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Sisyphus | Real Ale Brewing Company

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646 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

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Ratings: 646 |  Reviews: 323
Photo of jwinship83
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2008 vintage. drank from a tulip glass. gold label.

A- this one pours out a beautiful golden orange colored body with a tightly knit head of off white head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind rings of lacing. very nice.

S- very sweet. lots of caramel malts in here. some toffee. the hops seem to have completely fallen off in the couple of years. not as fruity as i was expecting.

T- the caramel that i could smell comes through strong. a little bit of orange and raisin. not as fruity as most barleywines i come across. the alcohol is very well hidden. the hops are gone.

M- full bodied and syrupy. a nice low level of carbonation that really works with this one.

D- too high ABV to be sessionable. interesting enough to come back for a second. i wish this one was available here.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to my buddy Bill for this bottle. Poured from a 2007 vintage 12oz. bottle into a NYC Craft Beer Week 8oz. glass.

A: Hazy, orange-ish color with a good amount of tight bubble carbonation that fizzes - impressive for a beer 3 years old.

S: Sweet 'n' sticky maple syrup, yeast, caramel malts.

T: Bitter, caramel, bitter, toffee, bitter, raisins and such. A well-rounded flavor profile at this point.

M: Great carbonation for this style and age. Leads me to believe this could have held up another couple of years, albeit it is a little watery right now.

D: The best feature of this beer. It's very hard to tell that this beer is 11.5%. The bitterness is a little cloying but if you let it sit in your mouth you experience the richness of this beer.

Overall, I didn't think this one was sour or infected as others noted with this vintage.

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Photo of gnemesis
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much props to JJFoodie for this wonderful brew. Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter. Amber in color with 1 finger white head. Smells of earthy hops, dark fruit, slight malt and slight alcohol. Taste follows through adding slight hop bitterness and less malty than expected. Full body and light carbonation. Good drinkability for a barley wine. I wish I had more to age.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.05/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

2007 vintage graciously provided by PHawk at DLD08. Thanks, Parker! This barleywine had a nice pellicle in it and proceeded to gush as I cracked the bottle, filling my glass with a hazy amber beer capped with a thin beige head that doesn't really leave much lace.

The nose is big and sour with a rather big funk character. Bretty, bandiad-like and grassy, this is nothing like a barleywine, but I wasn't expecting it to be. Mildly plastic-like as well, this reassures me that this beer is just a "regular" unintentional hostile take over rather than a case of botulism in a bottle. The Brett has really eaten all the sugars away, leaving a beer that has some caramel characteristics, but is dry. A touch of alcohol is apparent as well.

The palate opens medicinal, plastic-like, burning-rubber like and bandaidy with a burning unpleasantness. A harsh medicinal astringency is present. Thoroughly unpleasant, there are characteristics of caramel and some citrus hop, but this is all just a big Brett funk. Sourness is low. As unpleasant as it is, the scarier part is that I'm risking my life drinking this, and for that reason, this beer fares poorly. Surprisingly medium bodied with plenty of carbonation, this beer finishes dry and medicinal with some caramel. The visions of me in the ICU tomorrow with multiple internal organ failures is something unique to this beer, but I really can't grade this any higher.

**Edit 03 September 2012**

It's funny how these things work. Last time I had a huge move, one of the last beers I drank at my apartment was the 07 vintage of Sisyphus. Two years later... it's still the same beer and same vintage. This one, however, isn't infected. It is, sadly, rather mediocre. Utterly lacking in definition and identity, this beer is a blend of nondescript aromas and flavors - brown sugar, a little honey, some caramel - on the nose and on the palate. Modestly sweet, this beer is medium-full on the palate, and an utter disappointment. S/T/M = 2/2/3.5

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing from notes; I believe this was a 2009 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Corsedonk snifter glass. Pours a very nice dark brownish orange in color with tons of fizzy carbonation...and a healthy size tanish colored head with very decent retention. A couple legs of lacing reside for some time.

