Great | Alpine Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

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".

Added by xlperro on 03-01-2005

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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 660
Photo of pwoods
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fred at Beverages4Less. I hope this bottle was taken better care of than the Nelson and Expo Hop that you sold me.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a GLBC Christmas Ale snifter.

A: Pours a murky brown with orangish amber tinting in the light. Pours kind of thin. A rough pour gets about a 1/4 inch of spritzy head that dies immediately... I'd assume this spent plenty of time in the barrel. No lacing but some oily streaks.

S: Healthy dose of bourbon but even more massive is the huge dank barrel presence. Lots of earthy, dank oak. Some vanilla and molasses sweetness, maybe some pure maple syrup notes. Very woody. Listed as an American BW but I get great aged English Barleywine notes. The bourbon becomes even more potent as it warms.

T/M: Yow. Lots going on here. Plenty of bourbon along with some stronger alcohol complexity and a very satisfying warmth. More of the light molasses and maple flavors, some vanilla sweetness, caramel, toffee, dark fruits etc. Some faded hops, but I still don't know about American BW. I get loads of rich, alcohol soaked dark fruits as I swallow. I also get a sharp sweetness after I swallow, which is a minor flaw that is somewhat covered up by everything else that is going on. Body is actually pretty thin, which is my biggest complaint. It's only about medium light, which seems pretty far off the mark. Carbonation is light, which fits the style well, but doesn't do a hole lot with the lighter body. It actually reminds me of sipping a bourbon or scotch.

D: Massive ABV and a bit of a mouthfeel issue. Pretty damn tasty, though. If you're looking for a 'kick you in the teeth' beer, then this fits the bill very nicely. If you're looking for something complex and subtle... well this could still be for you because there is plenty to find, but the mouthfeel issues really hurt what they were trying to do and turn this from what could have been an absolutely stunning beer to a, still respectable, tasty treat.

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Photo of Overlord
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hophead84 for giving me a bottle of this most excellent beer.

Pours a rich orange-ish amber-y color. Just a few wisps of bubbles here and there and the barest hint of a crust of foam (that vanishes as rapidly as my optimism towards life did when I reached puberty).

Smells glorious. Rich butterscotch, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits notes along with a hint, just a hint, of citrus. And bourbon, too, of course. A luscious brown sugary bourbon.

Phenomenal flavor. More toffee, more butterscotch, bourbon, notes of oak/wood that ripple along the deep, enticing flavor. It's a sweet beer, but there is a tang of hops to it ... not much though. The fruits and deep brown sugary malt really blend together fantastically, and the bourbon just tops it all off.

Dangerously drinkable, nice juicy/thick mouthfeel.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bottle received in a trade with ArthurPendragon. Thanks man. Poured into a snifter, the beer is dark brown with crimson highlights and a small head.

The nose is very rich, with notes of dark toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, and prominent bourbon. The dried fruit character is similar to figs, dates, prunes, and perhaps plums. A faint nuttiness is present. I've not encountered anything else like it. Very unique and very nice. The 14% is well hidden. Intoxicating. A light oxidation quality is similar to sherry. Rich and unabashed.

The flavor is even richer than the aroma, if that can be believed. Big boozey bourbon notes are in communion with caramel, brown sugar cookies, butterscotch, toffee, molasses, vanilla, dates, figs, plums, and prunes. The combination of toffee and nuttiness is not unlike peanut brittle. Sherry-like oxidation is graceful. The alcohol is very well hidden in the bottle. I didn't find that to be the case with the draught version. Bow before this beast. I think 6oz would be a perfect serving size, and I have double the number before me. I definitely should have split this with another. This is very well done. Seek it out.

