LongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

LongShot Mile High Barley Wine AleLongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 263 ratings
LongShot Mile High Barley Wine AleLongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by smcolw on 04-03-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 |  Reviews: 231
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good drinking barleywine. Lots of favour, distant cherry and fruitiness, complex malts, a bit of citrus. Above average mouthfeel.Brown colour, some off-white head. Aromas of barleywine.Some chocolate malts, very nice with supper. Bottle from Premiere.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is Old Ben Ale on steroids. Very similar (while still being different and distinctive) but a "notch more" of everything.

Pours clear red copper with light tan head.

Nose is very assertive candi fruit, fresh bold plums and big malt with an almost "citric banana" character. Nice nose all around.

Mouthfeel is rich, creamy and filling with nice balance and richness.

Flavors are huge malt character with undertones of bitter hops. Initial flavors are creamy sugared coffee, toffee, carmel and burnt bananas; sweet creamed espresso character that goes to a "sweet bitter" espresso mid palate and finish. The big sweet coffee stays on the palate forever.

A bit surprised that Sam Adams did the Old Ben Ale and the Mile High Barley wine since they are similiar in flavor profiles; both a really nice and have a place in your cellar. I also suspect that both will age nicely for a year or two!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This barley wine poured out as a nice deep brown color with a really good cream colored head. The lacing was very nice as well. The smell of the beer was a mix of some good quality malts and hops, there was a touch of sweetness in there as well perhaps a little brown sugar. The taste was pleasing with some malty sweetness in the beginning, some fig in there I think. There was a tasty hoppiness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side almost had an oily body to it. Overall this brew was impressive, theres no mistaking why it was one of the winners in 2010.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of favorite styles from one of my favorite breweries.... this is destined to end well. Pours a nice reddish-brown color, decent size head to it.... tons of lacing on the glass. Dark fruit aroma to it. Taste is more towards the full-bodied side, great mouthfeel. Some great hoppiness in this one, but still well balanced. A slight tinge of alcohol on the back end but really a lot less than I was expecting... it's scary how smooth this is for being 9.6% ABV. GREAT beer... best of the Longshot pack (although all are above average), will definitely be buying another 6'er so I can get two more of these guys,

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely balanced beer with strongly malted sweetness, balanced with nice citrus hops and moderately balanced. It's just that these American Barleywines shouldn't be 'nice' or 'moderate'. They need to be bold and challenging. This one is too modest.

The beer opens with a strong copper color, bright clarity, and a long-lasting off white lace. Though the head doesn't show any billowing action, it's staying power works well. No real lacing or legging.

Aromas of a sturdy malt blend of caramel/toffee, toast/bread crust, and a crisp cracker-like note. Equally balanced hops give a sharp citrusy/piney scent.

Flavors however give preference to the malts. Very malty with the caramels and bread crusts, forgoing the toast and toffee tastes. Hop flavors of orange zest, ruby reds, and light pine balance the beer but doesn't give the oomph that American Barleywines deserve. Light ester notes of cherry, apples, and appricots help to decorat the beer but doesn't bring a whole lot of attention.

An all around medium-attenuator brings a deeply malty/moderately sweet character. But the hops and alcohol help to lighten and thin the beer; but also deliver a bit of a 'hot' notion to the mouthfeel.

Without manly faults, this beer just doesn't display the crisp malty texture, or the strong hop bitterness, or the toasty grain flavors that we expect from the greats. Still, this beer is quite nice and enjoyable. Great job Ben!

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Photo of zeff80
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, dark copper/burgundy color with a one-finger, off white head of foam. It left minimal lacing

S - It smelled of sweet dark fruits like plum and raisin. There was a good dose of caramel aromas, too.

T - This is a pretty sweet barleywine - very malty with a lot of caramel and toffee. There are notes of plum and raisin with very little hop bitterness.

M - It was smooth and somewhat chewy. A medium to full bodied ale with a noticeable alcohol heat.