Aroma is inviting with raisin and other over ripe fruits. Sugar/molasses notes complimented by a nice hoppy scent...coupled with faint booze.

Flavor is semi-complex with dark fruits, booze, molasses, mild hop bite, and burnt tobacco. Overall it's a mellow-sweet flavor. Medium to full body, semi-high carbonation...but not overkill at all. Very tasty beer! Glad I got this in as an extra!

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
2.85/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got a 2007 vintage from Jefferz5000. Thanks man.

Pours an amber cloudy color with a very thin tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is very sweet. Lots of malti sweetness and sweet caramel.

Taste is ok. Lots of sweetness and a weird bitterness. I can't put my finger on it. It's getting harder to drink the glass as the sip count increases. I don't think I'll finish this one.

Mouthfeel is ok. A little cloying after a while.

Overall this wasn't that bad at first and then it started getting cloying. Don't think I'll be having this one again.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JJFoodie and and jstuffings, two terrific Texans who sent me one of these bad boys. One for now, and one for later!

A: Translucent orangish yellow body with small bubbles coming to the surface at random places (meaning no streams). Small, pure white head that sticks around for 10 or 15 seconds, which was more than I thought it would.

S: Hops dominate, with strawberries, papaya, bubble gum, and sweet grass being the most prevalent flavors to my olfactory senses.

T: Starts off with the sweet, fruity hop notes, then goes into a more herbal, bitter flavor in the middle, with some phenols rearing their heads as well. The bitterness recedes towards the end, with some of the fruit coming back, not as sweet, perhaps with even a touch of sourness. The aftertaste is a mild to medium bitterness which lasts for half a minute or so when allowed to linger.

M: Carbonation is fairly strong at the start, but gives away to a creamy, fairly full feel.

D: Pretty good for this style and strength.

This isn't one of my favorite styles, but I thought it was well-balanced and enjoyed it. As a malt maven, I imagine I will find it even more tasty with a few years of aging on it.

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Photo of BeanBone
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage Reviewed Shortly After Release:

Appearance: A crystal-clear copper-orange body capped by a finger of creamy off-white head that swiftly fades into a ring around the glass and patchy lacing.

Aroma: Heaps of rich and earthy sticky toffee pudding malt, along with some leafy hops, and a nice dose of spicy booze.

Flavor: Up front, citrusy, herbal, piney, and nicely bitter hops. Underneath, dark fruit and a rich earthy caramel malt backbone. Lots of nice complementary spicy alcohol throughout. The hops really come alive in the flavor, helping to keep everything balanced well. Leafy hops, dark fruit, and biscuity malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and creamy with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish. Lots of slick heat from the booze.

Drinkability: Insanely drinkable given the double-digit alcohol content, this goes back scary-fast.

Verdict: Tasty, complex, and criminally drinkable, this year's Sisyphus is as solid as last year's. Looking forward to seeing how this mellows.


2009 Vintage Reviewed Shortly After Release:

Appearance: A thoroughly hazy copper-orange body capped by a finger and a half of creamy, off-white head that fades slowly and leaves excellent lacing.

Aroma: Lots of robust and earthy caramel malt along with dark fruit, moderate booze and a hint of leafty hops. Almost reminiscent of an especially potent Doppelbock.

Flavor: Up front, rich biscuity malt with earthy and dark fruit notes. There's a considerable amount of spicy, herbal and moderately citrusy hops here. Moderate alcohol throughout adding a hint of spice and extra depth. Everything is balanced nicely, with each element complimenting the others. Biscuty malt, green hops, and sticky dark fruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A full body with smooth moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Plenty of alcohol to coat the mouth and provide some nice burn.

Drinkability: Rather drinkable considering the intensity and ABV, though I don't think you'll exactly be sessioning this.

Verdict: Bursting with great flavors, balanced brilliantly, and surprising quffable, Sisyphus is a real delight. I can't wait to sit down and try a vertical of the vintages I have on hand to see how this evolves.

