Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine | Arcadia Brewing Company

very good
599 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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Ratings: 599 |  Reviews: 279
Photo of joshstevens87
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark brown/ruby red with an almost absent light tan almost white head
S-a strong dark fruit and slight grape with a strong breadyness to back it up with no hops and a dose of alcohol in the background
T-more fruit but with a bit more bready maltiness present and a pretty strong alcohol presence not very comlex though i'm going to try an age one for a bit and see what happens
M-a huge body a sturdy carbonation this beer has an enormous feel it just seems a bit lacking in the taste deparment
D-good but not really drikable with its high abv and not very well hidden alcohol presence but i could still have a few of these in a sitting

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Photo of TommyW
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy brownish gold with a thin, tan head.

S- Lots of malty sweetness, brown sugars, burnt sugars and molasses; quick whiff of alcohol.

T- Pretty sweet overall; nice combo of burnt and brown sugars, dark fruit, molasses and toasted malt. Nice warming alcohol is noted.

M- Nice full feel with an easy carbonation.

D- Nice malty, English barleywine. Great sipping beer to go with a nice blue cheese.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark, slightly hazy, ruby red ale that has a light brown colored head. Decent retention leaving a thick lace on the glass that falls quickly behind the head

S-the nose is big and sweet. Some strong caramel malts and burnt brown sugar come in first with a big dark fruit sweetness in the back. Lots of dark cherries, raisin, some ripe plum.

T-the taste is more sweet than anything, mostly dark fruits playing here. The brown sugar is right up front, slightly burnt, notes of alcohol are present in the middle with the dark fruits taking over after that. Lots of ripe plum, raisin, sweet dark cherries, and a hint of bitterness at the finish

M-very smooth and a nice syrupy texture. It coasts the mouth, nicely carbonated, astringent.

D-doesn't have the complexity I would have like to see; but big bold flavors that are blended very well together. The alcohol is a little too present in the middle; but not overpoweringly so.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

To be honest, the beer pour reminds me of dirty river water. Brown with sediment....held up to light you can sort of see through it. Great...I"m about to drink dirty river water.

I smell roasted brown sugar bread.

The taste brings about brown sugary toasted sweetness. Not a lot for an aftertaste other than a mild sugar coating. I feel like I'm drinking oatmeal with brown sugar and molasses blended for hours into a pure liquid drink.

The beer has a clean mouthfeel which is impressive considering its 9% ABV billing.

I could drink the rest of this bomber, then it is time for a milder beer. The sweetness is sure to get to me.

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Photo of Frosty80
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: sits a clear amber

Smell: rich and strong malt character with caramel, dark fruits and vinous character. alcohol is obvious but not overwhelming. low background note of UK hops.

Taste: flavor is a bit lacking. malt profile doesnt seem that deep or obvious. some bready/cereal notes with caramel and dark fruit. hop flavor is just enough to balance. finish is faintly sweet and bready with warm alcohol lingering

Mouthfeel: rich, low-full body with medium carbonation

Notes: the aroma is very enticing but the flavor seemed to lack a little even for an English style. still decent though

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Photo of sweemzander
2.97/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date, just says that it is a 2007 vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick & cloudy mahogany color that produced some gray bubbles.

(S)- Dense raisin & fig with some neutral caramel. Some almond/walnut nuttiness.

(T)- Lots of burnt raisin & fig. A vanilla & caramel sweetness. Finishes dry with a metallic finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Very boozy & hot with a burnt bite & a metallic finish. Definitely showing its age perhaps.

(D)- This is perhaps too old. Nothing is really impressing me about it. At this stage, its just syrupy boozy burnt raisins & figs. I will certainly re-review this when I find one in better condition & fresher.

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Photo of techfed87
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber is of the 2007 vintage.

Pours a huge, bronze-colored head. Smell is of sweet grapes, almost like that of a jelly or preserve.

Color is dark bronze, with ultra-fine particulate hanging suspended. Taste is sharp and more bitter than what I would expect from a Barleywine. It's a sharp type of bitter, combined with a rich malt flavor, that differentiates this from other barleywines that are available. In short, it's a maltier, with a densely sour core.

Mouthful is pleasant, and the body has a flavorful alcohol presence without being completely overbearing. For being 9%, I would place this as a moderate-range barleywine, and it feels the part as such.

Overall, this is a different take to a barleywine than what I had become acquainted with. It's maltier, more bitter, and has a much sharper, more pointed aftertaste. A definite try, but not one of my most favorites in the category.

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Photo of UA8
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy and dark garnet/ brown with a one finger tall frothy brown head.

S- Raisins, bready malts, alcohol.

