Bearded Pat's Barleywine
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Bearded Pat's BarleywineBearded Pat's Barleywine
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Barleywine - American
3.83 | pDev: 12.27%
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Bearded Pat's BarleywineBearded Pat's Barleywine
Notes: Great American Beer Festival Medal Winner! American style barleywine: so named because of its high, wine-like alcohol content, and the usage of American hops. Deep amber in color and full bodied, with a blend of fruitiness, maltiness and hop bitterness to balance.

89 IBU
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 100 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a deep amber/ruby pour (almost looks like red wine), slight ring of head.. smells of alcohol, barley, raisins, nutty, oak. upon first sip, it seems fairly easy to drink.. fruity, sweet.. as soon as you pull the glass away from your mouth you get hit by the booze.. a bit harsh but dies down real quick.. finishes with a nutty, slight charred lingering bitterness. the alcohol makes its presence in this full body barley wine with low carbonation. if it had a few more bubbles, it would do this justice.. the alcohol is a bit harsh as well, but if you can get past it, you'll see this is a pretty solid beer.

Oct 04, 2013
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

2.64/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I've never had a beer from this brewery before. Acquired at Ramirez Liquor in Los Angeles.

Served chilled but not quite cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige-khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and excellent (4+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a rather dark hazy caramel-amber. Sweet jesus, there's a shitload of yeast floating around in there - to the point that it's a turnoff. That's entirely too much, especially for a barleywine. How did that much yeast make it into the bottle? I could innoculate a 5 gallon batch of homebrew with this. Seriously. Nontransparent. Non-opaque. No bubble show.

Sm: Caramel, light oxidation, rich heavy malts, biscuity yeast, toffee, a hint of butterscotch, raisin, and maybe vanilla. Rich malts are dominant. Hints of alcohol. An average strength aroma.

T: Rich malts, butterscotch, vanilla, a bit of raisin (which came off oxidized in the aroma and is strange here), biscuity yeast, toffee, and caramel. Simple for the style. Balance is off. The flavour profile just isn't that impressive. Not as complex as it needs to be. Lacks subtlety. I'm not a big fan of this one. A bit of alcohol does come through. Surprisingly bland for a barleywine. Hopping is generic floral and isn't all that expressive.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thick and viscous, approaching syrupy. Also the yeast particles give it an unpleasant texture. Thickens on the finish, a reprehensible effect. Scratchy, making me cough.

Dr: Difficult to drink due to its low quality and strange high quantity of yeast. Hides its ABV alright. Probably best on draught so all the yeast is filtered out. Boy, I wouldn't want to try this again. I'm not starting off on the right foot with this brewery. I think this bottle was $6.00; I definitely wouldn't pay that again.


Feb 04, 2013
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TwelveOunces from Kentucky

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a snifter

This beer poured a hazy copper color with a ton of yeast swimming around in it. A massive head and high carbonation. There is a good bit of dark fruit in this beer but Raisins are the flavor that most sticks out. Smells a little like malt extract, you home brewers know what Im talking about. A hoppy barley wine, the hop presence has faded a bit and has taken on some aged hop flavors. This is a bitter beer. Drinks fairly easy for a barley wine if you can get past the bitterness. Overall its a decent barleywine.

Dec 01, 2012
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kawilliams81 from Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Dark amber, near brown, with 1 finger tan head. Almost no lacing.

S- Toasted malts, light smoke, vanilla, some cinnamon.

T- Toasted amber malt, very slight smoke flavor in there. Also, get some dark fruit as well.

M- Full body, but not very thick. 11% hidden very well. Has a slightly dry finish.

O- Good barleywine, not great. Seems more like a English barleywine to me. Not a lot of hop presence in this beer, and has that dry finish to it.

Nov 08, 2011
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auroracrisis from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a Spaten Optimator mug. No bottle dating but this is definitely from this year.

A rich maple color with a head that sticks around for a couple minutes, then disappears. Surprisingly lively carbonation can be seen dancing to the top with a clear body. Ring of foam around the edges of the glass for almost the duration of the session.

Big caramel and toffee malts on the nose at first with butterscotch and alcohol behind it. A hint at earthy hops in there but not very apparent. As it warms, the alcohol and sweetness just increase.