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Photo of JosephLondon
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Bottle from the cellar.

This one has aged beautifully! Foam released from the bottle as soon as I popped the cap. I poured it immediately into my New Belgium snifter. Fire burnt orange with a creamy, thick off-white crown. Sediment floats around which I am not a big fan of so, that took away from the appearance for me. Incredible lacing thus far.

In the nose I detect orange, major barnyard funk(which I like), coriander, sourdough bread with lots of yeast, some alcohol. The nose is actually so complex I am staggering, trying to do it justice.

The taste replicates the nose...many dimensions. This Barleywine stands out from the others. Barleywines are actually becoming one of my favorite styles. I used to not like them. It has a funk(good funk)that the others don't. I anticipate you will either love this one or hate it.

The feel is somewhat heavy, more so coating, I should say. It stays with you. There is a very elegant feel.

For an 11.50%er, this one is smooth and drinks perfectly. This one drinks flawlessly.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

Dark amber pour with a half finger of head. The aroma is mostly caramel maltiness, with a good dose of floral and grassy hops.

Upon first sip I had to do a double take at the ABV. This one drinks so much smoother than I would expect for an 11.5% barleywine. Light caramel malts and floral hops dominate the flavor. It is not as rich as I general prefer my barleywines to be, which is the only detractor. There is definitely some wateriness.

The mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is on point for the style. This one wouldn't normally score high for me on drinkability simply because I was floored enough by the flavor to want to have another, but I have to bump up this part of the score because it is amazing how well the booze is hidden in such a monster beer.


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

Thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Vintage 2007

Sisyphus pours an amber color with scarlet highlights. It's moderately hazy, but plenty of light cuts through giving it a reddish tint. An off-white head stands a couple of fingers tall. Retention was pretty good. Lacing was moderate.

The nose is good. It's interesting. It is malty and sweet smelling up front. Caramel is easily noted throughout. It smells rather fruity. There's orange, peach, and a little grapefruit. There's a hint of dark fruit here, but not as much as I would've expected. There's not much here in the hop department, but at three years of age that's not surprising. I'm amazed at how well the alcohol is hidden. I'm not getting much at all.

The flavor is likewise interesting. Sweet caramel and toffee flavors anchor things down nicely. It has a solid malt base. Fruit flavors are prominent throughout. Orange and peach are the strongest. That's new for me in an American Barleywine. Nonetheless, it works. Raisin is very subtle, but it is noted. I expected a stronger dark fruit presence, but it is what it is. Hops are long gone. Shocker. Alcohol is expertly blended. There's no way this is 11.5%. I'm not getting much in flavor at all, and there's no heat. That's impressive. It finishes sweet and malty.

Sisyphus has a medium body that feels more substantial with warming. It is smooth. Carbonation is VERY light. If it weren't for a few light bubbles, I'd be convinced it was flat. I'd like a few bubbles , please. Drinkability is good. For such a big beer, this goes down way too easy. It's deceptively strong, so be careful. The alcohol is masked with precision.

I don't think I've encountered Real Ale Brewing Company beer before. Sisyphus is pretty damn good. It's an interesting Barleywine. I'm not accustomed to such a fruity flavor. But, it works well. I think I'd like a little more dark fruit, but the lack of it doesn't hurt things much. More bubbles would be good, as well. Hats off to whoever figured out how to make beer this big seem so small. Wow! Good stuff. Recommended. Thanks, Chris.

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Photo of masterhomebrewer
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 bottle received as an extra in trade from JosephLondon. Thank you, kind sir.

A -- Bottle gushed minimally. Pours a beautifully clear, copper-golden color with one-inch head. Really, really pretty.

S -- Wow, what a surprise. Big, huge Brett funk right up front followed by bready malts. Just an outstanding surprise. I glanced at other reviews and see no mention of Brett, so I must assume that this was unintentionally infected with Brett. But it smells goood....

