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

235 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 235 | Ratings: 664
Photo of Tilley4
2.98/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Stoked to see this one in the local bottle shop...

Sweet oaky aromas take the lead early followed closely by some juicy orange or pineapple hops as well as a hint of vanilla or brown sugar... Some booze present as well...

Sweet boozy malts along with a huge dose of the oak and traces of those citrus hops attempt to blend together here but its's futile... The booze sort of overtakes everything in the end... You can taste and feel the 11.5% early and often here... Starting to be a chore to get through...

I liked this one at first but it quickly became apparent that the heat was still too prevalent with this... I picked up two bottles and I'll lay the other one downfor quite a while to see how this ages.. As is, it seems like sort of a boozy mess to me...I wanted to like this one too....

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Photo of SGplayer84
4.8/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

AT teh local warehouse liquor store and what do I see? a $7 Barleywine from Sam Adams? I'll bite, 2 that is!

A--It is Golden indeed. Clear, not cloudy at all and very not looking like my normal barleywine reminds me of the clear belgian golden ales.

S-Whoa. Hops, Pineneedles, Citrus, New Zealand Hop heaven. This must have like 1K IBUs or something.

T- Hops up front, Oak to the back! Warming like crazy, which is what a barleywine should be for. The Oak replaces the malt bill in this, as in, the oak overpowers the malt bill, but thats not a bad thing. This is one of the craziest things I've had in a while as It's fruity aroma, than changes to smooooth vanilla toasty oak.

M-Lighter than a normal barleywine, the Warming factor + hops take over and dominate the mouthfeel. I don't mind this as I was looking for something different.

O-Many people will overlook this brew as it has a Sam Adam's Logo on it. Do not let that stop you. This is an exceptional brew and deserves a great grade. It could defiantly use some cellar time as I find the hops can be overpowering a little, but perhaps after 6-9 months, (maybe 3 as I am impatient) I feel this can mellow out and shape into an amazing brew. Good thing it's only $7 (Chiciago) as I will purchase more before they're gone. Cheers!

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Photo of Gushue3
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Big 2 finger head that has some staying power. The body is a clear, light amber color with a few small carbonation bubbles. as the head slowly goes down lacing is left hangng onto the side of the glass. Looks pretty good.

S Some citrus upfront. Pineapple, grapefruit and slight mango.

T Follows the nose with citrusy grapefruit along with a slight malty caramel. Slight alcohol taste that finishes sweet.
I let it warm up a bit and the Nelson Sauvin hops really come out. Sweet cirtus comes through big time.

M heavier side of medium feel thats finishes somewhat dry. medium carbonation feel.

O Not a bad barleywine but not one i'd spend too much time looking for. everything was okay but didnt really wow me.

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Photo of muttyd
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up due to the fact that it looks different than every other Sam Adams bottle I've come across. Turns out it was a pretty good decision.

Pours a crystal clear amber with a thin frothy head that fades into almost nothing. Not very good lacing, but very clear.

Aroma is big on the pineapple/citrus hops, oak and almost sweet vanilla soda. Slightly boozy too. Flavor is sweet, but balanced with pleasant toasted oak notes. Sweet burnt sugar malt flavor lingers throughout, with waves of citrus and oak/vanilla mixing throughout. Well carbonated and leaves a sticky sweet feeling on the tongue.

Definitely a step in the right direction for Sam Adams. Enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.57/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of bmanning. Served in a small pint.

Pours a mostly clear light golden color with a good, frothy white head that persists for a good time and leaves a bit of lacing behind. The nose brings forward very light oak and just a touch of grain. Very, very tame without really anything going on. The flavor is just a tad bit better with a smidge more oak and a faint hop presence. Light bitterness in the finish is refreshing; no noticeable alcohol, which was impressive. Just blah overall.

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

rather light amber color produces a big, off-white head that slowly recedes and laces well.

pretty hoppy aroma of citrus and flowers with some earthiness. malts are behind that, and no oak aromas.

oak is definitely in the flavor though. tons of vanilla and butterscotch. hops (floral, citrus and tropical fruit) after that with some slight malt sweetness behind that. odd mix of flavors that are not unpleasant, but not extraordinary, either. lacks that malt complexity of most barleywines. its like vanilla extract mixed with hop extract.

semi-light bodied for the style with a lingering boozy heat.

It had potential, but failed to follow through. it needs more malt complexity to stand up to the hoppiness and butterscotch/vanilla notes taken from the toasted oak.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fizzy bubbly head of 2+ fingers, fades semi slowly with nice lacing, over a clear golden amber orange color.

Nose had a lot of fresh hops, light floral fruity almost citrus and tropical fruit even, very fresh hops, but of grapefruit and a bit of white grape, actually the grape starts to get more dominant as it warms, some light malts and caramel.

Taste brings a lot of flavors, lots of buttery oak come right out front, bit of vanilla, creamy malts with a bit of caramel but mostly light malt flavors but quite malty. Then fruit and hops again, light floral hops, light citrus and a bit of tropical fruit, light white grape skin I wonder if there is nelson sauvin in this... A decent bitterness but not much. touch of booze but barely, drinks well with a bit of sweetness. Finishes still sweet, lots of buttery oak and vanilla, some light sweet malts, and more fruity hops.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, hint of booze.

Overall pretty impressed, nice malts, lots of nice hop flavors, tons of buttery oak add an interesting touch. Very complex and drinkable

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Photo of Duff27
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Inch tall white head on a clear dark golden beer. Good clumpy lacing left on the glass, head retention is average.

"Ohhhh."Aroma is of sweet pineappley booze.

"Wooo." Major booze alert. As described on the label, honeysuckle. The warmth sensation left in my throat, even after not taking a sip for a couple minutes, is unlike anything I can remember. Some caramel and oaky notes.

Medium to medium-heavy mouthfeel, good carbonation. Doesn't have the normal BBC mouthfeel/carbonation, which is a plus.

I think its safe to say this is well worth a pick up at $6.99 especially if you don't mind a lot of booziness. Time will do good things to Griffin's Bow, mellowing out its hotness.

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Photo of fdkayti
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden red with a fluffy pearl head floating on top. Crystal clear.

S- Candied grapefruits, lots of sugary sweetness. Some alcohol presence.

T- Brown sugar, honey. Tastes almost like a simple syrup with added spices (nutmeg?). Slight alcohol burn in the finish. An interesting hop bitterness also comes through, lending sweet citrus notes.

MF- High carbonation takes away from some of the creaminess and really spreads the flavors across all tastebuds. Slightly sticky.

O/D- Interesting and unique. Enjoying the warming effects of this immensely. Good price point. The complexity of this makes it a sipper moreso than the alcohol presence. Happy to stumble upon it.

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Photo of sommersb
3.99/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 10-27-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

This is described as an Oaked Blonde Barleywine Ale on the label.

Appearance is a clear copper, with 3 fingers of tan head. Both lacing and retention are very good.

Aromas are of hops, front and center, with citrus (grapefruit) and spicy qualities. I don't get much more in the nose.

I was expecting a big dose of hop bitterness in the taste, based on the aromas, but the flavors are very well balanced. There's a good amount of malt sweetness and wood/oak dryness to compliment the hops. Definitely an alcohol presence is made known in the 11.5% brew as well. Strong and intense.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and seems to have a syrupy kind of viscosity. Smooth and easy to drink, although the higher alcohol makes it more of a sipper. Finishes with a warm sweetness.

Very impressed with this new small batch beer from Samuel Adams.

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Griffin's Bow from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.54 out of 5 based on 664 ratings.
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