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

665 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 665 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of Kranders
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with a thin lacy head that doesn't last very long. The nose is absolutely full of booze and oak. Kind of warming but a little uninviting. Very sweet, oak and booze forward taste, that kind of meld together. It doesn't linger on the palate too long, but there's a strange aftertaste that I can't really place. It leaves me a little parched and complexed overall. Not the best, but very interesting.

 423 characters

Photo of BucsNBucks
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of RBlaszak
4/5  rDev +13%

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

A - This beer pours a nice orange copper color that has good clarity. There is a 2-figner off-white head resting on-top. The head has pretty good retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the edges of the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of sweetness to it, and some scents of fruit and even some tropical fruit. There is some caramel, toffee, honey, oak, and vanilla. There is also a pretty nice hop presence, and a bit of booziness.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with some sweet caramel maltiness and some fruit flavors. There are some flavors of toffee, oak, and vanilla. A good amount of hop flavor comes in more towards the back end, but there is just something that seems a bit off about it. I am getting a little bit of an oniony taste. Some booziness is also present. The finish leaves some lingering sweetness, booze, fruit, and a bit of hop bitterness behind on the palate.

M - This has a body that is on the heavier side of medium and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth feel to it. There is some sweetness here, but there is some hop bitterness to try and balance it. Some boozy warmth is present in the finish.

O - This has pretty good drinkability. It goes down very easy for being 11.5%. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good barleywine, especially considering it is Samuel Adams. The only thing I didn't like about this beer was the little bit of off flavor I got in the hop profile. Other than that I quite enjoyed it. It is worth checking out.

 1,535 characters

Photo of cougarbait
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of ucsbmullet
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of mactrail
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely aroma from the start. Hot popcorn, familiar sweet flowers like gardenias, coconut. Sweet caramel flavors with biscuits. A whiff of smoke and lots of the oaky vanilla. Hints at booze without the usual bourbon barrel taste. This blonde style of Barley Wine is quite interesting. It's like a Tripel met up with a Scotch Ale.

Bright, brassy blonde in the tulip glass with a fair head. Rich and tingly sensation on the tongue. Sweet but not syrupy. Caramel corn with butter keeps coming to mind. But nicely bittered with the hops, which provide a pleasant long tangy hop flavor. Highly sippable and adds a new twist to the Barley Wine style.

 644 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking deep golden body. Thin head with moderate amounts of lace left behind. Aroma is rich with malt and toasted qualities. Some tropical fruits as well. Flavor is quite smooth and very easy going for an 11.5 beer. Rich malts lay the foundation with heavy toasted oak notes throught. Fruitiness is evident as well with pineapple and tangerine coming to mind. Moderately carbonated and easy to drink. Flavorful. Reminded me of Behemoth to an extent but with a good dose of toasted oak added to the mix.

 508 characters

Photo of Codytucker13
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Bright Golden Color with a light foam, and a light lacing.

S: Bright Citrus, Tropical Fruits, pineapple, and some ginger

T: Very Tropical with some Hoppy Cheesiness. There is some toasted oak, coconut, pineapple, citrus, and some vanilla. Fermented Guava as well on the palate.

M: Rich, Thick with some medium-low carbonation

O: I thought this beer would be a lot better but it was not as good as the Third Voyage. This is beer had a lot of hoppy skunkiness, and cheesiness. Once you get passed the hoppy skunkiness, there is a lot of tropical, citrus, vanilla, and some light pineapple subtleties.

 607 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of mikehblack
2.7/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange/amber. Pretty big white head.

Smells super fruity and sweet like the description says. There is some oak character in there which feels out of place.

The taste is really sweet with a strange oak tannin after taste. Some fusel alcohol notes. Yeasty malt character. Leaving a less than pleasant taste in my mouth.

I really don't know what is going on with this beer. It is all over the place and is quite hot. Will not be buying this again, not sure if I'll finish all 22oz.

 504 characters

Photo of Soneast
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of kennylopez
2.76/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a bottle into a DFH goblet

Appearance: a clear golden amber with a white head and a huge head and even more lacing.