T -- Holy god. Huge Brett funk, dark fruits, salty, delicious, earthy, tobacco-y complexity that finishes with a perfectly-balanced bitter bite. A multitude of flavorful delights that all seem to work in unison to create one of the most interestingly complex tasting experiences I have ever enjoyed. I am just blown away by the way the (unintentional?) Brett has added to the complexity and perfectly tied together all the diverse elements of this beer. The 11.5% alcohol is not even noticeable.

M -- Creamy and smooth. Just delightfully warm and tingly with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D -- Exceptional. It's such a delicious taste experience that I can imagine drinking two of these every night for the remainder of my days. Unfortunately, since this beer is not available in my area, and I seem to be the only one who got the Brett-infected bottle, this appears to be a one-night love affair, sadly.

Edit: I see now that a couple of others have picked up a wild Brett influence. If you have 2007s of this, drink 'em or send them my way!

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Photo of Riccymon
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Performing a small vertical of '07 and '08 Sisyphus and scoring based on my combined observations.

Both pour from the bottle an orange-red-purple hue, but while the 2007 pours without any head, the 2008 has about an eighth of an inch of off-white head. The 2007 wins hands-down on aroma, with a rich, fruity nose that also includes baker's chocolate and vanilla-- almost smelling like a vanilla candle. The '08 is a little more raw, with some hops and almost a cinnamon spice note. Both evince fusel alcohol notes, even after plenty of time in the bottle.

Upfront, the 2007 just tastes well-aged with a nice fruitiness, particularly grape juice, and plenty of vanilla. Closer to the finish, a hop and alcohol presence turns a little harsh until a rather sweet, fruit-cocktail-syrup finish. It's not bad, but not the ideal barleywine finish. The 2008 is more consistent the whole way through, with an orange peel-alcohol wash that definitely marks an American barleywine. The '08 leaves the mouth tingling a bit as it finishes cleaner than the '07, I appreciate each in its own way. Both vintages are fairly full and smooth in body.

After the first bottle, I'm feeling fine, and Sisyphus was decently drinkable. Two bottles, however, have me pretty buzzed.

I'm glad I hung onto these bottles for this mini-vertical, and if I see any more '07s, '08s, and this year's '09s on the shelf, I think I'll pick up another round to try in another year.

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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 Stigs
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2007 vintage...split with my g/f served in mini Chiay chalices

A - very thin layer of light khaki foam which fell to a ring...the beer is a burnt orange color with bubbling carbonation. lacs slightly down the glass.

S - mostly fruits, raisins, grapes, pear, peach/apricot, dates...sweetness from brown sugar malts, hops have all but faded in this one.

T - candy, dark fruits...huge tobacco thing going that just lingers, alcohol is magnificently hidden by now and the hops have mellowed to just a slight earthy bitterness near the end.

M - age has done this one well, carbonation is calm, thick and chewy, no alcohol burn whatsoever (had to confirm this was indeed +11%)

D - a solid barleywine, nothing fantastic...also have a 2008 bottle to open soon and compare

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

Thanks to thirdeye11 for this bottle.

2008 vintage.

Pours a hazy bright orange with a one finger head that fades to a thin cap. The lacing is very nice, leaving a solid sheet on the sides of the glass.

Smell; lots of citrus hops up front with a little peaches and raisins thrown in. There's a little caramel and biscuity malts, but the fruits are definitely the main attraction in the aroma. This is one of the beers that I could just sit and semll all night long.

Taste; much more subdued flavor wise than I was expecting after the way it smells. The citrus and peaches are present, but they don't shine like they do in the smell. The malts lean more towards biscuity than caramel giving it a bit of bready flavor. The fruits do come out a bit more as this warms, but still don't come close to what was promised by the aroma. The alcohol is almost undetectable in the flavor, but does give a pleasant warming feeling as it goes down. Not usually what I like in a barleywine, but this is still pretty good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little thinner than I was expecting, with a fairly light carbonation. With the rather low carbonation/smooth feel and the well hidden alcohol this is a dangerously easy beer to drink.

