Cereal Killer
Arcadia Brewing Company

Cereal KillerCereal Killer
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British Barleywine
3.85 | pDev: 12.47%
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Cereal KillerCereal Killer
Notes: Brewed in the tradition of English-style barley wines, Cereal Killer offers an explosion of full-bodied, liquid goodness. Robust malty flavors converge with caramel, toffee, molasses and dark fruit notes to produce a remarkably complex and palate-pleasing beer. Its intense malt character is complemented by a subtle citrus finish from the crystal hops. With cellar-aging, Cereal Killer's flavor evolves further, developing a sherry-like aroma and flavor similar to a cask-aged port. Winner of the Silver Medal for Barley Wine Style Ale at the 2007 GABF.
Reviews: 285 | Ratings: 613 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to @foundersasap. Rex's in the NBS BIF #9
Garnet tinged amber in hue. Sandy head, decent retention. As it settles the foam changes to a milky cap. Scattered lacing.
Smell begins with a slightly boozy warm delivery of buckwheat, caramel, toffee, dates, figs, and a subtle floral citrus note. Really has some depth here.
Flavor follows with the buckwheat, caramel and toffee sweetness. Then the deep dark fruity notes come through:fig and date. As I settle into it, I get a slight boozy sweetness akin to a port, but it's not really warm with alcohol, I know that seems oxymoronic, but...The sweetness is tamed on the backend by a nuanced partnership of drying earthiness and orange zest.
Mouthfeel is medium, slightly slick, and moderately carbonated. Slight alcohol heat.
Overall, a very solid English style barleywine.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Medium: Capped, snifter glass.
Opacity: Veiled and deep hazy, good activity.
Color: Dark brown with an orange hue.
Head: Soft creamy brown 1 finger.
Legs: Average but strong swirl reaction.
Smell: Prunes/Brown sugar/Vanilla.
Taste: Dates/Toffee/Molasses.
Feel: Dark esters/Spicy/Leafy/Woody.
Body: Medium creamy and smooth, kinda fluffy too.
Carbonation: A bit crispy at first, gets moderate.
Overall: Alcohol is incredibly well hidden, heavily treacherous. Pleasant warming brew. Excellent quality craft, a bit syrupy but the bitterness balance it out.

Visual 7/10 - Flavors 8.5/10 - Sensations 8.5/10 - Balance 8/10 -
Freshness 5/10 - Intensity 7/10 - Complexity 8/10 - Appreciation 8.5/10

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Photo of Codewizard
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Look: Very clear, amber/brownish, fine but good head that lasts.

Smell: Slightly boozie reminds me a lot of wine, without the sweet or sour smell.

Taste: bready, slightly salty. A strong finish, with the carbonation lasting a while in your mouth.

Mouthfeel:A lot lighter bodied than I expected compared to the color, slight carbonation.

Overall: Not my thing, really reminds me of a light version of Dragons milk.

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Photo of chitoryu12
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Bubbly crystal amber with a thick tan head.

Smell: Faint bready malt.

Taste: The same malt flavor, with a huge alcohol punch.

Mouthfeel: Thick and slightly carbonated.

Overall: While great for getting drunk, the flavors lack the strength to get past the alcohol content.

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Photo of BB1313
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on 8/31/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a glowing amber with ruby red hues; bubbles racing upwards; nice creamy light khaki head that sticks around leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are pretty mild and faint. Malts are there with some floral notes. The flavors are bitter. Finishes pretty dry. Black cherries are there along with some other dark fruits. Some caramel and toffee in the mix. Malts do their thing. Mild alcohol notes, but the alcohol is ultimately well hidden. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's very fluffy and slightly creamy.

This is an interesting barleywine. It's definitely unique. I'm personally not feeling it, but it's still a pretty clean brew. It's not a bad beer, it's just not something I really enjoyed. I understand why this is something that alot of people would enjoy. It just comes down to preference.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent deep hue of ruby-red, almost like a hearty cranberry juice, except up top foams two fingers of butter-colored head. Aroma is teeming with sugary malt characteristics. Notes of fig, plum, caramel all project a sweet aroma over an earthy barley, and bready malt base. Lactose notes float around throughout the aroma. Flavor profile is very similar, with fig, plum, and caramel all along the initial blast of flavors. The sweet malt characteristics fade into earthy barley and malts with a lactose finish - almost like sipping the last drops of milk out of the bowl after eating a cereal from the health food store. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a slight graininess to the texture. Overall, this beer packs a wallop of malty presence, but is done in a dynamic that never feels forced. The sweet beginning with the earthy finish compliment each other well, never dragging any bitterness along the way.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a hazy brownish-amber, with a fine light tan head. Initial impression is very strong dark fruits, with caramel and molasses playing a much-diminished role. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Alcohol is front and center - might mellow out with age. Finish is cloyingly fruity and sweet. This is a little over the top for my tastes.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Full bodied to the point of excess at the seems of the beer. Very strong cereal taste with molasses, raisin, toffee, and oat. Smell is too strong on the cereal for me, it is pleasant but kills all nuance. Thick, grainy, and heavy

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Photo of Jeffo
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Parents picked this one up for me in the States this past spring. Thanks!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger, slightly looser and foamy off-white head with decent retention. Clear mahogany or ruby red in color with medium levels of carbonation for the style. Head fades to a full wisp cap. A ring remains until the end and leaves some falling dots down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of caramel malts, some toffee, hints of red fruits and berries with some spicy alcohol there as well.

