Lower De Boom Barleywine | 21st Amendment Brewery

very good
182 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Lower De Boom BarleywineLower De Boom Barleywine

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 09-12-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 798
Photo of portia99
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

8.4oz can (canned 2/5/13) poured into a Throwback snifter.

A - Pours a medium depth coppery amber color with excellent clarity. A faint attempt at forming a head fails quickly and leaves only a small collar of white bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S - Smooth alcoholic boozy aroma up front, plenty of hop aroma - bright and citrusy orange and grapefruit, rather grassy as well. Smooth, sweet malty base, a bit doughy and grainy - nice balance to the hops here.

T - Hops up front, firm bitterness with lots of citrusy hops to go along with the bitterness. Noticeable alcohol and a mild malt base. Bitterness lingers and gives a medicinal flavor after the swallow. Starts off really nice on each sip...somewhat reminiscent of Bigfoot in the early stages of each sip with a fresh hop character that breaks thru the malt. Towards the end it gets a bit messy and loses its resemblance.

M - A bit on the thin side for a barleywine. Medicinal bitterness, a bit boozy and warm. Carbonation is mid-level and tingly. Decent balance between malt and hops - definitely a hoppy American barleywine.

O - Appearance and aroma had me filled with high hopes. Even the first sip showed good promise. Half way thru the first sip, things changed a bit. The hops took on a medicinal quality in its bitterness that took away many of the fine points in the flavor of this beer. The medicine-y nature continued through the swallow and lingered long on each sip. I love a good and hoppy barleywine and I thought this had lots of promise. Overall, not bad - but had much more potential. I could drink this again, but probably won't...just doesn't live up to other easily obtainable hoppy American barleywines.

 1,694 characters

Photo of jujigatame
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

21st Amendment – Lower De Boom Barleywine – Insurrection Series
Canned 2/15/13, consumed 8/23/13, 11.5%, ABV 8.4 oz. can to tall tulip

Let sit 10-15 minutes out of the fridge before opening.

Says “packed with citrusy hops” and it certainly smells like it. Smells like imperial IPA, hops are strong and deep. I think I could just sniff this for a while without drinking it.

Hazy dark tan, caramel color. Head fades out fast to just a thin film and ring at the edge.

The booze hits first. Not a burn but an immediate warmth and presence. Hopes are strong like they were in the smell but the malt is really there in force as well. Some dark candied sweetness, some tart flavors too. Slightly sour grape or dates? Feels like one big blanket at first before individual parts come out to identify. Seems to go down very easily for me. Feels rich but not super thick. Smooth overall. Hop bitterness shows but the malt and body really keep it down on the whole. Slight chocolate note in the aftertaste, not really sweet though. Some earthiness to it. Grainy. The tart fruit really comes out if you hold this one for a bit. A nice sipper. Don’t feel the ABV too strongly to this point. Seems like this could be a big malty IPA aged on oak or something similar without that flavor being dominant. Would be interested to find a food pairing for this. Could make for good after dinner sharing as well. Really like the flavor as this has warmed in the glass. I didn’t quite know how this one would go but it definitely did appeal to me. 21A did a nice turn here.

 1,566 characters

Photo of MNishCT77
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Small can originally purchased at 1 West DuPont (crazy priced but nice!), 2012 vintage, poured into my *** snifter glass, drank 9/26/13 over a few hours.

A: 2/3 - amber brown coloration, minimal clarity, carbonation persists into a 1/2 finger-to-subtle glass lacing...imperessive for an American barleywine at 11.5% ABV

S: 7/12 - Cascade bleachy meets booze; lacks complexity and generally yucky!

T: 15/20 - maybe a minor redemption with a PNW hop character but overall bleh

M: 3/5 - moderate-to-high bodied; solid carbonation for high ABV

O: 7/10 - can't really get behind this on, especially when I think that I've personally brewed better American barleywines; nevertheless, it's certainly quaffable so it wins at least 7 overall points based on that criteria alone...21st Amendment just strikes me as remarkably overrated, especially in a state littered with so many great breweries!

TOTAL = 34/50

 907 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer review notes from 8/31/13: (can) pours clear amber reddish color with a 2 finger foamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly, leaving decent lacing.

Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, booze like a strong dark rum, caramel, molasses, and some herbs; sweet and boozy sums up the nose.

