Willi Whammer | Willimantic Brewing Co.

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19 Ratings

Brewed by:
Willimantic Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of 1971bernat
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of parris
3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Duffman79
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of shigg85
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sailorastro
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of jfcaa193
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of datalager
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of tjdrewry
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of Pahn
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Willi Pub. Willi Whammer was offered as a vertical tasting giving 4oz of the 07, 08, and 09 vintages (itself a laudable practice in my book). Unfortunately, the 07 was sold out (I was able to replace it with 4oz of their excellent 2010 IPA, with which I later paired a pint and their delicious reuben). The numerical score is for the 09, which I thought was superior to the 08 (and of which I ordered a further 12oz after dinner).

Appearance: Dark opaque amber brown, with sporadic lacing (08 and 09 virtually identical).

Smell: (09) Sweet and boozy with some dark fruit (raisin?). (08) Weaker aroma, but still sweet, with some caramel.

Taste: (09) Deep, sticky sweet taste of caramel malt sugars. Some bourbon flavor, with a strong note of yellow cake in the malty finish. Delicious and perfectly balanced. Almost no hop presence. (08) Similar to the 09 (predictably), with a more pronounced sweetness, and some medicinal phenols. Same beautiful cake finish. While the flavor of both is sweet and balanced, the depth of the malt keeps on delivering new complexities. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: (09) Beautifully smooth and then sticky. The transition from creamy to sticky is natural and pleasant. Perfect. (08) Slightly less complex and a bit watery, but still quite nice.

Drinkability: Despite the small burn of the well-hidden 9%-10% ABV, I want to keep drinking this as long as possible. As a testament to whether or not I'd have this again, I tried to buy a growler but found that the beer was unfortunately almost gone and not available for take-home purchase. If commercially available, this would be an instant go-to beer for me.

I had this beer during my first trip back to the Willi Pub since my time as an undergrad at UConn from 00-04. I remembered that they served quality beer, but what I got tonight far exceeded expectations. There's no doubt in my mind that I'll be making another trip to Willimantic in late '10/early '11 in the hopes that they'll be serving another Willi Whammer vertical. A fantastic beer that in and of itself justifies the trip to the sticks.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Willimantic Brewing Co. in a snifter brandy glass.

A: Poured a ruby-tinted amber color with rosy, orange and bourbon highlights around its edges. There is almost no head on this brew and it leaves no lace, but sticks to the walls of the glass like a liqueur.

S: Smells sweet and floral, with some spicy malt and berry like aromas. A deep whiff reveals some of that 10.4% ABV.

T: A very smooth and rich flavor comprised of sweet caramel malts, a little bit of toffee and candied fruit. There is a burning alcohol flavor, but it's quite mellow, giving off flavors of vanilla and oak. Quite complex and thoroughly enjoyable.

M: Mouthfeel is full, rich and a little sticky sweet. But it's a sipper and not a chugger.

D: A very distinct and enjoyable English barleywine. Willibrew took the time and care to craft an experience in a glass rather than just brew in the style. A very good representation an a very good brew to boot.

This was the Willi Whammer '08 edition, which I thought would be a richer experience than the '09 they also had available. This is the first of Willibrew's barleywine series I've had, and hopefully in the future, they break out some even more deliciously aged ones from years past. That is worth making the trek for!

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Photo of jim102864
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rust colored barleywine served in a snifter given it's ballsy 10.4% abv. Nothing transparent in the appearance. It's a limited release of the 2006 vintage of this annual treat. Some carbonation. Little in the way of a head which is to be expected. This tastes more like a flemish rhodenbock than a barleywine. Sour on the palette. Burgandy in the nose... more like a cabernet wine that's aged perfectly. Citrusy. Mouthfeel that coats the toungue and delivers some heat in the finish. A special treat from a special brewpub.

