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 DrZarkov
2.36/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This was really quite a strange brew. It looked and smelled alright, but had an overpowering taste. Something like burnt or rotten barley was present in its taste. I have liked most of the New Glarus Brewing Co. beers I have tried, but this one was certainly not up to par with the rest of their brews.

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Photo of ClearDog
2.52/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a six-pack at Stave & Hoop in Eau Claire while on vacation with my wife. Saw this new release from New Glarus and decided to give it a try. I'm not a huge fan of barley wine so my review might not do this beer justice.

Appearance -- Poured light orangish red into my imperial pint glass. There is a lot of visible carbonation here with very small bubbles. Nice 1& a half finger of creamy head. Thin lacing.

Smell -- Spicy grains. Alcohol. Light whiff of hops. Yeast.

Taste -- I can taste salt, alcohol, grains. Kind of spicy.

Mouthfeel -- You can definitely feel the carbonation on your tongue. The alcohol warms your mouth and throat as it goes down.

Drinkabilty -- As I said, I'm not a huge fan of barley wine. I wouldn't seek this one out again, but I wouldn't not recommend it to someone who enjoys this style. I'll most likely put the other five bottles away to try again later on as they age.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.56/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The beer poured out a syrupy golden brown without a lot of head.

It smelled hoppy and sweet.

The flavor was very hoppy with sweet and malty aftertones.

It felt syrupy and smooth in my mouth.
It's a nice beer to sip on once in a while, but isn't one of my favorites I will try one more of the 5 or 6 I have left again for a second opinion.

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Photo of OldSock
3.22/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 12 oz bottle obtained in a trade from Thomashardy. Poured into my pint glass it has a small soda like head that dissipates almost instantly leaving no lacing. It’s a deep golden amber beer with rapid carbonation rising through it.

Smell – Slightly fruity, with some earthy hoppy in the aroma. There is just a hint of alcohol along with lots of caramel sweetness.

Taste – Rough bitterness on the tongue with heaps of sugar sweetness. Alcohol is faint, but present. The fruitiness is weak as well. The malt is mostly just caramel, maybe there is some toasted flavors if I concentrate hard enough. There just is not much going on in the flavor of this beer, the label indicate that this is a straight golden promise/ekg beer, so hopefully the complexity will develop as this beer ages.

Mouthfeel – Syrupy with low carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – This is a young beer, but it shows some potential. It does not look like it is bottle conditioned, but the label claims it is and in addition the large amount of alcohol means that this should age well, smoothing out and gaining complexity. I look forward to trying and reviewing another bottle of this in the future.

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Photo of lampkins
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is probably my least favorite beer still brewed by New Glarus. Beer had a decent aroma of sweet malt and very little or now head to this beer. Could not get past the sharp alcohol in this beer. Even when I let it sit a bit, it did not improve with time. Very dissapointed.

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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 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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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 expatsteve
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Golden2wenty1, who split this during a barleywine-athon.

Appearance: Amber brown, with good visibility and medium viscosity. No head and thin suds cover. Good under light.

Aroma: Roasted soy beans out of the bottle, but sweet caramels and raisin malts in the glass. A little booze, but mellows into a combination of raisins, brown sugar and pine as it warms.

Taste: Oddly salty overlay on caramel malts, with bready finish. Immediate sesame burst with sharp finish. Middle palate and aftertaste develop caramel malts and corn syrup, but little of the fruit found in the nose.

Mouthfeel: A bit syrupy and boozy as it warms, but the low carbonation aids drinkability.

Drinkability: Definitely drinkable, mellow rendition of the style (in the spirit of Old Foghorn, albeit without the same deft balance and development). Lacking a little in complexity and a little sweet at times, but nonetheless pleasant overall. Hopefully New Glarus will continue to offer this, despite its recent removal from their website.

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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 ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed 1/2" beige head over the clear dark copper brew. Head lasts quite nicely, especially for the style, and lacing is average. Aroma is vinous and sweet, with alcohol apparent, and the first whiff even seemed to include some green hops. Taste is sweet and syrupy to a fault upfront, and changes to fruity alcohol for the remainder. Mouthfeel is a bit cloying on this one, overplaying both sweetness and alcohol, and drinkabilty is limited in the same manner. Not a bad BW, just a bit voer the top for me.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with a complete lack of head. Nose is big sweet...I get a heavy brown sugar, light raisin and slight alcohol puffs. Flavor is very interesting. The hop bitter on the finish really detracts from this in my mind. I don't know what variety they used, but it is not working for me. The sweetness is also very prevalent, but not cloying. Its more brown sugary than anything. An okay flavor. Feel is thick with a very light carbonation. Pretty well much where I expected it. The hopping of this beer is not my favorite, though it doesn't keep the beer down too hard. An okay brew here. I'll take it over others.

