Tail Wagger Barley Wine | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Tail Wagger Barley WineTail Wagger Barley Wine
Very Good
67 Ratings
Tail Wagger Barley WineTail Wagger Barley Wine

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 10-04-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of pkkosmatka
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Duff27
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 bottle

A- Short lived head on a murky brown body. Tons of chunky floaties. Some lacing.

S- Kind of a funky citrus.

T- Slightly oxidized with some citrus. Only a hint of booze.

M- Adequately carbonated, medium mouthfeel.

D/O- Pretty good for 7 years old! Never had it fresh but the old negatives (which are completely acceptable here) are the floaties and oxidation. Thanks mymrnnigjckt!

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a tasting glass. 2005 bottle - a twist-off New Glarus! Holy crap!

Big thanks to blackearth for surprising us with this one at his little tasting the other night!

A - Besides the random floaters to be expected with this much age, this was brilliantly clear and cherry mahogany in color. No head at all, it poured like syrup.

S - Tail Wagger starts with a heavily malted nose with scotch ale-like attributes. Lots of bready caramel and a tiny aroma of English-like hops. The alcohol is barely present with a sherry/port-like aroma.

T - Mellow alcohol notes with a port-like flavor spring out with light hop accents to the strong caramel and scotch ale maltiness.

M - With it's age, this is smooth and supple with a light alcohol kiss on the finish. Very nice feel.

D - At this age, this is basically a sessionable barleywine. No one is sure of the percentage, but it sure doesn't seem like any is there!

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another EPIC beer plucked from the darkest depths of the cellar by blackearth. Bill you are a hell of a BA.

Poured from the bottle into my glass.

A: rusty cherry brown, No head no lace, tons of floaties, not surprising for a 5+ year old beer

S: The nose immediately reminds me of a fine scotch or bourbon. I remarked how it shared the qualities of SA Utopias. Cherry, rich malt sweetness, toasted nuts

T: flavor was a bit mild, I can only assume the years have mellowed this one out. light sweet malt, cherry, hints of bourbon soaked wood

M: medium to light body, no carbonation

D: Overall maybe a touch past it's prime but well worth a try. I should have voted for Dan to bring this one back. I would love to have tried it fresh.

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Photo of levifunk
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks BenC for opening this. We had this and NG Iced Barleywine in the same night (while bottling our iced barleywine concoction).

pours very, very cloudy. floaters everywhere. Its 5 years old, so what do you expect? after it settles down in the glass, it is still quite cloudy. looks like apple cider. smell and taste were not that strong. This beer has aged wonderfully and is the smoothest beer i've ever drank. alcohol is undetectable. all the flavors have melded into one. still a solid malt backbone though.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz received back in October '08 from orbitalr0x... Badass extra Donald!! I shared this with the Boise Peeps a couple weeks ago...

Deep orange and clear on the initial pours.. but tons of yeasty sediment made it into subsequent pours.

Nose shows deep caramel... bready... almost no hops left.. some minor ... very minor citrus..

Flavor is a bit oxidized that makes me think of tawny port.. caramel and toffee (lite) .. pretty far gone... I had high hopes for a NG BW, but I figure this one was gone South long before it ever hit my basement.... I would Love to try a NG English BW again at some point... but I would never trade for this vintage.


Thanks again Donald!!! The "magical" bottle you traded me is still waiting unfortunately... The stars need to align... I have hope for early summer :-)

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Photo of Overlord
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Mbrasi for the extra. I really enjoyed this. Shame it's apparently retired.

Pours a sludgy, hazy deep amber with some orange highlights. Tan foam head.

Smells like ... caramel cookie dough. Taste is a bready, yeasty, malty, brown sugary sweetness. Mmmmm... Maybe a bit of balancing grapefruit, but this is primarly malt heaven. Somehow, it doesn't become cloying.

Very nice sticky mouthfeel.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Gillard. Pours hazy copper with thin white head. The aroma is yummy dark fruity esters along with sticky sludgy malty sweetness and a sense of alcohol. The taste is sweet and chewy maltiness to start followed by some prunes and stewed raisins. In the background I get a modest level of muted pine hop bitterness trying to be noticed over the din of malts. This has a nice mix of notes creating a pleasing barleywine.

