Holidale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

very good
181 Reviews

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

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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 316
Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized wine-glass. Pours a relatively clear brown copper color with a half-finger of head, minimal lacing, and a few thin streaks of lacing.

Nose is full of thick roasted malts, spice, and a little bit of booze. Smells like a barleywine.

Taste is surprisingly milder and more balanced. Of course roasted barley is pretty much front and center but it's not as chewy as anticipated, has a little bit of nutmeg, and maybe a touch of hops. Booze is not noticeable in the taste. Maybe a little bit of cherry towards the finish.

Mouthfeel is great- very drinkable for this style. Medium to full bodied with mild carbonation of the soft variety. Sweet finish. Good barleywine- not as bold as others but in a certain sense it's nice to have one that's quaffable (relatively of course).

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Photo of Khazadum
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A ruby red body, good amount of carbonation visible, a creamy head that has great stickiness, tons of lacing, very very well done in terms of froth. In terms of generation, it was a bit harder than other American Barleywines to get the froth developing. Aggression was required for that full finger.

Smells grassy, herby. Bright hop presence that isn't piny in the bit. Its a fine change up from your traditional American Barleywine. Tons of hop presence. Grassy, vegetation, hack and slash yardwork. Sweet dried cranberry. A sharp character of allspice in the middle... very bright herby hops that almost tickle you to sneeze. Its dried bramble fruits in the middle of it giving it that balancing sweetness.

Tastes... weird. I'm shocked and awed when right at the beginning a sharp sweet character opens up. Its got that dried cranberry nature with grassy and herbal flavors. Like licking italian seasonings... the finish of doing that combined with a trail mix cranberry and raspberry. Its really annoying right off the bat. As you move beyond that opening you feel the grassy nature, the dry hoppy power. Its grainy, its lemon grass, its herbacious... Finishes out with a lingering spicy nature. Not curry or tobasco but chicken seasonings.

Full bodied, thick, creamy, syrupy, velvet silky smooth. Great carbonation middle that lingers and helps it avoid being oppressive. I like the lingering strength as well. Its not long lasting bitterness, but rather long lasting caramels and malt.

Interesting beer, but I'd probably never do it again.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. 2011 vintage.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" tan head over the slightly cloudy orangey copper brew. Head lasts nicely, with leggy lacing. Aroma is fruits and spices.

Taste is sweet to start, citrus and fruits in the middle, with a lightly bitter and moderately alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good for the style. Not much change this year, just a bit more citrus and smoother to my palate.

4.5/4/4/4/4 - 2/8/12
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. 2011 vintage.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy orangey copper brew. Head holds on well, with lasting lace. Aroma is fruity with an undercurrent of spices.

Taste starts with caramel and toffee, fruity in the middle, and spices and light bitterness through the close. Mouthfeel is reasonably smooth, and drinkability is good, esp for the style. Always like to see this one come out each year.

4.5/3.5/4/4/4 - 12/29/09
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. 2009 vintage.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy orangey red brew. Head lasts nicely, with coating, slow-falling lace. Aroma is not intense, but sweet, boozy, with a piney hops component. Taste begins with ample maltiness, shows a peek of fruitiness in the middle, and closes with pine hoppiness and and afterwarmth. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability are quite good. Not as good as I remember past years though.

(4/4/4/4.5/4.5 - 12/22/08)
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. 2008 vintage.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish amber brew. Dense head lasts well, with plenty of slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet, spicy, and fruity. Taste starts sweet, with prominent fruitiness in the middle, and alcohol warmth at the close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent. Very smooth, and goes down so easily.

(4.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5 - 12/21/07)
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. 2007 vintage.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head over the clear reddish dark amber brew. Head is solid, takes forever to fall, with plenty of lasting lace. Aroma is pungeant with fresh hops. Taste starts with ample malt sweetness, and is nicely balanced with the hops character found in the nose. Flavors are balanced but intense. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both quite nice. I think this brew has gotten even better this year. Give it a try.

