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

very good
263 Ratings
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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.

For Trade:
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Ratings: 263 |  Reviews: 231
Photo of greengorilla
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet. It is a clear amber brown color with a creamy one finger thick beige head.

It smells really good. I can pick up the floral hops, some citris scent, and a bready scent.

It tastes pretty darn good too. I can't really taste very much of that citris that I smell, but it has a good balance of malt and hops.

The mouthfeel is smooth with low carbonation.

It is very drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer. I bought it in a six pack sampler, so I only have one more left. If I find it in a six pack, I will definitely buy it again.

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Photo of bamadog
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 4/27/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel/coppery color with some hints of ruby in there; starts with a 1 and 1/2 finger light tan head with great retention that becomes cratered and pock-marked as it slowly fades to a thick and full skim; body is dark, but quite clear and shows a lot of slow carbonation; lots of thick curtain-like lacing holds firm to the sides of the glass and becomes more and more delicate and intricate as it dries as I slowly polish the glass off.

Smell: Quite a bit of citric hops right in the front of the nose with a bit of pine following; a complex bit of maltiness lies behind it and there's a fair whiff of alcohol that starts to come through as it continues to warm.

Taste: Pretty fair and I know that if I brewed something like this, I would definitely be happy with the results; a lot of citric hops right up front (orange and grapefruit); complimented by some dark fruit (is that plum like the bottle suggests?) aspect with a touch of spice; tons of malts that are sticky sweet and reminiscent of caramel, and as it warms the sweetness becomes a bit cloying; definite presence of warm/burning alcohol as the ABV is high and the beer is still fresh.

Mouthfeel: Body is of moderately thick weight and a little oily; while there's tons of carbonation, the body is thick enough to keep it very soft; surprisingly, there's not much of a stick at all left behind and the belly is left exceedingly warm.

Drinkability: A little too hot and heavy for too much in a sitting, and even a full 12 oz. bottle feels a bit much for me with the heat and cloying sweetness. I would love to get some more of this to age and see how it's doing in a couple of years (how's that alcohol mellowing and is the sweetness balancing out with anything in there?). Solid overall though and I feel the winner is deserving of having his brew bottled as such.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.56/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams LongShot Mile High Barley Wine, poured a dark amber color, with a decent size head. It smelt of hops, and maybe carmel. It had a great taste, it was hopy but not over powerfull, it was rich and flavorfull. It was heaveir but rather easy to drink, I could deffently drink more then one. Overall fantastic beer, its a real shame its a limited production.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown glass bottle poured into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, approximately 45 degrees F.

The pour produces a beautiful deep amber hue, showing perfect clarity and a well-formed two fingers of beige foam that recede slowly, grasping to the walls of the glass effortlessly and leaving behind a perfect display of latticework.

Nothing too outstanding in the nose, with some citrusy and floral hop notes in the foreground with an underpinning of caramel maltiness.

Full-bodied and just barely chewy, but not overly heavy or thick, with a subtle bit of carbonation providing the needed uplifting ability to keep the body from becoming too weighty. Up front, and forming a wonderful underbody, is a pleasant malt character reminiscent of bread pudding, patently English in character; as the nose suggests, a middle of citrusy American hop notes jumps into play, displaying a heavy-but-balancing bitterness that provides the semi-sweet finish with a nice moderating dryness. On the back of the tongue are sweet notes of caramel and bittersweet chocolate, with a lingering hint of bitter hops.

For a 9.8% ABV barleywine, this is quite drinkable, and perhaps even more so than many American versions of the style in which hops tend to dominate. The English malt character that fills in the entire base of flavors does an excellent job in supporting the bold American hop flavors, creating a melding that is somewhat unique to American barleywines in general. Very nice -- I'd like to try the original homebrewed version even more. Definitely worth aging to see how the malt flavors develop over time.

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Photo of Freshie
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Sam Adams Boston Lager Glass. An amazing deep amber color. Clear with great bubbles rising to the top. Light wispy head graces the top of the glass.

Nose is hoppy, with some sweetness coming through. Fruity and a little grassy. Very earthy.

Taste is a bit more mellow than the previous aspects may suggest. Short hop bite, lends way to sweet malty backbone. Hops churn around the palate throughout.

