Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine | Arcadia Brewing Company

very good
600 Ratings
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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in the tradition of English-style barley wines, Cereal Killer offers an explosion of full-bodied, liquid goodness. Robust malty flavors converge with caramel, toffee, molasses and dark fruit notes to produce a remarkably complex and palate-pleasing beer. Its intense malt character is complemented by a subtle citrus finish from the crystal hops. With cellar-aging, Cereal Killer's flavor evolves further, developing a sherry-like aroma and flavor similar to a cask-aged port. Winner of the Silver Medal for Barley Wine Style Ale at the 2007 GABF.

Added by mcallister on 10-26-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 600 |  Reviews: 279
Photo of BGsWo22
1/5  rDev -73.6%

Photo of probert
1/5  rDev -73.6%

Photo of klipper
1/5  rDev -73.6%

Photo of BellsFan
2/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of ldelancey
2/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of BMoney575
2.1/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Sampled on 4-11-07
2006 Vintage

Pours a deep blood red, with a small head and absolutely no retention.

Smell is fruity, notes of cranberry, with a strong alcohol aroma.

Taste is dominated by vodka-like alcohol. Starts with some malt sweetness...but then, absolute horror.

Mouthfeel is hard to gauge, hard to keep it in your mouth for more than a few seconds.

Drinkability is terrible. This beer would be better suited to a shot glass. A total swing-and-a-miss. I can't believe someone at Arcadia green-lighted this beer, any positive characteristics are totally destroyed by the ridiculous alcohol flavor. Back to the drawing board.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.39/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

$6.79 for a 22oz bottle at Merchants. OG=1100, 45 IBU, 9.0% ABV per the website. "2007 Vintage" on the bottle. Brewed with Rahr pilsner, Crisp crystal, and Crisp Munich. Hopped with Northern Brewer and Crystal.

Pours out to a clear very dark mahogany, forming a tall sticky and soapy tan head with excellent retention and gorgeous sheets of lace. Mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is of chocolate malt balls, rotten cherries, soap and hops. Soapy smell akin to Tommyknocker brews (same yeast?). The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy with a dense body. The taste starts with spicy and herbal hops, followed by a wave of nasty fusels, which is followed by chocolate malt balls, a wierd chemical/grassy bitterness which is kinda nasty, floral liquid hand soap, licorice, a touch of metals towards the finish, and an aftertaste of tobacco. Quite sweet overall.

Ugh. What a mess. Ugly flavors all over. I wasn't impressed with Arcadia the last time I tried their line-up a few years ago, and it seems they still haven't figured out how to brew a good beer since then. I was hoping this 'Big Beer Series' might prove me wrong. It didn't.

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Photo of brewerdrew
2.4/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Unfortunately, very disappointeed with this beer given that Arcadia produces some of the best Stouts and Porters I have ever tasted. To add insult to injury, I entered this tasting with high expectations given the recent GABF Gold Medal for Barley Wines that it recently won.

I poured this beer from a bottle into a Ommegang Belgian Beer glass and the appearance was muddy/murky. The smell and taste of alcohol was overwhelmingly the predominant characteristic of this beer. There were some notes of Hops but not what I was hoping for to balance the other characteristics of the beer.

I will not be going back to try this beer again.

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Photo of StoutSlayer
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"Break out the bottle of Asti-Spumante, pop off the top and rock with my posse..."

These words from the beloved early 90's rapper Candyman best describe my feelings about this beer. Yhea, it tastes like the beer version of cheap champagne, but god dammit it's a party and we're gonna get krunk.

This beer is sweet with a dry finish, and somehow syrupy as well. Honestly reminds me of my home brew when i used all extract. Like cheap champ this beer has its time and place. Like Candyman it's forgettable.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

In accordance with my firm belief that inclement weather necessitates barleywine my girlfriend and I cracked this while weathering Hurricane Irene.

Bone marrow yellowed beige head over a brown brew. Looks good.

Musty aroma like a cardboard box kept in a damp basement for too long. Moldy. Dry merlot like dark fruit and copper. Not what I was expecting but I like the smell of basements just the same.

Vinous dark fruit underlayer and a cognac-like malt character. Not as sweet as I'd like from a barleywine. In fact there's hardly any sweetness at all. Thin.

This bottle was from 2008. I don't think it ages well.

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Photo of jjayjaye
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep caramel amber color with a thin light tan head that fades fairly quickly. Little lacing observed.

The smell is very fruity, bananas, and cherries, like a breakfast cereal, with alcohol that reminds me of a dentist office.

Medium bodied, the mouth feel is slightly under carbonated.

The flavor is sweet but rather medicinal and there is a bit of a lingering after taste that's not sitting right with me.

Not going to make it to the bottom of this 22oz'er.

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Photo of coldmeat23
2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a dark copper color with ruby tinting. One-finger head of creamy orange-ish tan foam. Leaves a light layer on top. Lacing is good, but very slick.

This is one different smelling barleywine. I'm not sure if I like it or not. I'd say that it smells like a Belgian Barleywine, if that category existed.
Good presence of sweet malts. Nice citrus hops. Then we get phenols. It's like a band-aid covered in caramel sitting on a banana sprinkled with brown sugar.
This is one odd duck.

I swear that I'm getting oak. I don't think that this is barrel-aged so I find this to be odd. Sweet malts follow this. Nice mellow citrus hops. Then we get more phenols. Bananas and bubblegum, floating in sherry.

Very smooth and somewhat creamy. Medium to almost full-bodied. Medium level of carbonation.

I don't know if this one is drinkable or not. I'm leaning towards not. I've got another bottle downstairs, which I'll open soon. If it's any different, I'll amend this review.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.61/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep maroon with a finger of off-white head. A little retention and good lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt and tons of raisins. Almost sickly sweet aroma.