(4/4.5/4/4/4.5 - 1/16/07)
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. 2006 vintage.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head over the slightly cloudy reddish dark amber brew. Head fades gradually, holding on well for the style, with ample slow-falling lace. Aroma is hearty grain and heavy sweetness. Taste also has the mouthful of grain husks going on, followed with substantial sweetness and glimpses of the ample alcohol. Mouthfeel and drinkability are right where they should, if not better, and I'm always glad to see this one each year.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 batch.

pours a cloudy, deep amber tone while yielding a 3/4-1" beige head; middling retention, respectable lacing evident.

nose is very nice on this fella. big candi sugar presence with some strong fruity and bready malt notes... brown sugar and caramel... not as much in the hops department as i was expecting, being an american barleywine.

more of the same translates to the flavor. big notes of candi and brown sugar, caramel... fruity characters... a touch of spice. not your typical barleywine, has a unique element to it. medium-full bodied with slightly below average carbonation.

no wow factor per se, but really nice; very tasty and enjoyable. definitely recommended - another hit from berkshire. i can only imagine if this were given the barrel treatment.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber bottle into a Family Guy pint glass.

A: Hazy, medium copper-amber color beneath a huge, frothy head of dense, beige foam. Left behind nice sheets of lacing and head persisted for the duration of the brew.

S: Rich, complex, candied alcohol aroma with hints of tropical citrus fruits, fig, dates, wet tobacco leaves, earthy hops, burnt candi sugar and spiced booze.

T: Flavor matches up closely with the aroma in that it slowly unfurls a mixture of sweet bourbon, vanilla-oak aged malts and a variety of citrus and berry flavors. Roasted caramel malt leads into layers of tangerine weaved together with vanilla, smoky wood and red raspberries. Finishes up warm and boozy with a piny, lingering citric hop bitterness.

M: Full-bodied, complex, warm and boozy with a lingering hop and alcohol bite.

O: A complex, full and robust barleywine with rich malty flavors and a big time hop wallop. At 9.5% ABV, this 2010 version I cracked open at Christmas could've sat another year, but man, was it worth the wait up til now. Would definitely recommend getting a couple bottles to age and compare.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark red with a bit of a creamy colored head that disappears quickly

S: Dried dark fruit, a grape and berry sort of tartness mixed with a creamy caramel sweetness and a slight twinge of grassy hops towards the end

T: The taste is almost reverse of the smell. Grassy, tart hop profile up front, with the middle turning into a more caramel/sweet malt profile, and just hints of dark fruit towards the end, with a lingering bitterness.

O: Pretty good. Not a goto barleywine for me but still a nice offering.

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Photo of abgba121
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a hazy ruby color with very thin head and a slight lace

S: very sweet and somewhat fruity, a little bready. I don't detect the hops like it says on the bottle.

T: sweet, yeast very present, some alcohol esters and slight hops on the finish

M: medium body, low carbonation

O: an enjoyable barleywine, though I would like more hops

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Version

A-Pours a transparent ruby/brown color. A coercive pour yields barely any head. It dies down to a misty layer of bubbles. Head is cream colored and leaves many bits of tiny lace.

S-Aroma is mellow and malty. Light sting of alcohol. Hops are slight. Hops smell of grass and pine mostly. More malty than hoppy, but light altogether.

T-Caramel and brown sugar. Perhaps poured a bit too cold. Must wait for it to warm up a bit. Piney hop bitterness along with floral hops and grassy hops. Well balanced between sweet and hoppy. This beer really hides its rather high ABV well. Many Barleywines are overly sweet in my opinion. This one doesn't have that cloying sweetness. As it warms, I get some nice floral hop flavors with a bunch of rich caramel.

M-Heavy side of medium bodied. Nice, lively carbonation. A bit slick mostly from the sugars. ABV masked well but still eaves a nice drying quality.

O/D-A pretty darn good Winter Barleywine. Won't blow you away with flavor, but still pretty tasty. At $5.50 for a 22oz. its not a bad deal either. Goes down exceptionally easy for a big beer. Pretty enjoyable.


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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 2" beige head. Hazy copper color with slow moving carbonation. Smells mildly of malt. Taste is so much more than the smell, with malt, rich toffe, vanilla, and milk chocolate. The body is only medium thick for barleywine but still nice. This every bit the holiday celebration it was intended to be.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color with a thin off-white head and a tad bit of spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings some spice along with caramel and dark fruits. A bit of sweet bread in the background. The flavor has caramel and sweet malt plus some dark fruits and a bit of winter spice. Medium body with spice and a bit of booze to go along with the sweetness. An interesting winter beer, though probably not something that I would seek out again.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. 2009 bottle.