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Photo of younger35
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew from JessetheHutt in a nice little trade. I loves me a good Barleywine, especially when they're barrel aged. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a dark crimson brown with a fairly small off-white foamy head. A small collar remains the entire beer but not a spot on the cap. No lacing what-so-ever as well.
Smell- Intensely rich and super pungent as the barrel is wonderfully noticeable and full of goodness. The brown sugar and caramel are abundant as is a light oak and vanilla. Almost fruity as well with a dark cherry and cranberry like aspect along with a bit of raisin. The oak is just chocked full of vanilla and woody goodness, damn it smells good. Can't wait to take a sip of this bad boy.
Taste- Just as intense as I was hoping for as the vanilla and wood ooze out of this beauty. The caramel and toffee are ridiculously intense but thankfully not sweet. A few bourbon notes make their way through and as they mix with the alcohol it gets slightly warm. Some cherry and dark fruits are more than abundant as well as a bit of cola and tree bark. Something slightly medicinal and root like but honestly it's just so intense and so much going on, it's just part of the beer. The finish is full of caramel and vanilla and a touch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a nice full bodied feel and light slick carbonation.
Drinkability- Really freaking good Barleywine. But saying that, the 14% is rather noticeable after a while. I like how the beer is super intense and chocked full of caramel but not sweet. A little bit of time will definitely help things and now I wish I would have traded for two. Thanks much Jess!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.79/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jesus this was good. I had been wanting to try this one forever, and many thanks for getting it in the white whale BIF. Served chilled and poured into a 6oz snifter, this one was enjoyed on 1/16/2010.

The pour was deep, dark brown, with no light penetrating it at all. Small head forms on top, just thin bubbles really before it settles back down and just lightly rings the outside of the glass throughout the rest of the session.

Aroma is the most intense thing i have come across. Rich butterscotch and toffee notes, huge buttery sweetness just rolling and tumbling through the air. Sublime. Warming brings out nice notes of vanilla and wood that seem to subtly filter through the air. The delicate butterscotch flavor seemed to be neverending. Sweet nectar of the gods here. Smooth, delicous perfection, this is nailed beyond what I could have imagined. simply sublime.

Overall this is better then I could have hoped for. A superb version of a barrel aged barleywine. The vanilla and toffee notes from the barrel are perfect, mellow and subdued are the orginal hops from the beer, instead a sultry, sweet, and superb flavor have come forward. If every barrel aged beer I have is like this I would be a happy man.

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Photo of vacax
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great poured into my glass a dark brown color with almost no visible carbonation until I stopped pouring and a few strands of head formed before disappearing within the next minute or so. I don't expect a large creamy head from something in this alcohol range, but I expect more than this.

The aroma emanates maple, bourbon, booze, caramelized sugars, and a tad of peaty dryness. Pretty far out. Tastes of toffee, but not as sweet, peaty, slightly earthy. Finish has a full bitterness to it with a lingering bourbon and maple character. Yes, this one is big and boozy, but it is oh so good. Full in body, but maybe lighter than expected. Despite the lack of visible carbonation, there are plenty of tiny prickly bubbles to enhance the flavor. Very high quality example of the style. High drinkability for what it is, not quite perfect, but high. Good good stuff.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by largadeer (Chris), courtesy of ArthurPendragon. Thanks guys.

A: Pours a murky, ruddy amber, with almost no head. Scattered bubbles on top with a VERY thin collar. Translucent honey edges. IMO it's too carbonated to be a proper English barleywine, but it looks inviting.

S: Butterscotch, toffee, peanut brittle, a bit of soy-like oxidation, caramel, toast. There's something darkly savory that reminds me of that tamarind chutney commonly paired with samosas.

T: Lots of butterscotch, toffee, peanut brittle, and caramel. It's pretty attenuated and doesn't leave a lot of lingering sweetness; there is a leathery savoriness (again, calling to mind tamarind chutney) throughout that helps balance the sugars. A hint of dry oxidation in the finish that works very well for this beer. There isn't much bourbon or wood at all, but vanilla does appear from time to time. As it warms, it gets more tannic and astringent.

M: Chewy, warm, smooth. Viscous. Very restrained, with a mild and mellow heat (nowhere near 14%).

