Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011) | Mill Street Brew Pub

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Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011)Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011)
Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011)Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011)

Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub
Ontario, Canada

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 61
Photo of papat444
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

***2009 Vintage (Batch 09-669-673)***

Thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. swingtop ceramic bottle.

Appearance: Only 1 thick finger of foam above an apple cider colored body. A bit of swirling reveals some lacing.

Smell: Strong caramel, malt, peaches and/or nectarines, specifically the pits.

Taste: Overripe pitted fruit mixed with a sweet touch of caramel, some sugar and a good dose of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Sweet bite but lacks a lot of fullness in the middle through the end.

Overall: Expected a richer texture for the style and ABV. The taste is good but overall i don't think i'll revisit.

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Photo of jbonapar
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased the 2011 edition 1 year ago.

Poured a copper, clear with a thin head.

Nose is very fruity with a subtle mineral-like aroma. Citrus, pineapple.

Taste...weird. Starts off with a huge belgian yeast flavor, spicey, cloves and then quickly turns into an all out attack of orange and pineapple..too much. Then quickly, a strong hop bitterness takes over and lingers far too long into the next sit. Not as much malt as I was expecting. Very medicinal, i sense a tough of good ol green cough syrup.

I dont like this at all, the tastes just dont work. ITs very odd for the style, The citrus is just far too overpowering and the hops just dont work.

Wow, i'm surprised how bad this is. I'll stick to the American, Belgian and Quebec breweries....

Not a fan,

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Photo of bryehn
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition purchased in November, served at 45-50 in a wine glass. Listed at 11.5%.

Deep caramel-amber color, almost no head aside from a thin white collar.

Extremely pungent aroma. Sweet caramel, overripe fruits (plum, raisin), alcohol.

So much caramel/toffee taste it’s like sucking on a hard candy, yet I don’t find it too sweet. Very nice, bright berry flavour serves as an accent, along with a light biscuit-like one. The finish is sweet and syrupy at first, then surprisingly bitter with a hint of citrus.

Thick, heavy and full-bodied with very little carbonation. Oily and syrupy on the tongue. Aftertaste is buttery and fruity, with a lingering oiliness.

Not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. It was smooth, surprisingly drinkable and full of flavour. Have one aging now and will be sure to pick it up again when/if they brew it.

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Photo of Foddz
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage poured into a pint glass

A: Clear, bright caramel with two fingers of creamy head on the pour. Head dies down reasonably fast, leaving some lacing around the rim as it does. The colour reminds me of apple cider.

S: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, with some candied and dried fruit notes. The scent is potent and heady. Hops provide some subtle spiciness - cinnamon and faint floral notes.

T: More caramel, bread, and some earthy tones. Fruit is still present but more subdued than in the nose, prunes and raisins factor more prominently. Hops seem less well balanced on the palate, lacking much of the spicy/floral character from the nose and manifesting as a fairly bland, lingering bitterness. Some lingering alcohol mars the aftertaste as well

M: Nice and smooth at first, before the alcohol and carbonation begin to bite. There's some good substance to the feel. Pleasantly dry, enough to keep the sweet notes from becoming cloying.

O: An interesting brew, and my first experience with barleywine. There's some interesting scents and flavours here, but it presents just a little too unbalanced and harsh on the palate for my preferences. A smoother transition from the warm, sweet malts to the sharp bitterness of the hops would do a world of good for my opinion.

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

2010 Vintage (Batch 10-16-20).

Beer is very dark amber, with two-finger widths of off-white head. Retention is very good.

Smell is very big, jumping out at you during the pour. Full of brown sugar, prune, raisin, caramel malt and alcohol.

Taste is very sweet, and the alcohol is strongly present. The fruits from the nose are there, but with the sweetness and the booze the whole thing tastes remarkably like cough syrup. Alcohol is especially present at the finish, along with a bitter flavour that I cannot quite place that is not particularly pleasant.

Light bodied for the style, moderate carbonation.

