Hand & Seal
Brooklyn Brewery

Hand & SealHand & Seal
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From:
Brooklyn Brewery
 
New York, United States
Style:
Barleywine - English
ABV:
13.3%
Score:
95
Avg:
4.31 | pDev: 7.66%
Ratings:
368
Status:
Retired
Rated:
May 15, 2022
Added:
Sep 27, 2014
Wants:
  41
Gots:
  121
SCORE
95
World-Class
Hand & SealHand & Seal
Notes: In the 20th season of his reign, the year Anno Brooklynius 26, our Brewmaster brought forth a new wonderment for the People. Barleywine-style ale, once the exclusive drink of British nobility, would be produced anew in Brooklyn. Linking together their twin brewhouses, the Brooklyn brewing team toiled a great many hours to create the most robust beer they had ever produced. Then it was set to rest for months in casks of Bourbon oak, and finally refermented in the bottle.

The result is one of the richest, tastiest beers to ever emerge from our brewery. The deep flavors of floor-malted Maris Otter barley shine through the layers of vanilla, coconut, toast and floral notes given by aging in Four Roses bourbon wood. Hand & Seal is complex without being perfumey, subtly sweet without becoming cloying. Its naturally gentle carbonation suits a contemplative drink. The size of the bottle connotes a spirit of generosity, for it is an ale to be shared with friends and family.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Sigmund
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Sigmund from Norway

750 corked & caged bottle, from the brewery. ABV is 13.3%. Dark brown colour, small beige head. Strong aroma of bourbon, molasses and oak. Soft carbonation. The flavour has also bourbon and distinct notes of oak, moderate molasses (not too sweet), noticeable hops.

May 15, 2022
 
4.44 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on May 05, 2022
 
4.29 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana on Apr 09, 2022
Photo of Korbynlehr
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Korbynlehr from Kentucky

Tried a bottle from 2013 in 2022. Still good but likely at the end of good taste and will likely begin deteriorating.

Mar 20, 2022
Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by mothman from Minnesota

Bottle. Little white head with some lace. Orange hued caramel color. Cloudy.

This is a treat. The barrels are great. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Orange peel and faint citrus.

Mar 28, 2021
 
4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts on Feb 09, 2021
Photo of thebeers
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by thebeers from Pennsylvania

Pours ruddy brown with a thin tan head that maintains a wisp across the top and a decent crown.

Oak, caramel, vanilla and light earthy hops show in the nose.

The same elements carry over to the taste, joined by a little cherry, raisin and an alcohol bite.

Medium bodied, borderline slick, with fairly strong carbonation.

This is a very well-crafted beer. A strong wood profile and decent hop addition for the English style keep it from being overly sweet. Very enjoyable sipper.

Jun 27, 2020
 
4.88 by Tiernan from Texas on May 30, 2020
 
4.5 by RochefortChris from North Carolina on Jan 26, 2020
Photo of Harrison8
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by Harrison8 from Missouri

Pours a dark burgundy-brown with less than a finger of khaki foam. Head retention is modest at best. Aroma is toffee, raisins, caramel, molasses and earthy, toasty, nutty malts. Huge depth to the aroma, that opens up lightly sweet and is curtailed - just slightly - but a little bourbon heat at the back. For the most part, the heat has faded from this 2014 vintage. Flavor profile is raisins, toffee, dark and stone fruits, caramel, molasses and brown sugar with roasty, toasty, nutty, earthy malts. Bourbon adds just a little swell of heat at the finish, but it's just big enough to cleanse the tongue of lingering sugary notes. Mouth feel is a touch thin with a medium-thin consistency. Texture is smooth and almost glass-like, which is to say, without much apparent texture at all. Overall, big and smooth. It doesn't taste like 13%+ at all, which is crazy. Aged extremely well.

Served at brewery. 2014 vintage. 13.3% abv.

Sep 13, 2019
 
4.01 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Aug 10, 2019
 
4.16 by smi69 from New York on Jul 08, 2019
 
4.34 by KingforaDay from New Jersey on Jun 07, 2019
 
3.36 by AyatollahGold from Indiana on May 21, 2019
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

A - Pours a murky reddish brown with thin off white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, plums, raisins and bourbon.

T - The taste is caramel, brown sugar, plums, raisins, figs, vanilla and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - This is an awesome BBA Barleywine. Please bring this back.

Apr 28, 2019
Photo of hman43
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by hman43 from North Carolina

Look: It pours cooper with an off white head. Head retention is low. It is slightly cloudy.

Smell: Strong malt with toast and caramel. There are moderately low bourbon and wood elements. There are low dark fruits in the nose as well.

Taste: The flavors are very strong with malt. The malt are loaded with toast, caramel and treacle. The bourbon and wood are moderate. There are low levels of dark fruit. The dark fruit is mostly plums and raisins. There is very low vanilla.

Feel: It is thick and chewy. It has smooth alcohol warming.

Overall, this is a great English barleywine with plenty of flavor and excellent warming.

Mar 10, 2019
 
4.4 by Quafftastic from Virginia on Feb 16, 2019
 
4.33 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan on Jan 21, 2019
 
4.11 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida on Jan 12, 2019
Photo of jimmyd3
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by jimmyd3 from Michigan

From nose to tongue this blew me away. Really blossomed as it warmed. Smooth, sweet, malty with just a hint of vanilla. Loved this so much I flew to NY and bought 6 at the brewery to take back to Michigan for future enjoyment. Wish they would brew this one again!

Jan 06, 2019
 
4.58 by Burgy from Minnesota on Dec 29, 2018
 
5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Oct 29, 2018
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

Pours a muddy brown like the Mississippi wen the water is up with a caramel colored head.

Fig, raisin, toffee, plumb, bourbon, and sweet bread in the nose.

Taste follows nose in a sweet smooth complex symphony of flavor.

Sep 29, 2018
 
4.5 by jwat from Pennsylvania on Sep 24, 2018
 
4.51 by Negrelly from Brazil on Jun 14, 2018
 
3.79 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin on Mar 25, 2018
 
4.38 by Griphon from Florida on Mar 10, 2018
 
4.25 by BeerDrinkingRhino from Pennsylvania on Feb 17, 2018
Photo of BillRoth
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by BillRoth from Maryland

Blend #2 (BQE Q3 2014) ... just opened (2018). Aged well and came across as a very well crafted bottled conditioned BW. Barrel brought the extra vanilla and coconut as promised. Smooth as hoped. Enjoyed that barrel didn't depress the base BW too much. Caramel and nougat maltiness still rose to surface from this English style BW. Garrett and company do it again. Well done.

Jan 20, 2018
 
4.36 by ummswimmin from New Jersey on Jan 18, 2018
 
4.28 by Jamison85 from Indiana on Dec 07, 2017
 
4 by Shawnspl from Rhode Island on Nov 05, 2017
 
4.5 by Corson from Canada (AB) on Oct 18, 2017
Photo of Boccu
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Boccu from New York

2014. Pours mahogany in color. With a light brown head. Very light Lacing. Aroma Carmel, toffee and raisins. Taste follows the nose with vanilla, dark fruit, coconut with a light alcohol burn. Very sweet. Very nice barely wine.

Oct 14, 2017
 
4.32 by ElGallo from New Hampshire on May 24, 2017
 
4.13 by Jacob17 from Maine on Jan 29, 2017
 
3.94 by CheapBeerBuzz from California on Jan 15, 2017
 
4.18 by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut on Dec 25, 2016
 
4.34 by whatname from Pennsylvania on Dec 21, 2016
 
4.34 by Ristaccia from Nebraska on Dec 08, 2016
Hand & Seal from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 368 ratings