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Portsmouth Barleywine | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth BarleywinePortsmouth Barleywine
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
57 Ratings
Portsmouth BarleywinePortsmouth Barleywine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States
portsmouthbrewery.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A deep amber, full bodied, intensely bold beer that is made to show off the true qualities of the malts used. Flavors of figs and dates and malt sweetness predominate with enough earthiness from the hops to balance this beer.

Added by Bierman9 on 09-04-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#14,414
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
57
pDev:
10.08%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
1
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brought this home from my trip to New England earlier this month,poured into an oversized wine glass a deep burgundy/brown color with a thinner but pretty well sustained white head.Deep fruit in the nose like prune,raisin,and sweet cherry some sweet alcohol and a passing whif of leather,bid and sweet up front with that dark fruit and brown sugar coming through that leather component is more pronounced on the palate a decent dose of resiny hop finishes it off.It packs a malty punch it made me sleepy like alot of the style do,I liked the hop punch it gave in the finish,pretty darn good.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz growler into several glasses. Thanks go to ClockWorkorange for bringing this to a recent tasting.

Pours a deep hazy amber, with a thin covering of off-white foamy head. Retains with some fizzy wisps across the top, leaving a good bit of spotty lacing behind that coats the sides of the glass. The aroma is deep with fruit and bread, and caramel sweetness. This was aged for approximately one year, so the American hop profile has been reduced to some lighter herbal accents. There's a stiff waft of heat as well but it doesn't seem too overpowering considering that this has a nearly 12% ABV.

The taste is thick with roasted malts but is off-set nicely by some much sweeter accents of toffee and molasses. Some fruity notes and herbal hops work themselves in as well, giving this some earthy background character. Warmth and roast linger well in the finish, with a good bit of leftover stickiness hanging around as well. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a chewy and viscous nature to that falls right in line with the heftier flavors that are involved in this. The heavier ABV is present to a degree but this is one of those ones that is more workable with one's palate in smaller quantities.

Even with some age on it and the hops having faded a good bit, this was still some tasty stuff. Lots of depth and richness here, with a pretty good drinkibility on it for such a large Barleywine.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to clockworkorange for sharing this growler
poured chilled into a 1/2 pint. The growler had been aged for approx 1 yr - so take it with a grain of salt

A - Ruddy brown, chestnut hued with good clarity and very thin head

S - Fruity, caramel, toasted malt and mild floral esters w/ subtle alcohol notes

M - A dry slightly spiced and strong feel, substantial body w/ sweet middle and mild bitterness. The sweetness is pretty prominent 1/2 way in w/ hints of tangy fruitiness from the yeast and caramel textured malt w/ mild residual sweetness

T - Taste is nutty, dry and slightly fruit tinged w/ toasted and caramel malt notes very dominant and mildly alcohol tasting w/ more stone fruit and toffee-like essence that lasts into the finish. The flavor has plenty of caramel sweetness and subtle berry effects from the yeast throughout

D - I appreciated sampling this barleywine, which is pretty tasty in small doses, at 11%+ you can't say it is highly drinkable, yet for the style I consider this a barleywine I wouldn't mind having again. It does suffer from a bit too much malt , but for those who enjoy malt bombs I recommend this

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown with murky red highlights when held to light. Smallish off white head dissipates quickly. Smells of dark dried fruit, caramel, toffee slight alcohol. Taste is sweet, a bit hot, syrupy dried fruit and caramel. Aftertaste of alcohol and a slight hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is syrupy Body is thick, carbonation is ample. Great sipper Still my favorite brewpub!

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Photo of mklisz
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Dicers
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of MasterSki
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Mike (AgentZero) - not sure why we're drinking barleywines on a hot summer day, but thanks I guess? Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A finger of quick-dissolving light tan foam settles to a thin ring and some wisps, leaving tiny spots of lace. Partially transparent ruby-brown body.

S - Treacle, alcohol, light roasted grains, chocolate, and brown sugar. This is on the darker side of things for barleywines, with more roast and less overt sugary sweetness. The alcohol isn't very well-hidden, but otherwise it's a solid and interesting take on the style.

T - Taste is somewhat dull, but largely contains caramel, brown sugar, and light milk chocolate. Some obvious alcohol in the finish.

M - Medium-full body, creamy texture, lower carbonation, and some warming alcohol. Quite style-appropriate and pleasant actually.

D - It's a fairly average take on the style with a few redeeming qualities. Much better than the Uinta offering we had next to it, but not something I'd actively seek out either. I finished my glass, but chose to abstain from a refill.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 bottled from tap. Received from CooperEllis. John says he thinks this is an "oaked" variety that wasn't available for too long... I don't have the chutzpah to enter this in as a "new" beer... but I will certainly review it as a damn fine Barleywine.

Clear deep amber... long lasting off white head... plenty of caramel and something that I perceive as vanilla... good bitterness up front... nice hints of toffee and even some cocoa.. some pronounced dark dried fruits make me think of sweet cherries... minor citrus hoppiness shows mid-late palate and lingers to meld well with a bit of brown sugar essence... body is about perfect for the style... carbonation seems a tad lacking, but no real complaints.... this honestly reminds me of Full Sail's Old Boardhead with a solid year in the bottle.

If somebody at Portsmouth is reading this and can comment to the "oaked" character, please message me... I would love to hear from one of the professionals.

