Barrel Works Series: Sapsquatch
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Barrel Works Series: SapsquatchBarrel Works Series: Sapsquatch
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American Barleywine
Ranked #23
Ranked #2,167
4.29 | pDev: 6.53%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Barrel Works Series: SapsquatchBarrel Works Series: Sapsquatch
Notes: Brewed with local maple syrup, aged in bourbon barrels and on oak. A complicated beast aged on a trio of oak.
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 89 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Ego
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another pull from the ole cellar...

super brief hint of carbonation, fizzles into nothingness quicker than my attempts at speed dating, deep ruby tone, really fetching actually, some carbonation noted (I can count the bubbles if I so choose) rising up in the glass, no real legs or lacing, I was expecting bigger legs from a big foot (oh, sue me over my pun-tificating...), pretty standard stuff here

boozy maple syrup (big surprise eh?), wet oak, prune and dark fruit

taste etc...
subtle - prickly carbonation, really suits the beer well, a layered barleywine, you can taste a normal BW in there deep down but it is only one component, for sure the maple syrup is assertive, initial kick is the carbonation, followed by a bourbon vanilla glaze, then some bittering/warming, finished with strong sweetness from the maple, being maple keeps this just (and I mean just) on the right side of not being too sweet (which is a deal breaker for me), this certainly does not drink heavy (boozy), a sipper because of the big flavors but man it does go down pretty easy

a bomber for one might be a bit much after a while (as I am finding out), this would be nice with some dessert, like some legit vanilla bean ice cream, hell yeah, good beer.

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Photo of DIM
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

March 2019, 13.7% ABV

As much as I love huge bourbon barrel notes, I do appreciate a blended beer where the barrel component is more subdued on occasion. This is plenty sweet, charred toffee, maple syrup, and light bourbon flavors. This is kept far from the brink of diabetes however by a robust oaky tingle at the end. Well balanced overall, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of Jlabs
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass via bottle

Color is a rusty tan with beige foam

Smell is maple syrup, caramel and faint bourbon

Taste is sweet maple upfront mixed nicely with the bourbon barrel..getting some caramel and butterscotch notes as well

Carbonation is low, mouthfeel is thick but not over the top

A very nice barleywine

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Photo of zeff80
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of maple, booziness, toasted caramel and toffee. So much maple syrup taste with oak, roasted malt, toffee and caramel.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled March 2019

A- pours ruby-brown in color with a one-finger foamy white head that has short retention

S- big bourbon note on the nose, as well as maple leading the way. Undertones of caramel, toffee, tobacco, leather, brown sugar, pecan pie, vanilla

T- malty, sweet and boozy up front, with big barrel notes of oak, vanilla and barrel juice. Mid-palate brings out the maple sweetness, along with caramel, toffee and molasses. The finish gives notes of tobacco, cocoa, brown sugar and a bit of hops. Lingers of booze, caramel and bourbon

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a warming boozy finish

O- a beast of a beer that has a nice mix of barrel and caramel notes throughout

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Growler into pint glass. Pours a gorgeous clear deep dark amber red with a brief effervescent off-white head. Initial impression is a mix of maple syrup and bourbon - kinda like somebody poured a fifth of bourbon into a gallon of maple syrup. But after a bit you begin to notice dark fruits, blackstrap molassses, oak, and a touch of vanilla - it's way more complex than I thought. Mouthfeel is lighter than maple syrup but heavier than most barleywines within my experience. Alcohol is obvious - it might mellow a little with cellaring but a) it's a growler and b) I'm not that patient anyway, so I guess I'll never know. Trust me - it's pretty good fresh.
This is not going to be everybody's cuppa tea. It's sweet, it's boozy, and it demands respect. It's a lot like drinking that fifth of bourbon in maple syrup, but if you like that kind of thing (and can put up with the next-day carnage) it's worth a try.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this at the brewery. Deep dark brown clear mahogany at base. Smell is wood, bourbon and a hint of leather doesn't smell too sweet. Taste is big booze, bourbon, wood syrup sweet and midly tannic. Body is thick with the syrup tone it almost drank like syrup so pretty heavy.