The nose had me hoping that this would be quite enjoyable, but the taste is pretty underwhelming. No way I will be able to make it through the whole 500ml bottle. Even a standard bottle would be too much of this one for me.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 edition from the lovely earthenware swing-top bottle. Poured into an over-sized wine glass, and shared with my wife (the giver of this particular Christmas present!)

Pours a clear, caramel colour, looking every inch like a glass of very dark honey. Leaves a decent head for a barleywine - a bit of lacing, and a thin ring survive the pour.

Nose is caramel, booze, a bit of toffee, strawberry, sugar and mild leafy hops.

This was my first barleywine a few years ago (2008 I think) and I couldn't stand it then, but after a few years of palate-strengthening, barleywines have become one of my favorite styles. With this in mind, I have to say I have a much greater respect for what the Mill Street folks have done here. This is an enjoyable barleywine, slightly above average for the style, and worth trying - though at 12 bucks, one should be sufficient. Nice caramel sweetness at the front, a bit of fruit and earth, followed by a leafy hop finish that is dry on the palate. Decent carbonation keeps the dangerous cloying effect at bay. Not as remarkable as some of the other great barleywines I've had recently, but still quite nice. Booze could be checked a little better - were the price a little lower I'd have a bottle to age for next Christmas.

My suggestion to Mill Street - bring down the price a little! If it means offering this in bottled form outside of the earthenware jug, so be it. Or better yet, offer both the stylish jug (for gifts and keepsakes, etc.) and a regular glass bomber for those of us who are looking for some in the cellar without killing our wallets!

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Photo of korguy123
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500ml ceramic swing top slightly chilled (out of fridge for 20 minutes)
2011 Vintage into snifter. Alcohol on bottle is 11.5% abv.

The first time I tried this I didn't like it at all. I chose not to review it. Almost two years have passed and I'm willing to give it another try with a better understanding of my palate and the styles.

A- Chill hazed rich amber/caramel pour. Finger width of soapy off white head that quickly disappears leaving a thin ring with thin wisps all across the top. Lacing is spotty, alcohol sticks around for quite a while.

S- Cinnamon, strawberries, light floral and citrus hops. There is a sweet malt and brown sugar note in the back end. Alcohol is slight and medicinal but nowhere would you guess 11.5%

T- Cinnamon and a slight pepper spice. Brown sugar with a floral hop. Sweetness translates but comes after the alcohol warmth. This could warm up more. Possibly almost room temp.

M- Surprisingly thin but it works. Alcohol is warming, carbonation is spot on. Aftertaste is surprisingly quick.

O- Much better experience than I remembered. Palate has definitely changed. Could benefit from a couple years to mellow out the alcohol IMO. Just wish the price was more appealing (almost $12 a bottle)

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage, fresh.

A: Pours a hazy, coppery russet with a scanty head of fizzy, off-white foam that dissipates to little patches of froth without leaving any lacing.

S: Mild and slightly bready caramel malts with a huge dark fruit character, plenty of plums, black cherries, raisins, and candied figs, and a hint of brown spice combine as a sweet Christmas pudding aroma. Clover honey and buttery toffee aromas throughout.

T: Sweet caramel malts with a molasses character segue into fruity tastes of plums, raisins, and faint black cherries. Bread, mild booziness, and toasted grain notes come through towards the finish along with floral and increasingly resiny, citric hops with an orange zest note.

M: Full-bodied with mild carbonation providing initial crispness, and a smooth, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. The hoppy finish balances the sweet palate well, but the resiny, citric note ends up dominating the finish and linger into a long-lasting aftertaste that clashes with the palate. More fortunately, the alcohol is well-concealed and comes through as pleasantly warm.

D: It's tasty enough once it warms up, but it isn't very complex and faces two problems. Firstly, I found that the Nugget hops' resiny, citric aftertaste was unfitting and clashed with the flavour profile instead of complementing it; this may change with their 2012 vintage. What doesn't seem likely to change is the consistently brutal pricetag: it's somewhat justified by the neat stoneware bottle, but as other reviewers have pointed out, you can experience better barleywines for much cheaper. Still, it's a quality brew and worth checking out if your wallet survived Christmas.