Tastes of booze up front like a strong dark rum or even bourbon, then followed by citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel, molasses, toasted grains, brown sugar, red wine and some herbs or a potpourri-like essence; each sip brings heat and warms the belly but it's not offensive and comes back to the basic taste elements of booze and malt.

Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and smooth, but the heavy, thick viscous feel is so boozy that it is a slow sipper and borders on rough to drink.

Overall it is OK, not so easy to drink, but not bad either; you can feel and taste the booze but there are enough flavors to make this tolerable. Above average, but just a notch or two.

 969 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

from the tiny can

Pours a deep reddish brown, bit of tan lacing for a head.

Smells of rich caramel, apples, and piney hops.

Rich caramel mixed with highly bitter piney hops. Overwhelmingly bitter.

Medium body with a light tingle of carbonation on tongue. Warms the mouth and the throat going down.

A decent strong ale with a very high hop flavor. The hops hide basically anything else in the flavor. The alcohol is very noticeable in this one too. Not going to be for everyone, even barleywine fans.

 506 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tiny 8.4 oz can served chilled into a goblet.

Lower De Boom is a dark redish brown color with just a slight haze. The head is thin and short-lived.

Aroma is a little sweet and very hoppy. It is evident that it has a huge malt body and more than ample hopping to balance it out.

Flavor is very intense with mild sweetness up front followed by strong bitter hops from there on out. It seems to have some apple and pear fruitiness but that quickly gets overwhelmed by the hops. The alcohol is borderline hot with a mouth drying finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Very bitter and high in alcohol.

Overall a very solid effort. I haven't had many others from 21st Amendment but I'm pretty happy with this one.

 731 characters

Photo of alaimoa
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can poured into a teku
Nice mahogany with no head despite fast pour considering 8oz can size
Smells nice of toffee, brown sugar, raisins
Taste a bit off the mark too boozy up front with a stickiness in the back
Overall it's ok but missed the mark for me with limited complexity. Too boozy, sticky but hard to distinguish flavor profile

 336 characters

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken 8-29-13.

I poured aggressively and got no head. The body was an orangey brown amber.

The nose on this was rather good. I got caramel and raisin with malt, toffee and booze.

The taste was coarse and mainly generic bitter. It was uber boozy with no balance. The nose got me rather excited, then the flavors did not follow up.

Medium bodied.

 369 characters

Photo of IPAdams
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark amber with a small off white head. No lacing, little visual carbonation.

Smell- Strong smell of red wine and alcohol. As it warms it gives way to oak and caramel notes.

Taste- Very boozy with hints of red wine bitterness. Mostly caramel malt flavors with only a bit of grassy hops. Hops are mainly noticed by the bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Moderate mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Overall- Very malty Barleywine with strong alcohol notes, gets better as it warms.

 489 characters

Photo of jeffeljefe
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured into stemware deep golden red, delicate head fades quickly, leaving wet laces. Carmelly malt, berry aroma. thick body, tingly carbonation. Rich maltiness dominates, not too sweet, not too toasty, alchohol slowly builds in the finish. Overall a solid barleywine, would definitely revisit.

 294 characters

Photo of n2185
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly murky copper-brown with a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Sticky caramel with vanilla, burnt sugar, and some grapefruit hop aromas. There are also notes of booze and pine.

T: Caramel malts, vanilla, and a good kick of grapefruit and piney hops. Sticky carmelized sugar and resinous pine notes bring up a finish with a moderate alcohol kick.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is sticky and slick. It could use a bit more carbonation.

O: An enjoyable barleywine overall. Nicely hoppy without being too bitter or sweet. Its body is the weakest aspect.

 633 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a very small pour, clean deep amber in color with a finger of beige colored head leaving behind a nice trace of lacing. a nice hoppy aroma, west coast ipa style grapefruit presence, lots of malty sweetness in the nose, some oxidation. a very different flavor than i'm used to in barleywines.. this one being almost fruity (like a quad).. getting a nutty pecan like note, some barley, some rye notes, caramel sweetness, raisins, dates, grapefruit. full body with a creamy mouthfeel, moderate amount of carbonation.

glad i got to try a can of this one, definitely don't think i would've liked an entire 4pack.