More raisins in the flavor. Almost tastes more like a quad than a barleywine. Overwhelmingly sweet with faint hop presence. Raisins, toffee and brown sugar.

Moderately thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Not really great. Some weird flavors for a barleywine and way too sweet even while cold. After warming became almost cloying. Probably won't be buying this again.

 541 characters

Photo of Strix
2.65/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a rusty orange-brown, with a little bit of residual lace.

Alcohol present in the smell, along with butter, raisin and a hop finish.

Hrm. Lots of flavors on this, but a little out of control for me. An initial grassy flavor of butter that doesn't blend well with the raisin, pineapple, alcohol, brown sugar and hops. Just not a pleasant blend for me.

Some seemed to like it, so chalk it up to personal taste I guess, but I didn't feel like the flavors in this one were in order. Too much alcohol and too much buttery sweetness.

 535 characters

Photo of BasementDweller
2.67/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Oh no. No no no. Please tell me this wasn't classified as a Barleywine. That's an insult to the category. Aroma is boozy and fruity, trying really hard to be estery but falling well short. Palate is far from substantial. Flavor is of simple syrup (and lots of it), a dollop of caramel, and a splash of Hawaiian Punch. As for hops, well, they're there, but not in any kind of force. They certainly don't contribute much to the aroma. Two redeeming factors of this beer: 1) it LOOKS like a barleywine, and 2) I didn't have to pay for it.

 535 characters

Photo of brew3crew
2.7/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Clear amber/brown with no head
S-Roasty malts hit the nose and linger
T-This is the 2008 vintage and you can still taste the Alcohol. Not what I was expecting when i chose this beer. very disappointing. Alcohol over powered most oher tastes. Slight roastiness
M-medium body with a clean finish
D-Hot, but not as bad as some hot beers

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Photo of chefboy812
2.73/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I started out pouring this one pretty agressively into a balloon goblet. even at cellar temperature it lazily makes a beige head that only rises a finger or so. It quickly falls to a meager edge that barely marks sip points. a chocolate brown color with red highlights with a little haze is very appealing.

The aroma of this beer reminds me heavily of apple wine. the alcohol is very pronounced, with little malt preasence. more of a molassas and fig scent with english treacle.

extreamly interesting but a little disapointing in reguards to flavor. very sticky and sugary. no true charachter of malt or anything like that. the most profound flavor is apple that repeats itself. not as a cidery falt; just the flavor that is most notable. the finish is a bit caramely and madiera like. it does hang with a pleasant roasty finish. actually the most enjoyable part of the flavor profile.

the mouthe feel is quite abit thinner than exspected with a beer of this strength. so the sickenly sweet charachter is made transparent by the lack of texture.

In reguards of drinkability; I actually didn't finish the beer as it warmed it got a little too cloying.

all in all I am glad that I tried it to realy know what an english style barlywine is like, but I much prefer an american style barley like Avery's Hog Heaven.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.73/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a big disappointment - fat, gooey, and overly sweet.

Pours deep amber with a thin off-white head that drops to no lacing. Aroma is syrupy and malty. Flavor is overripe and sweet with strong but indistinct hops. Raisin, plum, sourness and toffee. Mouthfeel very thick and gooey. The finish is quite heavy and sour. Feel like I need to brush my teeth.

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Photo of TheNakedStiletto
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of n2185
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage

A: pours a murky brown with half a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: loads of caramel malts on the nose with strong raisin aromas as well. There are some oxidation notes as well.

T: caramel malts and raisins dominate hefe, though with moderate oxidation presence. Sticky sweet finish.

M: thick body with low carbonation, this beer is thick and sticky.

O: this beer may not have been stored properly since it's already partially oxidized. It's not very good, though. Not undrinkable, but not appetizing either.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.81/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this barleywine pours a dark reddish brown with a thin dark tan head and no visible carbonation, rather mundane in the barleywine world

S - a musty aroma hits my nose first, like an older wheaty-oaty characteristic, behind that lies a dark sugary, molasses type aroma

T - sweeter than i thought it would be after smelling the aroma, dark sweets and a mild breadiness, a decent flavor, however the flavors individually are ok, they arent blended well to my taste

M&D - semi-smooth, not very drinkable, sweet an easy down, but not the easiest, kinda bitter

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Photo of semibaked
2.82/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a super murky dark brown with a bit on light tan foam on top, nothing to right home about here.

S - The usual suspect here, Roasted malts, caramel, and toast like qualities.

T - Pretty big sweetness with caramel and molasses qualities, then bitterness but not traditional hop bitterness, it is pretty unpleasant.

M - Crap tons of carbonation, a pretty oily consistency too, not good here.

D - Ya I am glad I didn't buy more than a bottle of this, just really different and not in a good way, have no clue what that bitterness is but it sucks. The carbonation is unappealing too.

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Photo of jsh420
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

pours murky apple cider brown with a 1 finger head that left some lacing

smells supper sweet and malty some roast

taste - yet another very sweet BW - sour candy carmel apples dark fruits figs

mouthfeel is medium body well carbonated

drinkability - not good BW#2 drain pour of the night

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Photo of aasher
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of wbc. This beer pours a reddish, very cloudy, copper in color with a light off white head. It smells of biscuity malts, molasses, honey, and has a berry sweetness to it. It's odd and too sweet. It tastes of sweet malt, honey, and molasses. It's far too sweet for my liking. It drinks light and isn't overly sticky, which is surprising considering the amount of sugar you get from this beer. Overall, this beer didn't bring anything notable to the table. It was average and overly sweet.

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 600 ratings.
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