 523 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brewed 2/05

appearance: top to bottom, runs from a deep red to a nice cloudy tangerine. attractive tight and thin head, some signs of active carbonation. surprisingly not too sticky.

aroma: sweet rock candy.. not much else. clean nose.

taste: undeniably hop-dominated barleywine. not far off from the old marley, but lighter and significantly less sugary. notable for its unique cheek-pinching orange juice aftertaste that follows a slight accent of licorice. yummy.

there is a slight alcohol heat as well in the aftertaste which provides more of a bitterness than palate-busting interference. nice, but will mellow constructively. body is light and bouncy, a nice surprise which allows this new strong offering to attain a decent level of immediate drinkability.

 775 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A ruddy, murky brown brew with no head. Aromas are intense and boozy. Dark fruits, green hops, spices, booze, oak, vanilla, more. The taste is similar. Sweet, boozy, and intensely complex. almost hard to describe. Mouthfeel is coating and nice, finish is full of throat warming alcohol and lingering dark fruit flavor complexities. Drinkability is only hindered by the "bigness" and high abv of this one. A great aged BW, that I would have loved to take a growler of home! Damn you CT growler laws. I can't wait until they do growlers here, but than again i'll feel bad for the barstaff when the bill comes into effect soon!

 624 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at the brewpub. 2004 vintage, part of a 2002-04 vertical sampler.

Short, ~4oz old-fashioned glass presentation. Tan 3/4" head over the deep amber brew, with pleasing, foamy lacing. Slightly smoky sweet malt aroma. Taste of sweet malt with sedate dark fruity notes. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good for the style, following in the footprints of its predecessors.

 387 characters

Photo of UnionMade
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The last in an '01-'03 vertical sampler.
The beer is a hazy cinnamon brown, the same iced tea color of the other two, with perhaps the most unfiltered appearance. A light mist of head breaks into a thin collar, keeping through the sample, leaving some spotty lace clinging to the glass.
The aroma is the smoothest yet. Huge caramel maltiness, with a bit of smoke peeping through. The esters are massive, a veritable fog of fruitiness billowing out of the glass. Loads of plum, currant and berry, along with the familiar raisin and fig. The hops are well placed, lending a floral, slightly herbal sharpness that cuts the malt perfectly. Fresh, apparent alcohol belies the beer's youth.
The flavor is so amazingly smooth. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, carried by just a tingle of carbonation. Incredibly small bubbled. Giant malty caramel, with some toastiness and a suggestion of smoke and wood. Fruity esters are almost candy-like, with distinct plum and pear, carrying hints of raisin, prune, and a touch of apple. A slight raspberry flavor moves into the finish, adding a vague tartness, meeting a fresh oily floral/herbal hopping, providing just enough bitterness to retrain the malt. A bit of woodiness right in the finish, with a distinct, though faint, strawberry flavor. A long finish. Mild alcohol is well hidden, with a strong fruitiness and caramel continuing into the aftertaste.
This is my favorite year, easily. Incredibly smooth, moreso than the aged samples. Very complex, with much more subtle hints of this and that. Unusual, and I can't wait to see how this will shape up with another couple of years.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a nice amber/brown, the color of good polished hardwood floor. Minimal head but very carbonated for a barleywine, this is definitely a youngster for it's style, but very impressive even so. Aroma is sweet and a little raisiny, and a bit alcoholic. Body is medium to full, not nearly as syrupy as some well aged barleywines, but very enjoyable, probably one of the most drinkable barleywines I've had in that respect. Not too heavy or too alcoholic, weighing in at a modest 10.3%, you can have one of these and a couple other Willibrews and still be reasonably OK. Taste is candy sweet and very caramelish, but with a good bit of hop flavor riding along as well. Fishish is mellow and more malty, a little bit of alcohol is noticeable on the way down but just enough to notice without warming you up too much....I second the motion that this should be bottled...along with many of the other Willibrews.

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Willi Whammer from Willimantic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.43 out of 5 with 19 ratings