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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 Golden2wenty1
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Round 3 of an 8 round American Barley Wine-off with expatsteve. After a couple of West Coast classics (Anchor, SN) we move on to the hometown boy from NG. Blew me away as my first barleywine, let's see how this bottle has aged almost a year later and how it stacks up against some formidable competition.

Pour: very light golden amber in appearance, clear visibility with a middling tan head.

Nose: Sweet and sour sauce (think Chinese food), caramel malt and booze vapors with a English hops finish.

Taste: bubblegum/candy/caramel sweet and then oddly soy sauce salty and vegetal with a substantial booze presence. Sugar sweet, not fruity sweet.

Feel: heavy, maple syrup-esque, with light, smooth carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Fresh, this stuff blew me away, but it doesn't seem to the the most graceful of agers or perhaps I was just over-impressed with my first crack at the style. Odd Asian sauce flavors are just a little distracting from any hops or malt developments. Still a solid rendition that I will return to FRESH, that is if New Glarus chooses to make it again...

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Photo of battlekow
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A pristine dark amber, capped by a soapy, white head. Primary scent is hops, but there's also some caramel maltiness in there, some apples (and, from Skidz, pears--I like that, had never thought of it for some reason) and even some chocolate. Tastes like a hoppy old ale: some deep, dark, rotten caramel apple sweetness but with some hops thrown in, not for balance, but for contrast, if that makes sense. Tail Wagger is hoppy, but definitely a hopped English Barley Wine, rather than an American Barley Wine.

Look at me, a fucking Barley Wine expert.

A thick, syrupy mouthfeel gives Tail Wagger a great sippability, but as for drinkability, I'd only want one.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. This beer pours out a clear, light brown color with a small head. The aroma is hoppy, spicy, and a little salty. Some fruit in the aroma, but not the dark fruit of most barleywines. This is more like apples. Caramel flavor with more fruit. Hops come in in the middle. Unlike most barleywines, this doesn't have a strong finish. Mouthfeel is thin for the style. This is an interesting barleywine, but it seems to lack something.

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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 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 ALESwhatCURESya
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer should simply score a 100 just because Dan and Deb at New Glarus released this in their regular year-round line up at regular price. Anyways, pours beautiful, clear rust color with thin, but strong white head that clings very nicely. The aroma is fruity with a stick, resinous smell. The taste is fronted with a huge dose of alcohol sweetness and backed with a load of flavoring and bittering hops. The mouthfeel is remarkably smooth for such a strong brew. The alcohol is definately present, but not cloying. Careful with this one, it is surpriningly addicting and can floor you with just one bottle. I have already went through a case of this and it was just recently released. This beer could age extremely well. I will be putting a few sixers of this away for a few years.

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Photo of clvand0
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a very small head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is very malty with some English hops and sweetness. The flavor is sweet and malty with a toasted character, but there is something odd about the flavor that I can't put words to. It leaves a really strange flavor on the palate. The body is moderate and the drinkability is ok, but there's just something about the flavor that doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Imbiber
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From what must be a much-travelled bottle (thanks Chuck from VA!).

Pale amber, minimal but sufficient head, carbonation decent. Aroma is unusual, prunes? Vine fruits anyway, with a little mustiness - interesting and a little perplexing. Not bad though.

Taste is a little harsh at first though enjoyable: malt, hops and fruit notes collide somewhat. The finish is more restrained and is even approaching smooth.

Good beer, but I think would be better with a little age on it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Malt whiskey appearance with minimal head. Super barleywine and malt aroma. Alcohol impact on tongue. Not complex taste, but decent mouthfeel. Warming alcohol. Honey aftertaste. A good barleywine while young. Thanks HogTown Harry. Another good New Glarus.

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Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, medium amber with a light tan head. Fair head retention and a bit of lace. Caramel and malt sweetness prevail in the aroma, but some american hops and alcohol provide some balance. Medium bitterness. Caramel and mild fruit to start, with hops coming in a little later. The finish is an excellent combination of honey sweetness and alcohol warmth. Solid body without being heavy, slightly creamy with medium/low carbonation. A good barleywine, not too complex, but quite drinkable. Thanks HogTownHarry!

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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 Jredner
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich caramel malts dominate the aroma. The color is a lusterous amber that appears to be internally lit to give it a flowing effect. Even has a un-barleywine like thumb thick head that is fairly lasting. Fore flavor is rich with caramel and honey notes. Slight hints of raisins and brown sugar appear as well. Finish is where the alcohol finally comes out in force and leaves a nice warming sensation.

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