Overall big and surprisingly smooth glad to try it!

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Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Summit Beer Station in WV.
Pours near black with a decent beige head.
The aroma has some wet leather and wood... Enough to limit it's appeal. Miraculously, the flavor is quite different and not the least bit challenging. Unlike many beers Brewed with maple syrup, the maple flavor really comes through in this ale. Sweet but not quite cloying, especially with.
Conservstive to moderate bourbon barrel effects.
Smooth medium body that seems a bit too light but that is well carbonated. High ABV is partially hidden.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml. bottle dated March 2019. Sampled on July 7, 2019. I could have waited a year.

The appearance is a beautiful 5 out of 5 reddish-dark amber color with a modest tan head.

Oh, that aroma. Let's talk about chocolate, dark malts, raisin, dark fruit, and of course wood from the barrel aging. Low to no hop profile.

The body is full and smooth. Awesome mouthfeel.

The taste is at first sweet and dark roasted but there is a warming sensation that coats the back of my throat. The booze can still be found at this stage but it merges wonderfully with the sweetness and chocolate characters of the malts. This is one that I wish I had picked up a second one to age for a year or more.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Deep dark brown mahogany color coming off with a off-white head rising just about half of fingers length off the body. Zero stickiness to the glass.

Smell: smells like whiskey and toffee strong but light.

Taste: complex Bourbon and maple syrup with hints of vanilla and toffee. Barley with a smooth malt finish becomes seriously addicting and you're halfway through the glass before you even start your beer review.

Mouth: sticky beer and slight dry which I can see some people disliking it because of that but overall overpowers anything you're eating or pairing it with.

Overall: what an awesome beer, I paid $18 for this bottle before tax and deposit but I believe it is well worth it. I do not think I would have this back-to-back obviously consider him the price because it is a touch overpowering it's like having two slices of cheesecake back to back if you know what I mean. Salud.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Paul.
Dark copper with a decent sized tan head that persists. Rich brown sugar and caramel along with bits of maple and woody earthy barrel. Nice sipper.

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Photo of Buck89
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a plastic cup. A slightly hazy medium brown color with a small tan head. Big aromas as expected with sweet maple, vanilla, caramel, and a restrained bourbon presence. The taste took the experience to another level. All of the above flavors were there in relatively equal amounts and bathed in a glorious English, floral, malty Barleywine. Not overly sweet, not too dry or boozy - just delicious. Fantastic.

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Photo of SABERG
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated March 2019 into the test glass
A - Deep copper color, translucent backdrop shows spheres struggling topside. A slow steady feed coalesces into a thin ring
S - Burnt brown sugar, vanilla, maple, molasses pie in a sweet crust
T - Well this could take a while, fig, maple spread on canned brown bread comes to mind, then there's strong barley wine base ever so gently coated with bourbon barrel notes of vanilla and toffee.
M- Big, slick, beautiful on the palate. linger is the best kind of maple candy drop
O - A beautiful offering, rich, luxurious, complete, all descriptors for this delight

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Photo of cavedave
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

3/19 edition

Big off white head kicks back to persistent ring. A bare cap is the eventual winner above this cordovan colored, thidk looking elixir.

Honey, brown bread, herbal cola notes, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, light oaky tannic notes all are here in an aroma that beckons like in cartoons when a cloud finger appears and beckons hypnotically to "come eat that pie." Once it warms maple becomes an equal player.

Oooohhh smooth as silk this is, with all the flavors of the aroma here, in spades, cleanly, balancedly presented, and just fucking delicious. The barrel notes are minor players, but the base beer is so tasty that this seems to be the best way it can be. Just the right amount of booze, barrel, brown bread, honey, caramel, and slightly herbal bitter at sip's end. Maple appears strongly as it warms, in taste and aroma.

Pervfectly viscous, perfectly carbonated, perfect body, perfect drinkability, and a clean killer finish that is more EBW than ABW.

