Samurai Barley Ale
Hyouko Yashiki No Mori Brewery

Samurai Barley AleSamurai Barley Ale
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #282
Ranked #23,919
3.85 | pDev: 9.35%
Hyouko Yashiki No Mori Brewery
Very Good
Samurai Barley AleSamurai Barley Ale
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Barley wine bottle share on 1/31. Cloudy amber orange, moderate white head. malty sweet nose on this , some molasses and dates, lots of alcohol. Heavy , slightly sticky body, some honey, brown sugar, fruit. Plenty of alcohol warmth.

Dec 22, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A hazy amber pour supports a ½” cream colored oar collar. S: Malt and dark sugar aromas. T: Rich malts trigger a sweet start with a little caramel that develops more brown sugar notes by the finish. A fairly significant bitter hop accent provides some balance. F: Full bodied with medium low carbonation. Some grain based astringency on the finish. O: A somewhat sweet but interesting Barleywine.

Aug 12, 2015
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Matthew13 from Utah

4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It's listed as an English barley wine. It has the typical smell, look, feel and base of an English. The hops say an American barley wine. I am guessing it's a regional twist of the example. Interesting. Doesn't fit in either category, but it's tasty. I'd have another some day down the road.

Apr 05, 2015
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oberon from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours into an oversized wine glass a deep burnt orange-like color with no head to speak of.big sweetness in the nose but it's appetizing,vanilla,brown sugar,dark fruit,and sweet alcohol with no hops to be had here.A big sweet sipper with brown sugar and vanilla/caramel really standing out over everything else,it almost has a bourbon-like quality to it,a real slick feel in the mouth.This is a nightcap beer,big sweet and malty very much more English than american in style,not bad.

Jul 15, 2014
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this bottle up from the Buford Highway Farmers Market here in Atlanta- says on the bottle "Swan Lake Brewery" and "exclusively imported by K.I.A.I Atlanta. Pours a slightly turgid honeyed amber with no head to speak of. Smells quite sweet, like a dark honey and that's about it. Pleasant, but a little one dimensional. I was afraid that the taste would be all sweetness as well, but there is a nice hit of bitterness mid palate that helps to dry things out a little and put things a bit more in balance. It tastes a little of malt extract (whether that's how it's made or it's just a little past its prime, I don't know- there is no "best-by" date on the bottle), but overall fairly pleasant. A bit sweet and thick even so, but no bad by any means. I'd drink it again.

Sep 16, 2013
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

heavy-ass 11.2 oz bottle, no date, poured into a clear plastic cup (ballin')

look is a cloudy wheat color, smell is malt and tang. the taste is heavy on the barley, with a spicy hop and alcohol finish. feel is a full medium with a slight cloying feeling.

interesting beer, very different from American barleywines.

Aug 02, 2013
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snaotheus from Washington

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Pours a pretty brassy orange, with very little head and no visible carbonation. Smell is orangey, tangy, musty.

Taste is sweet with a sourish aftertaste. More of that orange-iness. Fairly one dimensional.

Mouthfeel is flat and uninteresting. Overall, I think it's OK.

Original scores: 4 / 3.5 / 3 / 2 / 2.75 = 3.03

11.2oz bottle again into a snifter. If there's a date on the bottle, I don't see it.

Looks better carbonated than last time. Smell this time around is boozier than my previous description. Taste is much better, however. Very oaky, with a strong hoppy bitter finish that's accentuated by the alcohol flavor. Mouthfeel is also significantly different. A little more carbonation gives just a slight silky feel to it. Overall, better than previous experience. Enough so that I'll update the scores.

Feb 19, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy amber-orange in color and has lots of fine particles floating in suspension along with a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that hardly died down.
S: There are aromas of sweet caramel malts and raisins in the nose; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather malty and has sweet flavors of caramel and raisins along with some notes of spices towards the finish. Hints of alcohol and bitterness are barely noticeable.
M: It feels full-bodied and a little sticky (but not cloying) on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. A light amount of warming from the alcohol is perceptible.
O: This beer is something that is pleasant to sip and seems to be more reminiscent of an English Barleywine due to the lack of hop flavors.

Nov 11, 2012
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hreb from Washington

3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samurai Barley Ale. US English label long-neck 330mL bottle reports 10% ABV and brewed and bottled by Swank Lake Brewery, Niigata, Japan.

Served cold in pint glass. Beer pours a super hazy mid-amber color, no head. Heady aroma typical of barley wine with notes of grape and overripe fruit.

Flavor is pretty neutral as far as barley wine goes. Big malt, big alcohol, and raisin flavors come through. For an "American" barley wine there's not much in the way of hops or bittering. But the result has great balance. Unfortunately for such a big beer I find it rather on the bland side. Not a fault per se, but at over $5 for a small bottle a specialty beer like this would have to have a little more to set it apart to make me want to come back.

Oct 13, 2012
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Briken from Washington

3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light honey amber and thin off white head with poor retention. Honey and barley with a floral aroma. Sweet barley, jasmine rice and finishing with grassy and floral flavors. Sharp, biting dry finish.
Light feel and thin body with a light stickiness.

Pretty one dimensional but a good beer if you like the flavors. Very unique take on a barleywine that I feel could possibly be aged though I’m not sure the malt would stand up to it. An interesting beer certainly worth trying out and pairing with an Akira Kurosawa film.

Sep 08, 2012
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flagmantho from Washington

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: murky light orange-brown hue with a thick finger of frothy ivory foam with a very slight orange cast. A decent-looking barleywine.

