Oak Aged Widdershins | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Oak Aged WiddershinsOak Aged Widdershins

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 02-09-2008

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 192
Photo of asnow
1.36/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I have to preface this review with the hope that I just got a bad bottle. It was vintage 2009.

It poured a cloudy orange-amber which can be expected if it had been shaken due to bottle conditioning, but it had not. The head was very slight and did not hang around long enough to make the walk from the kitchen to the living room. There were some hints of malt in the aroma, but they were overpowered by the smell of soured washcloth, dirt (not to be confused with earthiness), and mildew. All of the smells came through in the taste, but the malt gained a little bit of an edge and competed with the sourness. Little if any of the oak came through in the flavor, but there was a touch of hop bitterness, (not what one would expect even from a year old barleywine). The mouthfeel was and astringent and had a slight burn from the alcohol which was not pleasant with the thin body. In my years of drinking, I have only drain-poured two beers, and had I had more than a 4 oz. sample, this would have been a third. I might be willing to try it again in the future if someone else pays.

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Photo of AgentZero
1.6/5  rDev -56%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Didn't look like a barley wine, looked flatish, and very light colored and watery. Dead as pond water.

S - Smells artificial, maybe a little like ammonia as well. This is truly horrible. I strained my nose to pick out something, well, I got some malt notes, I think.

T - Tastes is right there with the smell, watered down with a chemically bite that is plain disgusting. This beer is just gross, I hope this was just a bad keg or something. A little light hops I think, or maybe that's just more chemicals.

M - Little flat and watery, mediumish bodied.

D - Can't drink this, it tastes horrible.

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Photo of ccrida
1.9/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

750ml bottle that I've cellared for about 6 months, 2007 vintage. Poured into my Delirium snifter, Oak Aged Widdershins is a clear orangish bronze with a tight, fluffy off-white head that is dense and long lasting, leaving heavy lace. Great glow to it and very impressive head for an aged barleywine! From an incredible start to a total meltdown...I scored the appearance before I even took a sniff, so this wasn't an attempt to help even out the score. It earned the 5 here, like it earned the low scores everywhere else...

Smell is rich spicy malt, herbal, resinous hops, some very light smoke and orange brandy. From the first whiff, I thought I wouldn't like it - but I didn't realize how much!

Taste is very intense and super oaky. It actually tastes really smoky, but is clearly just extreme oak tannins rather then smoked malt or peat. Very light fruity ester struggle to break through, but really, it's all about the oak. Way too much for me actually, which I've never encountered before. Lingering, spicy finish. Now I know what they mean why they say a beer is over-oaked. No vanilla or nuance, just sawdust and tannins. It's funny the label cites that it's only 50% oak-aged, if they're trying to convince me their blend worked, they failed!

Mouthfeel is very creamily carbonated but dry, medium body. Did I mention tannic??

Drinkability is low, way to oaky and astringent, it makes it seem like it's about 4% stronger. I'm not really sure though why the oak aged version would actually be weaker then the orginal. This was a real struggle to work through, and generally unpleasant. Warming up made no difference. I wasn't really concerned with drinking beer tonight, so I patiently powered through the first 1/2 for a few hours. I got used to it, sort of, but it just wasn't worth the pain, and I dumped the rest. One of the worst made brews I've had in a long time, I don't think I've liked any of the beers I've had from Left Hand.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.16/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap into a 4oz tasting tulip...Incredibly light poor for a barleywine of light clear copper with a hint of amber, just looks boring and watery like a watered down iced tea. No carbonation to boot...Dead aroma mostly, I get a slight hint of the wonderful aroma of cleaning supplies chemicals, yummy!...The taste is typical lh, fake oak notes, pine and chemicals...A super light feel makes this easy to drink but I can't imagine anyone who would finish more than half a glass.

Another crappy beer from Left Hand, not a surprise to me. Avoid this mess.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.46/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to wisconsinality for busting this one out to finish our tasting.

Split and poured into my tulip the beer is arusty amber orange hue with about a finger of beige head. Light flecks of lace left behind.