Again, forward with confection sweetness. Caramel, butterscotch, toffee and just a little bit of hops on the tongue. Complexity is hard to distinguish at this point since the bottle is fresh but I am picking up a little red velvet cake batter. Does not deviate from the smell much at all though.

Full bodied and sticky, and low carbonation once the beer sits a minute. Can be a bit cloying at times but this can be forgiven for the style in my opinion. Drying and a sharp tingle from the alcohol, a little heat.

Great confectionery sweetness with plenty of room for aging. A solid local barleywine that I'm glad I finally got to try. I'll have to pick up a few to age.

Oct 12, 2011
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billab914 from Virginia

3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky, dark caramel color color with a frothy white head filling half of the glass. It had some great head retention for the style, as well as lacing.

The aroma has a piny, resiny hop presence mixing with a sweeter, candy like, caramel flavor. I get some citrusy, bitter, grapefruit rind like flavor to it as well.

The first thing I notice in the taste is a chocolate or cocoa like presence. Again, I get a somewhat harsh, bitter, resiny, citrus rind flavor to it throughout the beer. The malty, sweet, caramel flavors are very reserved for the style.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was an interesting take on the style, but not one of the better ones. It felt a little harsh to me at times and the chocolate flavors seemed out of place. Not a bad beer, but probably not one I'd buy again.

Jul 16, 2011
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Unfiltered brown,minimal head. smells like a barleywine.taste of mollasses and brown sugar and caramel. Average mouthfeel. Some hops but neither sweet nor bitter. Directionless. Not so drinkable or interesting.A shame with the high abv. Probably best young.Jon's bottle.

Mar 09, 2011
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown, soapy head and not much lace. Smells of cherry, malt, sweet notes, slight alcohol, not as much alcohol as you would think. I believe this was about 2 years old. Taste is initially sweet, decent malt, cherry, dark fruit, slight medicinal quality, and slight grape tannins are there. Syrupy mouthfeel, thick and quite full, though something felt like it was missing. Pretty good barleywine, great slow sipper for after dinner.

Mar 08, 2011
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Pencible from Virginia

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This poured clear dark gold, with a bit of white head.
S: It smelled like candied oranges, with toffee and wildflower honey and a bit of...chlorine?
T: It tasted like orange and honey and toffee, with a fair amount of alcohol. It had a mellow bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was oily with a bit of carbonation. Nice fully body.
D: This had a great scent and taste, with the exception of that strange hint of chlorine. Solid body too, but it was quite hot so it needed to be sipped. If age could smooth out the alcohol without losing any of the other flavors, this could be exceptional. Fresh, it's just another tasty barleywine.

Feb 28, 2011
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Jimmys from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled at the 1st annual mad fox barleywine festival.

a hazy brownish-red, with an off-white creamy head. smells super sweet, tangy, candied figs and plums. great complexity on the palate. sweetness all over the place. ranging from caramel, toffee, brown sugar, rum, to your sweet fruits. slight pine hop bitterness, but mostly sweet flavors shine through. alcohol is well hidden. a big american barleywine, but had more of a malty/sweetness of an english. a good barleywine, but like i said reminded me more of an english style rather than an american.

Feb 28, 2011
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argock from Virginia

3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.90.

A: Sawdust amber brown with copious 3-finger beige big-bubbled head with good retention and lacing.

S: Very bland and muted aroma, mostly leathery dark malt with some fusel alcohols. Hoppiness is herbal for what is there.

T: Flavor is also middle of the road with dusty dark maltiness, herbal-floral hoppiness in the finish, and alcohol pushing through with progress through the glass.

M: Medium-full body with low carbonation and a slick feel overall.

D: Not a bad beer but there are a lot of others that represent this style with more originality, aroma, and flavor.

Feb 22, 2011
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a reddish, brown color - redder than any barleywine that I've ever seen. It had a thin, tan head of foam that left no lace.

S - It smelled very sweet and malty. It had a boozy nose with touches of bourbon and oak.

T - It was a very sweet caramel malt tasting beer with a spicy hop heat. The alcohol flavor comes through on this one.

M - It was soft and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A full-bodied ale.

D - This is an okay barleywine. A little too sweet for my taste. Hopefully, it mellows with age.

