Hand & Seal
Brooklyn Brewery

Hand & SealHand & Seal
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Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
English Barleywine
4.31 | pDev: 7.66%
Oct 07, 2023
Sep 27, 2014
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.
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Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
2013 vintage; drank 9/30/23 @ Pokemon Communion.

Murky brown appearance.

No head; no lacing.

Leather, apple cider & mild cardboard notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Leather, caramel & apple cider flavors, with a hint of cardboard.

Past it's prime, certainly, but this was the only way I could try it without a time machine. Still pretty good!
Oct 07, 2023
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Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2014 Vintage
750ml Cork & Cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours brown in color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that has short retention before settling into a ring around the glass

S- aroma is mostly dark fruits up front; raisins, dried figs & prunes, even some dark cherry. Caramel, tobacco, leather & some spicy and floral hop notes. The barrel adds an oaky element, enhancing the caramel and adding vanilla. Some oxidization has set in

T- a sweet and malty caramel bomb up front, quickly complimented by notes of raisin, fig, prune and cherry. Mid-palate brings out some bourbon barrel that adds oak, vanilla, even a hint of coconut. The finish gives more caramel with just a hint of faded earthy and floral hops. Lingers of caramel and bourbon

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns slightly creamy into a warming finish

O- malty caramel dominates, with plenty of barrel to compliment. This is still a really good beer
Feb 04, 2023
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 4.44 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

May 05, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Apr 09, 2022
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Rated by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Feb 09, 2021
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Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 4.88 by Tiernan from Texas

May 30, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by RochefortChris from North Carolina

Jan 26, 2020
Photo of Harrison8
Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.01 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Aug 10, 2019
Rated: 4.16 by smi69 from New York

Jul 08, 2019
Rated: 4.34 by KingforaDay from New Jersey

Jun 07, 2019
Rated: 3.36 by AyatollahGold from Indiana

May 21, 2019
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Reviewed by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 4.4 by Quafftastic from Virginia

Feb 16, 2019
Rated: 4.33 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

Jan 21, 2019
Hand & Seal from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 370 ratings