D: This is really, really good. The barrel-aging is VERY subtle, and it hits the zone for me when it's at the upper range of the "recommended" drinking temperature. Lovely. I want more. It's pricey as hell at $11 a 12oz, but this may be one of the few beers where I think it's actually worth it, like a Hair of the Dog special release. [EDIT: I have been informed that this was $8 / 12oz at the release. That is well worth it, IMO.]

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Photo of mcallister
4.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fine example of an english barley wine. Murky chestnut color with only a hint of tan fizz that leaves a splotch of foam here and there.

Man noses on beers don't get much better than this. Everything comes through and adds depth and complexity to each other instead of one thing overpowering. Dried fruit character you would expect in fig and date with caramel and toffee undertones. Some red currant that then leads into some woodsy aromas and that sweet bourbon scent. Just a great smelling bw.

Ahhhh why I love English barley wines so much on top of that add bourbon barrel aging and you have one of the best beers I've tried in a long long while. A dessert style beer very sweet with mission fig, rum soaked rasins, caramel, date, currant, bourbon, vanilla, alcohol burn, a perfect tingly mouthfeel from a hint of carbonation that adds to the complexity. Slight oxidation and sherry quality. Christ this is good.

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Photo of waltonc
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JessetheHutt for throwing in this great brew as an extra in our trade. Awesome.

I am to bourbon barrel barleywines what Nelly is to cornrows - a sucker.

Pours hazy garnet/brown in color with ample tan carbonation. Smells of bourbon, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, and lots of toffee, among others. I like it, but the buttery toffee component is a little too much for my taste - reminds me a bit of Olde Bluehair's smell. Taste is outstanding - those same toffee, bourbon, raisin and brown sugar qualities are all quite strong, and blend together well. Not hoppy at all, this sits on the line where barleywines end and old ales begin. Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, coating, and well-supported by ample carbonation. At 14%, I was expecting to have difficulty drinking this, but those concerns proved unfounded.

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Photo of mikey711
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, with some light able to seep through. Mild head forms with a hard pour that is gone befoe i could even blink and no lacing to speak of at all

S: RIch caramel notes upfront along with some biscuits, also a nice coconut and almost note is present and very enjoyable, maybe a little maple syrup as well. can definitely smell the wood and some vanilla and bourbon

T:It starts off very vanilla tasting with hints of oak and then caramel. A big load of biscuits is noticable. As it sits in my mouth I can also detect some toasted nuts. What is strange is some of the sips though are just straight booze which is a bit unpleasant

M: Some heat is present on this one and it could surely use a bit of time in the cellar, there is also a syrupy quality to it

D: I look forward to trying this one again in a year. I split the bottle with someone else and that was fine by me

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Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Not much head, not much lace. Prune juice appearance. Brown and opaque.

S - Prune juice smell. And booze.

T - Prune juice taste. Raisins, booze, etc.

M - Kinda harsh. Out of whack. Big beer. Probably would benefit from a year in the cellar. Pretty good now, though.

D - Oh, no, one is more than enough.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.61/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from the source and shared with the very lovely Aimstatus; poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass at 52 degrees.

A: An opaque brown body that exhibited absolutely no head or lace-like qualities. I contribute this to the high alcohol by volume, but still, not quite what I had anticipated for this beer.

S: Tons of bourbon/whiskey, brown sugar, and molasses seem to be the main components along with a strong alcohol presence. In many ways, the barrel aroma coming off this beer reminded of Lost Abbey's Bourbon Angel Share.

T: Bourbon sweetness, brown sugar, molasses, and perhaps some vanilla from the barrel. The beer also comes off as being a bit "green"; hints of green apple/acetaldehyde characteristics. The alcohol is hidden very well.

M: You can feel some of the sugars sit on the palate, which I guess in some ways adds some body...but overall...a bit dry and thin throughout most parts.

D: Even though I enjoyed the many flavors this beer possessed, I found myself only able to finish my 6-8 oz. pour.

Overall: If cellared correctly, this beer could age beautifully. A try it beer. Cheers!

