Holidale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

319 Ratings

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 03-07-2001

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 319 |  Reviews: 183
Photo of loupap
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of YouSkeete
4.97/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark reddish mahogany, on the cloudy side. Huge amount of bubbles and carbonation. One finger white head

S: Some hints of light fruit, while honey and caramel malts take the nose. Aroma is more bitter than sweet. Slight notes of roasted coffee beans and toffee.

T: A full wood-aged flavor covers hard notes of toffee and sugared fruits. Pumpkin pie spices make it sweet, almost like candy. The wood and fruit flavors balance to give this beer a very earthy tone. Rolls into a bittersweet tang; burn of alcohol and sweetness in the malts linger in the aftertaste.

M: Sticky, syrupy. Medium to full carbonation, full body, massive flavor.

D: All i said in my notes were "Super awesome. Excellent beer." I'll leave it at that.

 730 characters

Photo of mctizzz
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of 40451
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of zackg9
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of milkbone_underwear
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of sailorastro
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of Stagga_Lee
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of hopley
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of oddfire
4.74/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This years Holidale was awsome. Upon opening the bottle and pouring into a snifter you get a perfect balance of head and beer. The flavor is complex but very good. You get nutmeg notes and a very slight citrus flavor hiding, but if you hunt you can find it. There also is a slight Balsam fir flavor which gives it an extra holiday feel. You definitely can tell this is a barley wine style by the abv content. It is not over powering though. I would recommend this beer.

 469 characters

Photo of Todd
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22oz brown bomber bottle with a nice painted gold label. No bottled on date.

Appearance: Medium amber, fairly clear with a nice slightly off-white creamy head.

Smell: Rich aroma of molasses, raisins, caramel and fruity esters.

Taste: Incredibly luscious syrupy and smooth mouthfeel, with a full-body. Rich and malty upfront with a high level of sugary sweetness with strong notes of treacle (aka golden syrup). Malt flavours include plenty of caramel, tropical fruit, raisin, chocolate, touch of blackstrap molasses, coffee, oaky/wood and vanilla bean. A spicy, coarse and leafy hop character follows and balances the malty flavours just enough. Bitterness is mild, but present. Alcohol is extremely warming and contributes to the overall spiciness. Finish has some sweet biscuit flavours, eventually turning dry.

Notes: A stellar barleywine. Unlike others that lean towards either the malty or hoppy extremes, Holidale 2001 is pretty damn balanced. Definitely at the top of my all-time favourite barleywine ales.

 1,039 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the 650ml. bottle. 2013 batch. Sampled on December 24, 2013

If Beer Advocate would let me do a one word rating my one word would be "Wow!" But I need at least 250 characters, which should be an easy task.

The pour is a foggy dark brown with a lingering tan had that settles on top and stays there. Some lacing as it fades but it never dissipates totally.

The aroma is full of variety with notes of malted barley, cocoa, coffee, fig or plum, and a fascinating woody cellared musk. Hops are minimal but the ones that are there are earthy in nature. No booze.

The body is medium to full and also smooth in texture.

I am drinking this 2013 barleywine in 2013 and one would think that it would have that biting, fresh barleywine maltiness exploding on the palate bu that is not the case. This feels like it has already mellowed with age. Fine malty notes, cinnamon, and spice and coffee grinds. No booze. This one hits the mark.

However, I would respectfully recommend that Beer Advocate set up a new annual listing for this beer. Berkshire acknowledges that the recipe changes every year so someone who reviewed this in 2010 or 2011 is getting an entirely different character in 2013.

 1,192 characters

Photo of iceball585
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-clear, one finger thick cream color head, some bubbles rising throughout

S- Raisens, caramel, molasses, herbal, dark fruity auroma, hint of alcohol

T- Caramel malts, dark fruits, bready, creamy, grains, light herbal hops finish

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, smooth, flavorful, well balanced

D- Definitely worth buying again

My buddy brought me a bottle back from Vermont and I really wish he would have brought more. Great flavors and not too overpowering as some barley wines can be. This is instantly one of my favorite barley wines.