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Photo of mbrasi
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage: Pours cloudy orange with floaties. Aroma is sweet, citrus and alcohol. Flavor is good, sweet with a smooth malt flavor. The malt has mellowed with age and made this beer into a smooth drinking slightly sweet brew with just a little bite. Alcohol is hardly noticable in the flavor. Carbonation has faded away as well as the hop profile. This brew handles ages nicely and I'm glad I got a couple more to enjoy later.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a muddy bronze hue with a half finger off-white head that quickly falls to just about nothing. Spotty lacing here and there on the sides of the glass. Definitely an English style BW with huge malt aromas with butterscotch, leather, and dried leaves. Fig and tobacco also tickle the nose. Just an all around malt-bomb for sure. Taste begins with brown sugar and gritty earthy hops followed by raisins and caramel. Peat and grains midway with more butterscotch on the tongue. Molasses and a touch of booze in the aftertaste which lingers for quite a while. Syrupy medium to full body with a rich and creamy feel. Carbonation is low but present. I'm pretty sure this bottle has had some age on it because New Glarus hasn't brewed it anytime recently and you can tell. Hopefully this one is brewed again so I can compare it to a fresh version because I wasn't too impressed, especially coming from New Glarus.

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Photo of Atron67
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to asmokinggoat for one of these in our trade!

A- pours a crystal clear copper red, similiar to an irish red. almost no head on the pour but not surprising considering it is a big beer with such age on it.

S- some strong malt characteristics, but its really has some delicious smelling sherry and cherry notes on it now. hops are all gone, the light oxidation notes give it a little sweetness to the smell.

T- incredibly smooth, outstanding light sherry flavors, very smooth, a malty complexity that is just really nice.

M- smooth, low carbonation, full body, very nice on the tongue

D- just amazing right now

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Photo of tpd975
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sorry I have no idea who this came from. I made 12 trades in a week and this one came in during that span. Thanks though it is one I had been wanting to try for sometime.

A: Pours a cloudy copper hue with some floaties. Average sized head with little retention.

A: Nice complex aroma with hints of sweet malt. There were notes of molassess, toffee, and caramel. A touch of sweet citrus could be detetected as well. Nice in balance, but this one smells English in nature for sure.

T: Taste is spot on with the aroma. The big sweet candy malts dominate with just a splash of peach and orange juice. A touch of booze can be detected as well. This is a nice sweet malty barleywine.

M: Thick and chewy. Smooth and low on the carbonation.

D: A good representation of the style for New Glarus.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mild copper gold with some sediment floating around, very thin head that quickly fades to nothing.
Smells nicely sweet, some caramel and mild fruit.
Taste is nice as well, much like the smell but a little milder. Definitely an English style but with some noticable hops. There's a lingering malty bitterness that makes this interesting.
Heavy mouthfeel, nicely coating.
Pretty well done, just wish I could get some more.

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Photo of badbeer
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Released October 2005. This review is it with a couple years on it.

Nice copper color with an off-white head that retains around the glass and leaves bits of lacing. Smell is quite nice; giving me whiffs of pineapple, caramel, toffee, a little dark fruit, and perhaps some brown sugar. Some definite signs of oxidation setting in; some nice pineapple and caramel join in to keep this one enjoyable. Perhaps a bit past its prime, but definitely still good. Medium carbonation, medium-full body; slightly sticky on the tongue. This is still a good sipping beer that I'm enjoying whilst the snow is falling outside. If you have any left, I'd recommend you give a bottle a try soon to determine whether you want to age it any longer (depends on what flavors you like in your barley wines).

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jj21 for this brew off my Wants. Bottle was brewed in the Fall of 05 (thanks to jj21 for the info!). Pours with a thin head. Has a malty and slightly boozy smell. The taste is not boozy at all IMO & is a very nice balance of malt with some sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth & it is a drinkable brew. I will drink this slowly since this is an excellent English barleywine.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Faro for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a slightly cloudy grapish color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, which then left some islands and sticky lacing. The nose is sweet, malty, slightly oaky, bourbon, and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is sweet, and malty, nice touch of oak/bourbon. The mouthfeel is slightly oil, nice warming effect from the alcohol. Medium body. Very drinkable, a very tasty English Barley Wine, highly recommended.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fatkid13 must have sent me this beer

A: Dull and cloudy toffee color without much opacity. Head is just a small film of sand colored bubbles.

S: Red apples, green pears, caramel, fresh dough, roses and lime.

