Cyclops Barleywine | Elysian Brewing Company

Cyclops BarleywineCyclops Barleywine
Liked This Beer
3.95 w/ 88 ratings
Cyclops BarleywineCyclops Barleywine

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.85%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-20-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a slightly hazy deep amber body with a small head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Caramel, brown sugar, apples and pears and some citrus hops.

Taste. Toasty light grains and caramel ...lots of both. Some pine needles, citrus rind and green apples.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Good barleywine without being "over the top". Pretty easy drinking as far as the style goes.

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Photo of BillHilly
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle not dated, but believe to be '08.

A: Classic BW appearance, light on lacing.

S: Fantastic big malt

T: American sweet malt, the hops have faded substantially, to be expected, slight caramel.

M: Wish it had a bit more carbonation, dulled down quite a bit in 3 years, yet has a nice viscosity to it.

O: Man, for $4 a bottle, hard to beat and worth trying if you are a BW person.

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Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a no joke American style BW.Poured into an oversized wine glass a lemon tea color with no head to speak of at all,murky and plain lookin.The aromas woke this beer up,fruity and somewhat floral,very juicy and provacitive to say the least.Flavors of sweet cake and dark fruit turns into bigtime citric and piny hop,its a real shot in the face.Alot of brewers could use this as a an American DIPA but the big fruity malt profile makes it a barleywine,a great beer that folks from other countries need to try to see what a true American barleywine is and should be.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, vintage 2007.

Pours dark copper with good clarity and a thin, tan head. A partial skim coat on the surface and elongated dots of lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with chewy caramel, toffee, plump malt, and golden raisins. Ripe figs and a hint of booze-infused fruit follow through.

On the thicker, chewier side of medium bodied. Tacky and gummy with light carbonation.

Doughy malt, dark caramel, ripe fruit, and warming booze start the palate. Shades of toffee, tobacco and leather step forward.

Finishes with plenty of sweet malt, warming fusels, and a hint of cardboard.

Pretty tasty and quite easy to drink. Still a bit weak and underhopped for my liking though.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

02 vs 03 Cyclopian battle.

a- both poured a reddish/orangy hue, with light, but sufficient, carbonation in each.

s- the 02 had a little caramel, a touch of vanilla and booziness, and a little citrus. the 03 was vanilla dominant with a little caramel and citrus, not much alcohol.

t- interestingly, these two seemed to trade vanilla flavor for smell. the 02 had a strong vanilla flavor with a little bit of caramel while the 03 was a nice blend of all the flavors evident in the nose. the older tastes newer.

m- both coated the mouth well without being too boozy at under 10%. a little warming but the vanilla lingers a bit.

d- very smooth and easy. split many ways, these two disappeared quickly.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9.85% on bottle, no date. Dark chesnut brown pour into my nice little Brooklyn snifter. Off white 1/4 inch and that's about it. Poured strictly to guidelines set forth by Brothers Alstrom. Smells like a cross between a heath bar and butterfinger. Nice and bitter on the nose, popcorn molasses and caramel meets hop tasty. Hoppy for sure, big backbone of caramel stiffness. Good and fumey and hoppy as the best of them...piney with the malt flavor. Hops and dark rye real nutty. Pistachio nuttiness. Dry and bitter mouthfeel, love it. If you want a Barleywine, this is it. Simple and difficult.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

Looks like a fairly clear orange-amber with very little head. Pours like a thin gel. Smells of alcohol and old wood, sour fruit.

Taste is rich, astringent, complex -- lots of sourness and bitterness. Maybe some citrus and a little floral, tannic bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, a little sticky. Pleasant, but slow drinker.

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Photo of JasonA
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darktranslucent carmel copper. Some head with lacing. Have to take off .5 for twist top.

Malt and hops ... good start. I prefer more malt than hops for the style. Dark rum raisin, very appealing. Im more than happy that hops is not overpowering this example.

Wow, smooth mellow sweet delicious hops. Faint yet prevelent hops with just enough aroma hops. Maybe some deeper malt, but nothing really to bad to say here.

Sits yummy in the mouth, exactly the reason I love BWs. So smooth for an American. I find they are usually bitter than their English counter parts (as expected), but the hops arent bittering, more aroma, very nicely balanced.

Yes, yes yes. More please. Also, im sure these age well also. Mine is at least 6mo old.

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Photo of jletts
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 Cyclops Barley Wine

Appeared light orange-amber with a thin head and smelled of sour pear, dates, alcohol, plums, champagne grape, a little coconut and even (stay with me here) some summer melon and occasional light sweet floral notes. Figs and cloves filled out the flavor, along with peppery alcohol, light toasted coconut, and hops lingering around at the end. This beer was gentle and smooth but the hops were still quite fresh tasting. Truly delicious. I just love this barley wine and it seems to age nicely. Strangely I enjoyed the taste of the 2007 version just a little more. Can't wait to taste that one in a couple of years.