A- Pours a dull looking amber color with some light orange tint on the sides of the glass when held to the light. One finger off white head shows light retention. Some specks of lace left on the sides of the glass when I drank this one down.

S- Darker bready malts in the front with a hint of fig or raisin in the front of the nose. I get a strong underlying sweet crystal malt in this beer throughout the entire aroma. Some light caramel malts show up toward the ending and once this beer warmed I picked up a little alcohol along with a sweet cherry aroma almost a little artifical smelling.

T- Like in the aroma the darker bready notes kind of played the front of the beer with a hint of raisin more than anything else. Middle of the beer showed off more caramel malts with a underlying sweetness that I always get when stuff is brewed with a lot of crystal malt. The backend once wark showcases a strong sweet cherry flavor that is not off putting at all. Alcohol only shows up for a split second before it is gone.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style I thought. Crystal malt, cherry, and light bready notes are left on the palate. Aftertaste shows off more alcohol, cherry, and crystal malt more than anything. Flavors were a bit stop and jerk although it seemed to be better put together than most other barleywines like this. No off flavors were present in this beer at all. Medium alcohol drying on the palate with each sip.

O- This beer struck a soft spot in my heart. I thought the aging on it did kill off any hops that were in here but I thought it gave way to a nice cherry forward barleywine. Alcohol is high making this a beer to split with someone else but it was wonderful for what it was.

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes more of an American winter warmer. Cloudy grapefruit colour with white head.Lacey. Funky aroma. Big yeast, sugar, ginger, almondy nutty. A bit of licorice. Very good drinkability for what should be a sipper. Alcohol well hidden. Thanks Dr.Jay.

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Photo of nhindian
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle generously provided by apollokim in the 'You Aint From Around Here?' BIF, thanks Kim!

2010 vintage.

A - Pours pretty light for a barleywine, it looks like more a darker IPA with a burnt orange body, bordering on crimson. Hazy and opaque but can see some carbonation bubbling on the sides of the glass. A 1-finger, light tan head builds before receding soon thereafter into a thick, bubbly cap. Lacing is comprised of residual foam from the head and large bubbles that slowly slide down the sides.

S - The smell is interesting to say the least. The very first initial smell is malt-heavy, that instantly takes on a citrus note. It doesn't come across as incredibly hoppy more than it imparts a sort of strange, solventy smell. That may be the alcohol coming through as well, as it does seem to round out a bit as I drink, but it still has that off-putting feeling. The malts are sweet and give off some caramel and toffee.

T - The taste continues the pattern of the nose, starting with a sweet yet semi-dry breadiness malt flavor. Some toffee and caramel again, as well as some slight raisin and honey. The hops come across smoother here, imparting the citrus, orange, and spice that seems to fit better. The alcohol is still solvent, unfortunately.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with high carbonation. Pretty smooth, the carbonation is a tad too high for the style but it goes well with the high hop profile. Has a slightly bitter, alcoholic finish.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I feel this beer doesn't really have much of an identity as it seems at times that the hops come across stronger than the malts which is just strange for the style. At first its hot and awkward, but luckily it smooths out as it aerates. Maybe in a few years the hops will fade even more to make this more integrated.

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Photo of sentomaster
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

A- A nice three finger white, fluffy head pops up and recedes slowly over a hazy, slightly oxidized copper colored body.

S- Raw, leafy, herbal hops with a tinge of citrus and ...tropical? aromas....can't quite decipher. Caramel sweetness and faint spicy alcohol.

T/M- Big, full body and a bit grainy with a mild carbonation. Big caramel and biscuity, bready, sweetness up front. Bitter hops follow with a thick, raw herbal blanket which provides a hefty counterpart to the big malty backbone. There's flavors being spun from this awesome mish-mash of hops and grains that I feel like I can't quite pinpoint. It's a bit of tropical fruitiness, maybe pineapple, along a slightly peppery, minty tinge that spin off the husky, sweet grains and earthy, herbal hops. It's very raw and gritty, but not overdone at all. Big finish of gritty hops, caramel sweetness and warming alcohol.

I think Alstrom nailed it in his review: "A bit raw and in your face with flavor, but I love it because of that as it sets its self apart from other winter seasonals and barleywines alike."

