper color. nice foamy head. Lingering lace on the glass. Toffee and caramel aroma. Spicy pine like notes. Big blast of caramel malt and hops. Very nice pine and grapefruit bitterness. Well balanced. Lingering toffee like stickiness. Nice full mouthfeel but not overly so that it is way filling. Very nice US barleywine from a great MD brewery.

 457 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle.

Beautiful deep amber hue that brings a perfect clarity. Lovely tight white lacing sticks well. Bready nose with notes of stone fruit, earthiness, fresh grass, & nutty yeast. A little thick and chewy, smoothness from a light carbonation lingers long. Malty, mild caramel and bread crust make up the maltiness. Hints of marmalade, green peppercorn and hop resin balance things out. Good level of warming from the alcohol rounds the semi-dry finish out.

A real charmer here, the balance here is pretty damn amazing with a high level of drinkability ... not saying that I am chugging it but rather is is very pleasing sip to sip.

 648 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a translucent red with a small white head. Smells of a nice fruit bouquet with hints of berries. Tastes of fruit, especially berries, but with a nice grain background and slight alcohol. Beer is full bodied but still finishes nicely and is extremely drinkable. Overall a very good beer.

 341 characters

Chessie Barleywine from Union Craft Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 71 ratings