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Great | Alpine Beer Company

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GreatGreat
BA SCORE
4.53/5
World-Class
718 Ratings
GreatGreat
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
alpinebeerco.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The base of this beer was available at a couple of festivals as a barleywine named "Good". The remainder of the batch spent several months aging in fresh Jack Daniels barrels and became "Great".

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#125
Reviews:
172
Ratings:
718
pDev:
8.39%
 
 
Wants:
1,448
Gots:
87
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 718 |  Reviews: 172
Reviews by Canada_Dan:
Photo of Canada_Dan
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of brother_kenneth
3.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage bottle, poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours a typical dark brown with little to no head at all. In fact, it is almost still. Nose is predominantly bourbon, with some nice dark dried fruit and caramel. Not quite as impressive on the aroma as I had expected. Taste is a follow-through on the nose. Had high hopes for this one, and it is good, but not King Henry good. The mouth feel is essentially flat and thin. Fairly standard, if mild, flavors for the style - bourbon, wood, caramel, figs, etc. Super sweet, with some hints of oxidation. Ultimately, it is lacking all the way around when compared to some of it's peers. Don't get me wrong, I like this beer, but considering the hype, there are far better examples of the style out there (King Henry, Blendiculous, etc). Drink 'em if you got 'em, because this one probably won't age well.

 859 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.89/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best BW I have ever tasted....amazing!

38 characters

Photo of lilreyreyatomic
4.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Alpine 12-22-2015 on release day.
Not a big fan of Barelywines I like them but would always prefer a stout or IPA, that being said "Great" and "A Deal With The Devil" are the only ones I would hunt.
Great is amazing this year around they found a way to improve a already great barleywine.
bourbon followed by notes of caramel, toffee, raisins and sweet fruit that are velvety smooth and silky.
the nose is just as amazing as the taste.

 446 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.61/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into a teku glass.

dark red pour with a slight head. smell of slight bourbon and dark fruits...quite appealing! taste is smooth as silk with the dark fruits and slight bourbon finish. body isnt even that thick honestly...its really creamy and so smooth. damn tasty. probably the best barrel aged barleywine in existence... definitely worth the hype. so greaT! worth the hype. trade for it NOW!

 406 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%

Pour is extremely dark burgundy with a small amount of tight tan head. Nose has some light bourbon notes up front, chocolate maltiness with figs and raisin. Taste is bright and tight, bourbon is subtle but helps balance the malt sweetness. Figs and raisin play a strong role with chocolate and dark malt presence with berry notes, caramel, and brown sugar in back. Full bodied with soft carbonation and a very creamy inviting palate.

 437 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When a bourbon aged Barleywine is done right, with a lot of bourbon and some heartiness from the barleywine, you get this beer. Great was truly GREAT, with a perfect heartwarming finish.

 187 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.35/5  rDev -26%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Steve for this... Pours an ugly murky dark brown, a light tan watery head forms a ring, but that’s it... really wonderful dr pepper malts, reminds me of a Kuhnhenn bbbw... taste is not as successful as the nose, lots of dark fruits, raisins, but it finishes with lots of bourbon but its too hot and the bourbon tastes cheap... the feel is a touch to thin and little hot... wanted to love this but its a bit overrated

 428 characters

Photo of CaptainPancakes
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Beerlistman
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of AgentZero
4.27/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this longtim want of mine.

A - Orangish brown colored beer that's fairly opaque. Off-white head didn't stay for long and left some pretty minor stuff on the sides.

S - Caramel, burnt sugar, a bit of vanilla. There's a lot of sweet fruit in here, particularly cherries. Alcohol is dangerously hidden.

T - Really nice. Has a great barleywine base that is complimented by the bourbon and barrel aging. Some sweeter fruit notes as well.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation.

O - Really nice beer, wish it came in bigger bottles. No complaints on this one.