The aroma is heavy on the malt. Very sweet with a mild booze kick. Hints of tart candied fruit and a pronounced grassiness.

The flavor is full on cut grass. A very off putting plastic/metallic taste simply ruins this one for me. I can barely pick out a hint of malt in the finish.

Medium body that's fairly creamy with modest carbonatuion.

Overall by far the clunker of the tasting. I'm not sure if this one was off or what. I actually had to drain pour my last few sips. Simply nothing I would ever seek out again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.49/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderate copper color with a very thin off-white head and not much in the way of lacing. The nose carries oak, oak, and more oak. As it warms, I get a bit more oak. Other than that, a touch of semi-sweet malt. It's not terrible, just horribly one-dimensional. Other than the oak, there was a touch of caramel and sweetness. I'd rather not have this again.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL corked and caged bottle split, poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage. Thanks to Wisconsinality for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a cloudy caramel color that produced some off-white to yellow foam that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A rich maltiness with fig, raisin, and brown sugar/caramel sweetness.

(T)- Same as the smell, but with a much more pronounced malty sweetness than the smell led me on to believe. A light hoppy bitterness to it. A little musty, with even more caramel sweetness on the finish.

(M)- A decent, yet overly high carbonation level. Plenty of malt sweetness with a light bitterness. Plenty of boozy warmth as it goes down.

(D)- Very malty and sugary sweet even for the style. Has an obvious boozy warmth even for it being this old. Not bad, just a little too sugary sweet and malty for my tastes; not much balance.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle dated 2007, caged and corked. Pours a slightly hazy reddish golden with a big pillowy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is pretty subdued - some peppery malts and a little leather and maybe some old metallic fruits.

The flavor is peppery, metallic malts with a little sweet fruitiness and a good sized bitter alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is on the thin side but pretty smooth.

Overall, it's just an odd combination of flavors and doesn't work for me.

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Photo of charlesw
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 bottle. Glad I got it with a few years on it - I bet this is really harsh when young given how much bitterness and hop flavor is left after 5 years!

It's too pale in color and has no head. Bummer. Still, there is carbonation - the cork shot right off! Kind of weird that there's no head AT ALL.

Smells like old foghorn - underattenuated extract homebrew. And, wtf, is that right? Is this 8% ABV? GTFOOH! Barleywine? At 8%? No, I don't think so.

The taste is pretty good. Sweet, a bit of citrus and a lot of citrus bitterness. Prolly a decent I2PA. Actually, OKish, at this point, as an American bwine but... But the color and smell are just so wrong.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
2.97/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Leave it to me to bring the dud to a tasting.

Bomber poured into Bruery tulip. 2007 vintage.

A- Pours a very deep burnt orange. Hazy because of the yeast I shook up at the bottom of the bottle. A big two finger's worth of head that takes a while to recede and leaves nice lacing.

S- A big malt presence and a decent barrel presence. The booze is still pretty prevalent even for being a 2007. Just a little bit of spice in there as well.

T- The wood is almost overpowering in the taste. Everything just kind of falls by the wayside. A little dark fruit. The booze comes into full effect as well. It took me a while to pick up an off flavor and that flavor was bandaids. Not good.

M- Medium bodied that has the carbonation that is really lacking. A little heat from the alcohol and that is about it.

D- This was split four ways and the small amount we each had to drink was hard. Each person had trouble finishing this with two of the people sending it down the drain. Enough said.

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Photo of YouSkeete
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Amber-like with a deeper orange hue. Very cloudy. Short white head with moderate lacing.

S: Apples, caramel, and some smooth malted barley. Hints of bananas, citrus fruits and some kitchen spices. Mild hints of oak and wood.

T/M: Apple and caramel combination along with the banana and citrus flavors are big on the initial sip. Lots of subtle spice, light fruits and fresh malted barley in the overall body. Hints of dill weed and hops. Oakey, boozy and very dry finish.

D: Alright. Really dry and watery yet boozy body.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. "2007 Bottle conditioned."

Thanks to Wisconsinality for busting this bottle out at our Russian River tasting!

