Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

very good
107 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2002

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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 124
Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Murky, dirty brown body with a nice head that went down rather quickly.

Smell - This is a stiff one. The sherry comes out in force and works well with the nice hop aroma to create a wonderful scent. There are good oak undertones and a strong indication of the 10.0 ABV. This one is serious.

Taste - This ale will pucker the lips. The red wine tastes are huge. This is almost like a cab or hearty merlot. The oak lends itself well to the style. There are some sweet malt undertones adding dimension to the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Flat and full as hell. The alcohol is barely noticeable. This feels terrific in the mouth.

Drinkability - What more can you ask for? Strong, full-bodied, and unique.

Update - I popped the last of my '04 vintage at the end of May in 2008. This mellowed beer still had the personality of its youth but was more blended. The heavy red cab is still there, the woody sweetness even bigger, and the sense of alcohol a bit more laid back but ever-present. It'd say four years is probably a year too long in the cellar but this was still a very good nightcap.

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Photo of Gusler
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

“Batch #4 Bottled November 2002”
As it pours from the bottle a vinaceous color, the head leviathan in size, pun intended, the structure creamy and the color a winsome light tan, as it evanesces a fine sheet of lace is left behind to conceal the glass. The aroma of Oak quite evident, hints of red wine, fusel alcohol, sweet malt, and a real treat for the senses, start is ambrosial, malt laden, the top middling in its feel. Finish has a walloping hop presence, almost feral in its bite, the acidity stinging and the 10% ABV, produces a bit of bitterness, quite dry and long lasting aftertaste with the Oakiness lasting to the very end. Another “Bad Boy”, to put on my “Favorites list, and one certainly not meant for the “Lite” beer crowd, so “Drinker Beware”!

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Photo of jcalabre
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Originally reviewed 3 April 2003. Batch #3, bottled November 2001: It poured a cloudy brown color w/ a huge, long-lasting off-white head. This was aged in oak casks that had held some cab franc. Well, you can definitely smell the red wine in the nose. The nose is unique & beautiful. The flavor is smmmmoooooth. Some wine in the background, w/ chocolate, pear & hops. It's complex & extremely well crafted.

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Photo of Wildman
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark amber color and formed a light tan bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. Some interesteing aromas are going on in this brew. I detect malt, wine, wood, a bit of caramel, some hops and some pine. The flavor was an exlplosion of malt, wine, some of the woodiness. The finish was a touch bitter, yet astrigent. This is a very powerful barleywine, not only in alcohol content, but in the presence it gives particulary in the flavor and finish. Definately one to take slowly like a wine or liqour, which it shares some elements with. A fine product, but hard to come by and expensive. Worth a try though if you can get it.

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Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great oak/bouban nose....smells like Beam....brown in color....perfect 1/2 inch creamy tan head...very smooth, creamy mouthfeel....alcohol evident...can taste the oak....some nice bittering on the finish....sweet malt emerges first though, then som woodiness....pretty solid, and pretty unique...nice change of pace Barley Wine..also some caramel on the nose....definitely worth a try

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Photo of Bighuge
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Nov. 2001. Batch #3.

Murky looking brown/burgandy mix. Very creamy dense beige head. Little lace left on glass. Dry, woody, alcoholic and bourbon-like aroma. Pretty cool. Very unique tasting barleywine. Huge dry woody tones. Alcoholic. Some sweet caramel tones. Not as big with the hops or malt that I like in my barleywines, but this is probably the most interesting barleywine I've had. I get fairly heavy whiskey and bourbon tones. Good to try, but I won't spend the Big $$ for this one again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - simply capped. Batch No. 3. Bottled Nov. 2001. "Aged in Hungarian Oak casks previously filled with Cabernet Franc". Hazy brown in color with light mahogany highlights. The light tan head drops quickly to a limited collar. The aroma is quite unique: winey, woody/oak, lightly peppery, piney/resinous hops, with a licorice note. Estery. The body is full with a limited carbonation; leaving it fairly viscous on the palate. The flavor is quite bold but not really complex. It's richly malty but well-heeled by bitterness, hop flavor and notes of alcohol. This is a beer best served at @ 60F to bring out its sublte flavors. Once warmed it reveals a gentle dark fruitiness, burnt sugar, dark subtle caramel, licorice, and lots of resiny hop flavors that carry straight through into a long finish. The barrel conditioning becomes more apparent in the aftertaste with a wine-like character and clear notes of wood. Someone remarked to me that "'s more like a wine" - that's not far off the mark with the exception of its full hoppiness. The alcohol is clear from the start but not offensive in any way. It's got some sweetness, but it's also quite dry (probably due in part to the oak aging). I'd imagine that this would most likely benefit from additional aging. I found this quite easy to drink as the flavor is rich but straightforward. It left me looking for some more depth. I found it quite unique, and enjoyed it quite a bit, but don't think that I'd buy a case of it or put away more than a few bottles for aging.

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Fish Tale Leviathan Barleywine from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.88 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
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