Oak Aged Widdershins | Left Hand Brewing Company

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83
good
192 Ratings
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Oak Aged WiddershinsOak Aged Widdershins
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
lefthandbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
192
Reviews:
84
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
15.38%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
16
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2013 edition, so this has had some time to mellow. i have never had the unoaked edition, nor have i had the beer fresh, so any comparison will be impossible. sometimes i forget these guys have been around awhile. this was probably groundbreaking in 2008 when it was added here on BA, i feel like the american made barleywine game has evolved very quickly, with everyone getting in on it. this beer may be left behind a little bit, but i still think it represents a pretty classic example of the style, even if it has a few flaws. its got a nice rich looking caramel color and more clarity than expected for a beer thats been in oak. not much head, but thats to be anticipated. nose definitely shows a bit of oxidation, but if that can work anywhere, its here in a big english style barleywine. i still do get some hops in the nose though, kind of cool, and i definitely smell the yeast, a high gravity burton type, robust at a time, but now dormant. the grain flavor is a little one dimensional for me, sweet caramel malt, middle of the spectrum, with little support from anywhere else. notes of molasses and golden raisin come out, and its not diabetic, but there is plenty of leftover sugar. the oak doesnt seem to bring a lot of flavor in. it serves more in a mellowing capacity it must be, because the alcohol is pretty tame for its strength. an easy glass of beer to sip on and enjoy, but i suspect this peaks at about a year in the cellar. i would like to try the unoaked, it didnt seem like that aspect made much of an impact...

 1,535 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

 472 characters

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is relatively clear orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving only delicate lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted oak are present in the nose along with notes of smoked malts and hints of alcohol.
T: The taste has flavors of smoky peat malts along with notes of caramel malts and some toasted oak from the barrel aging. Unlike the smell, no flavors of alcohol are noticeable. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a bit of warming from the alcohol.
O: I found this beer to be very drinkable considering its strength as it hides its alcohol very well. There is also just enough in the way of malts to help cut through the maltiness, somewhat lightening up the mouthfeel and preventing any stickiness.

Serving type: bottle

 985 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oak Aged Widdershins pours a rusty colored, murky beer with specs of protiens and yeast clinging to the inside of the glass. A sturdy frothy, lightly tanned head forms on the beer and slowly settles to an even sheet across the glass, leaving rings of lacing behind. A decent look but a lot of haze and particulates.

Barleywine through and through with a focus on caramel, toffee, nuts, and sweet breads. Yeasty esters bring on fruits from a lot of different directions: plumbs, dates, figs, prunes, grapes, apples, raisons, appricots... Could be a bit English-ish based on the sweetness and fruits. However those hops say otherwise. Resiny, bitter, and spiced with pine, orange zest, and grasses.

The oak aging makes a dramatic impact in the nose with a fresh woody cut of white oak. Light tannins provide dryness and light astringency but doesn't really take away from the beer. The oak seems to take the rougher edges away from the alcohols and hop bite while smoothening the malts into a cotton-candy whimsy. Oak also seems to amp up the notion of nutty and grassy a bit more than standard Widdershins.

Sticky sweet up front but the carbonation holds just enough to lift the heavy beer off the tongue. Alcohol and hops dry the beer first at mid palate and the oak finishes and lingers into the aftertaste.

This is one fantastic beer that lives just behind the Oak Aged Bastard in terms of quality.

 1,404 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, light orange color with a very small, somewhat fizzy, white head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled a little sweet and of dried fruit - mostly raisin.

T - It tasted of vanilla, bourbon and sweet malt. The dried fruit flavor is subtle and understated.

M - It was sharp and fairly crisp. A medium to full bodied beer with a chewy mouthfeel.

D - This is a good tasting barleywine, but is a bit much to handle in terms of drinkability.