A - Totally murky mud water amber pours from the bottle with a massive cream head. Low retention with a little lace left over.

S - Heavy sweet caramel maltiness overpowers in the nose with a fairly strong sweet alcohol booziness. Lots of raw honey and lightly toasted amber malts. This smells like one potent beer that's close to void of any hops. Scratch that, a little bit of floral citrus on the finish.

T - Light caramel malts, lightly toasted with a thin malt profile and a powerful hop flavor full of floral notes and a citrus bitterness. Where is the barrel aging?

M - Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated with a bitter finish and a touch of alcohol. Smooth but not very great.

D - When a beer becomes a chore to drink, it isn't all that good. Not very good drinkability at all in fact. It's not much of a barleywine, honestly, and it's not much of a barrel aged beer.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 7.99. 2013 vintage, best by 12/3/18- bottled 12/3/13? Served in a Microbrasserie Charlevoix goblet.

Pours a nice garnet russet hue with about one finger of pale head. A thin cap remains and leaves a decent bit of lace.

Smells of alcohol, burnt caramel, a vague spice nite and malted barley.

The booze hits early and unabashedly followed by burnt caramel, vanilla tinged oak, cheap toffee, bitter berries, a little pine, cereal grains and some soft floral notes. Tastes strong but disjointed. Every now and then I'd start to get some nice oaky or caramel notes but the unblended alcohol and ocassional off notes quickly lead the flavors in a different direction. Lacking the hop bite of an American barleywine and the rich toffee of an English barleywine, this comes across more like some kind of vague high octane strong ale.

Syrupy full body with fairly mild carbonation. Burnt sugar, malted barley and fusel alcohol finish.

Oak Aged Widdershins isn't bad at all but doesn't quite come together. I'm surprised by how harsh the alcohol seems given that I drink stronger brews on a regular basis. Perhaps some age would do this good but I didn't detect enough of what I look for in either American or English barleywines to spend any more money here.

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Photo of Craigory
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle, 2013 release, poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass.

A: Pours a fairly clear, golden-orange body, forming barely a bit of beige head. Not much to look at.

S: A bit of citrusy hops, a hint of caramel malt, and alcohol. Not much to speak of.

T: Alcohol, orange juice, grapefruit, toffee, alcohol, maybe a bit of vanillin. There's not much to the flavor, really. Certainly not much of an oak character, and closer overall to an English Strong Ale than I would expect from an American Barleywine.

M: The beer comes and goes pretty quickly--thin for the style.

O: There's just not a lot to the beer on any level, except for the high alcohol content. This would be a decent beer for drinking with a heavy meal--an "easy drinking" barleywine, if you will.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap at Earth Bread And Brewery a few times over this week.

A- Widdershins (huh?) has that barleywine look with a nice mixture of semi bright hazy orange mixed in with bronze olympic medals. Somewhat hazy, not a clear shot. The head is cream colored tannish with sturdiness but no stick.

S- Smells very hoppy in a muted way. This must of been a pine box fresh (im not sure the age on this) but now it's a mix of pine and small tangerines with a caramel underlay. Oaking is muted let's say compared to a oaked bastard out the gate.

T- Barleywine esque but kinda all over the place. It's a barley bomb for sure, yet the old muted pine kinda kills it for me at least. A nice caramel punch, hints of toffee, tangerine, grapefruits are muted and faded in a way. Phenol alcohol does play a part. Oak is in the picture, but towards the back of the picture.

M&D- Feel is above medium with some rough patches and heat. Kinda chewy and coating on the mouth. It's drinkable but I struggled through my glass. Would not be my 1st choice for a barley wine. Truthfully, I think the hop bill is kinda skewed here, they just don't mesh right.

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Photo of HomebrewPgh
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A drinkable and very average barley wine. Aroma was so so. Hints of vanilla, oak and sweet malt. Pour was a nice deep murky brown with a thin tan ring for a head. Taste was subdued for a barley wine. Sweet hot malt, with just a hint of oak and a moderate alcohol burn. Decent carbonation. As it warmed a little caramel and toffee came out with the alcohol dominating. Average at best.