D - This is a very sweet barleywine. I don't know how that will change with age, but I'll try that with the other one that I have.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark reddish-amber color beneath a good sized off white head. Slow dying lacing last a while as you drink this longshot winner.

The aroma and taste are very similar with a very light alcohol hint that almost dominates over the hops and malts. Light citrus and light caramel malts combine to form a complex aroma that follows through throughout the drinking process. This is really a beer to be tried, as are all the long shot winners, each has a taste that reminds you of certain tastes or aromas without forcing them on you. I can see this recipe being a staple on somebodies menu or at least it should be, I wonder if these recipes are given to the public so micro and macro brews can explore and expand the beer vocabularies?

Anyway, if you get the chance give this a try, even if 9%+ beers aren't your thing. If you give a beer like this a honest chance you may or may not like it, but you will definitely want to try more and more different kinds and styles of what is widely known as BEER.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Old Guardian snifter.

Pours a bit over a finger of fizzy, yet creamy dark beige head. Fades down to a ring. Leaves some decent splattered lace. Color is a dark orange hued copper.

Aroma: Not to much going on the aroma. It is malty with caramel and toffee flavored malts and it has some sweet fruits. I get some orange peel notes up front. Maybe some raisins and plum in the background. I normally expect a more pronounced flavor from the aroma.

Taste: Rich and malty. More fruit flavors here with some hops showing. Dark fruits again: plum and raisins. Toffee and caramel malt flavors again. A lot like the aroma, but with more hops showing and the fruits don't hide so much.

Mouthfeel: Rich and relatively smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry with dried fruit notes.

Overall, this is a pretty decent barleywine. The aroma is a little underwhelming for how big the beer is. It is relatively drinkable. For the price, you really can't go wrong. Not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of jlindros
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The last of last years long shot winner, which I figured could do well with the aging.

Pours a nice frothy 1 finger head that fades at a medium pace, over clear amber orange red color with lots of bubbles. A bit of lacing, with a ring around the glass.

Nose erupts from the pour, with plenty of malts, lots of toasty red malts and some light roasty aromas, plenty of sweet barley, light caramel and syrupy aromas, some very light dark fruits, and a slight hoppy aroma.

Taste has more malts, pretty malty, with some toasty red malts, some dark heavy crystal, a light creamy taste, plenty of bitterness here with a bit of a spicy and slightly earthy hop taste and some bitterness from the roast, a bit of minerality as well. Some dark fruits that just hint at you. It's fairly sweet, with some sugars, brown sugar, caramel, bit of molasses, and some candy flavoring. The sweetness masks the booze a bit, but it catches up pretty quick. Finish brings more bitterness and minerality, with a long malty syrupy finish.

Mouth is medium to heavier bodied, syrupy, with good carbonation, and plenty of warming and slightly tingly booze.

Drinkability isn't the greatest, with all the booze that really hits as it warms, tingly and warming booze, as well as some bitterness that doesn't sit as well as it could and combines with a bit of minerality giving it a slightly unpleasant aftertaste, and the sweetness, while not overpowering, is a little much.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Third and final Longshot beer for me to try.Poured a deep rich bronze infused russet,a fluffy one finger slight off white head atop that settled slowly into a creamy froth leaving broken rings of lace behind.Big caramel and dark fruit in the nose,there is a zip of sweetish alcohol as well,a light and I mean light whiff of herbal hop comes thru as well.Flavors start out massively sweet with big caramel,dark fruit,and cake notes but as the beer warms there is some drying citric/leafy hop making a presence in the finish.Its big and pretty sweet but its a nice barleywine.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly dark copper color--at least for the style--with very little head and almost no lacing. The nose brings forward a pretty good amount of booze along with some dark fruits, plums, sweetness, and some American hops. The taste brings quite a bit of alcohol heat as well and a good amount of malty sweetness. Dark fruits linger in the background. Feel is dominated by alcohol atop a medium body with low to mid-level carbonation.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, brown sugar, caramelized malts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit and citrus. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in along with a hearty malt character creating a good balance. There’s also a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium carbonation, medium body, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this one definitely leans toward the IPA end of the barleywine spectrum and is a very solid stronger beer worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of nickfl
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - A strong note of alcohol influenced caramel and toffee dominates the aroma. Some resinous hops and fruity plum notes hang in the background.

