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

very good
100 Ratings
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Bearded Pat's BarleywineBearded Pat's Barleywine

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-09-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 77
Photo of drseamus
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber reddish body but very little head at all, even with an aggressive pour. The head that was there looked like soda head. The smell is very malty but balanced with a touch of hop bitterness. The flavor is very sweet and malty, almost like an old ale. It has a touch of hop bitterness to keep it balanced but definitely skews toward the malt end of the spectrum. There is a good amount of caramel also. The body is fairly light for a barleywine, but not too thin. Overall, a very drinkable barleywine, although it doesn't stand out very well.

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Photo of kurtissellen
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Emptied into a pint glass looks an opaque muddy copper with just under a finger of head. Lacing all down the glass by the time I finished. A few small particals at bottom of glass. Nice sweet nose like molasses and tastes similar to the smell with molasses at first then a smokey finish. This beer has a more hearty taste than some other barleywines I've tried.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candy apple red with a soft coral glow when backlit. This is one of the prettiest American barleywines that I've ever seen. The pastel gold crown is thick and rich and creamy and is laying down fine sheets of intricate lace all over the upper portion of the snifter. Bearded Pat's is a looker!

The aroma gets it done too. First, it smells like 15 months in the bottle was time well spent. The alcohol, even at such a lofty ABV, is hardly noticed. Each sniff delivers cherries and berries swimming in caramel and earthy-citric hops. This should be good beer.

BPB is definitely good, but unless something changes by the final few ounces, it isn't damn good. The flavor profile features steely caramel, unsweetened chocolate and earthy pipe tobacco. I'm not sure if more age would soften things, but I have a feeling that it would.

On the positive side of the ledger are some of the same things that can be appreciated in the nose. Primarily, black cherries, blackberries, bitter orange peel... and maybe even a dab of raisin paste. Warming allows the various flavors to coalesce into a more uniform whole and allows the taste score to be increased with no hesitation whatsoever.

The final pour turns the beer from tropical sunset coral to murky dark caramel brown. It looks like plenty of yeast was hiding in the bottom of the bottle. The appearance is still great. The flavor is bolder and slightly more chocolate-like, but is otherwise unchanged. Come to think of it, the flavor profile and the mouthfeel (no more than medium for the style) are more along the lines of an English barleywine than an American one.

My first four Bluegrass Brewing Company beers were terrific (American Pale Ale, Dark Star Porter, Altbier and Hell For Certain). The next three weren't so wonderful (Mephistopheles Metamorphosis, Horse Piss Beer and Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout). Bearded Pat's Barleywine belongs in the first group and is a lovely little sipper once it approaches room temperature.

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Photo of blakesell
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh yes, 2006 vintage on the tap at Gravity Head in New Albany, IN. Poured into a 10oz. glass.

Appearance- Pours a clear orange with a thin finger of foam across the top. Tiny bubbles rise from the bottom. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Hoppy and gluey grapefruit hops on the nose with hints of plum, dates, fig, raisin, scotch smoked malts, peat, and pine tips. What a great nose on a great beer.

Taste- Mmm.. Fruity, malty, sweet and delicious. Grapefruit hops give way to oak, tobacco, brown sugar, tiny hints of oxidation, but not overly oxidized. Nutty sherry flavours persist.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and sweet. Well carbonated and thick. Somewhat warming. The flavour hides the alcohol well.

Drinkability- This beer hides its power and could be drank into a stupor. Delicious!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky brown in color with some reddish highlights. Smell is huge malts and some hops. Taste is huge caramel malts. Over the top malts. A little bit of hops again in the back end. Medium body on the mouthfeel. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Pretty good barleywine.

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Photo of WesWes
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a warm, malty scent that boasts of burnt toffee and hops. There are a few specialty malts in this one; very nice. The taste is good. It has a solid malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit on the sweet side with some smokey character as well. The hops are present and provide an adequate amount of bitterness to balance the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with low carbonation. This is a pretty good barleywine. I love the aroma, but the taste and appearance could put off some.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very pleasant surprise here. Picked this up on recommendation of Todd up at Keg Liquors and it fit the bill.