This is a fantastic seasonal barleywine that I can't get enough of, very unique and satisfying. Probably my favorite barleywine. I'm gonna try to save one this time to see how it ages...hopefully I can control myself.

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Photo of ksimons
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours an amber tone with a nice amount of white head that leaves some foamy lacing around the rim

S-pine hops, malts, and some sugar sweetness

T-taste is much heavier on the malt and sweetness side than the hops side. I am only tasting a faint amount of hop bitterness near the middle to end. Which I normally like, but wish there was a little more balance to this beer.

M-medium body, light carbonation, goes down very smooth

D-BCB set out to make a nice malty barleywine which they definitely succeed in. In future years I would want a bit more balance but a very nice beer regardless

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Photo of Sam21
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle bought for $4.15 at a local bottle shop. 2010 edition. Served into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a lightly hazed ruby body and a decent eggshell head that recedes quickly leaving a nice sudsy layer and a ring of lace. Really creamy foam. Leaves some nice sheets of lace.

Smell - As this beer hits the glass I am assaulted by wonderful notes of fruit. Most notable from the start is a really nice sweet cherry presence. Notes of caramel are hidden behind waves of fruity esters. Not picking up any alcohol.

Taste - Sweet fruits jump out up front and transition very slowly into a deep and complex malty center. There are some vinous qualities coming out of this beer, which are accented by notes of plums and raisins. The fruity esters present in the nose and at the front of the palate are wiped clean by this thick dark malty center. Light fruity hops make a quick cameo with some light bitterness that lingers, but only for a second before the dark fruit and caramel return in a long smooth finish. The alcohol is not a big player in the flavor profile, but is present behind the fruit in the finish. Definitely adds to the body of the beer, but does not add any boozy characteristics. The citrusy and dark fruits combine to create some spice-like flavors that hover over the deep maltiness as well.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, smooth and creamy, without feeling thick or syrupy. Light carbonation that tickles the tongue for a brief second. One of the highlights of this beer and one of the things that makes it so drinkable.

Drinkability - I am thoroughly enjoying sipping on this beer. Definitely a complex barleywine with some unique BBC character. I am finding it to be very drinkable at 8.5% and a wonderful way to warm up on a cold New England night.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of suzygreenburg on ratebeer. Pours hazy amber with thin off white head. The aroma is sweet and dark fruitiness creating a smooth pleasing sense. The taste is smooth too with rich blended sweet dark fruitiness moving into mild yet smooth sweet malts, aged malts as well as plenty of aged to melded grapefruit and citrus orange hop flavor. Nice!

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Photo of maximum12
1.36/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2009 vintage, laid down for a year before the next holiday season & popped open on another blustery winter night between coatings of snow. One of those winters that seems like it'll never, ever, ever, ever...end.

Popped open & poured to vigorous acclamation, & reading the label, I see it was made with rye malt, which makes me happy, I've been longing for rye with my entire being of late. Looks weird. Half a hot dog of floaties. Looks like I might have to chew this coppery orange float.

Holidale didn't stand the test of time...it's flat-out awful. The aftertaste is a blast of lye & rotted fruit, obliterating anything that came before.

Straight-up drain pour. A barleywine should be able to last a year, & I see others have had the '09 with more positive results. I've held it in the cellar the whole time. Perhaps a bad bottle. But what bad. Nothing like the other good experiences I've had with Berkshire.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber with a large white head. Great head retention and sticky lacing down the inside of the glass.

S: Very spicy and toasty. Very aromatic, get a little bit of hops, but they are masked by the malts. There is some caramel and a little bit of darker fruit, mostly raisins.

T: Lots of caramel on the flavor profile. Lots of malts here, with a slight hop kick (little hints of floralness). The raisins come through a bit more here. Has a really nice sweetness from the malts and a little booze kick as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation. Overall, very happy with this beer. Went down very easy and I was a bit disappointed that I decided to share this bottle. A great beer for the winter with the slight presence of the alcohol, but not in a bad way whatsoever.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage, chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from portia99. Thanks, Bill.

A: Pours a deep, murky amber body that glows burnt orange against the light. A short-lived off-white head leaves a few dribbles of lace as it recedes.