TASTE: Caramel malts, spicy booze and some red fruits up front. Big finish with lots of spicy alcohol, toffee sweetness, red berries and some light, earthy bitterness lingering on the palate.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. A bit light on the palate, goes down fine with a slight burn and finishes mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff. A thicker feel would be nice but some barleywines come across as a little light on the palate. It might be a touch heavy on the caramel malts as well. Otherwise, it’s a solid beer that is worth checking out if you’re a fan of the style. Thanks again guys!

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber tan toffee-colored, cloudy and nice head that dissipates quickly, leaving a thin layer on the top. Nose is tart cherries and sugar, with a hoppy grass and booze in there. Figs? It's promising. A bit of sediment.

The taste is tart, almost sour of dark fruit (cherries, plums) that blends with a bitter citrus more familiar as hoppy in the middle. The booze (10%) is there and very warming, keeping the sweet wine aspect from taking over. Fruit and raisins fade into a full bodied grass and slightly resiny finish. My god, it never goes south or makes a false move. Booze not very well hidden. But who's complaining? Go slow.

This is subtle and complex, with lots more nuance than I would expect. Sipping this slowly rewards the drinker. It feels heavy and sticky at the end, yet not over-carbonated. As it warms it starts to take on the feel of brandy, which is very very pleasant . Arcadia is doing some good work and I'm keeping a hard eye out for more of their offerings after this and Hop Rocket, which I also enjoy.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed for the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice little barelywine pours murky mahogany tinged brown with a moderate head of light tan foam that settles to a thin ring, thin layer, and subtle lacing. Nose of brown sugars, tart cherries, and strong booze. Flavors exceed the nose with brown sugar glazed bing cherries touched in the middle of the taste with a strong shot of booze that last to the finish with a touch of toffee and bittering hops. Nice mouth feel, slick, coating, and lightly carbonated with a moderately dry finish. Nice.


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Photo of pagriley
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz into a snifter ~2 years old

Pours murky and very dark for a barleywine - deep mahogany, and cloudy
caramel with a hint of bitter hops
more caramel and toffee with firm bitterness and a slightly burnt toffee finish. English Barleywine my arse - very heavily hopped.
medium full for the style

Harsh aggressively hopped, and time hasn't helped this one either. Okay, but nothing I would ever buy again

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Arcadia Brewing Company - Cereal Killer Barleywine Ale. 10% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Look: Pours an brownish amber color, and settles a rustic crimson. A half finger white head appears from an aggressive pour, but quickly subsides into nothing.

Smell: Alcohol, black cherries, figs, raisins, toffee, caramel, and cinnamon.

Feel: Full, heavy bodied, and chewy, with a good amount of carbonation; not very smooth.

Taste: Strong dark fruit presence; black cherries, figs, raisins, plum, red grapes, along with some sweet toffee, caramel, and some spices like cinnamon and ginger. Great blend and balance after warming up, but leaves a burn from alcohol and spice.

Overall: Still getting into the Barleywine style, and this seems like a great example of what to expect. Very nice balance, with a strong dark fruit, candy, and spice blend. Best to let this warm up, and sip on it slowly.

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Photo of do_ob
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a Madtree snifter. Pours a deep, reddish-brown; looks like liquid toffee. Opaque, and mahogany in color in the glass. Despite the small glass, I was able to get about 1 finger of head, cream-colored, which bubbled down very quickly. Lots of carbonation bubbles hanging into the glass walls. Strong aroma, whoof. This beer is currently sitting about 2 feet away and I can smell it as if it was under my nose. Figs, raisins, dark fruit, and English toffee are the main flavors I'm picking up. Upon further investigation, I'm detcting notes of toasty malt, caramel, molasses, and vanilla. Pretty complex aroma here. Upon tasting, I'm met initially with a steady set of 'typical' barleywine ingredients. As it warms on the palate, though, this beer unfolds a little. Caramel, toasted malt, toffee, ground ginger & cinammon, dark fruit, figs, raisins, and vanilla all have a role to play. Actually quite tasty. There's enough complexity here to make this one a definite sipper. A little booze on the finish, and a little dryness on the aftertaste. The only downfall, in my opinion, is the rather thin mouthfeel. In terms of feel, this ain't no Bigfoot or BCBBW. What it is, however, is true to tradition. This is an English barleywine. And while it may not be as heavy-a-hitter as the aforementioned, it is very good for what it is. I feel this one's underrated, given the style.

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Photo of Suds
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a classic English barleywine, slightly dry, very malty, and with enough hops for firmness. It pours with a tall and light tan head and an body of deep chestnut. The smell is intense toasted malt. The taste is boozy, rich, and flavorful. Vigorous bitterness. Full in body and exceptional.

