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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: 83 | Ratings: 190
Photo of aepb1
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Hazy orange body (bright), with a big foamy white head

S- Malty sweet, sugary dark fruits, booze

T- Woody, dark fruits, boozy heat

M- Medium to full-bodied, lots of heat from the alcohol

D- Nothing awesome about this beer but certainly don't turn it down if offered.

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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 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 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 tronester
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear deep amber, with a perfect light tan colored whipped cream head. One of the best looking beers I have ever seen. I was amazed at the clarity of the beer considering its bottle conditioned. Smell is some raw brown sugar and charred wood. Taste is a hint of ripe bananas up front, with a creamy toffee middle, and a dry woody finish. The oak aging is nice, often times it is overdone. There is also a hint of flowery hops in the finish, just enough to balance. Mouthfeel is very creamy, nice low carbonation. Drinkability is very good, I would certainly get this again. The alcohol is nearly imperceptible, which is difficult to do in beers of this gravity.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 beerman207
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown/orange with a decent head that leaves moderate lacing in the glass

S: Definite hop presence (floral), some citrus comes through with a decent malt, some caramel

T: Hoppy, citrus, caramel, great malt presence - wow. Impressive for a Left Hand brew

M: Good - moderate - not to heavy

D: I have a half growler of this and will definitely polish it off. Pretty impressive. Glad to have found this at Party Town in Florence, KY on Growler.

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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.

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Photo of JasonA
4.11/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle Conditioned

Pours a light amber, maybe some reddish hues. Ample carbonation, thin, off white almost beige. Ample lacing, with some thickness. Awesome, pure awesome bottle conditioned appearance.

Medium malt, little booze. Might be some earthiness. Some fruit presence. The caramel malt is very nice. Light hop character, which puts it in the rear. As an English BW lover that would be my choice.

Some bitter, malty goodness with a wicked caramel malt finish. Im getting some tartness here, but its quite subtle.

Explosion in the mouth. Love the carbonation level. Reminds me almost of a Belgian Quad with the temperature and bottle conditioning.

Overall it might be a tad hoppy with the finish. While you will have that with an American BW, it feels just a tad out of balance with the malt.

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

Poured a deep orange color with good carbonation and a nicw hite head. Nose is oak, musty, horse blanket.Taste is citrus, apricot, earthy, caramel, oak, must. Mouthfeel is light boozze, earthy, oak, musty. Drinkability is good and unique overall. Musty try.

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Photo of bump8628
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper-orange with a loose, light tan head that builds and then recedes quickly.

Aroma is quite mild, almost too much so for the style, especially an oak aged version. Bits of fruit here and there with a spicy note from the alcohol.

On to the taste...first off, it's big on the fruit with notes of dark fruits, apricot, and orange marmalade. The Brandy barrel is integrated nicely with just a touch of smooth oak character. Hops are difficult to find behind the other flavors, but they give some spiciness along with the alcohol, which is very well hidden. A slight metallic character also comes through at times.

This one is worth a try. It's a bit different than your typlical American Barleywine, but still has plenty of interesting flavors to go around. This is my first Brandy barrel aged beer and I must say it's a nice departure from the whiskey barrel aged beers I typically encounter. The oak character is smoother and more delicate, not the onslaught of raw oakiness and booze that whiskey cask aged beers can be.

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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 stephens101
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brownish with cloudy burnt-orange hues. A little over one finger of tan head results from an explosion of carbonation, sticks around and then quickly disappears. A few small fingers and sheets of lace are left behind. Smells a bit chocolaty up front with some earthiness in the middle and some sweet cherries lingering toward the end. Tastes initially sweet and malty with a good hoppy backbone and an oakiness around the edges. Some light and dark fruits wind there way through from time to time. A hint of booziness is noted, but not much to speak of. Brew goes down medium with an airiness to it. Pretty complex brew that could use a little bolder approach in some areas, but nothing to bitch about.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a nicely sticky head, although little lacing is retained. Nice colors and tightness in general - good looking beer. The nose is firmly in the fruity spectrum, with lots of tropical and citric notes overtaking the bready malts and the present but slightly muted tones of the oak.

The flavor leans once again towards the hops. The big pictures includes a large variety of earthy notes, with menthol and pine contributing equally along with the oak and woody notes. Still a lot of fruit there, especially up front. A little bubble gum just for kicks. The bitterness is plenty, but not overbearing, and I would also say that the alcohol is nicely hidden.

Easy to drink without a doubt, and the general presentation is fairly nice. On the whole, though, my thoughts are that this one is all over the map, and just a little over the top in that direction to have it be a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not into one-trick ponies either, but this finished product combines so many different melodies that it just can't quite carry a tune.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter 11/30/09

A - Murky, medium-dark brown with hints of burnt orange. Very much swamp-like. Plenty of yeast settles on the bottom with smaller particles suspended throughout. ¼ inch head maintains rather well considering the age of the beer, offering thin but consistent retention. Sparse lacing.

S - Potent & sweet malt aromas - caramel, toffee & brown sugar abound. Undertones of sweet bread. Hints of light fruits: apricot, apple & orange. Smooth swaths of oak. Not particularly boozy.

T - A now-mellowed hop character still offers a touch of bitterness up front. Malts akin to the nose embody the middle & are the most notable offering. Caramel & dark sugars with a blend of light fruits. Toasted malts on the finish with a chalky, burnt, charcoal-like quality. Undertones of wood & vanilla.

M - Full bodied with modest, creamy carbonation. Some residual flavors linger on the finish, but not too long. Faint alcohol heat is masked incredibly well.

D - Certainly a sipper, but an easy drinker. I'm happy to have it on hand as the Ohio winter grows increasingly cold.

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Photo of BillyBoysPie
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY.

In a snifter, hazy reddish-orange towards burnt orange. Thin off-white head with lacing. It seems a little off for a barleywine, but isn't bad at all.

A little weak - but rhubarb and hops. Not much I can smell other than that.

It tastes much stronger than it smells - in your face rhubarb and golden delicious apples. Yum. Hops for a little bitterness on the back of the palate and some sweet non-caramel malts.

Refreshing lighter offering that didn't disappoint. I'd have it again.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a treat--my first from Left Hand. Pours a nice caramel color with about an inch of tan head that laces nicely as the brew goes along. Smell is a bit lacking, boozy, with some caramel and sweetness. Taste, however, is great, big oaky notes coupled with some grassy hops, sweet caramel, and a bit of booze (but it works in this case). Nice piney burps following... gotta love that. MF is a bit lacking in the creamy department, full bodied and oily, but I would like some more creaminess. I moved through the bomber pretty quick, definitely a nice, enjoyable OA barleywine. Definitely will revisit this.

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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.

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Photo of BirdFlu
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review of an approx. 2 year aged bottle:
I was expecting a ton of sweetness with this for some reason. I'm not sure if I noticed that its listed as an American Barleywine but I was expecting much more in line with English. The aroma hints at this, as well. A lot of malt, much more than anything, with raisin and a fig-like character that was reminiscient of doppelbocks. The pour is very nice, a somewhat-cloudy red-orange (the red was surprisingly nice). The flavor is much more bitter than expected, not that theres a tno of hop, but its definitely not just all malt. The wood character is also quite-present and even imparts sort of a dry feeling to the mouth, which is otherwise moderately-bodied. Overall its certainly decent, not the most incredible and I almost wish the flavor would tilt a little more in either direction, either more hop or more malt. The balance between the two allows the oak to take over a little too much.

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Oak Aged Widdershins from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 190 ratings.
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