Finishes clean, with slight sweetness.

A very good sessionable. I don't taste the 9% abv.

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Photo of number1bum
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby-tinted copper color with a quickly rising two plus inches of light beige head. Keeps very well, with a very thick, fluffy lace on top and a mess of stick on the sides.

Smell has some citrus hops up front, with plenty of sweet caramel to go along with it. There's a hint of darker fruits as well as some warming alcohol.

Taste has even more dark fruits than the smell, and very little, if any, citrus flavor. The dark fruit is sweet, like plums as the label indicates. It's interesting that the citrus hops did not seem to translate at all onto the palate. There's a good amount of caramel sweetness, plus a lightly toasted biscuit sort of flavor as well. This has some good flavor but it's an interesting flavor, and as fresh as it is, and given that it's an American style barleywine, I'd like to see more hop character. More bitterness in particular would help cut some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a very creamy medium-full body, with pretty soft carbonation, making it quite soft on the palate. It's a bit sticky sweet, though, and here again some more hop bitterness would have taken it to another level.

This is pretty good but really screams for more hops in my opinion, especially given that it's an American style barleywine. It's overly sweet, and even if there were just more bittering hops it would help to offset that a bit. Some more citrus flavor, which was in the nose but did not translate to the tongue, would also be welcomed. Not a bad brew, but not a great barleywine either.

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

12 oz. bottle.

Deep ruby body with a tall, frothy, bright, light khaki head. Excellent lacing. Caramel and butterscotch malt aromas mix with rummy fruits and sugary candy. There's also a nice dose of pinesap and Scotch tape hops.

Sweet, rich malt flavors up front. Plum and toffee mix with boozy fruits mid-palate. Sugary caramel and candy come through. Snappy citrus and herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Lingering fruit and warming malts. Medium-full body. Nice!

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Photo of homebrew311
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep red with a striking amount of clarity for a high gravity barleywine, a thin creamy looking white head form and retains itself well, leaves splotches of head around the sides of the glass

S: pungent hops and a stiff malt profile dominate the nose, the hops are grassy and dank, the malts are robust with notes of caramel and dark fruits, very aromatic

T: the taste is a bit tamer than the nose suggest, the hops come through on the front much like the aroma but then gives way to the sweetness from the malts- nice toffee and caramel notes along with dark fruits, finishes long with malty sweetness, great balance, this is a unique barley wine

MF: thick body, smooth and velvety texture, low carbonation

D: this is a well executed barleywine, I wonder how different this mass produced version is from the originally entered homebrew (I know there was like a 3-4% abv discrepancy), this shows up every beer in the SA imperial series. Maybe Sam Adams should take note and make a brew like this a year rounder!

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Photo of LXIXME
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
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 hosehead83
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Copper/amber in color with a big, fluffy head of foam
Aroma-Big malt, with caramel and subtle citrus notes
Taste-Malty, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, chewy and sweetish, with lots of warming alchohol in the finish. A definite sipper. A bit sweet for my taste but not bad overall.

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Photo of matty
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is dark fruit.Taste is rum,raisins and currants.Very warming and tasty.Like everything from The Boston Beer Company a good brew.I would recommend to try at least once and as for me I would like to try at least a few more times.

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

ST: 12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Thick white head that sticks around, high carbonation steadily rises through a burnished brown body. When held to the light it glows a brilliant gem like red.

S: Pine, caramel, flowers, yeast.

T: Floral hops, sugary malt, fruity notes, caramel and doughy yeast with a nice soft finish.

M: Though it feels heavy, like most barley wines, the high carbonation keeps this beer free from any syrupy consistency. The clean smooth finish helps.

D: Totally worth drinking multiple times, however, it does have high alcohol content and it is a heavy beer.

Overall: Wow, I am impressed. This is a very nice barley wine. It has impressive depth, yet it manges to integrate the high alcohol content with ease. Some barley wines can seem sweet because of a long sticky finish. However, this one manges to avoid that problem because its finish is cleaner.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter at about 55 degrees.

Pours with a pretty orange/amber color, and 1F of off-white head, which hangs out forever as a permafilm, with a strong edge. Touch of visible carbonation. Nice lacing.

