Old Backus Barleywine | Free State Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
242 Ratings
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Old Backus BarleywineOld Backus Barleywine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co.
Kansas, United States
freestatebrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bronze Medal Winner, 1997 World Beer Championships - Barleywines.

Old Backus contains just over 2,000 pounds of malt and 55 pounds of hops. The original gravity is 25.6 P/1092 which contributes to an alcohol content of 10.5% by volume. This is a tremendously complex beer that should be savoured slowly and in moderation. It will continue to change with age as it is served unfiltered.

This barleywine is named after Richard Backus, an old friend to the Brewery.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-29-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
242
Reviews:
93
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
10.61%
 
 
Wants:
196
Gots:
43
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 242 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Written Aug 4th, 2015) 12OZ bottle, 2014. Not much carbonation when opened; poured with a very light head, but I really like the color of the head: light caramel; beer somewhat cloudy at first, then cleared out to a very nice caramel color; strong aroma of bread; taste is heavy sweetness (But not cloying), medium bitterness, and some sourness; soft carbonation, sticky, medium body. Overall, I like it, but perhaps not as good as some other barley wines I have had? I look forward to seeing how this will age.

 512 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a deep copper color with a bright white head.

Smell - The nose radiated sweet breads and malts.

Taste - At the front, I detect sweet caramel, bread, amaretto, fruit leather, and ginger The overall profile is well-balanced as it not overly sweet and no taste profile dominates. The experience is completed with a pleasant warming sensation

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation and a syrupy texture let this linger.

Overall - For the style, this is near perfect.

 488 characters

Photo of FreshZ
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of boogerisu
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chitownfanatic21
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of robinbsmith
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Free State is the best, period.

(I will review this properly another time)

76 characters

Photo of locoformavs
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of newbeeraday
2/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of mflamar
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of stephens101
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reddish-brown with a bubbly tan froth. Smells of gum and cherry syrup. Tastes of plum, black grape, burnt sugar and pine. Has a sickly sweet aftertaste. Syrupy and even medicinal in spots. Medium in body with a touch of alcohol warmth.

I get the history of this one, and have nothing but respect, but it's really not working on any level for me, and ain't nobody got time for that these days.

 400 characters

Photo of Zonian1
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AGoodStout
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Old Backus pours a copper-orange mixture with a smallish 2 finger head. Opacity is about 70%.

Aromas start to lift as the glass is agitated, I'm getting a lot of grape skins both black and globe. Resinous and viney qualities are very present, as is a large body of toffee and caramel malts. Some fresher aromas are released as the snifter is agitated further bringing forth snap pea and dry grass.

Barleywines are no joke and this is no exception. Flavor impacts like a fiery comet into the core of your palate. Some aged and spoiled alcohol are first sampled, followed by tons of grape skins soaked in the stuff, tasting like someone popped the lid on a forgotten barrel of whiskey at the bottom brink of a pirate ship. It pretty much stays there except for a thick slop of toffee malt backing. A sharp note of hop finishes the profile with a stinging character.

Feel is thick and destructive, but doesn't completely devistate, more like bends your tongue a little bit much like a tree in an F1 tornado, then passes by and leaves a trail of dust and dryness in the air. More "sessionable" (excuse me, if you will) than other BW's.

Overall, Freestate's offering isn't bad, but it's not among the best I feel. It could have more variety in the flavor, and a little more synchronity with what's there, but it's still an enjoyable brew nevertheless. Probably won't return soon, but it's worth a try if you haven't had it.

 1,426 characters

Photo of Tsnider123
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gibgink
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Houser
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cp45
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Holopirek
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 50StateBeerTour
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Groenebeor
3.89/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of joemetric
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheHopsman
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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