Hercules Strong Ale | Boston Beer Works - Canal Street

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18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 12-07-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by WesWes:
Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with some reddish highlights. The aroma is decent. It has a sweet malty scent with some bourbon barrel notes. It seems a little on the sweet side with just a wiff of alcohol warmth. The taste is average. It has an overly sweet taste that boasts primarily of pale and Munich malts. The barrel character is light to mild. It goes down slow, almost syrupy and finishes with a bit of warmth. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average strong ale. It's nothing special for sure.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of warriorsoul
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It seems I follow carln26 once again...spooky.
This was my second choice on a nice crisp evening...was just what I needed to fend off that chill outside...and also my dessert for the evening.
Arrived at the table a hazy amber orange w/ a surprising full finger of tan head...not much lacing to remain.
Aroma was faint...most due to it being served a bit too chilled.
The taste was a very sweet, raisin like explosion. If it wasn't for the perfect carbonation, the sweetness would be too much. It was very slick and the aftertaste was just a touch bitter. I will be honest...I could not have more than one of these in an evening, but I am real impressed w/ their interpretation of the style and would gladly have another the next time I visit.

FYI...the 12oz. offering was $6....ouch!

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt orange with a small white head. The smell is very pungent with dark fruit,hops,sweet malt,and alcohol. The taste is a mix of hops and dark fruit. I perfer a hoppier barleywine to a fruity one.so I enjoyed this beer. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing well. This is a good drinking beer,strong,but very tasty.

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Photo of carln26
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, big mistake trying this beer. I was just killing a little time waiting for a train, and innocently ordered this it. Please don’t take this wrong, it was a fine beer. It’s just the effect of 11.5% ABV late in the day. It poured a deep copper color mildly hazy with a dense cream colored head. The aroma had some flowery hops with citrus (grapefruit). A thick sheet of lace cascaded down the side of the glass. A rich alcohol bite comes first in the flavor followed by
more of the floral character. The malt shows late in the drink. This is a surprising entry from the Beer Works. Good mild mouth feel and good drinkability.

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Photo of Aexoonge
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of smcolw
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep ruby brown color and clear. Excellent head for the style which leaves streaks on the glass.

Sweet perfume as the initial smell. It's also quite yeasty to the nose.

The body is thick with a very low carbonation level. Yet, the beer is not overly sweet, especially for the style. There's also a solid hop presence. The swallow brings out the alcohol warmth. The aftertaste even has a bitter hop flavor. A little bit for everyone!

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Photo of Lothar666
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light Amber body with no head or visible sediment. Lacing was white but barely present.

S- Sweet malts, toffee, and some fruity notes. Very Pleasant.

T- Fruity notes are very present in the flavor profile, along with more toffee, and a bit of strong alcohol. Superb.

M- Light and smooth, the burn from alcohol that I expect in a barleywine was barely present. Excellent.

D- Hides the ABV very well, making this an excellent example for its style.

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Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of gumphood
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a very nice mild barley wine and to anyone looking to try out the barley wine type of bear this a great starter because I find alot of them to be very over powering and very destructive to your taste. Also I couldn't see having to many of these considering the percent, but that being said, it is a great starter. Its an amber color with a thick hoppy smell and if sipped (not chugged you college student) flows very well like a smooth barley wine should. The past ones can have a very overpowering flavor; mostly in alcholol, but this beer is very good and very drinkable for a barley wine.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 12 oz stange at the brewpub. Bright copper in color with highlights of auburn beneath a slightly creamy, white sheet. Patches of thin lacing with decent strength. Sweet caramelized sugar in the nose with ripe, vinous fruity esters: fig, plum, red apple, date. Mellow, yet still strong cognac-like alcohol whaff. Citrus flavors as well as dark, vinous fruit that is balanced quite nicely with the slightly candied sugar. Swarming alcohol presence with a modest floral hop character in the middle leveling off the ale's sweetness. Full bodied; smooth and creamy at times with the vaporous alcohol presence cutting in and out. To me, some to most offerings from all three Beer Works have trouble with balance and flavor subtleties; however, I feel that Hercules had none of these issues. Decent beer for the winter months.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the Fenway brewpub on December 7 with lunch. I was told it was brewed in 2004 and has been aging. Pricey though--$6 for a 12oz glass.

The color of this beer was rather neat. A red-brown in color with a thick and spongey head. Whole loads of lace ringing the glass. Nose was full of high-octane alcohol and just hints of spices.

Flavor was utterly dissappointing. First and foremost was the alcohol. It kind of just took over the mouth. Actually tasted a bit like rubbing alcohol I imagine. A slight hop presence gave the flavor a little bit of subtle balance but the malts were nearly non-existent in the flavor (but the beer was a tad dry). Behind the hops and alcohol I also got some very vague hints of spice and nuts.

Medium body but nearly light body thanks to the alcohol and the watery texture. For $6 a glass I forced myself to finish the glass but I almost left it on the bar.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a fairly clear brown color. Head is minimal. Leaves light lacing.

S-Smells sweet and fruity. Caramel and even some notes of raspberry. Lighter hop derived bitterness. Brown sugar and molasses.

T-Akin to the nose. Sweet with nice fruity notes. Rich caramel and vanilla. Again, light hop bitterness. Hops have some nice citrusy fruit flavors. Booze is noticeable.

M-A bit syrupy and slick. Light carbonation. Alcohol dries out the palate. Rich feel.

O/D-I was a bit nervous of a big beer by Beer Works. This was actually pretty tasty. Rich, sweet and fruity. A nice Strong Ale. Worth a try.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had at the Fleet Center location...First: they serve this in a nice goblet! Nice touch, plus it lets you know this is a bit of a big old beer. Dark copper when poured, nice head, which left sheets of lace in the goblet. Floral hop aroma. Very smooth, nice caramel/ malt flavor and mouthfeel, but the alcohol lets you know it's there, no fooling. Nice alternative, but a big beer, so be careful. pat

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Photo of madjr80
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was really not a fan of this beer. It had some decent characteristics, but it really didn't have what I am looking for in a beer. It was a nice yellowish orange color with decent carbonation, but the alcohol level was so high that it masked some of the beer flavor. They can only serve two pints per sitting, and I really couldn't see any reason that you would want a third. A well crafted beer, but it really wasn't my style

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Photo of Truh
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Placed ahead of Magnus von Magnuson in the world’s strongest man competition with this one on 12/18/2004. 12-oz. short order pour at the Fenway location.

Light shim of initial carbonation with some piling at its circumference. Light, orange amber hue with extreme clarity and no action whatsoever. Like their imperial stout, bouquet has an almost light curdling, but the alcohol sweet & sour heat seems to douse it a little with some lemon juice spritz. Rock candy sweetness on the mouth, with a core of slowly decomposing hop on the vine, and a Tabasco sauce fieriness add up to a not-so-subtle in your face smoker. For the style, mediocre, but a pleasant choice at BBW.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer could have been nice and solid. However, it had a metalic aftertaste which made it utterly really hard to drink. It had a very good malt profile. It tasted good at first. But that aftertaste kept driving me crazy. I'm thinking this must be an anomaly. But I can do nothing less but give this mark this down. Be advised.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this barleywine last Friday night. It was the "vintage 2006" version on tap. Comes served in a wine glass. No head or carbonation to speak of. The color was golden orange. There was a pronounced odor of alcohol noticeable. The taste was strong, as you'd expect from a barleywine. Definitely can notice the high abv. A decent offering, but nothing exceptional. Other than the fact it was "vintage", it didn't have many redeeming qualities.

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Hercules Strong Ale from Boston Beer Works - Canal Street
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 18 ratings