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Photo of fjordhook
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

was real surprised to find this especially in an arlington whole foods!

appearance: dark golden color, had a few flakes floating (assuming it was the hops) but didn't bother me too much

smell: enjoyed the smell greatly, very citrusy. could almost smell the alcohol content, but masked very well

taste: a smooth stout brew that emphasizes the aroma, very delicious

mouthfeel: hoppy beer, made my tongue almost tingle from the flavor

drinkability: easy to drink in a 12 oz bottle, but more than one and i would need a driver!

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Photo of MOB210SA
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going to try Sisyphus the barelywine that sounds a whole lot like syphilis haha.

Poured into my Chimay goblet. Poured slowly almost the entire bottle, little to no head but a small ring of bubbles. Decently high ABV BW so no suprise. A golden honey in color.

Mmm.. Pleasently reminded of King William from Blue star. Malty caramel candied sugar sweetness. Maybe a slight dark fruitiness in there. Smell is well balanced.

Taste is awesome. Same as nose, This candied sugar caramel BW taste, Its great. Along the lines of the style, but its really good.

Mouthfeel light syrupy greatness, really nice carbonation- that seems just right. No alcohol burn. The 11.5% is really hidden great.

Drinkability is high because I love BW's and this was damn good BW. Proud to have a good beer from Texas (I think they are pretty scarce.)

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Photo of ebraun
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is for the 2008 Sisyphus, drunk 12/28/09 12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass.

A: Nice amber color, not much head and just a little lacing.
S: Citrusy hops, tobacco, and caramel sweetness.
T: Not unlike the smell. Lots of creamy sweetness and citrus. Alcohol is muted considering the ABV, but it's noticeable.
M: Creamy and smooth with tingly hops, not much carbonation but don't miss it with the hops.
D: Very drinkable for the ABV and strong flavor profile.

I haven't had a lot of barleywines yet, but this one has convinced me I need to try more of them.

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Photo of LiveOakMarket
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time I have had this beer. It was quite amazing. Beautiful color, feel, taste, smell. Everything about it was gooood. I'm very happy that Real Ale is finally bottling up more of their beers. I have a lot of people that love the Real Ale company and I think it's about time that they all get to taste them on the go. 2008 was the year of Sisyphus that I had. Gold label.

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Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one in a trade with JJFoodie. I'm anticipating this one, especially since it's the 2007 vintage. Many thanks for parting with this one to my benefit.

The color is a deep hazy bronze. A small fluffy head forms from a nice cascade, stunted (I'm sure) by the aging process. Not too much lacing is formed, but the overall appearance is good, especially considering the ABV and aging.
The smell is malt, sugars, booze (rum?), dark fruits, citrus and hops. It actually is reminiscent of DFH 120 initially with less of the destructively sweet aspect.
As in the aroma, the flavor is mostly boozy and sweet with a much-needed addition of floral and citrus hops, not to mention the fresh juices in here from some sweeter non-citric fruits. There's really quite a bite going on here, and this is a sipper for more than just the high ABV; there's a lot of character in here that can be missed. I even get some woody notes, something earthy, and a grains presence underneath.
This one is pretty big with a nice, thick feel. A big, full body could use just a little more crispness to even it out, but it's plenty good. I'm sure the feel would be more even if this was fresh.
A big ABV limits drinkabilty, but it doesn't kick the same way some others do, surprisingly.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade from MiguelMandingo...thanks Mike!

12oz bottle, 2008 vintage. This baby had about 10 minutes to warm up before I poured it, god I hate wax tops

Appearance: An aggressive pour produces about a 3/4 finger, creamy, off-white head that recedes quickly at first, but then slows down. Color is a deep orange/copper that started clear but clouded up quickly once the bottom of the bottle made it in there. Solid lacing.