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Photo of unseenbyyou
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Made a pilgrimage to Alpine Brewery during the holiday season...bought a bottle of great and two growlers (irish red and exponential hoppiness...)

Drank the great from a tulip glass (shared the 12 oz with my bro in law)

Appearance: deep brown, not much head, very little carbonation

Smell: like a decent whiskey. It smells like you are about to drink hard liquor. Not offensive

Taste: the smell creates the expectation of hard liquor, but the taste is only a suggestion...has the complexity and subtlety of a quad, but minus the spiceness or subtle sweetness (at least the belgian quads I have drank have those 2 qualities).

Mouthfeel: packs a wallop in the mouth, only 6 oz left a lasting impression..

Drinkability: only one can be drunk at a time...

Overall: it is worth a taste, but would not be a star beer if you were planning a beer party. It, however, rivals angel's share

Perhaps a cigar and a taster of this beer is in order!

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Photo of steadydose
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a tumbler. Beer pours with no head. Liquid looks like a cola brown with red highlights. Shows minimal carbonation.

This beer smells sweet. Lots of brown sugar, maple syrup, and bourbon.

This beer starts off with rich toffee,caramel, brown sugar and finishes w/ a kick of bourbon heat and lingering bitterness. I'm enjoying the taste, but I am already wondering what a year or two will do for this bottle.

Good mouthfeel, but felt a little thin, would of liked a little more body on this one, understandable though due to the high ABV.

I enjoyed this BA barleywine. The 14 % definitly limits how much I of this I would drink, but this is one of the more enjoyable barleywine I have had. Will try another bottle of great in a year or two.

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Photo of Lothore
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep mahogany hue with little to no head.

S- Very sweet, lots of brown sugar, fig, nice bourbon aroma.

T- Extremely sweet all the way through, as in the nose there is a ton of brown sugar, dark fruits, smokiness, that leads to a slight hop bitterness / alcohol bite. The barrel characteristics are fairly subdued but it works out good for this beer.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This was a decadent desert beer. I split the 12 oz and loved it but dont think I could drink much more than that.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After much anticipation, I've finally got the opportunity to try this offering from Alpine, due to their recent release.

After time to warm to room temp, Great poured to my glass a brown/reddish hue with nearly no head. With my glass held to light, this beer appears deep, almost ruby, red.

At first nose, I notice a very noticeable, but not overwhelming bourbon aroma. Other notes of molasses and rich malt abound. Sweet, sugary smells arise from the glass, as well. Complex smell profile keeps my nose in the glass throughout my trial of Great.

At taste, I find a bit of crushed red grapes, with more bourbon familiarity. Heavy, but balanced malt tastes last from beginning to end. Finishes on my palate with a sugary bite.

Decent consistency at mouthfeel. A bit watery for my taste, but still nice. Very well balanced flavors and body, with a great alcohol warming effect without being overtaken by this 14% beast. I was very impressed with this beer and would love to put this side by side with other barrel-aged barleywines. Something tells me time will improve this "great" beer, too.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery snifter.

Pours a redish brown with almost no head, due to the high alcohol content. Intense swirling yields next to no effect, some head does form but there is absolutely zero lace. Upon further swirling it lends nothing at all.

Smells of sweet bourbon with very mild hops present. There's a nice butterscotch sweetness which combines with the pungent smell of bourbon and somewhat masks the smell of the malts.

Tastes strongly of bourbon with notes of butterscotch and toffee. It's smooth and has subtle bitter notes . Sweetness is evident, but not overpowering. There's a mild head present from the alcohol and you can feel it throughout the mouth.

This feels like it could benefit from a few years and I am very excited to see how it matures!