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Photo of peensteen
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle, 11.5% ABV.

Copper colour, soapy white head, specks of lace. Smell is full of caramel, cherry shows up throughout, toffee, some hop bitterness but its fairly mild, nutty qualities picked up as well. Taste is lightly sweet, caramel and toffee come back, cherry and plum notes, fairly fruity with a light bitterness throughout. Lightly carbonated, full body, syrupy at points, good weight. Overall its a fairly average but still quite serviceable, ABV nowhere to be found, not great but I wouldn't turn it down if offered.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml swing pop top ceramic bottle poured into tulip 7/7/11

A hazy brownish orange with only a thin film after a angry pour that leaves no lace

S dried plum with some brown sugar, raisin and booze

T not far from the smell but with a boozy brandy caramel flavor and I pick up on earthy hops but I'm not sure why, just a little citrus rind on the finish

M a little syrupy and sticky on the lips, fairly full bodied but the heat's hard to miss

O I expected more form a well aged barley wine but I'd stop well before saying it's bad.

I'd say some aging would mellow it out a bit but its already been 3 years, waaayyy over priced at 14$ a bottle here in Alberta I don't see myself aging another, I'd take a bottle of Alley Kat's Olde Duet and 10$ buck change any day over this one

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Photo of dragonofblood
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am sampling a bottle from 2009, marked "Batch No. 09-669-673". It has been aged in my cellar since that time.

Appearance: Pours out a burnt orange colour. A head takes a while to form, eventually forming a soapy, craggy, slightly off white foam that quickly dissipates. Very little lacing.

Smell: Interesting. Molasses, dark fruit (plums I believe), bready malts, a lot of sweet caramel, clove. Very little alcohol, no detectable hops.

Taste: A small honey-like sweetness, a nice spiciness on the finish. Big flavour of molasses, underscored by the aforementioned dark fruits, very little bitterness. The 11% alcohol has either mellowed out to near nonexistence due to aging or was very well hidden by the brewer.

Mouthfeel: Unexpectedly thin. I prefer barley wines to be thicker with a warming stickiness.

Overall: A very nice barley wine from Ontario, but it is a second class citizen compared to the heavyweights of the style.

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Photo of evlu1441
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Batch. I dig the bottle!

pours a hazy dark amber colour. Not much head.

Smell is intense! Alcohol is strong off the bat. It gives way to some dried fruit and nutty notes.

Tastes very nice! Alcohol is very present here, but it goes away quickly. It's quite sweet to start, and followed by some nutty/toffee flavours and some slight bitterness. The aftertaste is sweet and pleasant.

The mouthfeel is heavy with fine carbonation tickling the tongue.

Overall, this is only the second barleywine I've had. I didn't really enjoy the first one, so was a bit hesitant with this one. I'm pleasantly surprised! It's a nice beer.

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Photo of fostachild
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 batch. nice medium amber colour, not much head at all but a little bubbly lacing which eventually faded completely.

smell was fruity, grapes, wine, little alcohol.

taste was very sweet/fruity but still really nice. also had a slight syrup feel to it. hardly any carbonation but decent drinkability.

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Photo of kwjd
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Volo on a 12 bars of Christmas pub crawl. Convinced my rugby team to come to Volo since we were walking by to save me from the endless stream of Canadian/Keith's/Bud.

Pours an amber-brown colour with thin white head. Some lacing around the glass, nice head retention. Smells quite sweet of brown sugar, vanilla hops and lots of caramel malt. Alcohol is fairly noticeable in the flavour. Smooth mouthfeel. Nice barleywine.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.

A - Half finger of off white/beige head on a hazy dark orange body. Medium carbonation.

S - Sugar, lot's of dark fruit, booze, boozy fruitcake, and breadiness.

T - Very, very sweet to start. Same boozy fruitcake element, booze, caramel. Lot's of sugar and dark fruits. Sweetness doesn't offend in the finish which is a plus.

