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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate Barleywine | Moody Tongue Brewing Company

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate BarleywineBourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate Barleywine
106 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate BarleywineBourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate Barleywine

Brewed by:
Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bourbons and English barleywines often share complementary notes of toffee and caramel flavors, so aging our first barleywine in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels seemed a natural direction for this beer. The barrels impart a touch of vanilla and oak, and with the addition of Oaxacan chocolate our finished beer sounds more like an indulgent dessert. Like a fuller-bodied Napa Cabernet, our barleywine achieves balance during its twelve months in the barrels. Once mature, this Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Barleywine can be paired with butter pecan gelato or bananas foster.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of 1971bernat
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of REVZEB
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I really liked the intentional cocoa flavor with the traditional barleywine elements, almost like a boozy chocolate chip and raisin cookie of some sort. Flavors fall apart quickly, giving way to lots of booze. Has sour finish at end of sips, off putting, possibly infected. Too bad, had lots of potential.

 308 characters

Photo of Bammer21
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Scottsbeer
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So I had seen this beer when it was $30/4 pack at our local gas station, sounded interesting, but not at that price point. Subsequent to that, the beer was reduced to $10/4 pack. So a drop from $7.50 per beer, to $2.50 per beer got the purchase ball rolling here as a backdrop that will later have a call back at the end of the review.

Pours brown with a lighter brown head 1/3". I'd say that no one aspect of the smell dominated, I'd prolly have to go with the chocolate as the most noticeable thing, and then there is more of a wet wood than a bourbon presence to it.

Taste is a relatively easy going, smooth, slightly sweet affair. It is definitely a light barely-wine (intentional) base beer to only be 9% "after" barrel aging. Mild bourbon notes and stronger chocolate notes. Not bitter, definitely not an American barleywine. Solid vanilla smooth feel to it. While not the thickest beer or barleywine, it wasn't problematic for me that is was on the more drinkable lighter side of style. Little caramel feels.

Ultimately I thought this beer was a good deal at $2.50 a bottle, but not worth $7.50 or even $5 a bottle.

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Photo of BrewmanCapote
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of KingTen144
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I think I may have gotten an infected bottle. This is a bit of a schizophrenic beverage. The individual flavors are enjoyable, but in combination my palate is confused. The initial taste of the barleywine base is fairly sweet, with a bit of sourness reminiscent of a sour ale. Then the beer confronts you with a dark chocolate and bourbon flavor, which persists along with the sourness into the aftertaste. I have a hard time getting settled with this one. Maybe too much going on for me. It feels a bit thinner than I would expect as well.

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Photo of Ristaccia
1.73/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Infected. Purchase with caution.

32 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of randjuke
1.8/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Looks like some infected batches out there as others have mentioned. Strong sour aroma, taste sour lacto. Tiny hint of caramel and bourbon but not enough to save it. Drain pour.

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Photo of darktronica
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I worry that I may have a contaminated bottle, with sharp fusel notes, the tanginess of lacto or pedio, and some apple cider vinegar or grape must. I only detect a bit of chocolate upon getting to the finish, after the off notes fade out.

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Photo of khargro2
2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Muss42
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zeeck
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - This barleywine is a soft, medium brown in color, and is somewhat opaque. It's like a hazy brown ale. It has decent carbonation with a light cream colored head.

Smell - I expected to get a lot of chocolate on the nose, but it wasn't nearly as strong as I expected. Instead I got a lot of caramel, along with cola and pecan notes. It smelled like a rich pecan pie.

Taste - This is very smooth in flavor, if that makes sense. No sharp edges. The chocolate goes very well with the traditional barleywine flavors and is not out of place or overwhelming. The caramel is strong, along with distinct pecan notes, underscored by a consistent vanilla flavor throughout. It reminded me of Cowtails, those caramel ropes filled with vanilla.

Feel - This has decent carbonation that makes this refreshing and enjoyable. When I think of chocolate flavored beers, I usually think of thick, oily bears, but not the case with this one.

Overall - I went into this one a bit unsure. Having never had a chocolate barleywine before, I was hesitant and skeptical. But, this is why we try new things. I really liked this beer. The chocolate was not at all dominant and played very well with the other barleywine flavors. This was excellent!

Pairs Well With - Loyola advancing to the Final Four!!! Ramble on!!!

 1,300 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a very neat beer, but perhaps better sounding than it actually tastes, somehow not as complex as it should be for what it is, and while very enjoyable, its not as unique as i hoped it would be, and id be curious to see another brewer take a stab at something like this. a lot of their culinary inspired beers are so distinct and profound, this one is more subtle, but thats probably for the best in the style. the beer is deep brown in color with reddish edges and just some patchy bubbles along the edges of the wine glass but no real head from the tap. it smells sweet at first from the malt and the whiskey, rich vanilla and chestnut, mature oak and molasses, brandy or cognac, and raisin too, less english to me, no obvious yeast character to it, and the chocolate element is really minimal in the nose as well. the flavor reveals a well integrated chocolate profile, nibs, dark chocolate, and baking chocolate, bitter against the sweeter grain, but still not a major influencer for me. i get more barrel and whiskey than chocolate, but also a cool cola note, the oak for sure, dried cherry and prune, and quite a lot of alcohol. its sweet at the end, and doesnt really have enough body for me, a little thin all the way through, but there is nice flavor built here in the base beer, barrel, and chocolate, i just want it all to be a little bit more robust. still a unique take on the style and something special to drink on!

 1,429 characters

Photo of novamat
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kjkinsey
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sohearn
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jgunther71
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Treyliff
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky brown color with a thin head that has short retention and leaves nothing behind

S- lots of woody/oaky bourbon on the nose, that gives off underlying notes of vanilla. Bold caramel/toffee notes, followed by earthy leather & tobacco and chocolate. There is also an exotic spicy wood aroma that I can't quite put my finger on, almost like cedar

T- bold caramel and toffee up front is quickly followed by rich barrel notes; bourbon, woody oak, vanilla & toasted coconut. Mid-palate gives some earthy tobacco as well as chocolate and dark fruit notes of raisin & fig. The finish gives more bourbon barrel that meshes with a sweet caramel and toffee linger

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that finishes slick but coats the mouth

O- an outstanding English barleywine that showcases the barrel and gives plenty of caramel and dark fruit notes throughout

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Photo of CPAles
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of MacMalt
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I received this in a NBS BIF box courtesy of @FFFjunkie. It was a "mystery beer" so I sampled it without knowing what it was. I couldn't find a date on the bottle. It was poured into a pint glass. It pours a deep brown with cola hues and a foamy, khaki-colored head and lacing with great retention. This nose features caramel, raisin, cocoa, roasted malt, and a subtle bourbon. When sipped, the first thing I taste is roasted malt and caramel but there's more dark fruit than I smelled. I'm tasting fig as well as raisin. There's also noticeable chocolate taste and the bourbon is discernible but not distracting. All of the flavors are recognizable but none are distracting. This Ale is medium-bodied but fairly creamy. The carbonation is moderate at best, and you can feel the 9% ABV. Overall, this is a wonderful expression of craft brewing. The flavors are bold and pleasing and it's really fun to drink. Sip this one after a good meal which should include red meat and potatoes.

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Chocolate Barleywine from Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 106 ratings