Nice dark caramelly pour, not much head.

Smells remarkably good, very similar in both aroma and taste to the SN Bigfoot which happens to be my favorite barleywine so I'm happy so far.

Really nice tasting beer. Dark and fruity with a nice malty and hoppy presence as well.

Drinkability suffers just a bit with the 11%. I couldn't drink more than a couple before I'd start fading a bit.

Still, all in all, a very good barleywine. I will be picking this up whenever I can get my hands on it. Thanks for the recommendation, Todd!

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Photo of mntlover
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich deep copper/amber color with a nice fluffy tan head that falls to clumped foam and leaves some nice lacing around the glass.

Aroma is rich caramel, molasses fruity raisins/figs brown sugars with a decent hops in the background. Smells more like a rich English barley wine then American.

Taste is rich malty caramel, molasses brown sugars running around the mouth with hints of dark fruit. Piney hops imparting flavors and decent bitterness. Nice full flavored treat big on malt and decent hop infusion.

Mouthfeel is medium full big and mellow but enough carbonation to aide the bring the flavors to the front.

Drinkability is good enjoyable treat thats a present surprise to find here in Bristol can see picking more of these up as the weather cools.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Paid $2.09 for a single at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY...

The beer pours a dark brown, hazy base, with a huge white head, excellent head retention, and artistic lacing on the sides of the glass, brilliant! The aroma is a mix of rich malted barley and a side tone of alcohol.

The taste is pretty dynamic, malted barley, grapes, cinnamon tones but the alcohol tones in the nose and on the tongue distract me little in this stage as well. The beer is very drinkable at a strong 11%, and it feels rather light in the mouth, and very creamy thanks to the head.

Final Thought: If it weren't for the tones of alcohol, this one would be remarkable; instead, it's still a solid brew!

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. This one is solid brown color like a very dark tea with a half-finger of light tan head that falls to a solid coat over top. The clarity is minimal with very irregularly present bubbles in the brew. The aroma is very nice. I get a lot of bready and raisin maltyness, with a distant pine hop that has turned earthy. Taking a big sniff brings in some brown sugary and caramel sweet notes on the finish. There is also a fruityness alongside the raisin that just adds a bit more to it. I think that serving this one a little on the warm side has helped these aromas shine through. The first sip brings a very strong earthy aged hop flavor that melds well into a brown sugar and light raisin malt. There is a moderate bitter on the finish that hits hard enough to let me know it is there but not too strong. This one is very well slanted towards the earthyness, and I like that in my barleywines. It takes some of the harshness off that keeps me from enjoying the style more. Mouthfeel is thick with a light carbonation. I think it works well for the style. This one is very drinkable. The flavors are strong but mix well and keep me wanting more of this one. I like it.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on January 2006.

Pours into the glass, deep brown with minimal tan bubbles.

Aroma is rasty brown sugar with a mix of brown sugar and fruit with a spicy hop finish.

Flavor is bright with hops that get quickly overwhelmed by a strong caramel and slighty salty soy twinge to the mid palate toffee note drive the finish.

A little harsh while cold the beer smooths out as the beer warms.