M - Minimal carbonation, full bodied, some stickiness from the sweetness.

D - A little too sweet but otherwise a quality barleywine. Good to share but a whole bottle would have been a chore. Nice one but the price is a bit of a downer as well as the packaging size.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep ruby colour with decent transparency. Head is quite minimal while being poured and dissipates quickly into a ring. Quite a bit of carbonation.

S - Sweet. The main flavours to show through are apple and other fruits with caramel coming through afterward. Slight hint of booziness without much of anything in the way of bitterness.

T - Mirrors the smell. The initial flavour is of apples and other fruits, then the caramel malts and a very faint trace of alcohol and bitterness from the hops finishes it.

In my opinion this drink gets a lot better at room temperature. The flavours get thicker and the bitterness and booziness comes through a lot more pronounced at this temperature, the sweetness dies down a bit. Still though, this is a sweet drink with a fairly solid malt backbone and the bitterness and alcohol are very contained.

M/D - Heavy mouthfeel that leaves a sweet coating for a long time after. Going down the smoothness becomes a little harsh from the alcohol and hops which is a welcome change from the otherwise uniformity of the mouthfeel.

All around it's a pretty good barleywine. The taste could have been more complex and it's a little sweet for my taste, but it's still a good drink.

That being said, it's too much money for what you get. The packaging is nice but unnecessary, and the flavour doesn't justify an $11 price tag.

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Photo of mrnobody
2.71/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2010 vintage. 500ml ceramic swingtop bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear dark ruby with a small white head.

S: Smells of alcohol, figs and cherries.

T: Tastes of alcohol and candied fruit. There is some bitterness in the finish. Overall, this has a cough syrup aftertaste.

M: I'm not well versed in the style of this beer but the mouthfeel is what I'd expect: a little syrupy with fairly low carbonation.

D: This is pretty hot and the aftertaste lowers the drinkability further.

The bottle is pretty unique but sadly what's inside does not measure up. Also much too expensive: $12 for this when Fuller's Vintage Ale is $7? No way.

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Photo of strangemusic
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber colour with little or no head to speak of. Characteristic of the style and high ABV, but not terribly impressive.

Smell is orange, apple, alcohol, spice, apple cider and lots of caramelized malt.

Taste is remarkably boozy, with cloves, apples, caramel, honey, orange peel and a bit of hops. Kind of one-sided in terms of its alcohol punch though.

MF is full and has the zing of high alcohol, with some syrupy character.

Drinkability not bad, but very sweet and thus not the most inviting of sips.

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Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

Rich, rounded malt aroma with notes of grain, honey, alcohol and fruit.

Moderately hazy amber colour with a very small off-white head. No head retention.

Very sweet malt, almost sickly, plenty of honey. Nice, big bitterness to balance but it is still very sweet and a little cloying.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

A decent English Barleywine though the execution leaves a little to be desired. The cloyingness is not great.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2009 vintage poured from a 500mL ceramic bottle sealed with a flip top. Labeled 11% ABV on the bottle instead of the 10% listed here.

Appearance: Brownish orage in color without an haze. Pours a one finger white to beige head that receded quickly into a nice thin lacing.

Aroma: Tart green apple and sweet apple cider notes hit first. The malt shows with biscuit and bread notes. A little hop bitterness is present around the end. Strong aromas and some nice complexity here.

Taste: Tart apple and apple cider sweetness offer a nice sweet hit upfront. Warming booze and nice biscuity sweetness from the malt come in strong next. Hop bitterness hits near the end. The hops are a lot stronger here than in the aroma. Finish is bitter pine notes fron the hops, with a little malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and syrupy. znot much carbonation. Very smooth. Goes down easy for such a strong barleywine.

Drinkability: The ABV doesn't feel as strong as it is. The flavors also aren't overpowering and are well balanced. Very drinkble overall.