 458 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/3/2013. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, apricot, plum, fig, pear, apple, orange zest, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, oak, herbal, grass, light pine, light vanilla, and herbal/yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, earthy hops, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, apricot, plum, fig, pear, apple, orange zest, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, oak, herbal, grass, light pine, light vanilla, and herbal/yeast/oak earthiness. Light herbal/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, apricot, plum, fig, pear, apple, orange zest, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, oak, light pine, light vanilla, and herbal/yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice robustness and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, earthy hops, and oak barrel flavors; with a great malt/yeast/hop/oak balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent oak aged English barelywine style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, earthy hops, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,712 characters

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.

 428 characters

Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this over the weekend,a stiff price tag of $12.99.Poured into an imperial nonic a slight hazed aber infused with burnt orange,a nice tight formed one finger white ehad atop that settled very slowly leaving broken globs of lace bhind as it settled slowly.A mix of dark fruit,smoke,and vanilla tinged oak in the nose,definently malt driven.Flavors may be a little to infused with that oak,vanilla tinged with dark fruit,alcohol sweetness seems to become more prominent as it warms,it has a little of the smokiness like the un-oaked beer.Its good but not good for the price tag.

 579 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
2.2/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of duceswild
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 203 characters

Photo of 22Blue
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of malfunxion
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09/07/09- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked, vintage 2007. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Deep mid range caramel-copper colored pour. Fluffy 3/4 inch white head, hangs around for a while leaving a nice rim for the duration. Some pretty good lace markings left behind.

Smell- As it warms the caramel really comes out in full force. Some really light hops mingle around as well as some light fruity notes and a touch of oak.

Taste- Drinks much better at room temp than straight out of the 50 degree cellar. Lots of caramel goodness, but not too sweet. The tropical fruits they talk about on the label (apricot and orange), finally come out long after the beer has had time to breathe. Hops play a decent role, but it by no means a hophead barleywine. Oak is very subtle and rounds out the beer nicely.

Mouthfeel- Medium to a bit lower on the carbonation level with a slight bitter bite in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- A really easy drinking barleywine as well as a nice change of pace beer. Not your tradtional barleywine.

 1,101 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A two year vertical of a 2007 cork and caged Widdershins, properly cellared all these many years and a brand new 2013 crown capped bomber.

2007: Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a slightly hazy medium coppery amber with a fine one finger ivory head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma is classic barleywine; fresh and dried dark stone fruit, caramel malt and moderate cardboard from aging. Flavor follows with caramel malt, fresh and dried plums, a bit of butterscotch and butter, and the expected moderate cardboard, although the latter is covered pretty well by the flavors. Flavor drops off fairly quickly to a slightly over the hill caramel malt and cork flavor, but an unexpected lingering hop bitterness. I probably aged this one a bit too long, but it held up pretty well. Not the best balanced or well preserved barleywine I've aged, but still a quite satisfactory, warming aged ale with good barleywine character. Would have liked a bit more oak than the light butteriness, but enjoying it as it is.

2013:
Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a clear medium coppery amber with a thin film of ivory head dissipates to a ring around the glass and light lacing. . Aroma is fresh caramel malt; fresh dark and light stone fruit, slightly sweet and floral; a hint of oak. Flavor is caramel malt, toffee, dark dried fruit, particularly figs and dates, a nice balance of fruit and caramel. Flavor drops off a bit in the finish, exposing a moderate lingering floral hop finish and bitterness. Medium bodied with mild creaminess. This is more of an English barleywine profile to my taste, but the hoppy finish is definitely American. I liked the balanced malt and fruit flavor of this much more than I expected and will get this barleywine again. The oak is almost undetectable in this, which is the only element that was less than expected.

I think the 2007 is over the hill, but I do think the 2013 could well improve well with a few years on it. It drinks quite well right now. An unexpectedly enjoyable barleywine. Review rating is for the fresh Widdershins; the aged one would grade about a half point lower on taste because of the thin finish and effects of oxidation. The appearance gets a few decimals extra because the aged one has such a creamy, good looking head.

 2,299 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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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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