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Photo of Crosling
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL. Brownish/red leather in color. Powerfully aromatic, with a sensational array of caramel/toffee-like malt and dark fruits. Flavor is juicy and complex, flavorful and well extracted. It’s malt accented and provides me with several enjoyable descriptors, notably caramel, toffee, brown sugar and sweet, dark fruits. This is an excellent beverage, something BBC should be proud of.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper orange with a fairly short head, butone that stuck around for the life of the beer. Quite good lacing as well. The smell is fairly light, but there are hints of menthol, alcohol, sweet malt, and a slight spiciness. The taste is a little more pronounced. It's fairly dry with apricots, wax, sweet malt, and cotton candy. Sounds quite sweet, but these flavors are fairly restrained. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and relatively light bodied for the style. Quite drinkable. The alcohol is hidden well, and the brew is smooth, creamy, and delicious.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper / rust color, slightly hazy, with a decent sized light tan head. Aroma is sweet citrusy hops, orange sweet tarts, along with some sweet caramel maltiness and hints of prunes. There is another aroma that is hard for me to figure out but is fairly prevalent, almost a lactose / powdered milk aroma, or maybe a little like play-doh. Up front taste is a very nice sweet and rich caramel, a soft sugary candy bubble gum mixes in and also shows hints of an orange citrusy-ness. A decent bitterness in the finish along with a slight hint of the alcohol strength, although for the most part the alcohol is hidden and very well balanced. Very nice sweet maltiness in the soft yet big body. Abv is extremely deceiving and well balanced, very much enjoyed. Thanks Nathan for the opportunity.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle, notched "Dec 06" on the label. Thanks to Jeff (Metalmonk) for sending this back in February; I've held out long enough. Poured to a small goblet.

A: Beautiful ruby/amber with a tinge of floating sediment, giving a hazy complexion. Faintly yellow head of tight bubbles, slow to recede. Very pretty lace, sticking to the sides of the glass in creamy sheets.

S: Smells of burnt caramel, heavy malt (syrupy) and spice. Finishes with floral and a powdered sugar sweetness.

T: Likable, full of caramel and thick, juicy hops. Has a strong resinous pine quality and an effervescent raw tea-like/herbal quality. Sweetness finishes more raw/undeveloped; chalky with soapy bitterness in finish lets me know this could use even more time to mellow.

M: Has a harsh alcohol burn and a lingering bitterness toward the back of the tongue. Fusel alcohol level is still quite warm and balance seems unrefined.

D: Looks nice, smells nice. Still (after 6+ months) seems young. There's a harsh burn in the mouth that hasn't mellowed yet. I'd like to try this beer again; I'm guessing at least a year of age is needed before it's really ready to drink.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a cloudy amber chestnut body with a small beige head that quickly falls into skim and sheet lacing. Aroma has a bold maltiness of caramel and molasses with citrusy hop notes in the background. Medium body with an apt medium low carbonation. Taste is scorched caramel and pine and citrus hop bitterness. Fruity notes of apples and oranges add an interesting dimension. Pine hop bitterness becomes assertive midway through and stay to the finish. Finishes with a pine cone hops bitterness. Well done!

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Photo of thaichile
2.62/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a roan color with a thin, off-white head. Nose is raisiny with roasted notes. Flavor was a mixture of hops, caramel, and roasted raisins. The roasted part almost had a burnt quality to it. Maybe this was from the alcohol that was running without cover and causing the acrid tones. The underlying sweetness could not provide enough camoflauge and the hop bitterness seemed to exacerbate the alcohol heat. A beer with potential, but currently somewhat schizophrenic. Thanks to nathan15 for the bottle.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle into a snifter. I had this brew on tap at the BBC in Louisville and found it to be much more complex than in bottle.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights and a nice creamy tan head that leaves fantastic lacing.

Smells of hops with some subtle mint as well.

Taste is very hoppy. This is still a very young barleywine as it was bottled in Dec. 06. Chocolate in the front with a minty finish.

Slight bitterness in the aftertaste. This is a good beer that will probably get better with some time. I did find the on tap version to be far more complex and enjoyable.

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Photo of John1985
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ale pours a dark amber with white head that clings all over the mug as it goes down. Malty, sweet aromatic reminiscent of ripe fruit. malt dominates flavor but just enough hops in the middle and end to balance and keep it from cloying. Rich malty taste, almost like eating a fruitcake. Mildly bitter aftertaste. Very luxurious, a perfect ale for a damp, cool night (like tonight). Mouthfeel and drinkablilty is appropriate for a barleywine.

I would guess the ABV is around 8%. A very well made barleywine from a fine Southern brewer. My tastes normally run on the hoppier side (Bigfoot) but this style is very enjoyable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage '06, on-tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08:

Even with a year + age, the beer still has an over-bearing hop character that cannot be overlooked. Even with the hop / malt conflict, it's difficult to dismiss this beer. It's full of dried fruit flavors, intense sweetness, and tons of hop flavor. Maybe additional time will help the beer meld.