T - Sweet caramel and lightly burnt toast up front with a little bit of warm alcohol and hop bitterness. The hop character opens up more in the middle with notes of caraway and mustard that compliment a light plum and red apple fruit character. It finishes with more dark caramel malt and pine hops that combine to create the characteristic blue cheese flavor that is found in most bitter barleywines. LIngering notes of stinky cheese, plum and brown sugar.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish for a beer of this strength.

D - This is a very nice barleywine and easily the best of this years longshot beers. The aroma is exceptional; complex and well balanced with all of the classic barleywine notes touched upon. The flavor is reasonably complex as well, but with a balance that brings the beer together quite well in the finish. It has a convincing and interesting blue-veined cheese note that begs to be paired with stilton and fruit. This is a very nice example of the style; it would be nice to see Sam Adams make this a regular yearly offering.

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

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep clear amber, topped with 1 ½ fingers of tight looking light mocha head. This just looks beautiful sitting here in the glass. This retains with a smaller, yet still rich ½ finger, leaving back creamy lacing that rings the sides of the glass with spotty foam. The aroma smells herbal and leafy, which sits on top of ripe dark fruit, sweet alcohol, and doughy grains. Man, this just has a nice power and depth to the nose. This is nice!

The taste is a rich and smooth mix of dark fruit (I’m picking up a lot of cherries), sugary breads, and a big alcohol sweetness. The finish on this is flavorful and satisfying, with lingering notes of roast, herbal citric hops, and dry spice. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick and chewy creaminess in the mouth. That large ABV gives the body a sticky wet warmth but this never becomes stinging at the least.

Wow, I was a bit shocked at how much I ended up liking this and while some of that American hop profile had been diminished (I had this with about 8 months or so on the bottle in Jan. ’10), this just showed a great use of that high gravity here, with a bold warm spiciness that enhanced both the body and flavors on this. I’m regretting not picking up more of these to cellar, as I would have loved to have seen how this once would continue to develop. I’m not sure exactly how close they got this to the original award winning beer here but I really enjoyed this!

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Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured caramel brown in color with a thin but frothy head covering the top of the beer. The head retention was pretty good as a thin ring remained around the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweet malty flavor to it with a pretty big caramel flavor coming through. Some brown flavors also seem to come through in the sweetness. Just a bit of dark fruits come through with a little alcohol as well.

The taste showed a sweetness to it with caramel and candied fruits leading the way. A moderate bitterness comes through towards the finish and helps balance it out some. A good amount of alcohol is present and has a warming effect in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is low. Drinkability is decent, it had some nice malty flavors to it overall and wasn't a bad barleywine overall. The alcohol showed through a bit more then I would have liked and it could have had a bit more depth to be called a very good beer. It was still pretty good overall though.

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Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 3+ fingers of tan colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness, leafy & herbal hops, plus figgyness as this warmed

T: Piiney hops, toffee, a touch of caramel up front, plus some pineapple & grapefruit. Slight figgy sweetness accompanies herbal & piney hops as this warms, plus a touch of toffee & some boozey warmth as well. Finishes dry with a touch of honey, toffee & leafy hops, this seemed as much an English BW as American. Any way you slice it this didn't quite pull together for me

MF: Chewy, fairly low carbonation, balance- wise this skews a bit sweet for an American Barley Wine IMO

Drinks alright for the style & ABV, doesn't quit pull together to me. I might grab another sixer to see if this ages well

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Photo of smcolw
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle:
Mile High Barley Wine Ale

Ben brewed this ale to mark his 100th batch of homebrew. The beer is rich and malty, with a hint of caramel and plum. Brewed with citrusy American hops and a blend of six varieties of malt, the sweet and dark fruit notes in this beer linger on the palate.