Holy shit, ST hits a home run here. Not like the sugar bombs and high ABV fusel monsters they have made, this is a work of art. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 4/17 1 pint 6 ounce bottle into a DFH tulip. Dark ruby mahogany color with a small head which quickly fades to just an outer ring. Etched fish at the bottom of the glass throws up a small circle of persistent bubbles, otherwise not much carbonation. Smell of sweet boozy dark fruit and maple. Taste reflects the smell but unlike other maple ales or stouts, the maple really comes forward as well as the slightly bitter aftertaste you get with pure maple syrup. I've often complained about Southern Tier cranking the sweetness to diabetic coma levels but for me they get this right. I don't know if the aging had anything to do with it but there is almost no hop presence compared to other American Barleywines and that is 100% not a complaint from me; much more like a British Barleywine. The booze is there but not overpowering at 14.9%. Mouthfeel isn't as oily as a British Barleywine but still a nicely thick minimally carbonated (but not flat and syrupy) retention of flavor.

I was very intrigued by this when it came out and it was too pricey for me to buy more, but now I wish I was cellaring more.

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Photo of EMH73
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium dark brown with red highlights, a thin beige ring of head that leaves no lacing. Smells and tastes of maple, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, oak, toffee and dark fruits. Full bodied with a thick mouth feel, minimal carbonation. Overall a little on the sweet side but an excellent sipper.

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Photo of jlindros
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Light fizzy head, no retention, slight hazy ruby maroon red color

Nose big sweet candy, loads of maple and caramel, toffee, little butterscotch, touch of whiskey and vanilla oak

Taste big sweet maple candy, maple creams, butterscotch and big toffee, caramel, some hot fusel alcohol, mild buttery vanilla oak, toasted oak, touch of whiskey at best, spicy hop bitterness, sticky mild boozy finish

Mouth is thicker syrupy heavy bod, lighter carb, some fusel alcohol

Overall not bad, bit too sweet but quite nice, wish the whiskey barrel was bigger too

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Photo of richj1970
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber dated April 2017.

A: Rich clear dark brown with copper tones and a smallish one finger head. Fairly short retention and little to no lacing.

S: Bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, and toasted coconut.

T: Bourbon and maple come through front and center but mixed with some vanilla, coconut, dried dark fruits and some mild hops to round things out and provide a nice complexity.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Finish has a clean sweetness and some alcohol heat that is not surprising for the ABV.

O: Excellent BA barleywine. I might have preferred a touch more hop presence. I was a little worried that this was going to be too sweet, but it is well controlled and balanced

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours crystal clear, shiny dark copper. A slight, brief, off-white foam swirls with a thick, viscous film, pushing a thin ring of lace up the wall of a Pretentious Beer Glass Company cider glass.

The aroma is sweet with light bourbon and light oak. Vanilla outshines maple syrup initially with the maple building after each sip. Warmth brings out toasted coconut followed by toffee and prunes. Alcohol is prominent in this complex, multi-layered beer.

Surprisingly, the balance is maintained. None of the aroma is lost but the sweet bourbon is elevated. Vanilla is a close second. The flavors develop exceptionally well as it warms. The finish is long, mild and boozy. Extended warmth reveals peat smoke.

Alcohol is high but controlled for 14.9% ABV. Modest, prickly carbonation adds to the nylon texture of this medium bodied beer.

This is clearly a winter holiday beer and pairs nicely with a cold, damp, rustic and breezy day. A wood fire burns in the distance. While not quite solitude, I have my wife and dog by my side amidst a peaceful calm.

