Sisyphus | Real Ale Brewing Company

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651 Ratings

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aracauna on 12-18-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 651 |  Reviews: 325
Reviews by DavidST:
Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass, bottled on 3.23.12. This pours a nice copper / amber color with a small off white head. The smells are of caramel, citrus hops, alcohol. The feel is almost thick nice carbonation. The taste is pretty good nice amount of hops and grapefruit, along with a nice caramel / toffee good stuff.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. $3.50 at Whole Foods Austin. Gorgeous copper body with a steady off white skim. Slightly hazed. Aroma of toffee and oranges. Not particularly boozy. Toffee flavored body with a well hopped spicy/citric finish. Peppery. As it warms rich fruit flavors develop and caramel and biscuit malt flavors become more pronounced. Sweet booze balances well with the hop bitterness. Full bodied. Low carbonation. Smooth and dangerously easy to drink. Mellow for its size. Very good beer.

Review Number 900!

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Photo of tectactoe
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure who brought this one to the tasting, but thanks to whomever it was. 2011 vintage. Murkiness at an all-time high, making the body completely opaque like a solid, gold bar. No head here, just a beige collar, and I'm even hesitant to use the word "collar". So still, menacing, and somnambulant as it just steadily hangs out in the glass, just saying "COME AT ME BRO!"

My expectations for this beer do not exist, mainly because I've never heard of it. That being said, I'm pleasantly surprised as I lean my face in and my nostrils are assaulted by a rush of boozy and tart apples and plums that have been drizzled in warm caramel and rolled in a vat of burnt, brown sugar. Some mild nuttiness in the finish; pretty enjoyable for an "off the radar" barley wine so far.

On the palate, the booze aspect of Sisyphus seems mostly rum-like, but I don't believe this thing has ever been in any kind of barrel, right? So maybe it's just the flavors that have developed over time within the malts. Tart plums, sweet grapes, rum, toffee, brown sugar and molasses, with another touch of nuts in the finish.

Hops are relatively low for an American barley wine / DIPA (see what I did there?) but I'm guessing that can be attributed to the nearly two years of age this bottle has on it. Slight leafy notes hop in and out, but they don't contribute much offsetting bitterness, meaning this big, badass brew is pretty damn sweet. Thick, creamy, heavy, and sticky on the palate with minimal carbonation.

Sometimes, I really enjoy trying a beer that I've never heard of and have no expectations for, because I'm typically a sadistic pessimist and will often go into new, unknown beers thinking they're going to be the worst thing I've ever tasted, and when I try them and find out they're not (usually the case), then it's even more of a treat. Such is the case here - very good brew that I'd have again if it were available to me.

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Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried a bottle right off the shelf. Being in Austin, I've tried quite a few Real Ale brews and have found them to be inconsistant sometimes. Pours a copper body, off white head, and little carbonation A very vicous pour. Smell is toffee, caramel, hints of fruit and alcohol lurking-hops are understated but have a nice bit of pine/citrus aroma to them. Tastes like the smell-fairly sweet with the toffe and brown sugar and almost being too sweet and then being rescued by some piney hops that finish in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is very full and this beer coats the entire mouth. Fairly drinkable, but maybe a little syrupy to have more than 2. Overall a very good effort by Real Ale.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Kirgi
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours into my glass a deep hazy red/orange with a small off white head on top that falls to a thin layer atop the brew. A bit of a syrupy pour. Aromas start out with roasted malt along with rich nutty scents. Dark fruits, molasses and sweet bread. Lots of caramel and toffee accents as well. Herbal, earthy sort of piney hops sit in the background. A rich, deep aroma for sure.

First sip brings roasted malt upfront that moves into big caramel and toffee flavors. Quite a bit of sweetness upfront as it flows down the nutty, fruity flavors come out more as well. Sweet bread melds into a herbal, piney hop bitterness on the finish with some citrus accents as well. The bitterness can't cut through the sweetness here though unfortunately. Good barleywine, just a bit too sweet/syrupy for my taste.

