Cereal Killer - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Arcadia Brewing Company

Cereal Killer - Bourbon Barrel-AgedCereal Killer - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
English Barleywine
4.06 | pDev: 9.11%
Jul 31, 2022
Jan 14, 2013
Cereal Killer - Bourbon Barrel-AgedCereal Killer - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: None
View: More Beers
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of 2beerdogs
Reviewed by 2beerdogs from California

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thanks to superspak for this gem.
Pour brings a roil to this dark gem. Slight khaki head forms and quickly dissipates. No lacing.
Nose is a sweet, mildly boozy temptation. Quite the melange of caramel, toffee, dates, bourbon, cinnamon, baked apples, and a pop of sweet lon-soaking grains.
Flavor carries on with toffee, dates, bourbon, and dark fruit notes. Finish tingles with a bit of bourbon, a hint of char, and some deep wood.
Mouthfeel is a tad chewy, warm, and between slick and slightly oily.
Overall, so glad to finally get one of these killers.
Jul 31, 2022
Photo of Harrison8
Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a turbid-murky muddy brown with a half finger of khaki foam that fizzles away quickly. Aroma is cinnamon, toffee, molasses, spices and bourbon with toasty, nutty and caramely malts beyond. Barrel character is pretty substantial, adding a twang of char and a stab of oak. Flavor profile is toffee, molasses, caramel, coffee and chocolate with a smoldering heat just beyond. Heat is courtesy of rich bourbon with a little char oak. Toasty, nutty and caramely malts add the base. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a squishy, silty texture. Overall, rich and full with hearty bourbon behind. Sweetness is mild.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.
May 25, 2020
Photo of MaximalC
Reviewed by MaximalC from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a murky, muddy brown color with a finger's worth of coarse, tan froth. Gorgeous aroma smells of raisins, prunes, dates, bourbon, cherries, and toffee with hints of brown sugar, tobacco, and vanilla. This is what a barleywine is supposed to smell like.

The taste features a sturdy backbone of boozey bourbon heat dressed with prunes, toffee, butterscotch, raisins, and herbal hops. Even the 70 IBU is not enough to keep this from coming off as a malt bomb. Warming reveals notes of molasses, currants, and soy sauce. Medium-heavy body and modest carbonation make for a mellow, slightly oily mouthfeel that mostly stays out of the way and lets the flavors do their thing.

Overall, this is a bold barleywine that pulls no punches. It's impressively complex with flavor that goes for miles, even if it is heavy-handed, bordering on unwieldy, and the bouquet is an experience in and of itself.
Dec 11, 2018
Photo of Prager62
Reviewed by Prager62 from Colorado

3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
A 12oz. undated bottle I'm guessing is 3-4 years old poured in a 13oz. snulip.

Look- Pours a flat ruby/brown leaving a minuscule ring of light tan foam.

Smell- Bourbon, molasses, brown sugar and cherry.

Taste- Bourbon, slightly sweet caramel/toffee, oak, char and a hint of tart cherry in the finish.

Feel- Relatively flat and oily with considerable alcohol heat.

Overall- A robust barrel aged European barleywine that seems to be a bit past prime given the slight tart cherry taste. While still very enjoyable I'm left wondering what it was like fresh?
Oct 11, 2018
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
I paid $8 for this ad it drinks better than 75% of the barrel aged barley wines I've traded for. My only complaint is that it's a little thin on the mouthful but my mind is blown that this isn't higher rated. Fair enough. I guess I'm going back to stock up.
Aug 08, 2018
Rated: 4.21 by BeerBeast from Florida

Jul 11, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by Sauced4life from Michigan

May 06, 2018
Rated: 3.93 by RobinLee from Wisconsin

Mar 30, 2018
Rated: 2.25 by BeerbecueSauce from Michigan

Mar 17, 2018
Rated: 4.8 by RobertColianni from Pennsylvania

Mar 16, 2018
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Like the original it is heavy on the grains that taste like cereal. Bourbon is hot, but brings a little brown sugar flavoring to the base beer, so that is appreciated. Smell is cereal but instead of putting it in milk it is in bourbon, potent. Still a little excessive for me in the body as well with the grains
Feb 15, 2018
Rated: 4.65 by DisgruntledGinger from Michigan

Feb 04, 2018
Rated: 4 by Kevinpitts from Illinois

Feb 01, 2018
Rated: 4.36 by Explosion72 from Michigan

Jan 14, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by Timc32 from Michigan

Jan 11, 2018
Photo of Mongrel
Reviewed by Mongrel from Maryland

3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Toffee, berries, vanilla and light brown sugar on the nose. Not incredibly deep or intense.

Tastes much brighter than I expected, almost tangy. Lots of sweet, jammy macerated fruit. Some oaky dryness on the finish, but not much bourbon character at all. Vanilla and berries linger for a lasting impression of creme brûlée.

Pours a little thin but the sweetness fills out the feel on the palate. Still not quite cloying, thankfully.