2008 Cyclops Barley Wine, 10 months cellar time

Smelled of sugar cane and molasses, layered with notes of prunes and some lingering stringency. Flavors of molasses and raisins emerged up front, finishing hoppy, though quickly turning peppery and very neat with a clean alcohol vapor on exhale. A silky smoothness and a sugary thickness finished up a fantastic drinking experience.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RoryGilmore for this!!! He came through because I have been trying to get my hands on this for a looong time now. Poured a deep orangish with a flat head that kind of took the wind out my sails. However, the nose was sweet, sticky, malty and smelled of caramel and dried fruit. Taste followed suit, dried fruit, caramel malt, earthiness tone too. It was pretty boozy for the ABV. It goes to show you dont need 12ABV to make a good bwine. Mouthfeel was good. Overall, this was just as GREAT as I expected.

1 Aug 2009: Just had the 07 andaAfter two years it was good but peaked for sure.
8 Oct 09: Just had an 08 and she was just right!

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nicely hopped barleywine, 2007 edition The aroma is rich malts and barley, the appearance is a golden-brown with some white halo head, and spider lacing follows. The hops were magnum, amarillo, and centennial. Ageing lead to a nice mouthfeel, most drinkable, with a citrus undercurrent and finish, however also boozy finish.Overall, bitterness.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz, obtained at bottleworks in seattle - brought back via northwest airlines

"04" written in marker on the cap

appearance: poured into my de koninck chalice, very murky mud-amber body, light beige lacing

smell: lots of sweet dark fruit, boozy, dwindling hops, sugary sweet...not a full on blast on the nose, but nice

taste: this one is still pretty hot even 5 years out...big sweet malty core - really really good. this one resembles a number of old ales...fairly strong bourbon/alcohol presence that warms the body. really smooth, spicy and tight

mouthfeel: smooth, sticky hop resin in the finish

drinkability: pretty good

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at the Pike Street location. This brew is a clear amber color with a compact off-white head that recedes steadily. Patches of lacing. Aroma of malt and butterscotch, along with some hops. Rich and sweet mouthfeel with flavors of caramel malt, dark fruit and toffee flavors. Hops are present, as is some alcohol but both are hidden. The finish is sweet at first with some hops becoming more assertive on the back end. Above average overall.

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Photo of brentk56
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'06 Bottling on tap at the Hard Liver Barleywine Fest #7 (3rd place)

Appearance: Arrives with a light amber color and a nice head that laces beautifully

Smell: Toffee and leafy hops

Taste: After the toffee flavored opening, the earthy English style hop flavors emerge to provide a nice balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This was a decent barleywine, but it would not have ribboned in my book; a bit too light and lacking in complexity, for my palate

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Photo of illidurit
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange color with a modest but creamy beige head. Mostly caramel sweetness on the nose but with some pruney fruitiness and a bready crusty earthiness. The use of mostly pale malt allows the hops to shine through nicely. Flavor is sweet and sugary, with some stone fruits to go along with the dark fruits of the aroma. Appreciable earthy bitterness. Body is a little light for the style, which helps the drinkability out.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 vintage pours murky orange - brown with thin off white head. The aroma is malty and seemingly wheat or rye along with hints of fruity esters and muted pine hops. The mild carbonation silks in with pretty big blunted pine hop bitterness and coupled with some earthiness, malts and lighter colored fruity esters. Tasting great for an American style barleywine. Still an alcohol sense noted in both the aroma and the taste. Could age even a few more years.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body with a full, fluffy, off-white head. Admirable amounts of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Rich scent that brings you aromas of candied fruits garnished with pine needles and/or caramel-covered bread crusts with each sniff.

Taste: Pale malts, oh-so toasty Munich malt, and a sugary caramel sweetness. Hint of sweetened almond paste. Touch of apricot and dried fig fruitiness. Minimal hints of booze. Tangerine and pine (maybe even spicy) hop character with a solid, medium-high bitterness. Bittersweet, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation. Relatively smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Reasonable drinkable for a punchy barleywine. While not the best barleywine, it still was a rather enjoyable one.

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Photo of badbeer
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber with a white colored head that has decent retention. Pine sap, booze, sweet malt in the nose, though it is a bit watery. Grainy taste with grass, biscuit, and a little bit of earthy hops. Medium body and light carbonation. Drinkability was alright, but I don't know that I'd have too many of these.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No idea of the vintage.

Pours deep amber, copper in hue with no discernable head, just bubbles on the edge of the class that hang out for near eternity. The nose is full of malty brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruits. Rich flavors of caramel, molasses, and a nice "piney"-ness are the first things I taste. As it nears room temperature a subtle candied grapefruit flavor comes to the foreground. The alcohol is slightly present in the nice warm finish. Mouthfeel is wonderful and creamy, full bodied indeed. This is certainly a stellar brew and many thanks to thethrone for the taste. This is my first experience with Elysian and I hope the others I have in my fridge live up to the high bar this brew sets.

