Barleywine 2010 | Legend Brewing Co.

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
Legend Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by raverjames on 11-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by BigMcLargeHuge:
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Ratebeer's own ksurkin. This little 12oz bottle pours deep clear gold with off white head. The aroma is offers up sweetness in the form of pears, apples and sweet wheated malts to go along with some boozy heat at the end of the draw. The taste has a pleasing mead like sensation with lesser supporting notes of sweet malts, apples, pears, floral hops and booze. Pretty interesting barleywine for sure. This should improve with some age on it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of zaphodchak
4.32/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in April 2012.

Thin swirly head, gold-amber body, cloudy.

Nose drips with malt and herbal honey.

Body is full of caramel, sediment adds some extra sweetness and vintage character. Trace of parmaggiano reggiano. Bit of alcohol burn, really magnificent.

Perfect example of an English Barleywine-- I wouldn't classify this as American.

The newer one (2011) is slightly brighter in body, hoppier but not overboard, nose is subdued and body is darker.

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Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to snifter. "Strong winter ale" written on the label. Sampled 10/21/11, real time review.

A: Pours with a scant finger thick head, light brown in color and foamy/sudsy in texture. The head falls fast leaving a skimpy film and a concentric collar. Medium dark amber orange colored body, great depth, and respectable transparency. Spotty lacing.

S & T: Red apples, dark rum soaked golden raisins, cider, caramel, toffee & BOOZE, big but well rounded. The hops are fairly neutral, while the yeast provides light notes of earth and leather. The malt bill seems to be dominated by Marris Otter.

M: Full bodied, thick syrupy texture. Moderate carbonation keeps Legend's barleywine from being cloying. Alcohol is warm, not hot. Long finish.

O: My reaction after the first sip was "This is better than the current B- average and the ABV is not nearly as out of control as I thought it would be. The flavors struggled through the warming phase a bit, and the alcohol began to get hotter, but as the beer drew nearer to room temp, everything fell back into place. I was pleasantly surprised by this bottle.

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Photo of JCQ
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Legend beer normally doesn't impress me very much with complexity of flavor but I found the barleywine to be a leap from the normal brown ale, pilsner, and lager. The beer came recommended from the cashier at the local beer store (Korks and Kegs) and I drove down to Legend to indulge my personal interest.

The amber color was deep with hints of red that could only be seen when held to the light. The beer poured with lighter head than I expected for the starting sugar content. The aroma was of sweet American and English barleys. Some of the roasted grains gave an almost dried plum or apricot to the nose. The flavor was sweet. It was much sweeter and lighter than I expected with again hints of rich fruits such as plums/apricots. The hops were fairly non existent until the end when a slight grassy bitter climbed up the the tongue. Finish was bold and the flavor lingers for a few minutes on the tongue before dissipating. Overall it was a fairly drinkable barleywine with more Scottish roots than traditional american barleywines and I think is a great annual beer for the Brewery.

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Photo of garbercury
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tailgating beer? Meh, why not...

A--Deep red with subtle lacing...

S--Fruits, quad-ish is some ways, figs, raisins, plum.

T--Strong and medicinal, boozy. Sweet twinges in it also.

M--Thin, full of booze.

D--This is a beer that needs some age on it clearly. Very boozy and harsh, but the flavors have potential. Put a few away and revisit, should be well worth it.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A=minimal head, gobs of lacing, semi opaque ruddy brown color
S=Lots and lots of alcohol, notes of deep malted barley, faint notes of fruit
T=Oh boy. Lots and lots and lots of alcohol. It has an almost quad like taste, with plums and raisins, very sweet
M=Sticky,full bodied, chewy
D=surprisingly high for a beer this ABV, its definitely a sipper but its one I could have one or two of, albeit gradually.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of raverjames
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at Legend Brewing winter beer release night (Nov. 18th).
A: Amber to plum color. Little to no head.
S: Cidery. There are some dark fruits in there (raisins, plums, figs).
T: More cidery than the smell. It tastes like fig cider, though I have never actually tasted fig cider.
M: A bit high carbonation for the booze and style. It is very warming, which goes perfect with the cold winter nights.
D: I had a 4oz sample, and would not want much more. I always try it fresh, then buy a few bottles for the cellar. I really don't think they should release this beer the same year it is brewed. I want them to brew a batch, and cellar it for 1-2 years. That would really help get rid of the cider flavors and tone down the boozey heat. It is still an ok beer fresh, and I am glad Legends brews something crazy every once in a while.

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Photo of ncaudle
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of monarchs20
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of McKeag24
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first experience with a barleywine was an expensive adventure in local craft brew. The Legend Brewing Company puts out a tremendous range of brews and the barleywine is a special addition to the Legend family. At first glance, the amber color looks strikingly similar to other amber type beers. Noting the extreme ABV of the beer, I was expecting an extremely hoppy aroma but instead smelt a bouquet of floral notes on top of the maltiness and caramel of other ales I've enjoyed. I was very much anticipating the taste of this beer. Alas, I was disappointed as the taste was reminiscient of homemade apple wine I enjoyed in my college years. There was a fruitiness about it that was almost cider-like though it did not seem as carbonated as others. My tongue responded to the alcohol content in the aftertaste, and I was reminded of the ABV shortly after completing my glass. For similar occasions during which red wine is usually offered, I could see this barleywine enjoyed as a welcome respite for beer drinkers looking to stand with their wino friends.