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Photo of TheBullsHorn
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer starts in England and ends with an American finish. In the nose, peat overwhelms the senses with dried fruits and burnt sugar lingering behind. The palate is similar with flavors akin to that of an English barley wine, only with overtones of peat. It finishes abruptly with a sharp drying bitterness. Overall this beer has allot of bold flavors but just doesn't seem to harmonize maybe some age would help.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

2007 batch. Curious, fewer reviews for this than I would have thought.

Poured into a small snifter. Cork came off with good pop...yeah, obvious bottle conditioning. Some very fine pieces of sediment. Plenty of foam, sunny golden-brown color. Truth be told, it looks like it could have been bottled yesterday.

In the aroma, a lot of sweet mandarin orange, rum, raisin, lavender and a hint of buttery biscuits.

Taste is surprising. It's surprising in that it doesn't taste that "aged" to me. The hops haven't entirely dropped out - there's still an orange-hop flavor, and a fair bit of residual bitterness. Orange and unsweetened raisin, just minor sherry notes if any. Some sweetness up front, but has a dry, bitter finish. Alcohol is muted to taste, but it still hits you like a ton of bricks. Pervasive hint of vanilla and coconut owing to the oak barrels.

Full bodied strong beer with a more than adequate carbonation level.

Not bad, but I was hoping for something a little more obviously lush and "aged." This still packs some real kick. Maybe the aggressive bottle conditioning and hopping helped preserve this much better than I would have thought. This must have been a real beast fresh. Seriously, I think this could easily go another 3-5 years - I think I opened this too early.

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Photo of Etan
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25


A: Pours a clear amber with a small off-white head.

S: Aroma brings light maple and peach characteristics. Somewhat hoppy.

T: Taste brings heavy peated malt, somewhat spicy oak, a hint of tannic vanilla, earthy grain, remnant citrus hop notes, a little maple.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: While this isn't horrible, the proportion of peated malt is much too high and obscures the other elements of the beer.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Left Hand Oak Aged Widdershins purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
appearance - amber with a slight head.
smell - spicy, oaky...aromas I like individually, but something's not working for me.
taste - I really thought I was gonna love this but it's not up to expectations. Not bad by any means but I love barleywine and oakaged...I expected to be better

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Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber, 2009 batch. Pours a nice hazy amber color, with maybe a finger of ecru head. Seems to me that this one would fall into the English style barley wine category, with aromas of caramel, chocolate malt and a little bit of citrusy hops. I didn't get a whole lot of oak out of this one, which was a little disappointing. Dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel dominate on the palate. Ok, but a bit of a letdown.

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Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

On draft, pours a bright amber orange, good carbonation and lacing on the glass.

The nose is heavy citrus up front, grapefruit, orange, lots of sugar and malt too. A little woody, with bourbon notes tying together with the malt sweetness, you can smell the alcohol. The flavor is a little spice, citrus hops, bourbon and vanilla, honey and caramel. Very sticky and a bit all over the place. This may get better with age, but right now a bit too boozy for the flavors.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

I had this on tap at the Pint Room in Carmel on Left Hand night. Pretty good barleywine. Orange-copper color, surprisingly translucent. Taste has fruit, some malt, and pucker. The mouthfeel is a bit harsh, but not too bad.

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Photo of joefuzz
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caged and corked 750ml bottle 2007 vintage.

Pours a orangeish brown with a small head.

Smells of caramel malts and some sweet apricot with a hint of oak, no hop presence.

Tastes is a little lack luster the usual sweet barleywine taste is there but seems dumbed down, like barleywine light..

Mouthfeel and carbonation are pretty spot on for a 4 year old barleywine.

Overall pretty good beer but I don't see it going anywhere with more time in the cellar.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Amber / copper body with a small khaki head. Aromas of alcohol, malt, candied fruit. Sweet and boozy. Cotton candy, hard candies. A hint of bitterness in the finish. This is ok. A small sample is plenty.

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Oak Aged Widdershins from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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