Oct 23, 2009
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BigMcLargeHuge from Arizona

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via a sweet-ass trade with moejuck. That guy ROCKS! Pours brilliant clear deep copper with thin off white head. The aroma is bright with cherries, raisins, figs, prunes and sweet cherry hard candy followed by just a hint of alcohol heat on the nose. The taste is chewy sweet goodness with cherries, prunes, raisins and some figs pushing over the palate. Behind the rich fruity assault is a thick viscous layer of sweetness accented by mild malts. This is rich sweet goodness. Very tasty English style barleywine. Should be even better with a year or more on it.

Oct 07, 2009
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to brentk56 for this brew.

Pours a very nice cloudy amber/brown color, very nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, with some very nice islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, caramel, bready. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly hoppy, with some caramel. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well. Drinkable, this is a very tasty BWSA.

Jun 20, 2009
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barleywinefiend from Washington

3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deeper amber color with a small dirty white head. Nose is dried fruits, sweet like brown sugar. Taste is rather thin bodied with hints of dried fruits, caramel and cocoa on the end. Mouthfeel is thin, not to complex but good. Average to good bwine. This beer only comes alive at room temp.

Apr 03, 2009
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dirtylou from New York

3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, lugged up from south bend, one of many beers cracked during march madness weekend 1

appearance: poured into a stone pint glass, murky/muddy caramel body with pretty much no head or lacing left behind

smell: thick caramel body, sticky pine hops beneath, pretty nice aroma

taste: a little dull around the edges, thick chewy caramel body, a touch of sticky pine hops, light citrus

mouthfeel: a little light and lacking a strong bitterness level

drinkability: good

Mar 20, 2009
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becktone from Ohio

2.59/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From notes 12-13-08

Eye: Not much to look at. Color is a murky brownish copper, kinda like mud...but with a good dose of iron ore in there to give the mud a reddish tint/color. The color of this brew is the only thing that I'd consider nice. No head formation and as a consequence of that no retention. No lacing either. I've seen beers with much higher alcohol contents that have looked much better.

Nose: Nice big malt aroma in this brew. Sweet malty notes abound. Some faint oakish and spicy notes are just there, in the back, almost hidden, but still just perceivable. Dark fruits abound, raisins especially. Smells pretty good.

Tongue: Overall hard character to describe. To me this beer is a whole lot of nothing. I'll just say that it is too watery, too thin and there's just not enough "barleywineish" character to it. This doesn't have the barleywine character that makes me want to drink a barleywine. The reason I bought this was to have a beer to sip on all night...sure I'll sip on this but it'll feel like I'm sipping on watered down going flat cola. Hops are pretty green, definitely a floral/herbal character to them. Lots of sweetness in here and not enough bite from hops or from alcohol. To me the actual malt and barley character is just too low key, same with alcohol. Its like this one got such a high gravity from corn sugar or something. It reminds me alot of the way unfermented wort tastes...who doesn't sample the beer after they've taken the starting gravity reading....the more I think of it the more it reminds me of it. This beer is unfinished in my mind, with a real green hop character. I mean, its just like the unfermented wort, not disgusting but definitely unfinished and lacking. No depth, this doesn't do it, or come anyawhere close to doing it for me.

Feel and Drinkability: Very light on the palate, carbonation is too low. This beer almost feels flat. Now I'd not have a problem with that were the body a bit heavier and if the beer had some pronounced alcohol and a huge malt flavor, but its really just a bunch of sweetness right up front. I won't have a problem drinking the rest of this, but I don't look forward to it. I'll drink it because I have it. But I won't be buying it again.

Feb 22, 2009
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tpd975 from Florida

3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for another wonderful share.

A: Pours an amberish brown hue with an above average head. Okay retention and some lace noted.

S: Nice sweet aromas rush from the glass. Hints of caramel and toffee can be picked out immediately. More subtle notes of brown sugar and resinous pine come through as well.

T: Nice and sweet up front. The brown sugar and caramel make themselves known. Hints of dark fruits, gooey pine, and some green grass round things out.

M: Full bodied, syrupy.

D: Not the most drinkable, but it is a tasty sipper.

Feb 16, 2009
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tmoneyba from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft At brewpub.

