Drake's Barrel Aged Barley Wine | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Drake's Barrel Aged Barley WineDrake's Barrel Aged Barley Wine
30 Ratings
Drake's Barrel Aged Barley WineDrake's Barrel Aged Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by lou91 on 12-11-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of weeare138
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hopdog for this Brandy Barrel version…
Appears a dark, hazy brown with a small off white head that fades out into a small collar.
Smell is of huge peanut blasted chocolate, yeasty, brown sugar, and caramel.
Taste is of the same yummy aromas that mixes beautifully. This is a great barleywine.
Mouthfeel has nice aftertastes of nutty, cocoa, black grapes with near perfect balance.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of a travelling colleague. Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a very thin beige head and minimal lacing. Aroma of malt, nuts and vanilla. The barrel-aging imbues a nice brandy smell too. Rich-bodied and smooth-textured with a complex array of flavors from sweet malt and plum to sharp alcohol. Vanilla and spices add a nice dimension as well. The finish is dry and sweet with lots of caramel and malt, with a mild alcohol burn in the throat. Robust sipping beer that is easily one of the best Barley Wines I have tried in awhile.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this gem. I really can't expand on what the LongBeachBum has to say about the label and the description of the bottle...so I won't.

Appearance: A dense chocolate colored pour with a thin and wispy off-white head. A few carbonation streams noted on the edging.

Aroma: Deep carmel, dark fruits, sweet molasses and just a hint of oak and brandy in the background. A definite warming alcohol presence noted.

Taste: Carmel, vanilla, chocolate, just a hint of alcohol and all amazingly blended without any one thing overpowering the other. The chocolate keeps asserting itself with brandy and raisin notes as the palate becomes saturated with this nectar.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied and slick. Undercarbonated and appropriate given the style and the unique slant on the style.

Drinkability: Immensely enjoyable. Careful with this velvet hammer. It should be savored and respected. World-class for me.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: ...as with the earlier Jolly Rodger, the gold foil adds a very distinctive look to this offering and implies that the demure 6 ounce green glass dimpled based bottle is something special. It is. For this too is another one of the Drake’s Barrel Aged Series brews. The 6 fluid ounce green glass bottle is a demure version of the classic 750ml flask, right down to the dimpled base. The gold foil hides a very colorful Drake’s crown cap. Screen printed with a colorful yellow, blue and white Drake’s logo bottle, it looks great. To the left additional text sheds some more light onto this one “Hand Crafted Drake’s Barrel Aged Series”, to the right yet more clues “Limited Release Barley Wine Brandy Barrel”. Listed at a massive 14.7% Alc/Vol. This is a one-off brew based on the “regular” Barley Wine and then Barrel-Aged in a Brandy Oak Barrel for some 18+ months.

The labels blurb states; “Simply put this barley wine is the strongest beer we have ever brewed. At 14.70% alc/vol with a starting gravity of 26 plato Drakes barley wine has been big since birth. Crisp malts give this beer a burnt red color and deep rich sweetness. Placed in a brandy oak barrel since Dec. 2003 it has been aging and waiting for you to enjoy as you would any fine after dinner beverage. This is a very limited release and won't be repeated.”

Appearance: Very dark brown body that is turbid when held to the light and exhibits a ruby tinge. Soft light brown head forms around the pour but quickly breaks to reveal a broken head that forms a very tight single bubbled halo head. Gentle swirls release the dissolved conditioning and a mildly audible fizz. Majestic appearance despite its broken head; slowly tilted the running alcohol clings to the glass walls like a fine Single Malt.

Nose: Definitely a show stopper!!! The nose is fucking gorgeous. It has it all. Alcohol soaked Oak, Sweet Malts, Brandy, Dark Fruits, Bourbon, Chocolate, Toffee, Belgian Waffles, OK I made that last but it but it really is all here…..mooohohohoooorish…..I just didn’t want to drink this because I was so happy just sniffing its volatile organic compounds. Aged to perfection and well rounded. Swirled in the glass the nose is luscious and leaps right out of the tulip, treat this like a Brandy and you will not be disappointed.

Taste: It is an extension and expansion of the nose, so I will not repeat that, but it runs in a parallel universe of sorts. ***The Brandy Barrel is the stroke of genius here*** The fad for Bourbon barrels is so often over-played and those ham-fisted infused flavors soon outstrip the gentle traits of any beer if over played. I get the Brandy in this, but more importantly I also get the Barleywine, I get both, and they are perfectly balanced in a Utopian synergy. This really is very good. Warming fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth, rich, warming and incredibly palatable. This is a seriously refined brew. Awesome presence, big on the tongue thanks to the immensely powerful flavors yet oh-so gentle on the cheeks thanks mainly in part to the Brandy Oak aging and fine carbonation. Just perfect!

Drinkability: It is so, so, so, so fucking sad that I only had 6 ounces of this; it looked a little small in volume in my Duvel Glass when the whole bottle was emptied. All gone. Despite the near 15 clicks on this one I could have probably done a 22oz Bomber of it no problemo. Fantastic stuff.

Overall: Cost me just under $7 for the bottle, but if you come across one of these little 6oz Beauties, my suggestion would be to nab a pocket full. Incredibly impressive. Brandy Oak Barrel-Aged Barley Wine….in the words of Mike Myers…”Yearrh Baibeee”, and Drake’s say that they will not repeat this? Shite!!! You’ll find me in the Gas Oven with the Xmas Turkey if you need me.

*Highly Recommended*

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Photo of lou91
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a 6oz silkscreen bottle with writing on the side telling me how this 14.7% brew has been aging since December 2003 in oak brandy barrel s and that this was to never happen again. Wow what an amazing nose! I feel like a dog smelling a barley wine picking up tons of scents - alcohol, raisins, citrus, berries, and sweet chocolate. Poured dark brown with a creamy head like a nitro beer. Aging has cut the hop bitterness and allowed a well-balanced but mostly malty and sweet BW to emerge in a bigger than expected way. The body is so light and creamy – not what you would expect given the massive alcohol and malt assault. I would d give this beer at least another year to try again. While some may complain about the price, it is worth a try for fans of big bold beers that push the limits. $1 per oz. @Ledger’s.

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Drake's Barrel Aged Barley Wine from Drake's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 30 ratings
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