Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine | Arcadia Brewing Company

Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley WineArcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine
Liked This Beer
3.82 w/ 600 ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 600 |  Reviews: 279
Photo of Vonerichs
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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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Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2008 batch. Purchased from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.49.

A: Crimson-amber with 1/2 finger vanilla ice cream head with low retention and minimal lacing.

S: High berry quotient with cherry, chocolate, and licorice all mingling with a blast of herbal hops and a lot of booziness

T: Very thick and sweet with plenty of cherry and plum malt fruit flavors. Chocolate and herbal hops come in at the end. A little bit of leather and mustiness as well.

M: Very chewy and viscous with low carbonation and sweet malty aftertaste.

D: A very nice English barley wine that might benefit from another year or two in the cellar. Solid nonetheless and firmly on the sweet end of the barleywine spectrum.

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Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, drank in April 09 as best I recall:

Pours an orange tinged chestnut with a finger of tan head. Slight oily sheen to this, some lacing & no head retention

S: Plums, apricot, raisins, & boozeyness

T: Plums & jammyness up front. Some booze warmth & leafy hops creep in as this warms, plus dryness * woody hops. Brown sugar in the finish

MF: Rich & chewy, up front, thins as it warms with minimal carbonation

Dranks alright, but flavor profiles are all a bit shallow. Not bad, but not as good as other Arcadia offerings IMO

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany pour with a thin tan head with
little retention. The carbonation is not
very obvious

S: Sweet malty aroma with a little bit of an
acid pungency, the alcohol?

T: Sweet malt syrup at the sip with the bitter
malt at the swallow. There is a slight
hop presence at the back of the pallet.
Fruitier as the drink continues, grapes and
apples, other dried fruit medleys

M: This sweet brew actually leaves a dry
feeling on the pallet rather than the
expected sugar slick. The carbonation is
really spot on here. I typically find this
style is too lacking in carbonation.

D: This is not my favorite style but this
particular example is one of the best that
I've sampled. Great character with a lack
of emphasis on sugar. Really quite good.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle, 2006 vintage, shared with psycohops. Poured into an Adnams pint glass, the barley wine appears something akin to murky, freshly brewed iced tea with a finger of light ecru foam. The foam settles to a thin layer within a few minutes. Flavor and nose consists of rather sweet smelling brown sugar, very fruity - figs, dates, dark cherries, still a touch of alcohol making it a tad boozy. Ample carbonation and not as sweet tasting as the nose would suggest. The flavor drops off almost instantly upon each swallow. Rather smooth with a light finish. We paired this with some Cabot Hunter's Seriously Sharp Cheddar.

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Photo of coldmeat23
2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
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 mltobin
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber bottle from Cork N` Keg in Southbury, CT.

The appearance is a deep brown with a decent head.
The smell is rich, sweet, some alcohol.
The taste is sharp, kind of filling, more of that sweetness.
Mouthfeel is burnt chocolate, malty, kind of funky, time for some water. Drinkability is average. First beer from Arcadia, I had hoped for a better beer. This barleywine is acceptable, but by no means is this a great beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper with a big rocky tannish head. Great carbonation. Nose is cocoa, toffee, caramel. Taste is toffee, cocoa, caramel with a finish cocoa, maybe like bakers powder cocoa. Mouthfeel is nice not to heavy on alcohol, brown dugar, cocoa. Drinkability is good.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a hazy light brown, with a two finger head on the pour. Hmmm... a hazy barleywine. This could be interesting.

Aroma came right out and slapped you in the face with its barleywine character. Rich, deep medium malts with a distinct whiskey alcohol scent.

Taste was of strong, medium bodies malts, hints of roasted barley, slightly bitter alpha acids, and a definite alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel was full, well-bodied, chewy, and slightly oily. Almost too heavy, but it held back in the end.