Impressive three-finger head that settles very slowly.

Of the three new (2010) LongShot beers, this is the most balanced: great fresh hop aroma with a toasty crystal malt background.

The malt and alcohol are the initial tastes on the tongue. The bitter hop shows up in the swallow, but in the background. The aftertaste is similar to a sipping sherry--lots of alcohol warmth that lingers a long time. It's full bodied (creamy even) with good carbonation.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a clear, well-filtered, amber-brown body with a solid head formation sporting a finger and a half of light beige foam. Tangle of glass-sticking lace on the way down.

Smell: Modest zip of zesty, citrusy hops ahead of the larger, sweet-scented maltiness smelling of toasted bread crusts and dry caramel. Very minor hint of dark fruitiness rolls in late.

Taste: Sweet, chewy maltiness tasting of toast, brown sugar, and dark caramel. Background date fruitiness, maybe a teensy hint of dehydrated sweet cherry in there as well. Citrusy hops with lighter, lesser accents of pith and spice. Medium bitterness, a bit of a surprise and certainly lighter than expected. Dries somewhat as you reach the warming, malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. There's a smooth creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Those seeking a bright, boldly hopped barleywine best look elsewhere, as this one's a bit shy in the hop department, leaning instead towards its sweet malt character. For a split second, I wondered if I had accidentally opened up my second Old Ben Ale. Having said that, it was still a pleasant albeit sweet brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ferric oxide orange with a reddish glow when backlit with the rising sun. The upper third of the snifter contains a lovely looking lid of pastel gold foam that is surprisingly sticky. Plenty of persistence is a positive as well.

It smells like this offering will favor the more pale malts, with a helping hand from caramel. Juicy fruit is present, though the more citrus zesty qualities of the hops must have faded in the slightly more than one year since the release.

Longshot Mile High Barley Wine Ale is a pretty good version of the style, but it will have to reach another gear with warming in order to get the 4.0 for taste. The dominant flavor is lemon-accented iced tea, which is a bit of an odd vibe for an American barleywine.

More malt (especially caramel) would have improved things. The fruitiness is of the citrus sort, with perhaps an assist from figs, though nothing darker than that. Sweetness and bitterness are both moderate and balanced. There's slightly too much tang, however. Hard to believe this one of the three best beers entered last year.

The mouthfeel isn't full enough or creamy enough for the style/ABV. It's still enjoyable in an easy drinking kind of way. The carbonation doesn't make an impression in either direction, which is a victory of sorts.

Most of the Longshot beers from Boston Beer Company are solid. Ben Miller's Mile High Barley Wine Ale falls a little short of that mark, but I still don't regret the purchase. Especially since it was just a single. Bottom line: not the high-altitude ale that was expected.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep dark brown with a small tan head. Very thick looking with a somewhat reddish tint to it. Lots of side glass lace as well as a rich foamy layer left on top. The smell was very full, lots of roasted malts and caramel with an odd sort of sweet hoppiness melded into the back end of it. The feel was great, very full and creamy with a great residual smoothness to it. Huge sweet caramel and sugar flavor that was folded over with hints of chocolate and even a roasted coffee. This was a very fine strong ale,

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

And here is the end of my LongShot sixer. This one pours a clear ruby brown headed by a minor layer of large ecru bubbles. The nose comprises hoppy florals, molasses, biscuits, and toffee. The taste is fairly similar, though the florals are toned down, and some maple syrup is added. The body is a light heavy, with a moderate carbonation and a thick, somewhat chewy feel. Not a bad barleywine at all. If only I was a good enough homebrewer to make one like this...

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LongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 68.8% out of 100 with 263 ratings
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