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Photo of Floydster
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle with gold foil courtesy of KingG, thanks again Joey for this treat, 2007 vintage, poured into my Rader snifter tonight, dark brownish red, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, retention was around ten minutes which was suprising for a two year old barrel aged beer, some lacing at the top of the glass too, aroma consists of bourbon first, sweet malts including toffee and caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, prunes, biscuit, mild citrus, and oak, flavor starts off with a semi sweet vanilla flavor, sweetness along with some almost toasted malts in the middle that were much like the biscuit I could smell, some mild alcohol flavors in the finish but nothing like you would expect from a beer of this strength, also some oak and vanilla lingers in the aftertaste, more whiskey comes out as it warms, it tastes very Jack Daniel's like too, warms up with more malts coming to the surface but never really gets cloying or hot, sweet, warming, and malty mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, taste lingers a long time, this beer is very smooth but almost syrupy, alcohol is hidden well for fourteen percent, it is a bit filling though, drank most of this bottle tonight and did not want anything else, I have wanted to try this beer for years and glad I finally got the chance, it certainly lived up to expectations and I am interested in seeing what the higher alcohol version batch two tastes like in the future, recommended

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Photo of tpd975
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge Huge thanks goes out to ibrew2or3 for this one. As soon as he mentioned this one was in his cellar I have been onto him to give me a taste.

A: Pours a nice amber hue with tones of gold showing through. The small is very small yet exhibits GREAT retention. Nice big chunks of lace left behind.

S: Huge barrel aromas on this one. Fresh cut oak mingles with vanilla. Hints of caramel malt, molasses, and sweet brown sugar.

T: WOW I ♥ this beer. You would think with the age the barrel qualites would have died down but this one smacks you in the face in such a good way. Bold barrel qualities with tons of oak and vanilla right up front. Very light bourbon notes peek thru giving just a hint at the ABV. The finish is nice and sweet with layers of brown sugar, gooey toffee, and a light pine bite.

M: Full in body, very smooth. I really grabs the mouth which really lets you enjoy the GREATness.

D: It's well....GREAT. One of the most complex and tasty beers I have ever tried. The barrel qualities while being bold yet balanced. Quite possibly the best use of a barrel when it comes to beer.

Thanks Dave you my friend are in fact GREAT... same goes for the beer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle at 53 degrees. A New Years eve prelude to the evenings festivities.

Pours clear dark copper with an inch-plus head of beige. Retention is decent with the head falling slowly to reveal a solid skim coat on the surface. Chubby dots of smeared lacework cling to the tulip glass.

Aromatics lead off with bourbon-spiked doughy malt and ripe fruit.
Heavy on the Jack Daniels with a substantial malt backbone to keep things in check. Peppery fusels and proofed dough with a grapefruit spritz.

On the thick side of medium bodied. Quite chewy and thick, with a pillowy, lush mouthfeel.

A tart vineousity starts the palate, followed by ripe malt, boozy whiskey heat, and some puckering grapefruit.
Hints of red wine, vanilla, oaky tannins, and dusty boards follow through. Bitterness is firm, but lies somewhere between English and American Barleywine territory.

Finishes with a lingering wine-like tartness, fading dough, and a building, peppery heat.

The vinousity in this beer is a real treat, and adds a complexity that I love. The doughy malt adds a great freshness to the mix, even though the bottle is almost two years old.
The Whiskey character is quite full, and you can tell this is all barrel-aged.

Similar to my all-time favorite Barelywine (Arctic Devil), but more complex with the vineousity.

Yum..And thanks to Joey for the hook up..SD style.

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Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle courtesy of the ever-generous hoppymeal poured into a snifter.

An aggressive pour produces a short-lived fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately to remnants of a ring over a bright, cloudy caramel orange body. No lacing to speak of.

Big smells of the barrel-aging with oak and vanilla up front. There is a bit of caramel and fruit sweetness in the background, prunes and raisins, and lots of booze as well.

The taste has the sweet caramel malts and raisins up front before giving way to the oak and bourbon which leave a tingly finish on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is slick with little carbonation and coats the mouth in rich dessert-like decadence.