Drinkability is OK. I've found that since I am a hophead, I prefer American barleywines to their English cousins. However, this was a good representation of the style.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a warm, burnt toffee scent that boasts of pale and caramel malts boiled down to darken the color and intensify the malt character. The taste is good. It has a very rich, malty flavor that screams burnt toffee and low hops. It's slow going down with a nice warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is good as well. It is a FULL bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a powerful beer with loads of flavor. I'm a big fan of the malt content. Burnt toffee is like mothers milk.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was slightly disappointed when I got to the website today and learned this was a Barleywine rather than a stout or porter (I thought with the word "cereal" in the title, it had to be one of those.). But, I was delighted with the barleywine.

Pours a chocolate raspberry color with a large, slightly brown head of about two fingers. The beer was poured from a 22oz into a stein.

Aroma is immediately strong and quite fruity. Lots of dark fruits and a touch of alcohol booziness. Slight chocolate and some earthy, musty tones.

Fruity, malty, a touch bitter. BW arent really my favorite style but I am liking this one. Tons of caramel with chocolate and raisins and grape. Perhaps a bit of toffee as well to add a touch of nuttiness. A touch of hop bitterness keeps the sweetness low on this one, which is a plus.

Not bad. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually liked this one. I would certainly recommend if one enjoys the maltier, earthier style.

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Photo of Durge
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A deep copper caramel color, thick and hazy with a decent oatmeal colored head and great lacing. The aroma is nutty red wine and deep malt earthiness, full and a bit sweet. The flavor is a strikingly sweet, thick grapey malt with more nuttiness. Amazingly syrupy sweet, more than I like but still a tastey treat. Full bodied, not a session beer I would say. I pick up some maple and brown sugar. Mellows as it sits but still brings a tart overtone, pretty heavy duty with medium alcohol.

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Photo of lamarr04
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: dark amber with thin off white head

S: toasty malt, dark caramel (almost like burnt sugar), dark fruit like raisin or prune and alcohol

T: sweet malt, bread like and toasted notes from the malt as well, prune, alcohol and a faint note of hop bitterness

M: syrupy but relatively smooth, low carbonation

D: the definition of a sipper

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Photo of jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger yellow/brown head that leaves a little lace. Cloudy amber color. Malty/alcohol nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is caramel and some alcohol. Late bakers chocolate after taste. Warming. Cheaper and better than Shipyard's barleywine, $9.20 for a 22 oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. 2008 vintage.

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Photo of ajs4bd
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter, 1-14-09

A: Cloudy dark amber, with more good lacing. The head was very minimal and dissipated quickly.

S: The sweetness of the malt was very well balanced with the bitterness of the nearly evergreen smelling hops.

T: The flavor reflected much of the smell. There was a slight flavor of plums, and a hint of port, but still a nice balance of hops to keep it from being extra sweet. The hops came out more in the aftertaste and lingered longer than the creamy malts.

M: A very smooth, low carbonation feel. Felt rather thick for the amount of hops I tasted.

Overall: A very good Barleywine, but seemed more like a blended American and English instead of a true English Barleywine. The hops flavor was a decent surprise, but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber, picked up while visiting Ann Arbor, MI. pours clear amber with inch and a half tan head. It has a citrus hard candy aroma, cherry candies and raisins. The taste has that same fruity hard candy noted in the nose with sweet citrus, cherry and grapes. Then an undercurrent of mild caramel sweetness runs right up to the finish and into the aftertaste.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ the Ginger Man 02-07-09

A: A hazy red/brown color with a small head that fades quickly

S: Beady, malty, one would except to find in an english style barleywine, alcohol also comes through on this one

T: Malty & Sweet with a toffee, biscuit taste, bitterness in the finish along with a dry flavor

M: Pretty good coats the mouth and taste stays with you long after your last sip

D: Probably more bitter than your typical english barleywine, but not as bitter as an American style. A nice sipper, not a booze bomb at only 9%, goes down pretty smooth

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Photo of Goliath
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't expecting much from this beer, and I was pleasantly suprised.