T: Starts off with lots of brown sugar and an oilyness that I can only describe as medicinal. Good amount of bitterness lurks amount the front and sides of the tongue, of the English varietal. Next comes dates, yellow raisins, little bit of peat and marshmallow. Some interesting sugar cookie going on in here too. Finishes with some eathy bitterness, surprising amount of lymon and brown sugar simple syrup.

M: Medium body and really syrupy. Overall smooth.

D: Nice beer that has been treated good by the aging that’s on it. A good representation of an English barleywine.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe this came to me by way of dirtylou as part of the these go to 11 bif. Thanks for the chance.

Pours a dark amber color with a cream colored one finger head. Creamy looking head with nice retention. Some floaties can be seen bobbing around. Nice subtle fruit hop aroma with distinct biscuit malt notes. Bready and wheaty are pretty hefty.
Hops have mellowed a bit as this has been sitting in my fridge for a couple of months, but they're still there. Still, fruit and floral hop notes are dominant. Long bitterness that stays constant throughout and drys the tongue like a hot summer day in the Arizona desert. Caramel malt notes are pretty hefty. Thick and syrupy with a spiciness. A very nice English styled barleywine. Another good one from New Glarus. Not sure of the abv as it's not mentioned but it's gotta be lower than 10%.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle thanks to MUSHROOMCLOUD

Pours a hazy amber color with a small eggshell head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Sweet caramel malty aroma with a nice, mild layer of hops woven in. Alcohol is noticeable as it warms up.

Sweet and rich caramel malty flavor with a noticeable amount of English hops at the finish. A bit boozy as it warms.

Full, rich body. Creamy texture. Light carbonation.

This is a very nice English barleywine. Chocked full of rich malt flavors with a nice offset of hops, I could enjoy one of these on a regular basis (especially during the cold months). I suspect that this will continue to improve as it ages...

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Photo of beersabound
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd had this one 1.5 years before opening. The color is copper with a small head that dissapated quickly. The aroma is of slight caramel grains and alcohol. Hops were not prominent in this beer at all. The flavor is mostly a combinaiton of grains (caramel, biscuit and other pale malts), a good amount of warming alcohol with enough hops for some balance. The mouthfeel is full, warming and round. very pleasurable. The low carbonation level works great. Overall, I found it a very barleywine but I prefer them with more hop character.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark reddish brown colored body with a good sized eggshell white cap of foam. Scattered speckles of lace were left around the glass. Sweet caramel and dark ripe fruit notes come out first in the aroma. There is also a nice hoppy citric bitterness going on as well. Flavor starts off with some sweet ripe dark fruit notes over some citric hop bitterness. Lightly warming alcohol with a touch of caramel. Finishes with a little alcohol and a nice bitter bite. Pretty hefty body enough so to support the flavor. Very easy drinking stuff for me. Perhaps one of the most drinkable Barley Wines I have had. Good stuff all around that is easy drinking.

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Photo of Redrover
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck with no freshness dating.

The beer is copper with a beige head. Looks a lot like an Oktoberfest.

Rich toffee, sugar and malt nose. Almost reminds me a bit of kayro syrup. The alcohol hovers in the background.

The taste is very malty with toasted grains. The beer is sweet with minimal hoping. I get caramel, tootsie roll, raisins and alcohol. The alcohol is not harsh or overpowering, but you can’t miss it. Slightly thick mouth that helps the taste linger.

This reminds me a bit of a winter warmer. One an evening is plenty, but it is a beer you may want to revisit once in a while.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rather light brown with a decent but thin head. Aroma is rich and sweet, lots of malt with a little candied fruit.

Taste is more rich, sweet malt. Nice woody flavors, lots of butterscotch toffee and caramel. Doesn't necessarily improve as it warms up, one of the few barleywines that I enjoyed more cold. No flavors of alcohol but some mild hop bitterness shows up in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium, not too heavy, extremely drinkable. Not terribly complex for a barleywine, not real distinctive, but quite enjoyable. I would buy this again if I could.

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Photo of Mdog
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very nice amber with lots of carbonation and a good head.

Smell: Raisins, caramel, alcohol.

Taste: Very malty, caramel and fruits, not a lot of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy for a barleywine.

Drinkability: This is somewhat strong or at least tastes like it, so probably shouldn't have more than a couple.

This is a pretty decent barleywine. Definitely not as hopped-up as many American examples, but still a good beer. And a really good value at $6.99 a six-pack!

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Tail Wagger Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 67 ratings