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Barleywine | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

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37 Ratings

Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Barleywine is a rich and malty interpretation of the classic style, balancing layers of herbaceous hops with sweet malt flavors.

Added by kaseydad on 08-19-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by brinkdeer:
Photo of brinkdeer
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of dogfishandi
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of sgttibbs
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Brenden
3.08/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Heaviness sans finesse, as exemplified by this beer, begins with the look: a sticky, thick and heavy bruised plum color layered by tan foam that rests pretty still but does eke out some spotting onto the glass.
Heavy and sweet, sugared and thick aromas pour out: burnt caramel, blackstrap, lots of dark fruits and ethanolic alcohol with a bit of a somewhat medicinal element as well.
The herb is very hard to draw out; the malts just overpower it. The various components come together better in the flavor, but slightly. All the sweetness and heaviness is there, but malty grains provide a little support for it, and a hint of something dry keeps it more balanced than the aroma. The dark fruits come out most strongly and ride all the way to the finish.
Despite what it would seem, it's actually a bit too thin and, while it shouldn't be very crisp, the carbonation and bite is too heavy. Some smoothness is managed, but it flattens too much.

 943 characters

Photo of MacEnvy
3.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at ~40 degrees F in a glass bottle.

Appearance: Quite dark, small head of fine bubbles that stick around a while.

Smell: All malt, a little roasty, strong raisins and currants.

Mouthfeel: Full mouthfeel but too sweet to keep swirling for long.

Taste: VERY sweet. If you drink this after an IPA it may be too much to handle, or vice versa. A deep fruity sweetness that approaches cloying but does effectively mask the expected alcohol bite from this 11.5% ale.

Overall: This is a good beer but may be simply too sweet for some. To be honest, after drinking the first one, the other two from the Pyramid variety pack were left in the fridge for a couple of days until they were the last two left. The sweetness really is very pronounced and it's to the point where it's cloying and hard to finish. The end result is more Raisin Nyquil than beer. Perhaps a year in cold storage would do this barleywine well, but if Pyramid chooses to ship it early, then this is the review they get.

 992 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.37/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark amber brown with a sandstone colored finger width head. Average retention. The lacing is spotty with little stick.

Smell - Predominantly sweet aroma, with notes of black cherry, raisin, molasses, rum and just a hint of caramel.

Taste - Follows the nose, with sweet malt character making up the bulk of the flavor profile. Dark caramel, hints of rum and raisin, subtle coffee notes. Finsihes sweet, with little balance.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied and syrupy. Sticks on the lips. Moderate carbonation.

Overall - A fairly average barelywine. Not quite as bad as I expected, and its shows fair drinkability. Too sweet with little bitterness for my taste, but it's loads better than the Mendocino BW I had recently.

 745 characters

Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.08/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extremely surprised to see a barleywine as part of a 12-mixer pack, but i'll take it
A - a swampy purple brown, short tan head dissipated to a thin cover leaving a decent lace ring
S - a syrupy sweet aroma, but followed by a start chemical type aroma with some booziness, its not a bad smell but definitely surprising
T - similar to the nose with ample nuttiness, but still has this undertone of a cleaning product thing going on that is just strange
M - heavy and sticky, a tad flat, just a touch of alcohol bite, finishes full
O - something about this just didn't quite work for me, not bad but not a great example of the style

 629 characters

Photo of jtierney89
2/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Even with a super aggressive pour this thing produced only a thin lace of tired yellow head. Super murky brown color with orange highlights. Smells like tootsie rolls, dark fruit and alcohol. Pretty standard. Lots of raisins on the nose as well.

Almost flavorless but with some sweet chocolate and caramel flavors with detectable alcohol. However the beer is rather cold so i'll give it a bit to warm up.

Alcoholic tootsie rolls is basically what this beer is with a lot of alcohol bite. Pretty smooth body, i'll give it that, other wise though too simple for whats supposed to be a big beer with way too much detectable booze. Slightly medicinal.

 650 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the Autumn mix-pack.. Poured into my slim tulip... the brew is dark amber.. short lasting tannish head.

The nose is thick caramel... decent molasses.. dark toast.. treacle...

The palate shows a pretty standard thick malt American BW... Not enough hop bitterness and hop flavors to balance... Too sweet..

Too much body.. The carbonation is pretty light... Thick and way too much caramel and molasses.


 435 characters

Photo of matjack85
2.85/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Usually only available in their Fall assortment package, I found this single 12oz bottle in the build-your-own six pack section for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. It has a best before date of 12/20/12 on the neck label and this is already January of '13, so I figured I better get to drinking it.

The beer poured a plain brown color with a 1½-finder light sandy brown head. The head lasted about a minute and lacing was poor - just a few small spots that slid down the glass quickly.

Huge malty molasses smell.

Big molasses malt flavor. So much for barleywines being hop dominated. This one is all malt. There is some earthy hop bitterness in here, but for the most part the flavor is all malt, dark fruits, and a touch of warming alcohol.

Smooth and thick - almost syrupy. Definitely full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Not your typical barleywine, and not a favorite of mine.

 903 characters

Photo of bigbeers84
2.75/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of aranton
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of PicoPapa
3.45/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with Enjoy By 112812 on the side of the neck. Odd to see that on a Barleywine. Anyways, pours a dark brown with ruby hues and a thin layer of head. Minimal lacing. Aromas of booze, cherries, dark fruits, earth and bread. The taste is like boozey cherries followed by some malts. Earthy finish. Mouthfeel is thin for the style. The main reason I bought the mix 12 pack was that I saw that it had a barleywine in it which is a bit unusual. Overall, a decent Barleywine that works well in the mix pack but I wouldn't buy it on its own.

 544 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of FosterJM
2.83/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1711th Review on BA
Draft to Snifter

@Pyramid Alehouse, Walnut Creek, CA

App- When this came to the table. It was as still as plum juice. About the same color as well. A dirty purple/red/brown color. Fairly dense with no head and bubbles. No cling or lace either.

Smell- This was a purely artificial smell to me. A bit of plums, cherries and sugars. Didnt really have that barley wine balance between malts/hops either. Bordered on cloying as well.

Taste- This was at best an average beer. I havent had much luck with Pyramid but wanted something new. This was a bit malty with an over the top fruit flavor that was unbalanced and sugary sweet to mask the ABV.

Mouth- Way too thin on the body and way too thick on the carbonation. Like a prune juice feel to it. Sugary, fruits and malts. Just all over the place.

Drink- Meh. Ill pass on a bottle if I ever see one. Once was enough for me.

 894 characters

Photo of sparx1100
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of NickMunford
4.5/5  rDev +43.8%

Photo of Glopez
1.5/5  rDev -52.1%

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
2.94/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Photo of italianstallion
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Huffaroma
4.75/5  rDev +51.8%

Photo of spycow
2.75/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of TheMarkE
2.61/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Meh. The cloying smell is almost overwhelming, attacking you with caramel, molasses, and I’m not sure what else. The taste is about the same. Nothing subtle here, just a full out attack on your senses. Very sweet, very sticky. Maybe you don’t notice after downing a couple of this 10.5% ABV brute. I did see one review suggesting to mix it with the IPA, I may have to try that.

 381 characters

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Barleywine from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.13 out of 5 with 37 ratings
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