Aromas of 7-Up, ginger spice, rich fruits - especially cherries, and maple syrup. Very sweet overall, and quite inviting.

Rich mouthfeel, with some nice bittering hops to offset the overall sweet flavors. Barley, maple syrup, allspice, orange peel... there's a lot going on in there - and it is enjoyable. Decent bite in the afterglow. Smooth overall, though, for the style.

I really liked the drinkability on this one. It's not overly harsh or bitter, as many barleywines, and if you're a fan of a little sweeter profile, you'll apppreciate this.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 4-25-10
Best before September 2010

Pours a hazy red/amber color with a hint of off-white head. Lacing is a few thin layers that settle quickly.

Smell is big, sweet malt with a grassy hop kick. The alcohol comes in next, and helps the hop aromas hit hard. Very good.

Taste is a lot like the smell, but the malt has a slightly sour quality that I can't quite place. The hops are almost more sweet than bitter, and surprisingly tame.

Mouthfeel is very slick and syrupy, witch adds to the heavy sweetness.

Drinkability is not very good, the sweetness quickly becomes annoying.

Overall, another good candidate for some cellar time.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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 bsp77
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful magenta red with very wispy head. No lacing.

Smell: Caramel, plum, cherry, alcohol and a nice blast of citrus hops.

Taste: Fairly sweet malts with caramel, plum, dark fruit, citrus and molasses. While there is quite a bit of hoppy citrus flavor, there really is not much hop bitterness - just a twinge of spice and bitterness at the end.

Feel: Low carbonation, full smooth body, quite warming.

Drinkability: Not much bitterness for an American Barleywine, as it seems more like an English Barleywine with a lot of citrus. However, this is possibly the most approachable Barleywine I have had.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LongShot Mile High Barley Wine is like a creamy dark cherry desert.

It was reddish copper with a massive creamy tan head. It was sweet and a little tart, like sweet dark cherries, and extremely smooth and creamy, with a bit of bitterness, and a nice dry finish. There's a lingering acidic aftertaste that seems to be a hallmark of Sam Adams beers.

The 2010 LongShot mix is (mostly) a pleasure. Ben Miller nailed this one and deserves a mile high-five. Mile High is a great sipper on cold and rainy days, or after-dinner any day, and I would happily make it and Old Ben Ale regular staples of my beer stock. As for the Lemon Pepper Saison, I would happily make Mile High and Old Ben Ale regular staples of my beer stock.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Mad Elf snifter

Pours deep reddish amber with one finger of foam that leaves abundant lacing. Aroma is a little boozy with some sweet plum and faint hop bitterness.

Very malty, with a bit of metallic twang and lingering bitter aftertaste. Quite sweet, but there is some hop flavor buried in the sweetness. I'd prefer the hops to be a little more prevalent. Mouthfeel is viscous, and the sweetness does a good job of masking the alcohol that was evident in the nose. Overall, pretty good, I just prefer a little more hoppiness to my Barleywines.

All in all I'm excited for this year's Longshot lineup... Barleywine, Old Ale, and Saison!? Props to Sam Adams for going outside the norm.

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Photo of BierFan
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin tan head settles down to just enough foam to cover the beer. Reddish amber body.

Smell: Most American barleywines are dominated by the citrusy hops(not that thats a bad thing). This beer, however, is much more balanced and the smell is skewed more towards the malt. Citrusy hops are still present, though.

Taste: More balanced usage of hops makes the beer more nuanced and complex. It's as if this beer has already been aged for a bit.

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Photo of Shaw
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep amber in color with a sticky off-white head that reduces to clumps.

A light aroma of sweet dried fruit with a hint of bread.

The taste isn't as harshly bitter as some American barleywines like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot or Rogue Old Crustacean. This beer is sweeter, with lots of rich malt flavors and a good alcohol flavor and burn.

The hefty body is oily and chewy.

Overall a fine barleywine and one that's a bit more approachable than others of the style. This is another LongShot winner that's a winner.

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

12oz bottle, goblet, enjoy before September 2010 notched on the mutilated rear label.

Possibly one shade of red darker than the Old Ben's Ale of the Longshot six-pack, and a marginally better head as well.

So they included a beer with a higher hopping rate! Lovely, but it isn't that hoppy. Ladies perfume, a whole sack of caramel malt, and fresh floral citrus in the nose.

