Samurai Barley Ale | Hyouko Yashiki No Mori Brewery

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Samurai Barley AleSamurai Barley Ale
Very Good
43 Ratings
Samurai Barley AleSamurai Barley Ale

Brewed by:
Hyouko Yashiki No Mori Brewery

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by barleywinefiend on 12-23-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by hreb:
Photo of hreb
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of Seattle_Suds
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of n2185
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of troyvar
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 837 characters

Photo of BeerZombies1
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Maillard
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of martyl1000
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of WCKDVBZ
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is pretty good for an American Barleywine, but it's way too hoppy for an English.

86 characters

Photo of Kopfschuss
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

 316 characters

Photo of Mike-Harms
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Hopstout
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mpenske
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Briken
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

 477 characters

Photo of shivtim
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev +5%

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Samurai Barley Ale from Hyouko Yashiki No Mori Brewery
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 43 ratings