It pours a dark brown/amber color with a one inch light brown head. Head retention is good, and it leaves some nice lace as it receeds.

The aroma is pretty good. I get a bit of vinegar up front, with an iced tea quality as well before getting the bigger players of caramel, brown sugar, candy, and a dying citrusy hop presence. It's actually pretty nice.

The taste is also good. Notes of caramel, cocoa, iced tea, faded citrusy hops, and brown sugar all come about. It's a tastey little beer.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied and slightly syrupy with a light carbonation.

Drinkability is relatively high. The flavor profile is pleasant and the alcohol is in check making for an easy to consume barleywine. Not a bad effort.

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Photo of BWH3
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy deeply red copper crowned with a meager quarter inch tan head. Still and haze settles but head whisks away.

S: The aroma is malty and alcoholic. The alcohol is wine like and smells quite aged. The malts have a strong component of the typical marzen malt scent. The hops are pine like and don't blend well with the malt body. Fortunately the hops are subdued relative to the sweet bready malt body.

T: Malt predominates with a toffee, biscuit, and melanoidin flavor. The bitterness is big but well balanced which is characteristic of the English varieties of this style. A bit of dark dried cherry mixes in well with the alcohol/wine like flavors.

M: Thick enough, still enough, but not enough head retention.

D: May smooth with aging. The malt flavors are good but the hop bitterness is not rich enough and does not quite blended well at this time.

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Photo of mentor
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a half finger of dark tan head over a nearly clear reddish-brown liquid. Smells potent dark fruit (raisins, plums), laether, alcohol clean, and malt sweet. Some citrusy hop in the form of oranges and pine. Deep inhale reveals rubbing alcohol.

Tastes potent malt sweet with strong hop flavor, some alcohol sting, and moderate hop bitter. Malt falvor is toffee, chocolate, and biscuity. Hop flavor is so potent it comes across as sour. Oranges, pine, orange pith, and tangerine. Bitter is mild and clear of cohumulone edginess. Esters are thick and heavy. Raisin, fig, tamarind, and a dash of cherry. A decent beer, but too sweet persistent. I suspect this would improve with a couple years in the cellar. Super thick mouthfeel...sticky. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of BasementDweller
2.67/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter, the beer was a red amber color with a medium tan head that provided some lacing. It had a caramel apple aroma. Similar taste: caramel, apple, some hops. The alcohol was well-hidden. Creamy mouthfeel. Not too aggressive, a good example of an English barleywine.

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Photo of charlesw
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful. Nice head, maybe a bit quick for the lacing to go away. Wonderful EB smell - prunes, alcohol, light apricots, sweet malts. It's funny, though... It's called and English BW and that fits, some. Of course, it could also be an American BW and that would fit some. The problem is that it isn't either of those. It's too sweet and syrupy (not that it's sweet and syrupy) to be American and too hoppy and bitter (not that it's hoppy and bitter) to be English. All things considered, it's probably better off in English because of the aroma and the near syrupy sweetness. I'd like it more less sweet and more bitter. Um. More American. It would score better in its style if it were less hoppy.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour starts out with a dark caramel/dark brown color with a moderate beige head.

S: sweet malt palate with a dark fruit and some sweet caramel apples and molasses.

T: Much like the aroma, dark fruit with sweet burnt caramel hints. The alcohol at 9.0% abv was fairly well hidden behind the sweetness of the palate. There was a light vanilla bean and oaky woodiness in the finish along with sweet caramel.

M: moderately full with a slight creaminess.

D: Drinks really nice and smooth for a barleywine. Great drinkability, worthy of a recommend and future purchases.

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Photo of hopdog
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap.

Poured a deeper reddish / orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, fruity, oranges, citrus and some dark fruits. Tastes of caramel, citrus, fruity, and toffee. Light alcohol finish.

Notes from 2/21/07

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Arcadia Cereal Killer Barley Wine from Arcadia Brewing Company
Beer rating: 70.2% out of 100 with 600 ratings
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