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Old Backus Barleywine | Free State Brewing Co.

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Old Backus BarleywineOld Backus Barleywine
BA SCORE
4.21/5
Exceptional
249 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#1,518
Reviews:
93
Ratings:
249
pDev:
10.69%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
196
Gots:
45
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 249 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of woodchip
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of johnyb
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of IMFletcher
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 2014 bottle; this is, for me, a refreshingly unhoppy American barleywine. Not too sweet, but not bitter. Would love to see this get some barrel treatment.

 166 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, dated 2014. Pours hazy reddish amber with a medium creamy off white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel and toffee malt with lots of figgy fruit and some cardboard notes.

The flavor is sweet caramel and toffee malts with lots of dark fruit and a little roast and a bit of sherry like alcohol and some harsh bitter alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, there's a lot going on, a bit too much. I bet this would improve with a bit of age to blend it all out better.

 564 characters

Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite barleywines. So delicious and so cheap.

58 characters

Photo of Beerando
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Sweffin
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dripa8
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of von_kaiser
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells like roses...newb to the style...gonna take time to get used to. Glad to have tried. Cheers !

102 characters

Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ALC82
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of dvmin98
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rspauldi
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pretty boozy and quite a bit of hop bitterness. Not really a fan of this one.

78 characters

Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It's a big malty barleywine with a peppery citrus edge to balance out the finish. As it warms I'm getting more vanilla and candied fruit with caramel. It's all very smooth and one flavor slides into the next. Great beer, I'm socking away a second bottle for a year or two.

 272 characters

Photo of Tone
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight caramel malt, hint of sugar, slight biscuit, and slight yeast. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, slight caramel malt, slight biscuit, yeast, and a hint of hop. Overall, good body an appearance, decent aroma, but only average complexity.

 485 characters

Photo of Beersnake1
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ThickNStout
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from LambicPentameter (thanks man). 2014 vintage. If I'm deciphering the notch correctly this was bottled in November. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours a dull, almost fully opaque, orange hued brown with a quarter finger ecrue head. Dissipates quickly to a modest collar and some surface haze. Very little lacing.

Malty aromas of caramel, must, cereal grains, cake and vague fruit. It gets a touch sweeter as it warms.

Tastes grainy and malty. Cereal, orange and caramel notes up front. As it warms a bit the flavors open up with some cake, apple, plum and toffee. The alcohol is subdued for its 10% abv. There is a modest hop bitterness of the herbal/ woodsy variety and it is pretty subtle for an American barleywine.

Medium full, semi oily feel with rather mild carbonation. Toffee, mild fruit and some earthy bitterness linger in the finish.

As it reaches room temperature Old Backus becomes an excellent example of the style. Smooth, sweet and malty with a moderate bitterness. Certainly worth a try if you enjoy American barleywines.

 1,067 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.09/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear amber body. Almost no head. Very thin collar.

Smell - Grapefruit hops. Fruity caramel malts. A little bit of apple.

Taste - Even hoppier here. Grapefruit. Sweet caramel. Fruity and apple-y again.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Medium heavy.

Overall - Meh. It's decent. Very fruity, but not a very interesting barleywine.

 396 characters

Photo of Lucoli
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Carb-Overlord
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Backus Barleywine from Free State Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 249 ratings
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