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Photo of Pencible
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a clear dark garnet with quickly dissipating light tan head.
S: It smelled like maple syrup and vanilla and milk chocolate, with some leather and oak and toasted coconut and fig and aged basalmic.
T: It tasted like rich caramel and maple and vanilla, with some chocolate and oak and aged basalmic and fig and toasted coconut. It had a clean sweet aftertaste with lasting alcohol warming.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Great big body.
D: This was a surprisingly good beer with rich and decadent scent and taste. Complex but well integrated, and sweet but not too cloying. The body was solid but the finish was really hot, so it must be sipped. A few years in the cellar would really help mellow this beast. Fresh was still great, just very hot.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - murky brown - opaque with a very slight tan head that doesn't really stick around or leave any lacing behind.
S - definitely maple syrup on the nose with some sweet barley, notes of bourbon and oak, some notes of caramel. I feel like there's even notes of bacon but that's probably me just associating the maple with bacon. Somehow even though the scents seem enticing, the smell really isn't that appealing which is unfortunate.
T - Complex. Definitely typical barelywine style with barely, mild but bitter hops with notes of dried fruits. There's notes of caramel and vanilla. Then on the back end there's notes of the oak and bourbon and of course you can taste the maple syrup which compliments the beer quite nicely. There's a slight note of alcohol, but otherwise it's hidden very well for 14.9%.
F - fuller bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Syrupy and sticky. Thicker.
O - This is one hell of a barelywine. Incredibly complex but everything seems to mesh very well together. At first I thought the maple syrup was going to be offputting but it really works well with the flavor profile. For some reason when I drink this I feel like it just screams red plaid - fitting for the Sasquatch theme. This is definitely something special from Southern Tier.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown with some slight red hues with a very tiny light tan head which fades quickly into nothingness. This thing didn't even give me enough for a collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of maple and bourbon barrels with some caramel and a little fruitiness
T: Taste is maple and caramel with some light citrus and pine hop notes. Slight oak with some vanilla notes and some toasted malts. More faded citrus and pine hop notes with a little alcohol. Swallow is more maple, caramel, vanilla and oak with some more citrus and pine hop notes on the finish
M: This beer is big and syrupy in body with soft carbonation that is adequate for the style while the beer has a dry finish from the ABV.
O: Overall this one is really tasty. Alcohol could be hidden better but the flavors are really nice and the beer has some solid complexity. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Tony210
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful rich red mahogany with virtually no carbonation and no head - not a problem. Boozy aroma of caramel, toffee, some bourbon. Very sweet and full bodied, loads of dark fruit, figs, caramel, some bourbon barrel and maple syrup, quite boozy, caramel, vanilla in the background. This envelops your mouth in a syrupy, sticky barrage that lingers for a while. Overall, a great Barleywine that you must allow to warm up to almost room temperature to fully appreciate all the complexities of this amazing beer.

4.5 rating

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 19.07 (Including tax)/bomber ($ 0.867/oz) – I can’t locate the sales slip so I have to guess at the tax rate – between 6% and 7%.
Stored on shelf in store, at 42 degrees in my reefer. Served at 58 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – Maple, bourbon, and oak.
Head – None. While the brew is aggressively poured, a five mm fizzy tan head is formed but entirely disappears by the end of the pour, leaving neither ring nor layer. Effervescence produces a slowly growing ring. The lack of head is visually disappointing but is not unexpected for the style.
Lacing – None.
Body – While pouring, the brew is a dirty brown. In the glass it is dark brown/black and opaque. Effervescence is continually present. Chill haze is present.
Flavor – Begins sweet and sticky with a definite maple taste. Neither hop bitterness nor flavors are detected. There is a mild aftertaste of bourbon, but the alcohol sneaks in through toward the end. There is a definite gastric burn followed by maple flavored belches. There is also neither distinct malt taste nor any fruitiness found.
Palate – Full, syrupy, soft carbonation.
Impression: I’m a sucker for brews made with maple or rye. This is definitely loaded with maple goodness. The bourbon seems somewhat of an afterthought. When half-way through the first snifter, an amber hue is evident as the chill haze has dissipated. I kind of think this was brewed to compete with Founder’s CBS.

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5.

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Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in April 2017.Pours into a goblet a burgundy infused mahogany with a thinner but surprisingly well sustained off white head atop,great rich color.Smells like maple sap and bourbon oak barrels,I get a bit of raw nut in there,so rich and inviting.Caramel covered nuts upfront on the palate wich I didn't even expect,maple sap,then the vanilla/bourbon flavors come into play with dark fruits lingering in the finish.A late nightcap sipper with so much decadent flavors going on,just fantastic....really.

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Barrel Works Series: Sapsquatch from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 89 ratings