 584 characters

Photo of Damian
4.64/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank on-tap at Bukowski's Tavern, Boston, MA

Poured a hazy, copper-mahogany with a one-finger, foamy, chestnut head that faded to a substantial film of lace. Some drippy patches of lacing streaked down the sides of the glass.

Smell was incredibly sweet and rich. Very malty and bready with notes of vanilla and a general oakiness. At times, some cookie dough was detectable.

Taste was similar but punchier and more balanced. Sweet caramel malts, raisins, spices, sweet cream and a hint of alcohol were noticeable up front. As the beer moved along the palate, the flavor profile changed considerably. Quite hoppy on the back end and the swallow. The hops were leafy, citrusy and a touch sweet and thus melded well with the flavors on the front end. The beer finished very clean with only a touch of hoppy bitterness. Pleasant alcohol warming in the throat.

Mouthfeel was rich, syrupy and creamy.

Drinkability was outstanding. This beer was full of so many intense aromas and flavors, yet it managed to maintain a terrific balance.

Overall, an outstanding barley wine.

 1,073 characters

Photo of tomParis
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy dark gold with a red tint. Nice golden head.

Smell is almost all fruit; apple, pear, molasses, even a little banana. Taste is malty and fruity. Apple, banana, and brown sugar dominate, with a very mild amount of hop bitterness (for an american bw) in the finish. Definately has some characteristics of a Tripel.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Very malty and full bodied, but not cloying or syrupy. One of the smoothest barleywines I've ever had. Drinkability for the style is as good as I've had.

 506 characters

Photo of beer4colin
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ontap Union Brewhouse 12 oz pour in goblet.

A - Clear wheat with a good head, by UBH measure.

S - pod and clean. Slight banana esters with a touch of toast.

T - Nice and smooth with a lot of winter flavors: raisins, caramel. But no spice. This is not a winter warmer remember. Finish is a bit ragged and with a touch of alcohol burn, but not objectionable. A very tasty glass.

MF - very smooth and mouth filling.

D - I might make this my go-to Barleywine if I can find in the stores.

 488 characters

Photo of TylerKitchens
4.56/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is for 2012 version which is a completely different beer than 13-14

79 characters

Photo of steinlifter
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a mid amber, nice frothy head that left billowy puffs all the way down, smell, was fruity, abit of hop and malt whiff,
taste was , sweet, malty, pears, complex fruit flavor, bit of hops in there, some spiciness
mouthfeel was smooth and creamy
drinkability: This was a very special treat! You just don't find this level of craftmanship everyday! nice stuff, highly recommended!

 389 characters

Photo of fitzy84
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in their 22 oz. Poured out and had a very dark amber appearance. The head lasted a long time after the pour and thinned out awesome murk. Very thick, baking-like smells; something like cinnamon, raisin, caramel, sugar, etc. The taste goes with the smell: very sweet which is really surprising for a barley wine. Pretty sneaky, definitely makes someone drink a lot of it while hiding a probably high alcohol content. A great, thick body with a low-medium carbonation allows this to be wonderfully sipped throughout the whole night. This is definitely one of the sweetest, most casual drinking barley wine I have had and probably one of the best from BBC.

 662 characters

Photo of grahambo
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Yallnumbskulls
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of durkle
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of rhabdovirus
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of slangtruth
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

2014 edition from a bomber. Pours a deep chocolate brown that light barely penetrates (to think this was a clear red brew just a couple of years ago). Low carbonation and thick, creamy mouthfeel, with the cocoa nibs first introduced last year prominent. Almost no hop flavor, all roasted dark malts. Unstated ABV and absolutely no alcohol taste or aroma, but it comes up on one towards the end of the bottle. First sip was a little sweet for someone like me who doesn't appreciate that, but my palate settled into to it quickly. Obviously not an all day drinker but well positioned as a dessert beer. I suspect this may develop in interesting ways over the next few weeks as the yeast settles out more, and possibly fall off fairly quickly afterwards. Snazzy new label.

 773 characters

Photo of kaelingirl
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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Holidale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 319 ratings
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