December 12, 2007:

and then I ask myself, "Self, why have you not reviewed this beer before?" Self really didn't have an answer, but here we are anyway. When I first got into craft brew, this is one of the beer that totally kicked my ass. Over the years, I have found a great fondness for the rich, smooth malt flavors and the heavity agressive hop additions. However that first sip always knocks me back a bit. The aromas are of an overmalted IPA, or at least that is the impressions that the sharp hops give. An underlying campfire aroma adds to the intrigue. The flavors are a hop dominated, malty concoction with tons of fruits (fruitcake), citrus rinds, peat moss, dates, nuts, raisons, rum and pine flavored hops. A serious bitterness (hops) sets the feel, accompanied by a rich full body with a light fusal and astringent feel. The beer is very agressively flavored, which hurts the drinkability, but is sure to age-out, if I could ever sit on one long enough. Surely worth a try--at least twice.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty young barleywine, with a bottling date of Dec. '06.

Pours a deep ruby color with a creamy head that slaps sticky lace onto the glass with only slight tilting. Bubbles slowly slide their way up. If looks are anything to go by, it's already a winner.

One very fruity-smelling barleywine, this gives off strong hits of sour green apple and grapefruit at first, with time and some warming letting maple syrup, alcohol and cherry Jolly Ranchers through.

More green apple in the flavor, like it was soaked in sherry and rum and dunked in molasses. More tangy fruitiness in the middle, lots of freshly-cut wood, and a slight bit of vanilla peeking through. Bitter assault of grassy astringency (or grapefruit rind) in the finish, indicating this sucker needs some cellaring.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, a bit lighter than many other barleywines.

Really good, but definitely young tasting with all that green-apple/hoppy bitterness flying around. Aging will probably do this beer all kinds of good.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a barleywine should, dark gold slightly cloudy, nice white head that doesn't linger.
Smells of sweet hops jumping out of the glass.
Tastes just the same, massive hops typical of an American Barleywine. Spicy hops jump on the tongue and don't let up till the bitter aftertaste kicks in. There is enough malt there to keep this from leaping into IPA country. Very nicely done.
Drinkability suffers a little from the massive hops, but all in all a very nice rendition of the style.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a deep brown body with an amber hue. There is a thin ring of big bubbles around the edge and that is supported by a gentle carbonation of bubbles.

S- There is a very light note of dark sweet malt with a soft fusel alcohol hint that comes through in the finish. There are some soft notes of brown malt and toasted malt coming through as it warms but there were very subtle.

T- This beer has a light flavor in general with notes of dark malt and some notes of dark fruit hints coming out as it warms. There are some light toasted malt hints and a soft white sugar note to it. The soft flavor of green hops has a gentle bitterness and a slight alcohol taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a bit of a watery texture. The alcohol heat was pretty smooth and gentle but nice.

D- This beer has a soft light flavor and smell but the alcohol is a nice heat and not too hot.

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Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a tight head that dots the glass

Smell: Rich aromatic caramel with piney hops; fusel alcohol, too

Taste: Starts out with a rich, chewy caramel flavor that is quickly joined by a blast of piney bitterness; after the swallow, the fruit becomes more prominent with a very nice pear flavor that has a woody element to it

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation; considerable warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: A very nice effort from a brewery I would like to become more familiar with; these guys can brew some high gravity beers

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Photo of Cresant
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a nonic. The "bottled on" panel was not notched. Two fingers of off-white creamy head slowly faded to a filmy lace clinging to the glass.

Smell was spicy and sweet. Brown sugar over sweet potatoes. Interesting.

Taste was sweet as well but well balanced with a bright hops flavor. Rich. Well hidden alcohol (said to be 11%). Slight cherry flavor. Not my favorite style but interesting.

Mouthfeel was medium to full in body. Hops oils linger in the mouth.

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Bearded Pat's Barleywine from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.79 out of 5 based on 100 ratings.
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