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 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 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 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 Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz bottle sampled through the efforts of dirtylou and The No BS BIF.

Pours a cloudy amber bordering on red beer with a fast fading light brown head.

Smell is fruity and mildly spicy with some faint apples and cinnamon aroma. Brown sugar and faint tea scents. As this warms the smell gets more spicy and less fruity.

Taste is fruity and quite full of hops in the first taste. This is a little sweet with lots of tropical fruit flavor to it mostly pineapple. Prickly and spicy on the tongue like ginger or black pepper. Noticeably bitter hops in the after taste a lot like SN Bigfoot; this is a good thing. Hops are not over done here they are just about right.

Mouthfeel is good.

Easy to drink barley wine here that is a bit similar to SN Bigfoot. Not nearly as harsh as Bigfoot in the hop level, this one is just about right. A beer I do recommend.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks go to orbitalr0x for this Wisconsin Barley Wine. The beer came in a brown, 12 oz. bottle, with a plain but informative label. When poured into a wine glass, the beer looked anything but plain. The body was deep reddish amber in color, and the ample carbonation resulted in the formation of a one finger thick persistent head.

The aroma was sweet and rich, and was laced with a latent spicy smell due to the hops. The taste was malty and smooth, and was backed by a good helping of peppery hops, and a little touch of diacetyl. Alcohol was well hidden and caused very little burn. Carbonation was active and a little prickly.

I found this to be a very enjoyable English Barley Wine. Very appropriate as a late night sipper, which is how I enjoyed it.

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Photo of hero27
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Says on the bottle that it's the strongest beer they've ever brewed, however there is no ABV printed on the bottle. Of the listed New Glarus brews, their Unplugged Smoked Rye Bock weighs in at 12% abv.. is this beer actually stronger than that?? hmm..

Pristine bronze. Aromas of heavy caramel malt, raisins, and infused alcohol.. The taste is thick, resiny hops, yet they seem a bit overshadowed by the malt overload experienced with each sip. Mouthfeel is a bit slick. Despite the obvious intoxicating qualities this beer holds, it's pretty damn easy to drink.
This brew actually reminded me a lot of Dogfish Head 120 Minute, if you can believe it. Now, it's certainly not near the 21% alcohol mark, but it tastes surprisingly similar. Same barley possibly? I know both brews must use truck loads of it.

A malt-driven barleywine that packs quite the punch, this is another solid brew from New Glarus. Thanks to badbeer for picking this one up for me.

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Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hell of a tasty BW that borders close to DIPA range....not a big BW by any means...I'm amazed at how clean and clear this looks....did they lager a f'n BW? Great nose too..biscuity malt and some british stye hops...also a slight piney element on the nose.

Taste is unique...you can taste the Golden Promise..also some toffee....nice english style hop flavor....I like East Kent Goldings and they fit nicely with the malt load...

More of an English style BW...not real big but tasty...great value too...I keep pulling these out of the cellar as a night cap one by one and drinking them at room temperature and they are fantastic..

I drank it side by side with old Ho and this one falls considerably short but that is the benchmark IMHO. This is enjoyable in its own way.

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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 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 BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had some good beers by New Glarus, but none better than this. A very complex and easy drinking Barley Wine. Very sweet and syrupy even to the nose. The viscous pour releases a film that rides the rim of the sniffer. Equally as sweet and viscous to the mouth. Ripe and over-ripened fruit flavors (fruit cake) in abundance. Molassas-like flavors with honey and cane sugar. Heavy and coating texture-nearly makes the teeth hurt. finishes very sweet and very dry with an alcoholic evaporative quality. It's everything that you don't want in other beers--and I like it that way.

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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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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 UncleFlip
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caramel-orange, with a thin off white head.

Smell is grainy/malty...quite like the smell inside the brewery where it's made.

Taste is very pungent malt (as I would expect), with hops that hit at a decent level. A little bitter on the end.

Liquid is thick, with tight carbonation that hits right up front, but fades away.

An easy drinker, though maybe a bit thick for some. Not bad at all.

Be well

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

Pours a light golden brown into the glass. Minimal head and lacing. Smells of licorice, maple and nut. Taste is awesome. Little carbonation. Taste is similar to the aroma, licorice, cashew, maybe a little maple. I like Barleywines and this is a good one. Definitley recommended.

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Photo of jj21
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Rusty Red hues. Scarce Head. Cloudy

S:No alcohol burn I expected. Brandy-like esthers with oak overtones

T:There's the burn, but smooth. Roasted Hops and Oak. Warming Caramel

M:Spicey on the tongue. Mellows as it warms

D:Great sipping Beer on a winter night.

Tried again last night (12/03/08)
Holding up well. Hops have faded drastically to almost nothing. A bit thinner than I remember but still fantastic! I wish I had more.

