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Griffin's Bow | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Griffin's BowGriffin's Bow
665 Ratings
Griffin's BowGriffin's Bow

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
From the aroma and notes of sweet honeysuckle, pineapple, and grapefruit, to richer hints of burnt sugar, and toffee, this intriguing brew is full of complex flavors. The distinct character of toasted oak adds depth and contrasts the light fruit sweetness. This unique take on a barley wine ale surprises with its smoothness and balance of fruit, hop citrus, and warmth.

Hops: Nelson Sauvin, Zeus
Malts: Two-Row Harrington, Metcalfe, Copeland Pale, Paul’s Caramalt
Aged on toasted oak

Added by sommersb on 10-28-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 665 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of bshefftz
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of craigbelly
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

To sweet, to syrupy, just to much going on hear. That all boils down to a beer that's just hard to finish. SA just doesn't seem to grasp the style or thought the hops would take it somewhere new.

 195 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

An auburn and brown kind of color scheme, small 1/3" head, off white on the top. Average retention. Aroma of burnt sugar, alcohol, plums, a little more dark fruit bitterness than I would expect. Hops are definitely there too. Its like damn, where were these for the first 20 years you were making beers.

Taste, more alcohol, dark fruit bitterness, the hopping is nice here. More caramel, burnt dark sugar, toffee. Some dankness in the mouthfeel, citrus, this is pretty layered. Mild oak presence. Lotta malt, a little thick, boozy and syrupy at times. Its decent, but at its format and price I doubt I will return or age any of these.

 647 characters

Photo of barczar
3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1, five years old, so rating set to current average.

Aroma is honey like, with notes of cardboard oxidation and a touch of dates and figs.

Flavor is sweet initially, with toffee notes becoming bready, oxidized, and moderately bitter in the finish. Still significant alcohol heat. Fairly banal.

 302 characters

Photo of WickedBeer
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The second of the re-releases by Samuel Adams during American Craft Beer Week, Griffin's Bow did not disappoint! This second brewing was a little bit lower in ABV, ringing in at 10% as opposed to 11.5%. Poured after aging about 4 months; small dissipating creamy head with very little lacing. Upon first opening I was a little disappointed at the smell coming straight from the bottle, as it was very similar to a slightly more potent Boston Lager. However, upon pouring into a 12oz snifter, all the fantastic aromas came out. Sharp notes of citrus and wine with underlying notes of burnt oak were clear, and I was surprised at how light-bodied this take on a barley wine was. Beautiful orange-amber color, seltzer-like carbonation. Extremely tasty beer, again with a slight but sharp citrus hop focus that sits on a toasted caramel aftertaste that lasts. Overall a very good beer, an interesting taste on a barley wine. Samuel Adams was also spot on with pinpointing the experience, I was easily able to pinpoint all elements of this beer. 4 / 5!

 1,048 characters

Photo of puftdank
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEER88
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SadMachine
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a fresh bottle and one aged a year. L: Pours brilliant amber under a 1” sudsy white foam collar that provides good lace.
S: alcohol, vanilla, oak, malt.
T: Malt loaf and toasty sugars – caramel to toffee, citrusy hops, some apricot. Malt driven with ample help from the hops.
F: Very creamy full bodied, medium low carbonation some warming
O: This is a good barley wine that gets even better after a year.

 417 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rossracing
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of gouettn
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of swierczt
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of gopens44
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Dicers
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SABERG
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lochef81
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tranquilocigars
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of John-Robertson
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of CHickman
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%

Batch No. 2, aged at least a year: pours hazy copper color with a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded slowly and very good foamy rings as it went down.

Smells of red wine, caramel, toffee, oak barrels that held a red wine like a merlot or pinot, grains, yeast and rotting fruit like a pear or apple that's brown and mushy. The 10% ABV comes through, but mixes well with the sweetness and oaky notes that are earthy and almost seem smoky.

Flavor is similar to the nose with a rich sweetness consisting of dark fruits, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, syrup, red wine, toasted grains, lemon, metallic funk/yeast, vanilla, floral hops, honey, and following the aroma the taste of oak barrels that held a red wine and that rotting fruit sweetness like a mushy pear or apple that's very sugary. Alcohol peeks through, but the sweetness gets close to cloyingly sweet when the oaky notes kick back in with some peat moss, earthy and smoky accents that right the ship. The aftertaste changes over to pineapple and sherry and is oddly different than the start of the bomber. A very different beer that is a little different with every sip. I didn't love the flavor, but I found it intriguing and it kept my interest so much that I polished off the whole bottle on a Tuesday night; why the fuck not, right?!?

Mouthfeel was heavy and thick, with a weighty feel and a slickness that went down smooth; there was hardly any carbonation, and the aftertaste was sweet and malty with very low bitterness and a light alcohol fade. It got more complicated and interesting as it sat in the glass, so I'm glad I let this develop for a while since it was pretty tasty. A different kind of barleywine, but good overall.

 1,696 characters

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Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 665 ratings
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