Smell: Fruity...mango, pears, citrus, orange. Backed by some bready malts and a slight alcohol tinge. Someone else described it as orange marmalade, I'd say its a little breadier and sweeter than that, but pretty close.

Taste: Subdued taste that closely mimics the aroma. Some tropical fruits supported by a cast of semi-sweet, bready malts that makes for a very smooth experience. I'm guessing the 1+ years it had to age cooled down the alcohol burn some, it's not easily detectable and makes this a pretty pleasant experience. A kick of bitter sweetness towards the end that lingers after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. A medium bodied beer with low to mid levels of carbonation. A little bit of carbonation and bitter sweetness in the aftertaste as i said.

Drinkability: Never had it fresh, though I'd presume its not this good. I'll gladly finish this 12 and be able to move on to other beer tonight.

Glad I got to try this one. This is the first aged barleywine I have tried, and it makes me wonder how much better the fresh ones I've had would be had I been patient with them.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle pours into a glass hazy and orange. The color is a cross between terra-cotta and fired copper. The head is tan but doesn't stick around long. It's only evidence that it ever existed is a thin constellation of bubbles floating around the surface of the beer.

MMmmmm, this beer has a solid nose. It's fruity and more then hints at the bitterness and ABV contained within. The fruitiness ranges from citrus orange to white grapes.

The taste is fantastic. The grain profile is very dominate upfront and gently transitions to a hop monster. Sweet, golden, toasted malts that pinch that sugar sensitive spot behind my molars. The hops beat down the sweetness and makes a healthy bittered brew. Light touches of apricot and orange peak in and out of the taste.

Mouthfeel is soft and creamy despite the pucker from the bitterness. I also enjoy the full bodied feel and the balance between the sweet and bitter. Very complimentary.

I have to deduct points off the drinkability scale because the beer is all around weak for what I expected. Not only that but the flavors get old fast. Pair that with a heavy ABV and it kind of gets to be a chore to drink. Definitely worth checking out but I would only enjoy one every once in a while. Not a bad thing for a good beer that will age very well.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to stopbarking for the bottle.

Pours a very nice looking glowing orange color with an off white head that lingers pretty well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is full of that signature sweet sticky barleywine malt profile. Hops seem a bit subdued but this is last years vintage (2008).

Taste follows. Hop profile is there, but not incredibly intense. There is some decent bitterness, but its clearly come down. There is even a tiny bit of a spice like character in here. The malt profile is pretty textbook for a the style, a little bit more cloying than i would like, but good. The finish is fairly dry despite the sweetness, and there is a little bit more bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is viscous as hell, and for a beer this large im diggin it. Carbonation is where it should be, if anything a tidbit low.

Drinkability is damn fine for the abv. Doesn't seem as hot as the abv would indicate at all. I could probably drink two of these if i wanted too, but the sweetness might get in the way.

Overall a nice barleywine, and one i would like to try fresh. That being said, i do see some significant aging potential for this one, and i am glad i have an 07 bottle as well to put some more age on. A nice barleywine, thanks barks.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007 - 12oz. bottle into goblet on 10/26/09.

A - Poured a cloudy reddish/orange, copper-tinted body with cotton candy-esque strands of yeast and a patchy off-white head that diminished into a thin ring of retention and left minimal lace around the glass.

S - Dark fruit with caramel malt and a slight butterscotch character. A slight waft of alcohol also creeps into the mix.

T - Opens with sweet caramel malt as well as toffee and butterscotch notes. Hints of herbal, woody hops in the middle, followed by slight alcohol notes in the finish.

M - Medium to full-bodied with a syrupy texture and soft carbonation. Hint of bitterness on the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit gritty overall.

D - Pretty good barleywine overall with a decent hop bite, although this wasn't overly malty. This struck me as more of an English style barleywine rather than an American style.

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Sisyphus from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 646 ratings
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