Overall, a tasty offering but not quite on par with competitors like BCBW. Definitely worth a try.
Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 4.06 by blissfulNemo from Michigan

Jan 01, 2018
Photo of BB1313
Reviewed by BB1313 from Ohio

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Gold wax. Bottled on 7/6/17. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a murky dark auburn; nice small light khaki head that falls leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas have lots of sweet bourbon along with lots of caramel. Dark fruits are there, especially raisins. Some cherries lots of malts. Vanilla and oak is there. The flavors follow the nose. The flavors are on the sweeter side, but it's not cloying. Bourbon leads the way along with caramel. Some toffee in the mix. More cherries and raisins. Vanilla is there along with some oak and rye in the finish. Mild warmth in the finish, but the alcohol is ultimately well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's pretty smooth. This one is dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice barrel-aged barleywine. The barrel characteristics really come through. The craftsmanship is on point. Well done.
Dec 29, 2017
Photo of BenHoppy
Rated by BenHoppy from Michigan

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Port wine appearance with flavors of cherry, whisky, toffee, and maple with sour finish that is on thin side. But @ 12% it gets the job Done
Dec 22, 2017
Rated: 4.41 by MeLoynes from Missouri

Dec 10, 2017
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Arrives tea brown with garnet highlights, the head just a film though it leaves a few spots behind

Smell: Toffee and molasses, with dark fruit tones of date and raisin

Taste: Molasses-tinged toffee forward, with dark fruit tones building, bringing date, fig and raisin; additional fruit tones of grape and cherry arrive, through the middle, with the Bourbon, oak and tobacco tones bringing up the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Nice to see this beer make an encore appearance this year during my recent trip to Michigan
Nov 18, 2017
Rated: 4.21 by Lucular from Maryland

Nov 13, 2017
Photo of mschrei
Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Cola colors, dark with brown tints, minimal carb and lacing. Strong barrel and barleywine scents, lot of vanilla and oak. Really shines in terms of taste-malty, hoppy, tangy, woody, and sweet. Well balanced, very clean, crisp, smooth, not much of a burn for a high abv barrel aged beer. I suppose my only complaint is that it doesn't feel that heavy for a barrel aged barleywine. Fantastic beer.
Nov 13, 2017
Photo of superspak
Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2017 vintage bottling. Pours hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the lace cap. Aromas of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, date, red apple, and red grape; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, molasses, rum, leather, tobacco, sherry, red wine, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with big strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, cherry, date, red apple, and red grape; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, molasses, rum, leather, tobacco, sherry, red wine, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal hop bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, dark fruit, cherry, apple, light chocolate/cocoa, rum, leather, tobacco, sherry, red wine, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a nice malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and slightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden; zero warming alcohol or barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged English barleywine! All around excellent complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Definitely an improvement over the base beer, but not by a huge margin. Pretty much perfectly balanced fruity yeast and malt complexity. Awesome bourbon barrel integration; never boozy, tannic, or overly drying. A really enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.
Nov 04, 2017
Rated: 4.26 by reitzbrewing from Pennsylvania

Nov 03, 2017
Rated: 3.76 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Oct 31, 2017
Rated: 4.24 by Dactrius from Netherlands Antilles

Oct 23, 2017
Rated: 4.03 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Oct 22, 2017
Rated: 4.35 by Muss42 from Michigan

Feb 18, 2017
Rated: 4.04 by 3-Ball from Georgia

Apr 04, 2016
Rated: 4.08 by BLZR from Michigan

Feb 09, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by Leag0002 from Illinois

Jan 31, 2016
Rated: 4 by ffshore545 from Illinois

Jan 27, 2016
Photo of BEERchitect
Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Barleywines, especially in the U.S., get a bad wrap for becoming a syrupy, boozy mess of a beer with seeming the kitchen sink thrown at it, and then finishing with an aggressively bitter bite. But with Aradia brewers at the helm, there's no such threat with Cereal Killer. And with the patience to let the barleywine slumber in bourbon barrels, magic begins to happen.

The powerful ale pours with a deep crimson, showing strikingly brilliant clarity through its garnet darkness. While a dainty creme-laced froth swirls on top, the ale soon favors the appearance of cognac and port. Those fortified wine note carry over to the scent with the dense maltiness of maple, toffee and molasses wrapped around dark, dried, pitted stone fruit and a boozy tingle to the nose. Its taste is a direct reflection of the beer's dedicated to barley as those succulent sweet flavors slather onto the tongue.

Early sweetness acts to prop up the condensed fruit flavors that deliver bold clues of date, fig, raisin, plum, prune, red grape, cherry and apple- all weaving into a spicy sweet bit to remind the palate of rum and fruitcake. Yet as the palate dries, the sweetness begins to give way to fine aged sherry wine and madeira before turning leathery, powdery and earthen of fresh-hung tobacco. And alas, its those caramels, vanillans, charred oak and coconut flavors of the barrel that leave final impressions.

Although the ale is full, robust and carries a larger-than-life attitude, it is remarkably dry and spicy to finish. Its light and chalky closure highlights the barrel and its spicy tannins, simmering alcohol heat and supple acidity for a great sense of palatability despite such a complex malt arrangement. Lingering tobacco and stone fruit puts the ale on par with any of those fortified wine digestives or cordials.
Nov 16, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by ohiobeer29 from Ohio

Oct 18, 2015
Rated: 4.5 by PassMeAZima from Kentucky

Oct 17, 2015
Rated: 3.36 by Whiskeydeez from Kansas

Aug 10, 2015
Rated: 4.28 by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

Aug 08, 2015
Photo of matt_duthie
Reviewed by matt_duthie from Michigan

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Stumbled across this on tap tonight at the Beer Grotto in Ann Arbor, and I was pretty excited, despite reasonably "meh" experiences with Arcadia's barrel-aged scotch ale and porter....But it did not disappoint. Darker than expected, perhaps 30% moreso than standard Cereal Killer. One finger of tan head, served in a snifter. Went straight to tasting, and it was smooth, complex, and delightful. Bourbon was there but not overly intense, and the transitions between caramel, vanilla, bourbon, marshmallow/chocolate/toffee dessert, and finally some remnants of the hops, were seamless and utterly enjoyable. 8oz was enough, but I'd be happy to have more.
Jul 23, 2015
Rated: 4.16 by dubinsky from California

Jul 22, 2015
Cereal Killer - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 184 ratings