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Photo of tpd975
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for this gem.

A: Pours a nice light cloudy orange hue with no head. There are a few bubbles rising to the top but for the most part there is no action going on in the glass, fairly flat looking.

S: Nice sweet fruit aromas up front. Hints of cotton candy, light booze, and a smidge of hops round things out. Very inviting.

T: Matches aroma. Big sweet malt up front. Hints of caramel malt, summer fruits, booze, and a light blast of citrus hops.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

D: Very, this was an 03 bottle and boy has it come of age. The flavors have really melded together to create one tasty, smooth brew. I could sit and sip this one for hours on a cool night.

Thanks Dave

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Photo of biegaman
4.67/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shaded in peach skin with dashes of orange zest and potter's clay. One source says the grist is nearly all pale malt, with only a touch of crystal and Munich added for colour. It shows, this is very light for a barleywine. Fading glints of ivory make for a thin but insistent crowning.

That pale malt bill permits a dynamic fireworks display of hops. The top of my glass is brimming with a wonderful smell both rich and resiny. Each sniff is eruptive. Notes of candied grapefruit, toffee dipped citrus and fully caramelized whole leaf hops! Elysian apparently uses English Magnum for bittering, and finish with Amarillo and Centennial. Whatever it is they do, it creates the perfect barleywine bouquet.

The taste is jammed with with hops as well: some are sticky and honeyed; some are sharp and citric; some are sweet and candied; and some are just plained saturated in that pine-like resin. Not only does it have an ideal flavour for barleywine, it has all the ideal flavours for barleywines: the taste is flush with fruit, pine, and gooey rich caramel.

There is a harmonious blend of sweetness and bitterness that never steps out of balance. Each sip concludes with a brisk, clipping note of dried hops but the taste of sweet candied fruits and caramelized lupulin ring out. This to me just cries out to be drank all winter long, especially for those cold, dark, stormy nights.

The air around it becomes so dewy sweet you don't even have to sip it. Of course you should, it tastes incredible. It's hard to overstate just how enjoyable a drink this barleywine is. I have no doubt ranks near the top for best barleywines I've tried. Surely we must be put on this Earth to enjoy something like this.

If you're a fan of either Old Crustacean or Bigfoot, then you'd love the Cyclops. I can't be sure of the age on this bottle but sadly, it does appear to have since been retired. This is a true loss for the beer world. If I knew exactly how special this bottle was I might have left a little longer. At least I'll always have the memory of one of the best barleywines ever put to my lips.

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Photo of bbothen
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours dark red/brown with a small 1 finger head that dissipates into tiny bubbles around the glass.

Smells of sweet sugar & caramel with some faint citrus hop aroma.

Hop bitterness quickly overwhelmed by a big caramel sweetness. Warming boozy finish.

Medium. Feels smooth & creamy. Moderate carbonation.

10% sipper. Tasty barleywine. Big sweetness.

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

amber red in appearance nice head that quickly dissipates to a thin film

extremely sweet caramelly, mollasess, toffee smell

a bunch of hops in this, they are mostly very dry and herbal and the sit nicely against the bready mollasses and caramel sweetness in the malt there's also a bit of red hot like alcohol flavor in there, this beer could probably use just a bit more age

warm alcohol full body and medium light carbonation

this is a good solid barleywine, nothing super stand out about it but solid. If I lived in Seattle this would make a decent replacement for my East coast favorites such as Brooklyn Monster Ale and Old Horizontal.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack of 12 oz. bottles at the brewery in Seattle, WA. Single into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper body with a sluggish carbonation level. A thin, gray head retreats to a wispy patch of bubbles...looks just like a Barleywine should. Aroma is rife with deep notes of caramel and toffee, candied sugar, boozy heat, and a hint of resinous hops. I'm liking this one so far.

The flavor is a more muted than the aroma and appearance led on, but still pretty good. (EDIT: Second bottle was much better for some reason) Sugary, candy malts combine with a slight spice and pine from the hop oils. Alcohol warmth greets the back of the palate with a bit of a bitter/sour woodiness. The body is somewhat thin and prickly and, despite the high ABV, surprisingly well-carbonated. Not much of a lasting finish either. Overall, I'm glad I nabbed a sixer of Cyclops, as it's very drinkable for the alcohol level and style. I'm looking forward to the rest...

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Photo of GAPit
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best BW I've had yet. I live two blocks from the brewery, so close I can smell it!
Dark brown, little light comes through, nice thick tan head that stays. Taste is sweet and malty, lots of caramel and a little twang. Fresh NW hops bitter/finish it out perfectly and keeps you coming back for more. Extremely drinkable for such a big beer, and in a good way.

Sidenote...this must only be "retired" in bottles, because it's still available on tap, but only to those lucky enough to come to the brewery

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Cyclops Barleywine from Elysian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 79.5% out of 100 with 88 ratings
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