Smell: rich, clean malt aroma with a citrusy hop character. Simple, but quite enticing. I like it.

Taste: big malt flavor with less hop contribution than the aroma. The end of the palate brings a distinct fruitiness of raisin and plum. Some of this may be due to the alcohol, which contributes a notable warmth. Finish is quite smooth, especially for a barleywine. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a nice smoothness and good carbonation. Plenty creamy for me.

Overall: barleywines are usually hit or miss for me, and this one is a decent hit. I rather like it.

Aug 11, 2012
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The malts are really hitting me pretty heavy on this one. Steady sweet tone. Bit of an alcohol burn on it, unfortunately. Slight hop spice tone to it. This is a pretty alright barleywine, the boozy burn aside. Always nice to try a complicated style from an unknown brewery that comes off pretty well. I would have liked a bit more complexity on this one, but I guess that's what aging a barleywine is for, right? Perhaps I should go get some more and lay them down for a while.

Aug 06, 2012
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shivtim from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very surprised to see something from Swan Lake at the Buford Highway Farmer's Market, as I've never seen anything from them in the USA. Based on the review below, it's also available at Hop City. Is this just an Atlanta thing?

Poured the bottle out into a pint. Nice hazy brown thickness, a few floaty chunks, slight orange tint. Decent tan head.

Nose is fanastic sweet barleywine. Toasty malts, some vaguely Belgian sugars, more sweetness and plums. Bready and more fruit.

Taste is bready malts, lingering ethanol (10% ABV shows through), sugar, peppery hops and orange rind. Intense flavors.

A very good take on the Barleywine style. Happy to see this brewery in the US.

Apr 28, 2012
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle - $5.99 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clouded, dingy tan-hued body with a medium-small, off-white head. Scant lacing.

Smell: Sweetish, largely bready maltiness with some papery traces in the foreground and notes of peach schnapps soaked fruits, spicy dried herbs.

Taste: Packed upfront with a malty sweetness of caramel sauce, honey, brown sugar cut by a thin vein of raw alcohol. Heavily bready. Seems to be some oxidation present, but the big pops of sweetness and alcohol kind of overshadow it. Dehydrated apricots, white peach schnapps, and sultanas provide some fruitiness, as does some citrus. Spicy, herbal hops combined with some stinging, peppery alcohol throughout leading to the heated, bitterish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus, viscous body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A belly-warming, sweet, intriguing sipper, though not necessarily one I'd care to revisit.

Apr 06, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute. Pours a medium orange brown amber. One finger fine very light tan head and lacing. Aroma of hops, caramel malt, dark fruit. Taste is very nice, sweet malt, dark and light fruit. There is a fairly complex and pleasant fruit component to this Barley wine that is unusual. Finishes a bit dry and hoppy. The main flavor is much more like an English barley wine, but the finish nods towards a hoppier American style. Works for me. Medium to heavy bodied. Mellow and complex. I like this quite a bit.

Jan 21, 2012
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mikeyv35 from New York

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 01/09/12
Type: 11.2oz. Bottle
Vintage: Unknown
Glass: Pint Glass

Poured a light murky brown in color w/ a 1/2 finger white head that left small amounts of sticky lacing. Aromas of light pine, caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Interesting, the sharp alcohol bite is on the front side of the taste, and the hop bitterness, caramel, and toffee is in the finish(usually the reverse). Medium bodied and decently lush, a bit too thin for a barleywine, but not too far off. This brew is pretty drinkable and the bottle side is right.

Overall, very good job by this Japanese brewery producing a solid American Style Barleywine! Not fantastic, not bad, just solid. This barleywine was pretty well balanced and I feel it fits the style category well. I would sample this brew again.

Jan 10, 2012
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BigMcLargeHuge from Arizona

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of ratebeer's own riversideAK. Bottle pours hazy brown-ish copper with dirty white head. The aroma offers up hard candy like citrus, cherries, mango, pineapple and some spicy hops. The taste has loads of citrus and sort of tropical fruit hop flavor notes running amuck all over the place. It then begins to pick up some spicy hops and plenty of sweet malts. Into the finish the hops become a bit less flavor hops and somewhat more bitter hops. Still there are plenty of sweet citrus and tropical fruity hops heading deep into the after taste.

Nov 28, 2011
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BillHilly from Washington

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle around a year ago, opening now.

A: Nice haze, hazey & speckled

S: Big malt, toffeee

T: Malty, caramel, sweet!

M: Darn near perfect - nice viscosity & carbonation

O: Fantastic Japanese BW, if there is such a thing...they did well copying a big EBW.

Oct 18, 2011
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snpub540 from California

3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this at my local bottle shop and thought I'd take a chance.

Poured a slightly hazy brownish caramel hue with an off white head. Left no lacing on the glass. Nice carbonation.

Smells of dried fruit and caramel. Some nice floral notes in the background.

Taste is very malty and sweet. Not a lot of hop bitterness. Taste of dried fruits and some roasty nuttiness. Alcohol flavor is not toned down at all. Definately a sipper.

Medium body to it. This is a good beer but it tastes more like an English Style Barleywine to me.

Jun 27, 2011
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barleywinefiend from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a caramel color with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Caramel, toffee, hops

T: Plenty of caramel, grainy, toffee, good amount of booze

M: Nice, well carbonated, medium to heavy body, sweet and dry

D: Interesting, and a good drink overall

Dec 23, 2010
Samurai Barley Ale from Hyouko Yashiki No Mori Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 47 ratings