T- Sweet toffee malts, candied dried oranges and pineapple chunks, hint of medicinal flavor and herbal hop notes on the finish as well as just a hint of booze.

M- A bit thin for a barleywine but not so thin as to really take away from the beer. The light level of carbonation saves the body by making it come of more viscous than it is.

D- Sooo happy that this isn't nearly the disappointment I thought it would be based on others reviews. It works OK for the style. I would definitely say it's a slightly better than passable English barleywine.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006 from the cellar.

Bomber pours into my glass a deep brown with a brooding hint of red and a half inch of light tan head on top. Bottle foamed up a bit upon opening. Aromas start out with a myriad of dark fruits wrapped in a caramel blanket. Sherry, licorice and an herbaceous touch. Hint of vanilla along with some toffee and a touch of oxidation at this point. Still quite a robust aroma.

First sip brings a mix of dark fruits and caramel chewy malt goodness upfront. Plums, raisins and licorice meander with some sherry and a touch of vanilla. Mild oxidation makes itself known again in the flavor. Flows down with an hit of toffee and herbal bitterness. I didn't find this overly sweet which was nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Good carbonation and not overly heavy or syrupy at all which is nice. This is definitely a malt bomb and fits the English Barleywine category quite well. I think the age has worked nicely on this one too. A tasty, deep fruity barleywine worth checking out.

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Photo of colts9016
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this beer from a PSYCOHOPS and I am glad to try this beer. This is the first English Barleywine that I will try. The bottle is an 07 date so it has some age on it. Poured into a pint glass at 47 degrees. T

Appearance: A one finger tan head that is creamy with an okay retention. The color of the beer is a mahogany color with reddish copper hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with garnet highlights. There are some effervescence bubbles in the beer.

Nose: A very rich malty aroma that is yeasty, toasted, and hints of caramel. There is aromas of honey, toffee, floral esters, orange, grapefruit, and wood. The alcohol is bright with some phenols.

Taste: A deep toasted, bread, yeast, caramel, toffee, honey, floral esters, orange, grapefruit, light pine and some phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel is warming, smooth, and chewy. The body of the beer is thick and the finish is medium. This beer is awesome. The age on it gave away to fantastic tasting barleywine. The flavor profiles are complex but simple. The alcohol is warming and not harsh this beer is wonderful.

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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 BedetheVenerable
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top with AWESOME label; 2007 vintage

Appearance: Really pretty dark garnet brew with some super fine sediment and medium-high carbonation. This has a thick, dense dark tan cap with great retention

Smell: Dark toasted caramel, dark fruity alcohol, some mild dried cherries and rum raisin

Taste: Lots of dark dried fruit, plums and cherries, with some sweet toasty caramel, and mild warming alcohol. There's a really nice balance of flavors; nothing's overpowering. There's not much in the way of hops, just enough bitterness on the finish to keep this from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: Big, creamy, and soft; just a BIT heavier would be nice, but this is good

Drinkability: High for the abv/style, but a 22oz split two ways was perfect

Conclusion: This is definitely one of the better English-style Barleywines I've had (which I generally prefer to their American-style counterparts). This is wonderfully balanced, rich, and makes a great cold weather, late-night beer. Split with the Old Man after cellaring for a year or so.

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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 jamie2dope
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I go through trends of sticking to certain styles depending on the time of year, and in this case, it has all been about hoppy beers and Barleywines. This one I poured in to a weiss glass (not the right style, but whatever). Color is definitely good, it is a light cherry toward the bottom, and gets darker towards the top of the glass. Almost immediately upon pouring I could smell it from a few feet away. Dark fruits such as cherry and berry strike me first, along with some chocolate and alcohol. Honey manages to creep its way in as well....reminds me a bit of a cherry cordial. Taste is very sweet, and not afraid to flex it's alcohol strength. I get some honey and fruit nectar, and a tiny amount of molasses or caramel in the finish. Body is big, viscous and in your face. Drinkability is nice, however be warned that this is a sipping beer for sure that should probably be paired with food. I have only had four or five sips from my glass, and can already feel the strength of this beer. I like this Barleywine. Not one of the best I have ever tried, but I would certainly recommend it to anybody who sees it in their area. Cheers

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Photo of Telix
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 2008 vintage from a 22oz bottle into a DFH Chalice.

A: Pours a nice deep brown-red that is a gorgeous garnet when held to the light. A thick, tightly beaded beige head is formed that slowly falls. No lacing was evident. The thick solution allowed a steady amount of carbonation to surface and patterns of bubbles to form on the surface. A beautiful beer.

S: Slightly sour funk, slightly sweet, I'm seriously getting a very mild fried pickle with some buttery notes. Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds, but definitely interesting.