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Photo of dragonWhale
1.87/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

On tap at the grand Legend BC.

And so it was with high hopes that we dashed off to Legend before the VCU game vs. New Hampshire. Just a pint or two and perhaps a glimpse of the mercurial and magnificent Jenni. Before we'd even arrived, we discerned through the grapevine that Jenni had been fired, for reasons undisclosed at this time. With heavy hearts, we continued on our destination, determined to wrest the best from this precarious situation.
We arrived hoping at least that she would be sitting at a bar stool, perched tantalizingly near collapse. It was not so. We ordered a few beers. Always the adventurer, I ordered the barleywine. The bartender promptly forgot about me, then returned 10 minutes later with my beer served in some sort of tulip. A loungy brown cherry color with no carbonation. At least no head anyways. It looked at me dully with glassy eyes. I returned the favor, intrigued mildly.
I sniffed of the tulip..huge malt sweetness, caramel and plums, apples, did I mention sweetness. Almost nothing here to indicate what I was about to embark upon was to be pleasant. No hop presence, and surprising little alcohol in the aroma now that I see it's being listed as a 15.6% beer. I find this difficult to believe, and feel like these people may have been drunk when they performed the gravity reading.
Finally I drink, remembering the good times. "Is everyone okay?" But no, everyone is not okay. This is abominable, cloying cherries and apples. Cloying apples? Gross. Caramel involved but hapless. This beer is not done. Not carbonated, not 15%, not enjoyable.
Not being one to panic, I finished my lady's something or other, a mediocre offering, while downing this beer as quickly as possible with my dear game-faced compadre FattyBangin. We joked our way through the awfulness of it all. The injustices on this day. Oh, how we missed Jenni!
A day of disappointments at the brewery here. Pale ale wasn't awful, at least.
And VCU crushed New Hampshire.

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Photo of MrOH
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy brownish amber, no head, just a ring of foam around the edge, but not surprising for the abv.

Grape jam, blackcurrant, dried apricots, apples, figs, dates, slight vanilla, baking bread. Fruit dominates.

Flavor starts off with the fruits, then big alcohol flavors come in, like brandied cherries. Slight oaky ester and some spicey bitterness from the hops at the end.

Full mouthfeel, low carbonation. Fairly clean feeling, all things considered.

The fruitiness is quite enjoyable, but the alcohol keeps it from being too drinkable. Maybe in a few years this will be just the thing for a snowy night in.

A bit boozy

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Photo of bbclegend
2/5  rDev -42.4%

Photo of CrellMoset
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle picked up from one of the Charlottesville locations, can't remember which one now. Picked up a four pack though, which is fortunate, as I hear from many sources that this one could benefit from aging.

Appearance: Pours a flaming coral vermilion, crystalline and glassy. Close inspection reveals a single stream of tiny bubbles inching slowly upwards to the surface, a surface lightly populated by the remnants of a one finger eggshell shell that rose remarkably tall (the vigorous pour likely had something to do with it) and faded just as quickly. I guess it's not at all that bad for a 15.6% abv brew (!?), and it actually does leave a really thick, foamy, dense, and persistent collar, and there are a few dashes of glittery lace that do manage to stick to the sides of the glass for quite some time.

Aroma: A very tart and fruity nose. Surprisingly low on the alcohol-o-meter, this one is characterized largely by white grapes, oranges and mango notes, along with a few grassy tobacco notes. The alcohol is a solventy twinge in the distance, masked between the aforementioned fruit notes and a sweet, caramel-esque cane sugar note, amplifying the intensity of the fruits.

Taste: There's the booze, and Jesus it's pungent. Like dried tropical fruits lightly roasted in an oven before being macerated in 120 overproof rum. It's an intense mouthful of flavor, but not an intense mouthful of flavors, unfortunately. The heat dominates, solventy and uncomfortable, especially in the finish though a few other notes do manage to shine through - mango, peach, orange, and tobacco suggest an interesting hop profile and hint dry hopping, and the malt base is sweet, honey-like, and tinged with light toffee, brown sugar, molasses. A lot of room to grow here.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, with enough carbonation to make for a slightly erratic, creamy mouthfeel, despite the chewy, intense, heavy mouth.

Drinkability: Well, seems the consensus was right. This is a heavy, syrupy, boozy brew that could benefit from a lot of aging. I got three more of these, and the next one definitely won't be cracked for at least three years (the other two much, much later than that). Right now, it's an interesting experiment (and probably one of the highest abv% brews ever produced for commercial distribution in Virginia, I imagine), and one I'm glad Legend is doing and continues to do, even if past years were more immediately accessible.

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Barleywine 2010 from Legend Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 17 ratings