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Photo of walleye
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured reddish copper with off white head that left some good lacing. aroma brown sugar, alcohol, hops, malts the aromas in this beer are not as robust as the other barley wines I have had, that said very thinfg was nicely balanced nothing was dominating. I liked that. flavorthe alcohol came out first sort of scotch like, a nice sweetness, hops, malts good beer

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Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour into my snifter produces a low off white/light tan head that soon recedes to a thin collar. The beer is a rich, reddish amber color.

smell: Definately a malt balanced barleywine, as an English should be. The highly sweet malt aroma gives hints of caramel, figs, toffee, and caramelized light brown sugar. The ethanol is obvious, but is not at all overwhelming, even at higher temperatures. There's a pleasing English (upon reading the bottle over, I notice that EKGs were used) type hop aroma that just compliments the malt, and does not cover up anything.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a low medium, and the body between medium and heavy, with a slick feeling on the tongue. A sweet stickiness is left on my lips.

taste: Not as good and complex as the smell, but still just fine. Heavy malt flavors, which impart a big sweetness, are present. Hop bitterness is light but does provide some balance, and there's a tealike hop flavor. Ethanol presence is very well hidden, though I am not sure what the ABV is.

drinkability: Tasty, and pretty easy to drink, though the sweetness wears after awhile.

Smuggled a six pack of these back from Wisconsin. A good beer for a great price. The code 5255 B-112:24 is printed on the bottom of the bottle.

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Photo of bubrewer
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This crystal clear, copper colored beer is very lightly carbonated (as expected), and has suprisingly little sediment for a bottle conditioned bottle.

There is less caramel character and a slightly lighter body than many barleywines. I welcome this departure, as I find others to be too thick and sweet. Aroma is mostly alcohol, with a little pineapple and maybe plums.

I find a peaty, earthy character that may be the EKG hops that are supposed to be there, but there is definitely a resinous character of PNW hops. Bitterness is pleasantly sharp and balances the sweetness of the malt. Although this one is quite fresh, being brought straight from the brewery, I suspect it could cellar well as the hops fade and allow the malt to come forward.

Sadly, I'm a long way from where New Glarus distributes, or I would stock up on this and cellar a bunch.

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

Appearance: Medium dark brown color, small tan head that lingers as a 1/8" solid layer.

Smell: Sweet malt, raisin, brown sugar.

Taste: Smooth and warming, a lot of alcohol, and a good shot malt sweetness. Hops present and add a lingering fruitiness. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, very full. Alsohol is warming. How a barleywine should be.

Drinkablity: $6.99 for the 6 pack. Unheard of for a barleywine. For the money, it is very good, although against the style it has some flaws and isn't the greatest.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade

pours a reddish orange and crystal clear- similar to a bourbon in appearance. the thinnest possible ring surrounds the surface and lacing is granular at best.. some bubbles hovering through the body.

nose is sweet and burnt malty. musk and alcohol dance with candied fruit. hops add a bit of detectable citrus among the big boy barleywine notes. pleasant odor that reminds me of winters past.

flavor is different though.. alot brighter and fresher.. young. starts with a carbonation zip and leads right into tartness from fresh hop oils and milled grains. excitement settles into a brown sugar sweetness with a sugary grapefruit breakfast in the finish. different and excellent.

mouthfeel is a bit zippy and should lie a bit stiller. regardless, does not really impede the enjoyment of this brew.

$10 a 6 pack? one of the best barleywine values i've ever seen. big thanks to... umm.. tavernjef? for the chance to try this. send more.

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

Wow - what a cheap ($10!) 6-pack of a barley wine from New Glarus? I hope this is good and worth a trip back to Madison.

Pours a dark reddish copper color a with thick off-white foam. Lots of pretty bubbles are rising to the top of the glass, despite the minimal carbonation of the beer.

I raiste my nose to the glass, and I'm greeted with fantastic aromas of fresh english hops. Grass, hay and expectations of bitterness. Honey and bready biscuit aromas round out the scent. Next I put the beer to my lips - chewy biscuit flavors greet me with quite a big hoppy
punch (East Kent Goldings?) in the aftertaste. The pleasant bitterness does well to balance the sweet malt flavors. The beer is still very fresh, but already quite tasty. Makes me appreciate the Golden Promise malt used for the beer (so sez the bottle). Gives this some time to mellow and will be even better. Now if only I had the willpower to save some.

beer is warming - caramel notes, lots of pretty white lace on glass

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear crimson coloration, thick, creamy head, slow to settle, very impressive apprearance. Lovely.

Aroma is sweet and rosey, notes of cherries, berries, grape, apple, melon,...wide open and gorgeous...big malty feel, voluminous, velvety, viscissitudinous... (??)

Delciousness from the start, sweet and smooth, creamy and bold. Fruity factor continues from the nose, blended with blissfull, huge malt. Golden Promis. Little hops,(East Kent Goldings) and creeping alcohol content (once again, New Glarus doesn't tell us, so we're left guessing.)

Dynamic flavor, mellow mouthfeel, classy, sophisticated taste, overall a genius beer, leaving me wishing I had a case to last me a year or three, not just the one bottle for tonight.

I like this quite a bit. I'd like to like it more. I'll have to lovingly indulge these last few ounces in the glass. And hope I get to try another, someday.

Most impressive.

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