Thanks again John... I thoroughly enjoyed this one... That said, I am keeping it on my wants... I want another or 3.

All 4's... but probably deserves more.

 1,115 characters

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage: Poured a nice golden amber color with good carbonation and a dirty white head.Nose is toffee, booze, caramel and chocolate. Taste is a whirlwind of flavor with chocolate being up front then caramel, toffee,booze. Mouthfeel is nice, balanced but still hot after 3 years. Good bwine indeed!!!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful beer. Poured into a tulip glass, it was a golden brown color with a medium head that dissipated quickly. Sweet, caramel/toffee aroma with a hint of malt. More malt evident in the taste, also dark fruit and caramel. The alcohol is noticeable, but not in an unpleasant sense. A good mouthful, very drinkable,

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Photo of claspada
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2008 bottle I believe from my memory; sampled Spring 2013.

Pours a deep copper color with a medium sized off white head that recedes rather rapidly to leave some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with sweet caramel maltiness, dark fruits (figs and dates), ripened red fruits and a slight red grape vinious note which emerges more as it warms.

The tastes begin with the same sweet caramel maltiness, ripened red fruits, toffee, brown sugar and some lingering, slightly oxidized sherry character.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Finish is farily sweet thanks to the substantial age. and a touch of bitterness to the finish.

Overall this was a very quality American Barleywine. At this point it reminds me more of an English style because of the lack of hop character but that is to be expected from the advanced age. Reminds me a great deal of an aged Alaskan Barleywine, which is great praise because I think that is the best American Barleywine on the planet.

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Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of papat444
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

***2008 Vintage***

Thanks to mrretardedmonkey for this one. Used a bit to bake a sugar pie and split the rest with my wife.

Poured from a bottle (1 pint, 6oz.).

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown body with a tan head that reaches 2 fingers and holds steady.

Smell: Alcohol, malt, toffee and berries.

Taste: Sweet, toffee, dark fruits and ends in a berry fruitiness. Has a lactic finish to it that is not the best.

Mouthfeel: All right as it's smooth and a bit chewy but the body seems to have fallen apart a bit.

Overall: This beer didn't age gracefully but there are glimmers of a good beer do drink it fresh.

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Photo of rderedin
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AgentZero
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of these days Portsmouth is going to make a beer that blows me away. Today was not that day.

A - Reddish brown color with a little bit of an off-white head that didn't leave anything on the sides.

S - Dark fruit, caramelized sugar, crystal malts, little bit of citrus. Something smells a little off on this one, might be the unexpected roast presence.

T - Taste is pretty much in line with the nose, and kind of dead. Caramel, dark fruit, blah blah. It's really just a boring, and not exceptional, beer.

M - Fuller side of medium bodied, soft carbonation, a little gritty.

O - As Ethan said, "Fool me 19x, shame on you..." I keep waiting for that awesome Portsmoth beer, and keep getting disappointed. Here's to next time.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stopped in for a Labor Day lunch with Alewife yesterday... Both scored a couple of snifters of this, enjoyed in their open-air inner courtyard patio. First recipe from new assistant-brewer Tyler, we were told by our server, Anna.

Was poured in a tulip-style glass, perhaps a 12oz fill. Color was a clear, deep chestnut/mahogany hue. Minimal carbo espied within, and the bier was topped by a thin, wispy, light tan layer of bubbles. Belgian lacing was quite nice. Very malty nose, hints at sweetness, with a solid base of caramel evident. Bier itself was silky smooth on the tongue, while the body was easily medium-plus, bordering on chewiness. A nice feel, oh yeah.

Flavors kicks off with lots of sweetness, brown-sugar like, yet not cloying at all. Caramel and toffee are right up front, too. Hoppiness is not in-your-face strong, but still easily noticeable, with rindy, piney characteristics. Hints of dark fruit waft about on the palate, and the abv is well up there. Gives me the impression of a rum-soaked fruit cake. Overall, malt is more pronounced than the hoppage, though it is a lovely combo. Scarily drinkable, despite the high alcohol content. Nice job, Tyler!

Prosit!!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

1010

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Photo of gford217
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of MrRetardedMonkey poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep reddish brown that shows a clear copper when held up to the light. There is a small short-lived off-white head that stays on as a swirl of bubbles and a collar.

The aroma is very sweet, like caramel apples, and definitely more fruity than most barleywine aromas. There is plenty of dark sugar sweetness as well, with only a hint of hops.

There is more of a citrus presence in the taste, especially up front. The taste also has more of the toffee sweetness I was expecting in the nose on top of the caramel malt base with lots of apples and raisins in the there as well. The alcohol is not hiding much in the finish and leaves a noticeable burn going down.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium-bodied and has some soft carbonation that helps the sweetness stick on the palate between sips.

This is a very good barleywine and, despite the alcohol presence, is still very drinkable. The fruitiness makes it a bit original and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of unclekeith
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Flounder57
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured an off white head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark ruby brown color with no clarity, but small by bubbles can be seen coming up the side of the glass.

Smell: Caramel and toasted malts, dark fruits, and booze.

Taste: Caramel, biscuity, toffee, boozy, tingly, dark fruits, some banana, and tingly hops.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, boozy, medium carbonation, and nice and warming.

Overall: Pretty solid barleywine that I have enjoyed on draft and bottles. I love stopping by here on the way through Portsmouth on the way to OOB.

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Portsmouth Barleywine from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 57 ratings
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