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

BA SCORE
81
good
665 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor
Read the review
Griffin's BowGriffin's Bow
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
665
Reviews:
235
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
17.8%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
71
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 665 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of tenacioustomato
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Damian74
2.25/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow/orange and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense off white head that took a long time to die down and left lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of gooseberries in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the hops impart flavors of citrus and gooseberries and there are also notes of vanilla from the oak barrel aging. Little to no bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aging on toasted oak and use of Nelson Sauvin hops definitely make this an interesting and unique barleywine. It definitely tastes like an American Barleyine with all of the hop flavors but there isn't that much associated bitterness or stickiness that you see in other beers in this style. It is very easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

 956 characters

Photo of redlegacy
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of dkw0063
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of cjgator3
3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Pours a golden amber color with an off-white head with decent lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is loaded with citrus, a lot of citrus. The citrusy hops are mostly grapefruit and pineapple with some sweet malt and a honey-like sweetness to go along with some alcohol in the finish.

T- The taste is sweet malt up front with the citrusy hops coming in very quickly and lingering well into the finish. The finish also has a lot of warmth from the high alcohol content.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodies with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I enjoyed this beer more than I expected. Samuel Adams did a great job with this beer.

 674 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a medium orange/gold color with a three fingered, sticky white head and mild carbonation.

S - Light candied caramel toffee malt, light tropical fruit, oak.

T - Oak, white raisins, light white toffee malt, boozy, light grapefruit, overall - sweet.

M - Thick, full bodied, slightly frothy and very gentle carbonation pricklies.

O - I tip my hat to Sam Adams for pushing the envelope with a "blonde barley wine", there's nothing else in this genre (that I know of).

 477 characters

Photo of docrates
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of Craigory
5/5  rDev +41.2%

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of shick1
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of sneaks2210
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of gshak
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of mikeradebaugh
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Lincolnman
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of jsanford
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy dark gold with a dense white head that settles to a thick cap, leaving lots of soapy lacing. Resinous aromas of sweet caramel malt, tangerine, honey, white wine, and a touch of oak. Taste is really nice, more flavors of honey malt, citrus and tropical hops, with a fairly sticky mouthfeel, medium-full body, and lowish carbonation. Pretty tasty Barleywine, a very unusual interpretation of the style but I like it.

 427 characters

Photo of BanditoJunkie
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of steveimthatguy
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Durb777
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle review from notes.

Typical barleywine amber appearance, light head and mild lacing, medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation, somewhat clingy and toothsome in texture but not terribly so.

Smells of honey, taffee, toffee, light amounts of toasted oak, and medium levels of tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya, wild flowers). The flavor is a lot more woody than the aroma, and also includes a surprise coconut-vanilla cream pie to the face with a sidebar of rye whiskey burn... Pineapple with charred edges pops out around the mid sip and transforms into a typical pine resin / juicy grapefruit combo by the time the finish rolls out an added spectrum of both leafy herbal raw *and* dried tobacco in equal measure.

Nice, but far too hot and wooden for my preferences fresh. The most memorable aspects of this barleywine are the high level of grilled pineapple and French Vanilla in in the flavor relative to other barleywines, but it fights with the rye booze levels as it is. I'm really intrigued by the tobacco elements, though. In my experience, beers that show nuances of tobacco when fresh often tend to develop additional complexity when aged.

I see this one as another great potential cellaring candidate; to see what can be built out of carefully controlled reduction of the hot booze and hopping levels, and to develop that tobacco stub. I'll probably be getting another one or two bombers at the store for further cellar experimentation, and the price point for this barleywine is more than reasonable enough for this to be an affordable adventure... (My 22oz bomber cost $7 in WI)

 1,618 characters

Photo of tt0027
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.54 out of 5 based on 665 ratings.
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