This is one for sipping all evening long, though the alcohol is fairly well-hidden given the ABV. A big, complex and damn tasty beer. Thanks again to Derek for this rarity.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at the brewery 10/06 consumed Feb. 9th, 2007. After pulling the foil off I noticed this puppy was filled to within a quarter inch of the cap so 0.375L+(that's good for me, eh). Pours slightly hazy brown with orange highlights. The tan head dissipated in under a minute. The aroma is pretty strong with caramel, alcohol, dark fruitiness, molasses, wood planks and just a hint of whiskey. Wow, I was expecting a more aggressive taste from this big beer. It starts off with a nice Barleywine date and cherry dark fruitiness mix with sweet caramel and toffee. About midway the whiskey, vanilla and oak notes surface. There's also light hints of alcohol and grape tartness. From midway on this beer gives a nice warming feeling that seems comforting. Great sipping beer.

Re-rate on 10/29/07. Pours a clear copper to brown color with lasting thin tan head. The aroma is up in your face big and bold with the aroma of a oak paneled shed followed by sweet creamy caramel candy and some chocolate malts. It also has a sizable load of fruity esters with prunes, dates and a bucket of raisins. The alcohol is not all that well hidden for a 10% beer. But for this beers big ABV it isn't too bad. The flavor is just as bold as the aroma with a whack in the face by a freshly milled oak plank followed quickly by red wine grapes, red wine tannins mixed with rich caramel candy. The alcohol is there too. Nice. Another decade of age could see this good beer turn truly great.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cola brown to amber in color, clear, with a small cream head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aromas are strong of the barrel ageing. Salty, a deep leatheriness, woodiness, and a good booziness are most prominent. There are sweet pruny malts in the background, more subdued under the effects of the barrel. Agitation reveals more of the deep leather, oak, and bourbon notes, you can almost smell the inside of a barrel. Taste is a flash of rich maltiness up front followed by the booziness, leather and grapes/raisins, and finishing oaky and dry, a boozy bite warms the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is medium, low carbonation keeps it somewhat slick, dry on the tongue in the aftertaste and warming. This is one of those beers for me where from the first smell I am taken in, my pen is writing furiously rather than searching for aromas and flavors. I'd love to try the good, i am sure it is an outstanding barleywine based on this sample. I hope that alpine produces this again in the future, outstanding beer.

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Photo of Crosling
3.8/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, New York. Light bronze color. Unfortunately, it has a very mild nose overall, but it does show some barrel contribution (coconut, toasted oak, vanilla), very mild, piney aroma hops and a caramel laden malty aspect. Extremely well hidden alcohol, shockingly hidden beyond belief, quite honestly, yet it isn’t quite as rich as I had hoped. Nice blending of butter toffeeish malt, with the barrel contribution quite profound, with toasted oak and vanilla flavors. Creamy, big full body, yet lacking in texture in a way. Still pretty delicious overall, although I did expect a bit more.

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Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alpine Barrel Aged Great: 14% ABV, 375mL foil wrapped bottle. $7.50 limited to something like 40 cases.

Appearance: Clear Dark Amber, not much head nor carbonation. Looks like a glass of fine bourbon.

Smell: Holy Fire Cheifs. This smells like a Jack on the rocks. There are layers of sweet bourbon, burnt cherries, and a large presence of alcohol.

Taste: Barrel Aged Barleywine should be illegal. This stuff is beer?? I thoroughly enjoy the compexities of the oak aging, there are overtones of dark ripe cherries and sweet caramel. This beer took everything good out of the barrel.

Mouthfeel: Very viscous and decadent. I get the impression that I need a fine cigar or a chocolate truffle to compete. Amazing beer.

Drinkability: A beer to be sipped and savored. You will need about an hour to really enjoy this beer to its fullest. As it warms, there are huge sweet oaking perfections coming out.

I should have bought a case. This beer will be amazing in a few more years. A work of art and Pat McIlhenney deserves all the thanks. Given the time involved in making this $7.50 is a bargin. More!!

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Great from Alpine Beer Company
4.43 out of 5 based on 660 ratings.
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