Huge caramel sweetness that is pretty well balanced by bitter and flavor hops. Bitter alcohol, bitter oily orange peel, flower petals, a little bread, and either grain husks or oaky vanilla. There are surely is some vanilla lurking. Overall quite a good, straight forward, sweet barleywine with a perfume quality.

Creamy and full on the palate. It's a shame that the Longshot series isn't bottle conditioned. This is a malt monster.

At 9.8% abv and an alcohol ring appearing when I swirl, this isn't an extremely drinkable beer. It is too sweet to be so.

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Photo of mfunk9786
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A shockingly great beer from the Samuel Adams LongShot variety pack (worth noting - this was purchased at an amazingly reasonable price from State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD - $7.99 for the sixer!)

A: Lighter than most barleywines, this one is a dark orange with barely a finger of head. Though clearly not completely filtered, it is a lot more see-thru than a lot of Barleywines, and quite the sight to behold. Still, it lacks the rich visual character that a lot of Barleywines have down pat.

S: Smells of malt, malt, malt. There are some hops on the nose, but as I'll explain in more detail later, this beer reminds me more of Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot more than any other American Barleywine - it has a lot of malt character with surprisingly restrained hoppiness, which is (to me) the perfect balance for a Barleywine (without becoming a full-head-of-steam Strong Ale).

T: The taste is of sweet malt with a touch of surprisingly fresh and citrusy hops. I don't mean to use the adverb "surprisingly" so often, as I am someone who has a lot of respect for the Samuel Adams brewery and their ability to balance craft brewing with big business - but it's still refreshing to taste nice fresh hops along with their signature "how do they do that?" malts that take your tongue on a journey that would make even Founders jealous. But on that note - this beer started as a homebrew, and the gentleman behind it must have had more of a malty English Barleywine style in mind. Dark fruit and brown sugar are prominent, followed by a taste that would go perfectly with a bowl of - hey! - Boston baked beans. A great beer that tastes darker than it looks.

M: As described above, the mouthfeel is deceptively dark and mysterious. I also noticed a far lower alcohol burn on the tongue than in the head - this brew is nearly 10% alcohol but certainly doesn't taste it - hell, more than any other Barleywine I've ever sampled, I could see myself mowing the lawn and drinking this - which goes very well with Sam Adams' Macro/Micro motif.

D: Probably the best Drinkability rating I'd give a beer of this style - I could drink two or three bottles of this, it tastes light and malty rather than overly bitter or boozy.

Seek out this year's LongShot pack - this brew may surprise you. I like the Old Ben as I'll explain in a later review - but this beer is better than advertised and certainly the star of the pack, even though Barleywines are part of a crowded marketplace!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
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 JoEBoBpr
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my DFH snifter.

A - A gorgeous almost ruby red with some orange hues and a nice dense off white head. Very nice almost creamy head is about .75 inches. Recedes to a nice thin mat.

S - Nice vinous and sweet malt aromas come up quick. Nice grape jam and cinnamon aromas are present as well.

T - Very delicious and vinous sweet malty taste. Some caramel and dark fruits like cranberries and some raisins. There is a very nice piney hop flavor that goes down well during the finish and balances well with the boozy sweetness. The citric hops also ad a nice dry finish.

M - Very smooth and delicious with a nice balance of intense malts and strong citric hops. Good barley wine and probably the best of the three Longshots.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Pours a red / amber color, and clear. A thin cap of tan head, which fades rapidly into a smattering of bubbles. Heavy lacing.

S- Sweet maltiness, and a fair amount of booze. Dark fruits with a piney hopiness.

T- Dark fruits/plum, hints of pine. Moderate bitterness. Alcohol is very present, and has an almost numbing effect. Quite a bit of malty sweetness, with a strong bitter finish. Very interesting array of flavors that seem to improve as consumed.

M- Moderate carbonation. Fairly full body, and slightly creamy. Smooth. Sturdy alcohol warming presence.

D- Good. With a 9+% ABV, I had to remind myself to slow down a bit at times...though I can't see going through too many of these at a time.

Future outlook: A very good addition to this years LongShot sixer.

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LongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.88 out of 5 based on 263 ratings.
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