Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale | Butte Creek Brewing Company

Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style AleTrainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 57 ratings
Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style AleTrainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale

Brewed by:
Butte Creek Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Reidrover on 02-26-2007

View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Short but very durable head; spotty lacing; fairly clear, dark body.

Very smooth and near full body, with some warmth but nicely tame for 10.6% ABV.

Aroma: caramel, raisins, alcohol, vanilla.

Flavor: brown bread, butterscotch, alcohol, wood, vanilla. Bittersweet.

O: a mainstream but very well crafted barleywine. Recommended!

 378 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of MisterE
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark orange amber, two finger off-white head and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruit. Flavor subdued on first taste, but typical barley wine elements come through in the middle, dark fruits and caramel malt. Finish is a little too hoppy and so the whole isn't that well balanced. Medium bodied and nice mouth feel. Still a nice enjoyable barley wine.

 424 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage

A: The pour is a dark amber/burnt orange color with a big off-white head.

S: What a nose. Lots of intensely creamy caramel notes, milk, toffee, brown sugar, and some more caramel. I was really impressed with the aromas, I must say.

T: Though not quite as striking as the nose, this beer has a very solid flavor. The sweetness is what this beer is all about, but it's not cloying (though there are no overt hop characteristics). Sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and somewhat creamy.

M: A medium-full body on this beer with a soft, medium level of carbonation.

D: This was a surprisingly delicious beer. Too bad I don't have any of this myself as it was really enjoyable.

 690 characters

Photo of Bookseeb
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a cloudy brown with a fair head, but nice lace. Smell of big malt, caramel, dark fruits. Taste has a good barleywine style flavor, having a strong hop with a good malt backbone and a husky graininess that ends in a sweet bitter finish. Mouthfeel is full and viscous having good carbonation. A fair barlywine that could use a bit more complexity.

 359 characters

Photo of kirok1999
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy copper, minimal head but some nice lace.
Smell is hoppy more than malty. Lots of sweeness and caramel. Some crisp grass and hay notes as well.
Tastes very crisp and hoppy yet well balanced by the malt profile. Sugar and candy up front followed by a lingering slightly bitter finish. Slight spicey note which pairs well with the sweetness.
Very drinkable, dense and creamy.

 389 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich, muddy brown with orange highlights and a modest white head that eventually went away leaving only a spotty, lacey, web-work. Smell was very close to one of those caramel chew candies you get in the clear cellophane wrap. Very nice. Very sweet and malty in the nose.
First lands on the palate with sweet, malty, sugary goodness. Towards the swallow, the bitterness begins to swell from hardly noticeable to very noticeable.
Mouthfeel is heavy, almost syrupy or chewy, which I like very much. In spite of everything, though, this drinks a little below its advertised 10,6%abv. Were I to guess what this was, I'd say, perhaps around 8% or so; certainly not close to 11. This is, without a doubt, the best barleywine calling itself an American-style I think I have ever had. Very impressive.
Also, this is the first beer from Butte Creek I have had the opportunity to try.

 883 characters

Photo of hophead247
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber color with sudsy off-white head that lasted a while and left plenty of lacing in the glass. The aroma is strong with a citrus and sweet malt bouquet. The flavor up front is very hoppy biter; the impact of this beer is that it is an IPA or IIPA because of the bitterness. Besides the biter there is a taste of grapefruit, raisins, and walnuts. The mouthfeel is smooth and full, with good carbonation. The finish is long with lingering bitterness.

 464 characters

Photo of popery
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's been about 15 months since I purchased the bottle. I don't know if it's significantly worse fresh, but this is a big, rich barleywine at this point and it's quite nice. The beer is a pretty standard red-tinged amber with a small head fading to a bit of lacing. The aroma is particularly good - vanilla, caramel malt, a touch of lingering citric hops, cognac around the edges and an almost koelsch-like vinous quality. The grape aroma is all sweet, little champagne grapes and adds a lot. The flavor has that silky, smooth sweetness of residual sugars that have slowly oxidized. The mouthfeel could be a touch creamier but it's still good. It's really quite nice at this point. I almost want to try a fresh bottle to understand some of the lower scores. I'm not sure why this beer would rate lower than Old Guardian or Green Flash's barleywine.