Mouthfeel is quite thick and viscous with a slight syrupy quality to it as well. This one really takes hold, coats the palate and doesn't hold back. Mellow carbonation works in well. Overall, a tasty barleywine from Texas, albeit a bit on the sweet side Thanks to dmeadows for sending this my way. I wish I had another one to hang onto for a bit.

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Photo of ajkelly451
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of warriorsoul
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big props to TxBeer for hooking me up w/ this one...really been looking forward to trying this barleywine.
Pours a cloudy, ruby color w/ a full finger of off-white head...leaves some impressive lacing on the side of the pint glass.
Aroma is real enjoyable...a nice dose of raisins, grapes, cherries and some cotton candy-like sweetness.
The taste is awesome...right where I like them. Sweet flavors with a bitter aftertaste and just the slightest twinge of alcohol to let you know to respect this one. A boatload of hops have been added to this...yet very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is great...a touch syrupy, but not overly so and the carbonation is spot on.
A very refreshing barleywine...definitely American-style. I would have no problem putting back one or two more of these in an evening, but instead I will cellar the other I obtained for a year or so...time will make this offering from Real Ale that much more enjoyable.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage sampled 2/8/10.

Pours reddish orange with a nice tan head. The beer is somewhat murky. The aroma is sweet malt, alcohol and some fruit, possibly grapes and apples/ The flavor is caramel, toffee, assorted fruit and alcohol. The beer is slightly boozy and the alcohol is warming. The finish is some slightly bitter hops. Medium mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation.

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Photo of Intrik
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass with a finger and a half of head that left super lacing along the side of the glass as it receded. Alcohol legs still show as it settles further while typing this.

A: Lighter orange/amber compared to what I was expecting with a barley wine, but still very sexy looking. Gives me quick memories of some home brew mead with the golden highlights in the light. Head was great and it stuck to the glass the whole time with a great film.

S: An overpowering fruity sweetness right off the bat. The hops are present, but its a very string citrusy sweet fruit hop presence that gives way to a more caramel/toffee sweetness right away. You can almost get a sense of the mouthfeel when you smell this beer.

T: Hops right in the front that give off a slight piney-ness then move straight into all the sweet fruits and toffee from the smell. Smooths out on the end with a hint of maltiness.

M: Straight coats your mouth in a syrupy thickness. My lips are sticky like I just ate cotton candy. But the sweet fruits linger in all the stickniess and make you want more.

O: Wonderful beer. I'd love to grab a few more of these to age and compare. Most definitely gonna get another pack for celebrations this year.

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Photo of jamesmk48
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Meyers1023
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to AKSmokedPorter for sharing this.

Color is a cloudy-ish copper in color. Barely any off-white head to speak of. Lacing? Nada. Aromas are almost overwhelmed by the distinct medicinal alcohol fumes that boil up. ETOH-soaked fruits and cotton candy abound, with some caramel squares left behind. Flavor, as was the nose, is laced with alcohol. Not a raging inferno, but certainly noted on the palate. A little much. Lots of sweetness in the taste as well. Surprisingly dry and abrupt finish. Full-figured and slick on the palate. Alcohol notes more noticeable as it warmed. Certainly a bottle to share...the small serving size was just right.

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Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Dello
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Seattle_Suds
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of whoneeds8
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle poured into Chimay glass.

Pours out ruby red with very little head. Smells very fruity. Taste is very smooth fruit flavor. The lacing from the minimal head disipates rather quickly, much like the head. Good balance of carbonation, the feel is very thick, not quite syrup like, just thick.

Overall, this is a very good example of a specialty beer from the little Real Ale brewery. They've definatly got a good one here.

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Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. I can’t recall the vintage but the label was green (2009?).

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a light tan head leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of fig and pear aromas. Also present are slight hints of butterscotch and leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet caramel malts up front with booze-soaked pear flavors. Hints of toffee come into play near the end of the sip. The ending is mildly bitter. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I think this was closer to an English barleywine due to the pronounced sweetness and fruity notes, but even so it wasn’t near the top of the style. A solid beer but one not worth seeking.

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Sisyphus from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 651 ratings