Smells: a bigger barley note than I anticipated. I do pick up a fruity citrus hop note and a unique smell I cant really describe.

Tastes: this is a off balanced Barleywine from what I am used to. It is super fruity like a lemon zest and strange yeast taste. There is a oak flavor in there especially when it warms up, but its a sweeter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: this is a well carbonated brew with a mild presence from the 11.5%, but the citrus notes are dominating and I don't feel it is in a good way.

Overall: I was interested to try this one. Its a barleywine which I tend to like and its oak flavored which I also think is a great combination for the style, but I don't know what they were aiming at as far as a blond barleywine, but it has citrus indeed. Don't think I will hunt it out again...that's just me, you should give it a shot.

 968 characters

Photo of Briken
2.64/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Hazy light amber color and thin tan head with poor retention. Sharp, acidic earthy floral aroma. Barley sweetness with hints of vanilla and toffee ending in a dry oak finish. Slick biting feel and overly dry.

Interesting and oddly bold for Samuel Adams. The bottle described the aroma as honeysuckle which I would agree with, which is why I really didn’t care for it. Virtually no warming which is shocking for 11.5% abv. Toffee / burnt sugar is the dominant flavor and the mouthfeel is distracting. Overall, it has a unique flavor but needs some tweaking.

 559 characters

Photo of GrabMeAnAbbey
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of noyellowfizzbeer
2.5/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of bespin15
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Pencible
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: This poured clear gold with some off-white head.
S: It smelled like fresh mango and apricot, with toasted oak and coconut, and a bit of honey malt and hibiscus.
T: It tasted like apricot and mango and coconut, with toasted oak and honey malt and floral hops. It had a clean and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with lots of carbonation. Nice fully body.
D: This had a very nice scent and taste, with an interesting blend of toasted oak and tropical fruits. The body was a little bubbly for me, but it was otherwise nice. The alcohol was noticeable but not bad, so it was pretty easy to drink. This may improve with age, but it was really good fresh. A bourbon barrell version would be excellent.

 712 characters

Photo of bilyboy65
2.29/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It's like a person that just can't make up their mind as what to do with their lives and just floats around the world. There is to much going on in terms of the oak caskness, hops, malts, attempt to make it a barley wine. Just nothing seems to work with together to make a smooth taste. Everything seems to be fitting for the most attention.

It looks nice, but smells and tastes of alcohol. It sits well on the pallet being a medium body beer. Would not recommend.

 466 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear caramel with a big white foamy head.

Aroma is full of sweet caramel and brown sugar. Very malt forward.

Starts off with a sweet caramel/brown sugar flavor then recedes into a heavy oak finish and kind of dry.

Fairly thick mouthfeel almost cloying at times with medium-low carbonation.

Not terribly well balanced in my opinion. Nothing is awful about this, but it's a little too sweet and the oak stands out a little too much. Nothing substantially wrong with this one, just a lot of little things add up to make it simply an ok beer.

 551 characters

Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a white head. Color is a clear bronze gold.

Aroma: Grapefruit, bananas, and cloves. Toasted oak, honey, and toffee.Very sweet, but very pleasant. Kind of herbal.

Taste: Mimics the nose, but it shows bready malts and caramel. Some vanilla as well. Coconut flavors.

Mouthfeel: Dry, smooth, and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a very unique brew. Definitely enjoyable. A lot of toasted oak. Good price point here. I'd have this again.

 495 characters

Photo of Keyes88
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

The color is a light orange with a finger of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a bit sweet with a nice malts with some candy-like flavor. There is a citrus fruit aroma that is here with a slight hoppy aroma that is spicing things up a bit.

The taste is a big surprise, it pops with a good fruit flavor that is filled with some grapefruit, orange peel, and pineapple as well as some chocolate and toffee flavor. Such an all encompassing flavor that there is layers of nice flavors coming out from under another flavor.

The feel of this beer is smooth and does not seem nearly as big as the ABV says it is. This really has a deceiving mild body and hides the burn better then many big beers.

 778 characters

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