 848 characters

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours clear copper with tan head and decent lacing initially. The aroma brings up big dark fruity esters of plums, prunes, raisins, pepper and hard candy cherries. There's also an alcohol note. The taste starts with a mixture of sweet malts, pale malts and a burst of dark fruitiness. Then it becomes increasingly fruity with prunes, sweet cherries, raisins, then a slight medicinal cherry cough syrup note along with mild pepper. It ends with lingering dark fruit notes, a hint of caramel malt sweetness and a bit of alcohol. Considering the age and the ABV the alcohol isn't out of line. This can certainly use a couple of years on the shelf though.

 658 characters

Photo of jahfool
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide goblet/wine glass. 2007 vintage. Initially served colder than suggested serving temp, warmed throughout tasting.

Copper-tinged brown with a light brown head that recedes quickly to a thin layer atop the beer. Sweet, malty aroma but nothing particularly special or appealing- somewhat one-dimensional.

Hops are subdued but present (particularly in the aftertaste- yowza!); again, sweet and malty taste, with a slight astringency. Somewhat "flat" tasting initially, though still a bit colder than ideal serving temp. A fullness develops as it warms, smooth and rich flavor, a hint of oxidation. Well-balanced flavors, though a definite bitterness in the aftertaste, which I enjoy.

Fantastic mouthfeel-- smooth as silk, full-bodied but not at all cloying, velvet on the tongue. Few barleywines compare in drinkability.

Overall, a solid barleywine, and one I might revisit depending on the price point. Definitely decent, with no significant flaws. Drinks to its abv, enjoyably. Only problem is, it isn't particularly memorable, even as I'm drinking it. For a higher-alcohol beverage, it works; as an tasting experience, it's average. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying the bottle and don't regret the purchase.

I'll probably drink a fresh bottle this year, and see how it stands up to the cellared version.

 1,320 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007 release

Appearance: A very attractive barleywine, with a hazy amber color and a head that retains nicely, while depositing a lot of lace

Smell: Lots of earthy caramel malt, but there is also some pine and fusel alcohol

Taste: Caramel, up front, but the piney hop bitterness quickly intrudes, with a grainy huskiness; after the swallow, the piney bitter flavors clash with the sweeter malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but rather thin for a barleywine; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I guess this is a Train Wreck, all right, to be candid; I prefer my barleywines with a little age and I like the hop profile to add complexity; in this example, the sweet and bitter flavors clash and the result is eponymous

 715 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale pours a copper color with a thin tan head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is malty and kind of earthy. There is a fruity flavor, almost orange like that comes in near the beginning. There is a fair amount of malt noticeable and a decent hoppy finish. There is a touch of earthiness in the flavor as well. Alcohol is slightly noticeable in the flavor (unless you take a gulp, then it's quite noticeable, this is a sipper), but the warming is quite noticeable. Better than I expected from this brewer.

 555 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to barleywinefiend for the chance to try this organic barleywine. haven't seen to many organic barleywines before.

A - rich golden amber with a billowy white head that takes quite some time to settle down.

S - caramel malts, hints of citrus hops and a light abv note.

T - light citric hops, caramel and brown sugar.

M - medium full bodied, nice creamy carbonation, slightly sweet with an aging hop balance.

D - smooth as a sipper and belies the strength.

Not sure the year on this one but I think I'd like it either fresh or with a few years on it. It seems at an inbetween state right now.

 604 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 release. Clear copper pour with a thick but squatty off-white head. Oranges, citrus, hops, pine, earth, and malt make up the nose. Big malt and big hops in the taste. Lots of resin with less grapefruit. Not well balanced, but both tastes are great.

 253 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appetizing clear brownish copper with a thick, frothy head that sticks around for a bit. Aroma is strong and malty with a brandy-ish fruit overtone. Flavor has an undertone of molasses, as well as smoky and nutty hints - and the typical strong alcohol bite of a barleywine. Texture is fairly edgy, and it leaves a rather bitter, hoppy aftertaste.

 355 characters

Photo of Patrick999
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a standard barleywine. 2007 vintage. Deep orange-red hue, thin head that can be mustered with a few swirls of the snifter.