 609 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

B-wine in a can, kick ass!!!

Appearance. Pours a deep caramel, topped with half a finger of off white head.

Smell. Big lemons here, some orange and grapefruit rind, and caramel malts underneath with just a bit of pine needles.

Taste. Lemons again! Lots of lemon flavour including the rind, but not the sourness. Orange and grapefruit rinds again as well and some sweet caramel malts backing up all those citrusy hops.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Maybe not the best b-wine I've tasted but love the citrus dominant flavours. Works very well on this summer evening.

 604 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

8.4 oz can, bottom stamped 2/5/13.

bright amber colored highlights. little head. smells of booze soaked fruit, aggressive earthy hops. taste also has the sharp bite of booziness. caramel malt, herbal hops, then finishes dry. medium body, but slick and oily on the the tongue. lower carbonation.

a little hot, although that could be expected for a fresh barleywine, room for improvement in the flavors too.

 409 characters

Photo of papat444
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Boozecamel for this one.

Poured from a small 8.4oz. can, canned 02/05/13.

Appearance: Reddish copper body, good sized foam that holds at a thick ring, slathering the sides.

Smell: Caramel, candied sugar, ripe peaches & mangoes, bit of hoppiness mixed with earth, sugary malt.

Taste: Sharp burst of hop flavor followed by a wave of candied malt. Kind of a too clean finish.
Flavors could have dwelt a bit longer.

Mouthfeel: Even if there are hops in the flavor, doesn't translate into bitterness at all. Blanket of smoothness all over.

Overall: A good choice. Would have liked a bit more of an expansive feel but overall i liked it.

 647 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a hazy orange amber with a thin off-white head that dissipates into patchy foam and a ring around the glass with light lacing. Mild aroma of orange and tangerine citrus, ethanol and faint sweet malt; almost smells more like a tincture of fruit than an ale. Flavor of citrus hops, orange, faint dark and light stone fruit, mild malt, somewhat astringent finish. Medium bodied. An odd take on the American barleywine style that leans more towards a dry double IPA with less dark fresh and dried fruit than generally encountered in a barleywine. The malt body seems thin for the style and ABV. Alcohol is less dominant in the taste than aroma, but is still strong. The bitter orange flavor, particularly in the finish is intriguing, but I'd like to see some more malt support for the fruit and hops here. Worth a try; I'm going to cellar a few to see what happens over time; it's a bit too hot and unbalanced right now.

 954 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good solid barleywine. Not a big hops blast, but there are plenty of hops present. Poured from an 8.3 oz can into a pint glass. Brilliant Amber Ruby clear color. Good size off white head with good retention (for that octane level) and rings of lacing on the glass.

Strong aroma, caramel malts and some floral and piney hops.

Good barleywine flavor as well. Caramel malt, a decent amount of hops bitterness, oily /piney hops and some dark fruit. Mouthfeel is rich enough but there is little alcohol burn. This beer is ready to go right now without having to age it for mellowness..

Good barleywine. I like the 8 oz can for an 11.50 abv beer. Nice to drink a fresh, hoppy barleywine without any harsh alcohol accompanyment.

 725 characters

Photo of mpedara429
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Normally I drink from the can, but something this fancy deserved a pour into a glass. Poured out a slightly hazy copper color. A thing layer of off white head with little to no retention and lacing.

S: A very malty red licorice type smell. A very subtle floral and boozy quality.

T: Red licorice, vanilla, booze, earthy and floral hops.

M: Thick and stick body with a softer tingly type carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this one. The boozy flavor may be off-putting for some, but there is great complexity in this beer that should not be overlooked.

 558 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep copper or almost lighter brown in color. Forms a small, bubbly head. Good retention, but not much lacing.

S: Aroma is fairly malty. Lots of caramel. A little vanilla. There is also some orangey citrus in the mix.

T: Taste is also fairly malty, though this one is pretty heavily hopped. However, between the strong maltiness and the caramel, the orange flavored hops come off as overly sweet, almost candy-like for a brief moment. Then there is a somewhat odd and abrasive crispness on the finish.

M: Carbonation is on the lower side, but with this beer being a bit on the thinner side for the style, the combination of carbonation and bitterness comes off as prickly and abrasive.

O: Not a bad barleywine. Not a great one either, but, for the price it's still a solid buy.

