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Barrel Works Series: Sapsquatch | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Barrel Works Series: SapsquatchBarrel Works Series: Sapsquatch
63 Ratings
Barrel Works Series: SapsquatchBarrel Works Series: Sapsquatch

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with local maple syrup, aged in bourbon barrels and on oak. A complicated beast aged on a trio of oak.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jzeilinger
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Knapp85 for sharing this bottle.

A - Deep burgundy, clear, steady carbonation, no lacing.

S - Smokey BBQ, maple syrup, vanilla, sappy oak, burnt toffee.

T - Burnt toffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, butterscotch. Layer after layer with the flavor.

M - Big and full bodied. Thick, viscous, sticky.

O - This is a SERIOUS Barrel Barley. Definitely check this one out and kudos to Southern Tier!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my teku the beer was a medium to dark brown with some red. A non-existant head.
Aroma of booze, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, and oak.
Bourbon hits you first in the taste, followed by the maple syrup and toffee. Then the vanilla and oak show up, and the bourbon finishes.
Big beer! Sweet. I think the maple syrup has a calming effect on the bourbon.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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 Pencible
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
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 jlindros
4.14/5  rDev -3%
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 clayrock81
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with minimal head and the aroma is sugary with notes of wood, vanilla, booze, maple syrup. Slow drinking as sticky and thick, syrupy even, woody, notes of vanilla booze sweetness, touch of dark fruits from figs/prunes, some maple syrup sweetness and other sweet malts like caramel/toffee. Very sweet, cloying, an acquired taste as if you don't like sweet drinks this is one to steer from.

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Photo of avalon07
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick, murky texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not a whole lot of lacing here.

S: A big, powerful aroma of maple syrup, malt, hops, caramel, and bourbon.

T: Tasted of a decent amount of hops (more in the finish), some of the bourbon barrel (very oaky), caramel, a big shot maple syrup (always welcome), light malt notes, and vanilla. A massive, aggressive flavor. Unlike a lot of beers that advertise maple syrup, you can actually taste it here. Complex, somewhat boozy, and likable.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a slick, syrupy finish. Full-bodied.

O: Sapsquatch is not for the faint of heart. It's a high ABV% monster with a lot of character. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 1,052 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear, dark brown in color with minimal head and carbonation. Taste is deep caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, oak, and maple syrup...The maple really comes out as this one warms...Heavy bodied, very sweet, low carbonation...Layers and layers open up, especially as this beer warms...A lot better if you give it time to sit in your glass...Another really tasty beer from Southern Tier...Tastes more like an English barleywine and a good one at that...I will get this again.

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Photo of Brianito
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Daniellobo
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Knapp85
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Skabiski
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DrCowboy67
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sendbeer
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 4/2017. Pours crystal clear dark ruby red/brown color with a 1 finger foamy and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin spotty lace cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, and brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, butterscotch, roasted nuts, cocoa, cherry, plum, raisin, herbal, pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malts, maple syrup, and bourbon barrel/oak notes; with great strength. Minimal booze in the aromas as it warms. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, and brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, butterscotch, roasted nuts, cocoa, cherry, plum, raisin, herbal, pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/woody bitterness and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, coconut, butterscotch, cocoa, dark fruit, herbal, pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malts, maple syrup, and bourbon barrel/oak flavors; with a nice malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Slight dryness from bitter/spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light carbonation and full body; with a smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/syrupy/sticky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden; a mild increasing warmth, with minimal barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged American barleywine! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malts, maple syrup, and bourbon barrel/oak flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Very clean on yeast notes, with minimal hop presence. Extremely rich and complex, with perfect bourbon barrel/oak balance and integration. I think this is likely just the barrel/oak aged version of the 2016 Backburner, as it had maple and molasses added already. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a murky black color with deep brown bubbles.

Smell - Very little sweetness is noted in the aroma. Bourbon and leather lead the way.

Taste - Sweet chocolate comes to the front. Tobacco, leather, and sweet prune juice follow. I am not getting a lot of maple. Dark fruits and bourbon linger.

Mouthfeel - I expected the maple would give some stickiness. The viscosity was not what I thought it would be.

Overall - Southern Tier is often maligned, but this is solid.

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Photo of tdm168
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brown ale produced just a few bubbles of head, and left a clean glass behind... One third of the beer is aged in bourbon barrels, one third in bourbon barrels that once held maple syrup, and one third aged on "hand-charred" oak staves that "spent time" in whiskey... Brewed with maple syrup, too... Boozy fruit and caramel-like molasses and maple and vanilla on the nose, followed by a big sweet booze and maple-fruit character on the sip... Medium-bodied, smooth, and slick, but not too sweet as to be cloying - a delectable treat... You can taste the bourbon and whiskey on this one, which is totally what I want from a beer like this... A little sticky on the tongue, but quickly disappears on the finish... Delivers what you'd expect based on the label and coming from Southern Tier...

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Photo of Dougwillhike
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep, dark ruby red color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to nothing

S: Bourbon, oak, sweet malt and maple syrup, a light char, and some vanilla notes make up a majority of the nose. Aside from the bourbon, the alcohol is pretty much hidden completely under the combination of sweetness and wood

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the bourbon, oak, maple sweetness, and residual maltiness. Vanilla, booze, and the light char from the staves come through towards the middle. Finishes with lingering light booze, malt, and oak

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Surprisingly not thick or syrupy for being a tick under 15%

O: An incredibly complex and interesting brew. The 3 different wood treatments really make a huge difference. A major sipper, obviously, but the 14.9% really doesn't show too much and helps the complexity out a bit. Definitely worth checking out, despite the price point. Would be incredibly interesting to age and see how the maple holds up

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Barrel Works Series: Sapsquatch from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 63 ratings