 588 characters

Photo of JesseLara
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09 version

A- Brown with a slight reddish hugh, head forms and vanishes quickly to nothing, leaves clear sticky film on the side of the glass.
S- Caramel, maple, alcohol, molasses, smells fairly sweet.
T- A welcoming bitter chocolate, maple, caramel, just a little bit of alcohol heat.
M- Filling mouthfeel the lingers after it goes down, very little carbonation.
O- This is probably about the 6th or 7th serving I have had at the pub. 2 were 2005 and the rest 09, everytime I thought it would be the last time I had it for a long time and then when I walk in and see that name on the board I get giddy. My favorite barrel aged barleywine.

 640 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark caramel brown body, minimal head, a bit of lacing. Looks like a barleywine, to be honest which already isn't a striking style in terms of A.

S- Caramel, toffee, sweet whiskey, oak, cocoa, dark fruit, a touch of citrus and pine. But the hops come nowhere near dominating the malt and whiskey.

F- Complex yet sweet. Caramel and toffee dominate, strong bourbon flavours add complexity and some bitter burnt malt. Hop character is present more as a balancing ingredient to all the sweetness. All flavours have melded very well.

M- Thick, caramelly and almost syrupy but not quite to the point where it would be off-putting. Smooth, sweet and balanced. Zero heat.

O- An American barleywine that drinks more like what an English barleywine does; little American hop flavours come out yet its just enough to make it interesting. Importantly, it balances out the sweet malts that would otherwise make it too cloying. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable.

 956 characters

Photo of PhatAtUT
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of farnold
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of moonknight31
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Nuggetz
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scottfrie
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks to shawnm213 for this one!

A: Pours a murky raisin brown with a very short lived thin dark tan head that quickly bubbled away into a faint collar that left no lace.
S: Rich notes of sweet dark fruits, a touch of vanilla and toffee, and a bit of basement must.
T: Follows the nose and tastes a lot like an old ale. I get a slight bit of oxidation as well. Flavors consist of raisins, plums, dates and other dark fruits combined with sweet caramel, toffee, butterscotch, leather and spicy whisky barrel. The whisky and alcohol are very well integrated. The finish is sweet and almost berry-like, and the aftertaste is spicy, warming, oxidized and full of vanilla, cocoa and light tobacco notes.
M: Full bodied, thick viscous and slick mouthfeel , and very low carbonation that is tingly on my palate. The double digit alcohol is hidden extremely well.
O: A very rich and potent barleywine. The low carbonation works very well with the strong flavors. Aside from the slight oxidation this beer would be near perfect. Thanks again Shawn!

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Photo of chewpendous
4.46/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hopsbreath
4.69/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a little barrel aged barleywine tasting at MADhombrewer and Witchsbrew's residence last night. Filet mignon's were provided by our host's for TulipSnifter and I. Thanks guys!

In the lineup were Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Hellshire I, BA Hi-Fi Rye, BA Old Ruffian, Abacus, and Alpine Great. Our intention was to also open up Perfect Storm '09, Mother of all Storms '10, Kuhnhenn BBBW, and Arctic Devil but we agreed it best to hold off on those beers for another day due to palate fatigue. Small two ounce samples of the six beers from last night were first tasted and notes were taken before returning to the bottles for more tastes and refined notes.

Thanks to SteelersX for providing a couple of bottles of the ’09 batch.

A: Murky-brown with yellow edges. Very tiny wisp ring with a thick glass coating layer. 3.5/5

S: Maple, tart cherries (not in an infected sense), and warming alcohol soaked wood. It’s pungent and saliva-inducing. 4.5/5

T: Very well integrated. Toffee, some butterscotch, day-old red wine, sherry, and pomegranate with a touch of acid. Arguably the best flavor profile of the night. 5/5

M: Thick, coating, and tongue numbing. Very low carbonation is fine by me. 5/5

O: My personal favorite of the night. A fantastic barleywine that should be able to stand up to any and all competition. I still have a bottle I’ll be looking at opening up next to the other BA barleywine’s I still have to taste. I expect it will look forward to the challenge. 4.5/5

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Photo of eddie5721
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of buyyourfreedom
4.81/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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Great from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 718 ratings