Bourbon Barrel Barley-wine Ale | Beermann's Beerwerks

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Brewed by:
Beermann's Beerwerks
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 10-07-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by Westsidethreat:
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SethB2 for this one.

A: Elegant 33.8 oz bottle. Hand signed 2005 #601. Color of molasses with some amber mixed in. Opaque and mysterious. Creamy two finger beige head signifies good things to come. The head held strong through the entire bottle.

S: Red apples, wood, gingerbread, cinnamon and whiskey in the high notes.

T: Extreme bourbon flavor, probably the most I've tasted in a beer. Very sharp and pungent bourbon tones. Begins with a diverse high alcohol maltiness with some hops on the palate. Lots of raisins, plums and figs. From there the bourbon comes thru loud and clear. An immediate spike of vanilla arrives then settles to a more butterscotch presence. The bitterness arrives towards the end as the sweetness is fading. A balanced bitter approach, certainly not over the top. Very bitter, mind you but it doesn't steal the show..frankly which would be difficult with this much bourbon flavor. As it warms the bourbon flavor becomes even more pronounced with the alcohol esters buzzing the nose.

M: Full bodied and fairly creamy.

D: The wife is having a hard time with this one, too much bourbon. I'm enjoying it quite a bit myself. Mighty fine.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of KilgoreTrout27
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SethB2 for passing this along. Comes in a beautiful swing-top 1 liter bottle, 2005 vintage. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Good looking amber hue with a nice head that lasted through most of the tasting. Smells of vanilla and oak, typical of bourbon aged beers. The taste is fantastic. The bourbon flavor shines and marries well with the caramel maltiness of the barleywine. The barleywine itself does not seem as fruity as some that I have tasted, but I think this actually works in its favor when it is combined with the bourbon barrel aging. A mild hop bitterness also pairs well with the other flavors in the beer. The mouthfeel is medium, actually a bit thinner that I expected, but it makes for an easy drinking beer. The alcohol is hidden well, and the liter went down faster than I anticipated.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to the many bourbon barrel aged beers that seem to be so popular now.

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Photo of aracauna
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark brown with a small head. This is an interesting one. The bourbon aging did some weird things to the barleywine. I'm getting a vanilla bean cheesecake flavor drizzled with caramel. I think the barrel aging changed the flavor, but I'm not really getting a clear-cut whiskey flavor or aroma like in many similar beers.

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Photo of Crotor
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, mapley amber with one finger of off -white head with low retention.

It has a distinct bourbon aroma, with a hint of alcoholic warmth and some dark, pitted fruit.

Upon drinking, the first impression is of big, chewy malt in the mouth, with a bit of bread and a lot of taffy. Now I know I've described other beers as being "caramely," but this actually tastes, for a large part, like caramel candies. The bourbon character adds an excellent nuance to the flavors. Overall, it reminds me of Gethsemani Farms' Butter Walnut Bourbon Fudge (there's a heavenly pairing waiting to happen). There's little noticable hop bitterness, and the multi-faceted malt flavors of this beer should mature well.

The mouthfeel is suberb, being substantial and chewy without being overwhelmingly heavy.

Overall, a damn good barleywine.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At 10th Anniversary Big Beer event.

A - Poured copper with 1/2 finger white head. Dissipated immediately with no lacing.

S/T - Toffee, caramel, oak, and nectar.

M - Full bodied, malt dominated, very smooth, with a hint of light alcohol.

D - Good. Very quaffable.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/30/06- Purchased at Nugget Market in Vacaville, CA.

Presentation- 2004 vintage. One liter bottle with a swingtop. Each bottle is hand etched with the year of vintage and numbered as well. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Pour is a murky brown with a bit of golden hue. Full one inch of head leaving behind very nice patches of sticky lacing.

Smell- Significant bourbon scent. Some sweet caramel malt as well.

Taste- This one tastes much different than many barleywines I have tasted in the past. Just as RKhaze has presented...tastes like someone dropped a shot of bourbon in here. Very malty, in fact much like a burnt caramel malt flavor. Not as much sweetness as expected. It is rather hoppy though.

Mouthfeel- Lingering hoppy bitter aftertaste, lower carbonation level.

Drinkability- Tastes unlike most barleywines. Different and tasty. If you are not a bourbon fan, do not try this one. Has more liquor flavor than beer. My wife was not a fan..she dumped her 8oz. I would have finished it, but I felt 25oz was plenty and might have regreted it in the morning. A change of pace barleywine that I would try again....and will because I have a 2005 version :)

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Photo of beerguy101
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, slightly hazy. Medium head. Aroma is malty, woody and smoky with a hint of vanilla. A medium to full bodied barleywine. Malts are fruity and slightly sweet. Hops are slightly spicy. There is a lot going on in this very complex beer. The oak and bourbon flavors are competing and complementing with the vanilla and fruit. Then there is the smoky flavor that sort of hangs out in the background, hiding in the shadows only to dart out and dazzle you. The 9.75% alcohol will sneak up on you. It extremely well hidden, and I’m glad this beer comes with a swing top type closer. Drinking all 38 oz of this stuff in one sitting would knock me on my ass. It’s very smooth. A very easily drinkable barley wine. Recommended. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. . Nice etched beer bottle.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been saving this bad boy for a couple years. Nice 1-litre gold embossed bottle.
Poured a burnt orange/amber color with a big, thick creamy beige head that got rocky and chunky as it disappated. Good lace. Aromas of sweet malt and all those bourbon nuances. Caramel, vanilla, oak and a bit of smoke.
Rich complex flavors. Sweet malt, dark caramel, vanilla and oak.
A hint of fruit and some smoke fill it out. Finishes on the verge of cloying with a bit of spice and a tangy hop bitterness. The 9.75% alcohol is hidden wicked well! Gets better as it warms of course.
I don't know whose bourbon barrels they used, but they must have been from a decent distiller.
It tastes just like its name someone poured a shot of good bourbon into a good barleywine. The end result is definitly better than the sum of the parts. Good old synergy!
Medium bodied for a barleywine but with a rich full creamy mouthfeel that was almost a tad sticky. The complexity and balance that hid the alcohol so well makes it dangerously drinkable. Anyone want to help me finish this litre? No...on second thought I'm gonna be a greedy bastard.
Outstanding job! One of my top 10 beers ever.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

first off, the one liter flip top lid bottle is what was the kicker to make me spend 11.99 on the thing. very cool packaging; i also knew i could use the bottle for homebrewing. I'm a big fan of the grolsh style lid. anyways, bourbon aged barleywine sounded mighty good.
appearance: looks good, nice amber color and nice head that holds. I was very suprised how light and clear it looked.
smell: very nice. vanilla dominates here, with some oak and bourbon. very swell.
taste: very complex, it's smooth, vanilla is big here again with more oak, more grain. however it's much more bitter than the smell would indicate. In my opinion it's just a hair too bitter, and this knocks it down one notch. However, it's still well within the range of balance and it's still very good. I've never had anything quite like it; the bourbon aspect blends right in.
mouthfeel: its very good, nice and medium, not very big but not watery.
drinkability: it's a sipper that's for sure, but i kept wanted to drink more, and more. this is a great beer. I split the beer with my dad and felt that half a liter was plenty, the flavor does sort of reach a point were one has had enough. Of course with this bottle, one could drink it over a few days without it going too flat.
Very good and well worth it, if you can find it. This will become an annual treat.

edit: thinking about how i should age a bottle for a year since i thought it too bitter. duh!

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Bourbon Barrel Barley-wine Ale from Beermann's Beerwerks
4.29 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
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