Bourbon English Barleywine | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by woodychandler on 07-23-2010

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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 6
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More User Reviews:
Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap @ Iron Hill Lancaster on 7/16/11 during their Christmas In July event. Served in a 10 oz footed Pilsener glass.

Pours a deep ruddy copper in the glass, topped with a ½ finger of creamy bright-white head. This retains with roughly the same width, just drenching the sides of the glass with heavy thick lacing. The aroma has a pretty good integration of barrel and base in the nose, with notes of caramel, lightly herbal and citric hops, a touch of toast, vanilla, charred wood, and a stiff whiff of heat that seems to be coming from both the bourbon and the ABV.

The bourbon in the taste has some bite initially but does smooth out some into a moderately rich mix of caramel, darker feeling molasses, a touch of cocoa, herbal feeling hops, and some vanilla. Charred warmth hangs on the edges of the profile, while this finishes dry and spicy with a tannic feel that sticks to the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied and while the nitro-pour does smooth this out immensely, you can still feel some of the alcohol in the body and those bourbon flavors definitely still have a bit of a burn to them.

Despite the warm bite this possessed at times, this ended up being a fairly complex and smooth take on a Bourbon-Aged Barleywine. At first the nitro seemed like a bit of a cheat but in the end, I think that it ultimately actually helped a lot of the vanilla and caramel sweetness come out even more and made for an overall pretty smooth drinking experience. I would still like to try this on tap though for comparisons sake.

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Photo of akorsak
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas in July, an American barleywine aged in Heaven Hill barrels and from a nitro tap. Orangesol is sitting uncomfortably close as I sip this.

A: The barleywine is viscous looking, seemingly thick and murky with a brown muddy creek water look. The head, creamy and solid, was the first indication of nitro, later confirmed by Kevin.

S: The nose is sweet bourbon, vanilla and wood driving a one-two punch of depth. The bourbon has taken the rough edges off of the barleywine, leaving a malty core behind. A hoppy bite lurks around but is far more evident in the taste.

T: Sweet bourbon and hot barleywine, a study in contrasts. The bourbon, thank you Heavn Hill, is smooth and sweet with vanilla beans. The oaken firmness holds up the sweet aspects, keeping them around for a little while longer. As the sweetness passes, the barleywine's caramel and toffee kick in, a different kind of sweetness that builds to a hot finish. The heat was surprising but a welcome change of pace, breaking up the sweetness admirably. A well-aged barleywine.

M: The mouthfeel is nice, cloying at times with its overwhelming sweetness but the wall of barleywine strength bails it out.

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Photo of buzzy
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of woodychandler
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transcribed from undated notes.

Presented to me with a finger's worth of light-tan head with low retention. Color was a slightly hazy medium-copper. It had a very sweet nose, more prevalently malt-driven than bourbon-aged. Holy Hot, Batman! The mouthfeel seared my tastebuds into my tongue. I do not mean to suggest that this was a bad thing, but it was unexpected and eye-opening. Catching my breath, there was lots of malty sweetness on the tongue but the bourbon was fighting for supremacy. The finish was hot, malty, crying out for more aging. I was dying ... but in a good way. Zounds!

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Photo of orangesol
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap at Iron Hill - Lancaster during their recent X-Mas in July event.

A - Pours murky brown with a small creamy half finger tall white head leaving little to no lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of caramel, toffee, vanilla, warm bourbon heat, dry oak tannins, and the faintest hint of a hop bite toward the end. This is very complex yet enjoyable. A bit raw still tho.

T - Starts off with a big dose of caramel sweetness quickly giving way to a mix of toffee, vanilla, dry oak tannins, and the ever present warm bourbon. The bourbon is quite strong and it could use a bit more time to mellow out. The finish is a mix of caramel sweetness and warm bourbon, lingering for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, hot, feel with plenty of it lingering through the finish.

O - Pretty good stuff. It is still a bit rough around the edges, and it could use a bit of time to mellow out, but all the flavors are there for this to be great. Glad I made the track down to try it.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Durandal_777
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of DIM
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a murky looking dark brown color. It was served to me with a long lasting, stiff whipped cream head.

s: Bourbon barrel and vanilla beans first with flowery heat and toffee lurking in he back round. Big and sweet smelling overall, very appealing.

t: This is good but there is a lot going on here and it just doesn't all quite come together. Up front I tasted sweet caramel and bourbon. The bourbon flavors in particular where very nice, lightly oaky and not at all harsh. The finish was kind of messy. The earthy vanilla beans were a distraction to me and clashed with the flowery heat and charred toffee.

m: Very creamy and kind of sticky.

o: Maybe just one too many sweet elements at work here. Still and enjoyable experiment.

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Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of ffejherb
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap at Iron Hill Lancaster on 7/23/11.

A - Cloudy root beer brown liquid with amber tones around the bottom and a creamy beige head that retained amazingly, leaving a splash of lacing around the glass.

S - Vanilla sweetness paired with a bourbon tang and plenty of toffee and caramel notes. A hint of alcohol and woody tones round out the aroma profile.

T - Flavor packs lots of vanilla sweetness with a tangy bourbon quality and woody undertones. Rich caramel and toffee malt notes persist throughout. Finishes with a tinge of earthy bitterness in the backend.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, creamy texture and mild alcohol warmth. Finishes with a hint of bitterness and residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Tasty English style barleywine with a smooth bourbon presence and plenty of vanilla sweetness. Goes down too easily for a 10% beer!

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Bourbon English Barleywine from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 10 ratings