Barleywine 2008 | Legend Brewing Co.

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Very Good
10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JayQue on 11-22-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by JayQue:
Photo of JayQue
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just missed out on getting a 2007 at Grape and Gourmet in VA Beach a few weeks ago. The 2008's just came in this week. This is a great brew!!!! Pours a cloudy copper/orange color with a small white head. The head fades fast (12.5 abv) and there is little lacing. Smell is fairly good, caramel, sweet malts and a hint of alcohol.

Taste is great. There is a floral aspect, a strong taste of caramel, some warming affects of alcohol and fairly strong bitterness in the finish. The overall affect is a strong taste, the faint of heart will talk of cellaring this brew but it would take up valuable space in the refrigerator as it is not pasturized. I like it just the way it is. Think raw Bigfoot with caramel replacing the grapefruit

Mouthfeel is rich. The alcohol enhances rather than limits the experience.

Drinkability is good. I split the bottle, but I could have easily finished this one myself (and dealt with the after effects).

I may go back and get another one...this is good !!!!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of asabreed
4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So psyched to find this in late November, and I hope it's as good as last year's. I keep losing my glasses, so instead of a snifter, this is poured into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Deep amber with nice initial frothy head, which quickly dissipates, leaving not a lot of lacing at all and little retention. At 12.5%, that may be expected I suppose.

Smell: Big initial aroma of candied sour apples and caramel malts, with more underlying fruit, orange marmalade, cherries, sour strawberry, big vinous characteristics in the sweeter Chardonnay realm, mild bubblegum, and almost a lambic sourness reminiscent of maybe a Saison, possibly because of the yeast and mild phenolic earthiness, though I don't know, and some bitterness from the citrus hops as it warms even further, but fresh it seems like the 2007 version as more of an English style than a typically more pungently hopped American version. A lot of things happening here.

Taste: A very rich and dessert-like brew, almost like a fine sweeter liqueur, and it drinks like one, which is something I would never say for an American version, nor an English version. Again, caramel sweetness and candied apples, but with enough citrus hops in there to not make it overly sweet. Not only that, but there's a ton of complexity coming in with the ripe and sweet fruits via cherries and background strawberries, coupled with the lambic sourness and mild earthy phenolics along with the lithe sweeter white wine characteristics, mild bubblegum, a bit of banana, and almost Belgian-like yeast esters going on. Was there a Belgian yeast strain used? So much going on in this fresh state, aged 6 months I think before bottled, and though I wonder what the cellar would do, this is rich, seemingly interminably complex, and beyond worth your time. I almost feel bad because I know so many people won't be able to try this since it's such a small brewery here in Richmond that I'm now going to miss so much when I end up moving away.

Mouthfeel: For the high alcohol content, there's enough carbonation to balance out the full body of the brew, along with the coating factor that's done nicely as you're sipping away.

Drinkability: Get it if you can find it. Period. A fantastic brew all in all. A dessert-beer that almost sips like a fine scotch. It took me 3 hours to drink, which I love in a bomber. It could be shared with many, however, if you want to go that route. An astounding beer from any brewery, and my favorite from Legend in the past few years. I will undoubtedly be picking up many more bottles of this to see what happens in the future. It's too great not to.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Is this a whale?

2008 vintage bottle, been holding for at least a year it seems. sent by bert

appearance: same boring legend bottle design - served in an oversized snifter, bright pinkish-amber body, light bubbly head

smell: very rich aroma - caramel, fig, brown sugar, sweet floral hops. Sugary and fierce - flashes of rum and fruit

taste: This is an abrasive barleywine - strong currents of rum and sherry, bitter sugary hop resin. There's a lot of interesting things going on here, but its just way too strong in my opinion.

mouthfeel: bitter, stinging booze presence

drinkability: 22oz is a lot for one man

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Photo of VeganUndead
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of BeerSox
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into 8oz snifter.

Deep mahogany hue with a thin half-finger light tan head that settles to a thin rim along the glass.

Strong sugary dark fruit aroma, such as grape, dominates the aroma. The hops add some sharp and spicy notes.

Spicy notes in the flavor, like the aroma, although almost peppery. The hops are dominant, adding plenty of bitterness with a little bit of grapefruit like flavor. The feel is very thick and syrupy, although there is still some spritz from the carbonation. The finish is the lingering sharp hops. The alcohol is well perceived.

Maybe this one belongs in the cellar for another year. The hops should hold up and the alcohol needs some time to calm down a little.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22-oz bomber poured into tulips.

A = Nice clear ruby red liquid with light bone white head that resolves quickly into a foamy covering on surface.

S = Very distinctive smells, an almost balsamic vinegar sour scent hits first but under that as it breathes comes very good malt smells of cinnamon rolls, earthy compost, lemon zest. Very complex and interesting.

T = Some oak, cinnamon, black pepper, lemon zest, very bitter which is not quite in balance with the sweetness, but not too far off. The entire effect is worthy enough.

M = A little too thin bodied for the style and the carbonation stings a bit too much. The alcohol is also a little too prevalent but I'm sure that would resolve itself with some time in the cellar.

D = Although I liked the smells of this and the taste was decent, I really found the mouthfeel a little too lackluster to really feel like drinking much of this.

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

a: thick khaki head over a deep, rich amber-brown colored beer, good retention

s: rum-like booze blended with a fruity brown sugar syrup, lots of caramel and toffee, largely herbal hop aroma, estery with a some buttery fig

m: low, creamy carbonation and a full, somewhat syrupy body

t: full caramel-toffee flavored barleywine with a large amount of fruit coming through - red apple and overripe fig especially, a bit of the buttery diacetyl that seems to be present in most Legend beers but at the same time seems to fit in so well, malty sweet with a balancing herbal hop flavor and sour fruit skin, moderate bitterness

d: imperfect but highly satisfying, sipped over the course of about an hour, very warming and probably a bit on the hot side

Taphouse on Queensway, Hampton, VA

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Photo of ncaudle
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of tpd975
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdub for this one.

A: Pours a nice golden hue with a small fizzy head. No retention or lace.

S: Tons of sweet summer fruit, caramel malt, and candy sugar.

T: Nice sweet treat. Tons of caramel and toffee up front. Over ripe apples in the middle. A bit of booze in the very sweet finish.

M: Medium in body.

D: Not bad, a year or two may improve this one. Very sweet, with nice heat right now.

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

Aroma: Sweet raisins like smell. Hints of nutmet and clove like spices.
Appearance: Poured with nice head showing off the carbonation. It's a nice clear amber color, very clean.
Taste: Malty almost chocolate character. It has a creamy taste to it. Alcohol after taste with a bitter after bite.
Overall Impression: This is a nice young barelywine. One that I think is going to age very well. Legends has been doing some great stuff lately and this years barelywine is a great example.

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Barleywine 2008 from Legend Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 10 ratings