Overall, a great English barleywine. Very good balance and a light mouthfeel for the style make it enjoyable and drinkable. The tart apple flavor profile really ties this brew together.

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Photo of jhall00
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Edition

A- The beer pours a dark amber with a bright white generous head.

S- Fruit and sweet malty with under lying alcohol

T- Tastes of caramelized fruits overpowering the caramel maltiness with a large alcohol finish. This beer definitely needs to bottle age.

M- A full bodies beer with continuing fruity sweetness

D- Not very complex...mostly sweet fruity alcohol.

I will be interested to see how this beer bottle ages.

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Photo of Shadman
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good bonus marks given for packaging...the pot stopper bottle, old style fake ceramic, etc.

Very bright copper in color, clear with decent head and lacing.

Yeasty, with dried fruit malt and floral hop. Bit of of booziness as well.

Sweet malt, very much like butterscotch cany or caramel with a good dose of yeasty breadinees for good measure. I found the 50 IBU hops to be noticeable and in decent balance and provided a nice, dryer finish to the obvious sweetness.

Over all, thick, sweet, and in my limited Barley Wine experieince...par for the course.

Expensive, but I will try and cellar a bottle to try in the winter of 2012.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 edition. 500ml cereamic jug like bottle pours a dark amber orange into a Duvel glass. Two fingers of foam lace the glass with lots of little bubbles rising to the top. Smells of sweet fruits like orange and lingers with english malts. Tastes of sweet fruits with a little hop bite and malt backbone finish. Its a sipper, but the 11% abv is well masked. Pretty decent beer overall.

2010 edition. Pours a very dark clear amber colour. Tastes of of dark fruits like pear or apple almost to a degree. This drinks down very smooth actually and the finish's well. Its probably the best beer I have had from this brewery, but thats not saying a whole lot. This bottle is a pain in the ass to open too lol

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Photo of cratez
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 edition. 500ml swing-top poured into a snifter.

Look: light copper-orange with a few spots of lace. Second pour produces a ring of bright white head. The standard dullness of a barley wine, but the colour is quite appealing.

Aroma: apple cider, pears, oak, vanilla, dark grapes, and alcohol.

Taste: sticky caramelized fruit, sweet candy-like pale malts, very faint honey. Good hop bitterness toward the end, floral with a bit of apple and grape skin. Boozy, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: full-bodied brew, fairly thick and syrupy, prickly bitterness in the aftertaste. Not much dryness.

Overall: compared to other barley wines, this lacks depth, boldness, and complexity, but it's still a great sipper. A straightforward yet damn tasty strong ale.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A - light orange, mostly clear, splotchy white bubbles on top

S - malty and boozy, marmalade (but not in a good way like St Ambroise Anniversary or Fullers Vintage, just kinda blah), spicy, cinnamon, hint of berry

T - big improvement over the aroma, smooth, carmel candy malt, much cleaner than the nose, not much depth or complexity, tastes pretty much the same from the tip of the tongue to the aftertaste, finishes reasonably dry despite the low hopping, must be the alcohol doing it

M - creamy, somewhat sticky/syrupy, but ok for style, noticable alcohol, but smooth and warming

D - very one dimensional, not awful, and I'll finish the bottle, but I'm not interested in ever having another.

I avoided buying this beer for a very long time due to the so-so reviews and ridiculous price due to packaging. Then in a moment of weakness (I was flush with cash), I plunked down the $10 and figured I'll make up my own mind about the taste of this beer. But then it sat in my cellar for almost another year, as I just didn't see the need to rush into this. Tonight, I peered into my "drink now" stash, and this guy finally got his turn to show me what he's got.

Not much.

It's actually brewed reasonably well. In my blunt opinion, the recipe sucks. They are clearly going for an english style, but the malt character is just limp. I knew I was in trouble as soon as I poured it and noticed how light in colour it is (their Tankhouse Ale is darker).

Drop the stupid ceramic bottle, and crank up the malt character.

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Mill Street Barley Wine (2007-2011) from Mill Street Brew Pub
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 61 ratings