Poured a clear dark ruby color with an average creamy head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

Good sweet fruit and alcohol aroma.

Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation.

Heavy bittersweet flavor with a long bittersweet alcohol warming finish.

The beer goes well with the pizza and basketball game.

Jan 28, 2009
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cnjohn19 from North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Jim at Maido (Louisville, KY) for tapping this keg he's been saving, circa '06...saddened to hear this barleywine is soon to be discontinued by BBC...enjoyed with the best sushi Louisville has to offer (citrus heat, serendipity, spicy tuna)...

A - poured in a snifter with a thick, half inch head...dark consistency and looked extremely inviting...

S - appeared to have an almost caramel aroma...definitely a hint of sweetness and a certain bitterness which appeared to be produced from an increased hops content...however lacked distinct characteristics and a little tough to decipher the true source of aromas...

T - built extremely well and def. tasted the hint of caramel-like characteristics which probably contributed to the sweet smells...enjoyed the strong hops of this brew...bittersweet comes to mind while tasting this beer...overall, very enjoyable blend of hops and barley and was informed the aging of this beer contributed to its tasteful experience...

M - not sure what exactly is was which did not sit extremely well here, possibly a little coarse...

D - i would def. have another, however sounds as if it may be difficult to find...i think you would enjoy this beer, however i will note i did not rush to have another poured during the same struck me as a beer to enjoy one of at a time...

Dec 23, 2008
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium to deeper and cloudy brownish color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of toffee, nuts, caramel, and citrus. Tastes of caramel, some dark fruits, citrus, chocolate, and brown sugar sweetness. Alcohol content hidden. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Notes from 2/14/08

Dec 17, 2008
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, thanks to Lexx for opening this one. Not sure on the age but I would go with older because of the bottle size.

Pours a lightly hazed orange/reddish, thin white head forms, slowly drops to a thin ring, leaves some spots on the glass. Smell is nice, toffee, floral and fruit, very grapey, wood, citrus, bit of alcohol but well hidden, some brown sugar, classic American barleywine. Taste is great, toffee sweetness, big malts, more grape, almost a concord grape juice flavour, floral, very fruit, grapefruit, alcohol, tannic bitter finish, but very well balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with very low carbonation, exceptionally smooth, no way I would have guessed this at 11%. Really enjoyed this one, nice sipper. Thanks Alexa!

Aug 19, 2008
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BeerSox from Virginia

3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Deep ruby red hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a thin rim along the glass.

Sharp piercing hops with some light hard candy in the background.

The hops provide some bitterness, but they aren't as sharp as I would have expected. Mostly a light candy flavor like in the aroma. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is some lingering sweet flavor with a bit of bitterness.

A very sweet barleywine with a weird hard candy flavor that seemed to dominate. Not bad, but I would have liked a little more complexity.

Aug 09, 2008
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Deuane from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 750 ml bottle purchased February 2002 at the brewpub. This one sat and aged for over 5 years before I finally cracked it. I am sure this had a lot to do with the incredible smoothness and wonderful flavours that developed!

A-Clear dark ruby brown with a medium tan head that reduced to a thin ring. Spotty lace left behind.

S-Sweet caramel with notes of leather, dark fruits and tobacco. Faint hints of hops...but note much.

T-Sweet caramel malts lead the way...but not overly so. A bit of hop bitterness sneaks in at the end after a wave of brown sugar, tobacco and leather takes hold of your tounge and dries it out! This is sweet, beefy and yet dry....nice combo. I am sure the aging of this bottle had a lot to do with the development of all these flavours.

M-Medium heavy body and very smooth feel. This is like the equivelent of beer brandy.

D-Very nice, glad I waited to drink this one. A nice sipper. The drying factor becomes a bit much and of course the 11.5% abv will kick your butt too. Overall a very nice barleywine.

Jul 21, 2008
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Durge from Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine is a rosey mahogany color with a major frothy light tan head and piles of lacing. A strong meaty aroma of deep malt and sharp maple pine. Very curious and enticing. The taste jumps out with candied toast and caramel, some coffee hints. Its a decent mouthfeel but it is fairly aqueous. Very sweet, a little high in octane, medium drinkability at best. Pretty unique, decent.

Jul 11, 2008
Bearded Pat's Barleywine from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 100 ratings