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Photo of barczar
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Plum, fig, raisin, sherry, and cardboard dominate the aroma, with moderate caramel sweetness.

Flavor is fairly sweet and caramelly, with raisin, prune, and rum soaked cherry notes, finishing lightly bitter and a touch oxidized. Not too fond of the finish. Almost metallic.

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Photo of glass_house
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This was definitely one of the more wine-like beers I've had. No detectble hop presence to speak of, but also not overly sweet. Nice balance of alcohol heat and dark fruits--plum, grape, and figs. Slick, smooth feel and remarkably easy to drink, considering the abv. Pretty straightforward barleywine. Nothing exceptional, but I did find it rather enjoyable to sip on. Will buy again.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into a snifter
$ 3.79/12 oz bottle at the Lager Mill
Aroma of malt, lasts
Head small (<two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, rapidly diminishing to two mm ring and some floating bubbles
Lacing – fair – narrow rings of tiny bubbles
Body deep brown, cloudy
Flavor malt and alcohol; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.5

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark purplish black, shot through with garnet. Smell is sweet caramel and dark fruits, juicy and dried: plums and prunes, figs, and dates. Taste follows trough on the promise of the nose, but not too sweet. Very well balanced with a slight warmth from the booze. Mouthfeel is smooth and oily, somewhat thick, and pleasant. Great for sipping over an evening.

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Photo of ejeffer11
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this beer is old - 2006 vintage. Did not realize this was in the cellar, but stumbled upon it and cracked it open without going in the fridge. Very surprised - almost no oxidation and in really good shape. a lot of beers i have had approaching 10 years have at least a little oxidation, but nothing here.

not overly sweet, malty, and live carbonation. Not as thick as many of today's barley wines, but very smooth and enjoyable (It's amazing how 9% barelywines feel thin now a days)

Really impressed with how this held up, if you have this in the cellar, pull it out.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky plum color with bronze highlights and minimal cap of sudsy, off-white froth. Sweet aroma smells of caramel, cereal, multi-grain bread, and a hint of cherry cough syrup.

The taste features big, malty sweetness up front consisting of caramel, brown sugar, dates, and dark fruit. There’s also a taught, alcoholic underpinning that lends some vim and vigor to the flavor profile. Herbal hops do their best to balance before also succumbing to the sweetness. Warming reveals some tart cherry notes as well. I like the aggression on the front end, but the rug gets pulled out toward the middle, revealing a kind of brief flavor purgatory before the sweet, warming crescendo of the finish restores order. The body is on the high end of medium and the carbonation is tingly and present without becoming a distraction. Thus, the mouthfeel is just about spot-on for the style.

I prefer my barleywines on the maltier side, and this certainly did not disappoint in that regard. There is oodles of complex sweetness to enjoy, and the appearance and mouthfeel complement it admirably. The instability of the taste toward the middle is an unusual detractor, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the bigger picture.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle had a year on it when opened - pours a golden, toffee color. The aroma is slightly oaky, with a sherry like nose. Easy sipper - the complexities open up as this warms. I feel that with a further year on this it would be even better. Lots of sugar and dried fruit/candied fruit elements here that I would be interested to stack up in a year or so.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: A deep, clear Amber with highlights the color of ruby grapefruit. The tan head is flat and quick to melt. With an 8% ABV on this Barleywine, I expected a bit more staying power.

Smell: The bouquet is light for the style, and smells mainly of stone fruit (plums and figs), with a backdrop of gently toasted malt.

Taste: Exceedingly sweet at first, and then the bitterness takes over. Dark fruit melds nicely with light brown sugar and a splash of espresso. There is, however, a bit of a harsh cherry flavor that is sadly similar to cough medicine.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy in the mouth, this beer lacks the dryness one would expect from a Barleywibe. The alcohol warming is immediately apparent, while the moderate carbonation fizzles out in the soft finish.

Overall: Pleasant enough at first, but lacking enough strength to make a lasting impression. The astringent cherry character becomes more and more cloying, and the beer would be hard to finish if it weren't for the light, yet detectable balance brought on by earthy hops and buttery melanoidins.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a nice foamy head. Aroma of caramelized cereal notes with some toffee. Taste is also dominated by some caramelized sugar notes with some toffee and light butter notes. Finish is dryer then I would have expected. Body is full enough for style with good amount of carbonation. Nice beer but I thought it fell a bit short on the drinkability and smoothness.

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Photo of michiganmatt
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
A dark red-brown, fairly hazy. Minimal amount of head. An average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 4.5/5
Dark roasty malts, caramel, molasses, vanilla. Some fruitiness. Overall a great smell, I am very happy with it.

Taste - 3.75/5
Sweet malts. Fruit, alcohol, spiciness. Slight metallic taste.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium-full in body, fairly crisp, smooth. Light amount of medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3.75/5
This is a fairly well put together beer. The smell is nice, although the taste is a little less complex than the smell. Also, there is a metallic aspect to the taste which I feel detracts from the overall flavor. Still a decent beer, one I would consider getting again.

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Cereal Killer from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 613 ratings