Alesong Brewing & Blending

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Barleywine - American
Ranked #51
Ranked #5,070
4.26 | pDev: 5.63%
Alesong Brewing & Blending
Oregon, United States
Notes: Barleywine aged in a combination of whiskey (bourbon, wheat and rye) and red wine barrels, this oak forward leader crescendos from first sip to last. Toffee, Vanilla and spice aromas lead the band and a balanced sweet, caramel-like malt flavor rounds out this full-bodied ale.
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 36 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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metter98 from New York

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is rather hazy brown in color. It poured with a half finger high off white head that left large, thin patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel and toffee are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell but has stronger flavors of caramel and toffee with notes of vanilla from the oak. There are also some hints of red wine from the other barrels that this barleywine was aged in.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really liked the combination of flavors in this barleywine - it seemed more like an English than an American Barleywine. The also wasn't really that noticeable in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

Apr 10, 2021
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Radcpa from Washington

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light brown caramel appearance with minimal head. Aroma is a mild barleywine malt. Taste has a spicy touch blended with a standard barleywine which is a little thin.

Mar 31, 2021
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DIM from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2021 version, aged in freshly emptied Heaven Hill barrels. No wine barrels this year. 13.2% abv.

I'd call this an English barleywine. It is very malt forward and extremely sweet. Toffee, raisins, vanilla, and bourbon are all prominent and all quite sweet. This is layered and complex, so it isn't a sugary mess. There is little to counteract all that sweetness. Some raw heat, a bit of oak, and surprisingly little in the way of hops. The body is still, thick and syrupy.

You have to like them sweet, but if you do I can heartily recommend this.

Mar 24, 2021
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: pours clear golden yellow with a film of fizzy head that fades fast. Dark folded color in the glass
S: big barrel from both the bourbon and wine
T: hum...very unique. The 14% alcohol is hidden and smooth. As soon as I start to get classical caramel covered raisins the wine barrel comes in blend. It is just different, but still a solid babw
F: very smooth and easy drinking. Lighter bodied but coating and sticky.

Jul 08, 2017
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John_M from Oregon

3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Growler Guys Portland the other day.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, this is an attractive, albeit simple smelling BW. There's considerable brown sugar, vanilla and light molasses, that is replicated pretty closely on the palate. This beer is really pretty sweet, and there was something of a cotton candy flavor that was apparent, along with the vanilla and brown sugar in this beer. Mouthfeel was fairly full, but even so, the beer seemed just a bit thin for a BW. Alcohol is fairly well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can tell it's up there.

Shrug. This is a decent, but was certainly nothing extraordinary. Perhaps unfortunately, I tried this beer side by side with Midnight Sun's artic devil, and there was simply no comparison (the AD was vastly superior to the Maestro). Not sure I'll need to try this again any time soon.

Jun 12, 2017
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bshefftz from California

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sweet, boozy, but surprisingly smooth. And excellent barleywine up there with the best (Mother of All Storms; Arctic Devil) in this category. Will pick this up again.

Additional note on second tasting: While barrel/whiskey flavors are strong, there's a surprising brightess/lightness in the is beer. Really enjoyable. I bumped the rating up too.

Jun 11, 2017
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BarleyWhyNot from Colorado

4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best American Barleywines I've ever had. It really is an excellent blend. Pours a hazy reddish brown with little head. Toasty sweet scent with fruity notes. It tastes like an alcohol dream. Rich and bold with great caramel barleywine flavor. A complex feel yet extremely smooth for 14%.

May 07, 2017
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KevSal from California

3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

with wooden hell 2 on the way i was really looking forward to this one

great presentation and label, 500ml gold wax bottle into a fw tulip

looks good in the glass, small half inch head and dark ruby orange body

nose is oak, barrel sweetness and as it warms some peat and smokiness come through stiff

taste follows the nose, oak and barrel sweetness, good malts. mid and after taste has a strong peaty character and a touch of smokiness

mouthfeel is good, abv is well hidden, i didn't expect this one to be 14%!

overall it was alright. it was like a blend of a wee heavy and barleywine. it was enjoyable however i would not purchase again

May 06, 2017
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a lightly hazy orange amber with a thin, off-white head that dissipates to patches. Aroma of caramel malt, dried apricots, plums and dates, oaky vanilla, light whiskey and a hint of wine. Flavor is caramel malt, plums, red berries, fresh figs and vanilla followed by a burst of hot whiskey then a long lingering toffee, oaky vanilla and dark fruit finish with residual whiskey, ligtht rye tartness and light wine. Medium bodied with light creaminess, a bit boozy. A really great smelling barleywine with rich, barrel influenced flavors. The whiskey is a clear component, with rye and and wine as background notes. The high ABV is still evident, and this probably would smooth out with a year's aging, but I really wanted to try it right away. The initial flavors are classic barleywine with only a little wine and rye influence, but both are clear in the finish. Looks, smells and tastes fine. A complex and flavorful barleywine with lots of good barrel notes.

Apr 18, 2017
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EdwardAbbey from Washington

4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one was exquisite, with intricate and marvelously blended barrel character at the forefront. The base beer could have been richer and deeper--my only quibble--but in the end perhaps its principal function was to serve as the sturdy canvas on which the panoply of barrels was painted. And for that purpose it performed very admirably.

If you are going to call a beer "Maestro," you better know how to conduct a variety of elements. And Alesong did that here. They are doing great things (but you didn't hear it from me).

Mar 20, 2017
Maestro from Alesong Brewing & Blending
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 36 ratings