 786 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 8.4oz can into a tulip. Barleywine in a tiny can? Sign me up!

Appearance: rich, tawny-brown hue with a moderate haze and a light apparent effervescence. Head poured a thick finger of tan foam but subsided pretty quickly. Not much lace on the glass, either.

Smell: sweet malt aroma with a lot of caramel and floral notes. The intensity is a bit on the low side, however; kind of unusual. Not bad, but the volume could come up a bit.

Taste: like the aroma, the flavor starts out subdued, but it then begins to build. Very sweet malt with caramel, floral and some light pear right up front, developing some alcohol heat toward the end. The heat really lingers on the palate; a couple years in the cellar might do this beer good (how well does beer age in the can?). The finish is a little rough, then, but overall this is an interesting and smooth barleywine, if not an overly complex one.

Mouthfeel: big body with a rich, round smoothness. Carbonation is pretty low, so there's not much creaminess here. But the strength and sweetness of this brew give it a real smooth, slick feel.

Overall: this is an interesting beer, but the alcohol heat and the bit of roughness in the finish impact drinkability for me. Worth a try, though, if you like the style.

 1,268 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a white, 2-finger, frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid lace.

S: Sweet alcoholic malty aroma.

T: Sweet also tart malty flavor with slight hop background and hints of caramel. Finishes slightly bitter and hoppy.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent Barley wine – needs to age more. I’m thinking they don’t age as well in cans for some reason.

 423 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep ruby/amber color with super thin lacing and no carbonation.

S - Overly delicate nose and have to dig deep in my glass to get anything from it. Light toffee, caramel, and citrus.

T - Taste is a little more vibrant than the aroma, but not by much. Citrus/lemon, toasted caramel and toffee, alcohol, and light dark fruit.

M - Thick and full bodied and slick.

O - Nose and flavor are too delicate for a barley.

 428 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, brown color, hazy

Smell: pineapple, deep caramel, and toffee

Taste: pine and earthy start, followed by toffee in the middle, brown sugar, pine, and more hops at the end

Mouthfeel: combo of sticky sweet and harsh bitterness--especially in the aftertaste, heavy in body, moderate carbonation

Overall: A solid and enjoyable American style barleywine. Nice combo of sticky sweet and harsh hops...very well balanced. Certainly one I would pick up again if I wanted this style.

 524 characters

Photo of deeznuts420
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a very solid barleywine from 21st. 8.4 oz can pored into a tulip. poured a dark reddish brown color with a fingers worth of head. smells of loads of west coast hops. resiny citrus, lemon zest, orange peel. then it shows it's barleywine roots with loads of fig, cherry, raisin, toffee and caramel. mouthfell was medium-heavy with a little bit of booziness. overall a great bw from 21st amendment, although i'd like t see it in regular sized cans. but besides that what is in the can is something i'd definetly buy again.

 519 characters

Photo of RyanLigeia
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Look- Comes in a uniquely portioned small can, which isnt a bad thing but I personally did not care for the actual look of the cans themselves. Other than that the packaging itself was amazing, as usual coming from 21st Amendment. The beer pours a mostly clear dark mahogany / ruby color. Minimal off-white head with some visible carbonation racing to the surface.

Smell- The hop presence is definitely notable with some delicious smelling citrusy undertones but this one is equalled by a strong sweet caramel maltiness. You can tell its gonna have a little kick to it but I wouldnt have blindly guessed almost %12.

Taste- Unique taste for a barley wine. A bitter hop finish almost on par with a dipa, alcohol is way more present and the malt bill takes the back seat here.

Mouthfeel- lots of alcohol warmth/borderline burn. Carbonation is on the higher end for a 11.5% barley wine. Slightly sticky, "bittering/dry" hop feel as well.

Overall- Def worth a try in my book because it IS unique compared to most barley wines out there. I think this one would improve with about a years worth of cellaring to hopefully mellow out that alcogol bight…but thats just what I feel it'd take to get the beer to where I'd PERSONALLY like it to be. The only issue with that is thee ol hop fade (which may be an oxymoron since that hop presence is something that was mentioned on the packaging as intentional) so some of you hop heads out there will probably ilke this one right where its at off the shelves.

 1,504 characters

Lower De Boom Barleywine from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 798 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.