S: Dark multi-grain bread, caramel, honey, and raisins. It really needs to warm up to get the aroma going, though it's never pungent. I'm assuming this was a pretty hoppy beer when fresh, but it's not, anymore.

T: On the sweet side; I don't know if it was mis-classified or if the age just took all the hop edge off, but there is very little hoppy flavor here. The beer is instead lightly spiced, with overt tones of caramel, brown sugar, and raisins. There isn't even much bitterness present.

M: Medium-full bodied. The finish is relatively clean, though there's a very light retro-nasal effect of honey.

D: This is a pretty decent beer, but it demands slow sipping owing to the richness of sweet flavors. It would benefit from being drier, or failing that, having more balancing hop bitterness.

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Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Track 84
Served in a tulip

A: This beer pours a gorgeous golden color with slight amber hues. A one finger of creamy white head sits on top. Head holds nicely and leaves sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is caramel malts, toasted notes, spices, dark fruit and a hint of hops.

T: Taste starts with a caramel and toffee sweetness that quickly mingles in to a hint of raisin. Minor bready notes mixed with licorice fills the middle. The finish is quite hoppy.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily, slick feel.

D: Goes down very easily, very tasty, somewhat filling, nice kick, very good representation of style. This is a fantastic winter drinking beer. Alcohol is masked nicely, and worthy of having a few of.

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Photo of scriabin
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The barleywine style is becoming one of my favorite styles. It has a peculiar texture and its flavor is not unlike wine, and I like the fact that it is, by nature of its high ABV, more of a sipping beer. BBC's offering is a wonderful example of a traditional barleywine, with a smooth finish and rich, dark flavor. This one would be an excellent introduction to barleywines and will reward many times over.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Pours red with orange highlights, on the lighter side for a barleywine. Small off-white head turns to a decent cap and thick bubbly ring. Quite a bit of sediment. Leaves lacing here and there.

Faint caramel, toasty malt, light fruity and earthy hops and some baking spices/sweets. Raisins.

After 2 years this still has some decent hop power, I'm getting some of the earthy and citrus variety, a little herbal as well. The usual caramel malts are there, but also has a nice unique seasonal spice profile - brown sugar, baking spices, toasty malts - flavors that kinda remind me of pumpkin ales/fall beers. Really light, good flavors. Sweet fruit, raisins. Nice biscuity finish. Way better than the smell.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style definitely, but I think the lightness works well here. Carbonation is about middle ground, and alcohol is very well-hidden.

This one surprised me. The first few sips I found pretty bland, but I liked it much more as it went on, this is a very unique barleywine and I like that. I've never had it fresh but at 2 years old this was great.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Union Brewhouse

Appearance: minimal head, clear, dark amber in color

Smell: toasted malt, cinnamon, and raisins

Taste: toasted malt, cinnamon, raisins, clove, and a touch of cherry

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet and spicy

Drinkability: An above average barleywine with a small holiday kick. This is a nice malty beer that is a sipper. I would order this again, but will not be in rush to get it.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 version - Poured from a 22oz bomber into a DFH signature glass:

Appearance: Pours a deeper amber in color, beautiful white head emerges and stays with this one for a while, excellent head retention and sticky lacing coat the inside of the glass.

Smell: I get alot of malt spice in the aroma, toasty and very aromatic, a bit of lingering hop oils limp around the nose a bit but are overshadowed by the aggressive amount of spice florals. I also sense a bit of raisins and some quick hints of cinnamon. Very pleasing

Taste: Caramel and honey lead this beer out of the gate, it's very malt forward with the hoppiness very far in the background but here just enough to give off some nice hints of floral and grassy citrus notes. Not really as spicy as I thought it would be which is a good thing, again I get some hints of raisins, and a bit of sweetness from the malt, this beer finishes with a nice boozy kick that reminds you this is a barley wine and not a winter warmer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation is spot on for a barley wine, not too aggressive at all. A bit oily on the tongue, yet the bitterness from the hops tend to dry everything out a bit.

Drinkability: Well done from the folks at BBC. The good thing with this beer is they made an actual barley wine, and didn't attempt to dillute it down with spices making it a winter warmer. A nice kick of hops in here really shines throughout, and the alcohol warmth makes this suitable for any cold, winter night. I'll be looking for this again.

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Holidale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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