T: Syrupy sweet maltiness coats the tongue with some bright carbonation following it, and as it dries on the tongue some sweet-sour cherries and fresh apples take over. The finish reveals the hop bitterness hiding underneath the fruit sweetness, but it's a bit too late.

M: Thick, chewy, mouth-coating. I really enjoy beers like this, to be honest, so I'll admit that many would find this a bit syrupy and cloying.

D: Definitely not a sessionable ale, but I don't think many brewers sit down and design a 9% barleywine to be. I took care of a bomber a bit too quickly, so it's drinkable for me, but as I always say - any beer I like is drinkable.

Ultimately, I'm not completely sold on this. It's just a little too thick and sweet and feels unbalanced, with the hops too far in the background to really integrate with the flavors. It's definitely delicious and lip-smacking, and would be a great beer to share with others on a cool evening. I think it would match spectacularly with some warm bread and cheese - which, unfortunately, I didn't have on hand.

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Photo of SpecialK088
2.96/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a Snifter

Pours a deep caramel brown with a cider like appearance. Head is thin but lingers over the top. No laceing

Nose is sugary sweet with notes of very rich malt and barley

Flavor is just like the nose its almost all barley and very very sweet.

Dry mouthfeel almost like a cedar dryness, mouth is slightly oily.

Not very eay to drink at all its very much a sipper. Just to sweet

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Photo of naterock
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007
poured into a pint glass, dirty brown like dishwater. no head to speak of and no lacing.

Smells of rich and overly sweet barley, candied sugar and toffe notes with a hint of vanilla.

Tastes overly sweet of complex malts. Sweet vine fruits and sweet sweet sweet.

I would like to try a fresh one so I can judge the changes it has made. With a couple of years it has definitely sweetened up and dulled the hop profile. Good but I doubt I'll age another one.

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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 drumrboy22
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. Poured from 22oz. bottle into a Delirium Noel snifter. Beer was muddy brown with a one-finger, light brown head. Very minimal lacing and light carbonation.

Aroma was caramel, brown sugar, raisins and dark fruits.

Taste was caramel, molasses, raisins, dark fruits and light spicy yeast.

Still pretty boozy. Could use some more aging.

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Photo of DawnL
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was the fourth, and last beer in the tasting. It was served out of a large format bottle.

The color was a hazy brown with a head that dissipated quickly to sticky lace.

The nose was deep and murky with yeast and oaty goodness.

The flavor was complex and sweet, but welcoming after the Festina Peche, Augustijn Ale and the Rogue American Ale. There was yeast and dark fruits - dried prunes and caramel notes.

It was the perfect beer to end on. It pairs very well with dried dates.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 22oz bottle.

A: Copper red in color, thick plume of khaki colored head.

S: Sweet, malty and boozy.

T: Simple syrup like on the first taste. Malts along with carmel, toffee and biscuits after the sweet rush. Hints of dark fruit and wine. Bitter and boozy on the finish.

M: Slightly syrupy, semi-thick and coating. May have smoothed over with aging.

D: Suggary sweet and often unbalanced. Would have liked a little more malt charachter or a touch less sugar to balance out the flavors.

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Photo of Pencible
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. This poured a nearly opaque dark garnet with moderate tan head. It smelled like dark fruit (fig and raisin and prune) with honey wheat and roasted barley and some molasses. It tasted like raisins and prunes and honey wheat, with copper hops and caramel and molasses malts. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a very deep, rich flavor and great body. I could already really sense age on this beer with only 1 year on it, and I could foresee it continuing to improve for another year or two. Nice clean flavors that were balanced quite well and hid the alcohol nicely, so this was easy to drink but much better to sip. Well done!

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, murky walnut colored body with a large, fluffy tan head that gradually dissipates to a sticky, thin lacing.

Big, sweet caramel malt aroma and dark fruits such as cherries or raisins, and even a bit vinous.

Flavors are deep and strong, caramel malt, molasses, more dark fruit, bourbon-like, and even more malt to finish. As it warms, spice notes appear.

This brew is big, syrupy, and chewy, medium to high in carbonation, and generous alcohol presence.

This is a great beer, and a great barley wine, tons of flavor and aroma offerings, and an extremely nice alcohol warmth. This is a winner.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caramel colored body, hazy, and a thick tan head.

Smell is brown sugar like malt and a mix of fruits, most pronounced are figs and apple.

The taste has a sweet sugar cane flavor like rum with a touch of sour. It is fruity and has a nice little touch of citrus hops. Alcohol is present but as it warms it subdues.

Thick and syrupy mouthfeel with low carbonation. Very dry finish.

Drinks like a barleywine usually does. It's a sipper, but a tastey one.

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 599 ratings.
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