Aroma is somewhat hoppy, with a good deal of acetone. Some jammy fruit notes emerge as it warms.

Citrus hops with big syrupy malt backing. Becomes quite jammy; reminds me of gooey strawberry preserves. Alcohol is very assertive. That is tough to get around at 10.6%, but I've had beers at this strength that do a much better job of cloaking it. It's pretty hot. Lingering hop bitterness on the back end.

This full-bodied beer can become sticky.

A fairly enjoyable b-wine, though it does wield a hammer even in comparison to other b-wines. Ultimately, for me, it just comes off as a bit too alcoholic.

 742 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 Release. Polished bronze-like orange that betrays a splash of cherry juice red when backlit. The attractive crown (equal parts ivory, ecru and pale orange) is a sticky mass of bubbles that leaves equally bubbly lace as it slowly descends.

The aroma is on the tame side for a beer of this style, both in terms of alcohol (a good thing) and hops (not such a good thing). Pale and lightly toasted-earthy-caramel malt dominates, with a bit of orange oil for good measure.

Butte Creek Train Wreck is not a train wreck at all. It's actually a pretty good American barleywine. Thanks, in part, to greater than one year in the cellar, it's also a fairly tame choo-choo that doesn't threaten to become derailed at any point during the journey from beer entry to beer exit. Sure, it drinks pretty close to its ABV, but it's easily managed as long as one sticks with sips rather than gulps.

The malt profile tastes darker than 100% pale and lighter than it would if a ton of caramel malt was used. The earthiness of nose is still present and suggests that Munich malt is in the house. Tops notes include orange peel macerated in Stolichnaya, with a somewhat boozy creamsicle vibe, and dark honey.

My advice is to drink your 2007 bombers now before what flavor intensity is present fades. I have no doubt that the IBU count was generous immediately after bottling. There's still a hop-related tightening on the finish that keeps the beer from being anywhere near cloying. It is sweet, though.

The mouthfeel is a little too wimpy and shies away from reaching chewy on the back end. It tempts one to drink quickly, even as the ABV suggests that that isn't such a wonderful idea. Restrained carbonation is a positive of sorts.

Given some of the beer that Butte Creek has foisted on the public, calling their barleywine Train Wreck takes guts. As should be obvious by now, TWOBSA isn't a gnarled mass of molten metal, but is an enjoyable sipper that was probably just as good fresh as it is aged. Definitely worth a look.

 2,017 characters

Photo of froghop
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

caramel/copper in color with a medium dirty white head.

smell of roasted nuts, spice, some pepper, caramel, barley, some cocoa in the back.

taste is grainy, some nuts, some caramel, and that organic funk.

i was really happy with this, the look, the smell, then when i tasted it i could not believe that i tasted "organic" and sure enough when i checked the bottle it was organic.

 382 characters

Photo of halfP1NT
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky, deep amber brown with a nice, foamy off-white head. A thick sheet of lacing is left behind around the top of the glass.

Smell is sweet malts and dark fruits; plum, raisin, fig & cherries. The alcohol comes through.

Taste is bready malts and some dark fruits. It finishes with a warming alcohol that I can feel in my chest. There is a definite cherry presence and enough hop bitterness to balance it out quite nicely. A little tartness becomes apparent as the beer warms.

Carbonation is on the lower side. This beer is definitely a slow sipper and would be nice on a cold winter night.

 613 characters

Photo of DIM
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a perfectly clear, shiny, golden copper color. It poured with a medium sized off-white head that is short lived but sticky.

s: This was pretty mild overall for a barleywine. I smelled faint sour apple aromas, a little perfumed hops, and a bit too much alcoholic heat.

t: Starts off well enough with sweet grain and cherry flavors. The hops come next, tasting grassy, flowery, and very dry. They combine with some mildly solventy alcohol at the end.

m: Good body and it was well carbonated. The unpleasantly dry finish lingers for quite a while, however.

d: This was okay, but I won't look for it again.

 618 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First hit of aroma has nice citrus hops But then it's gone and i get good malt with hints of maple and honey and caramel. I don't get any yeast/fermentation character.

Nice light amber color but a little cloudy. Started off with a decent head but fades quickly to a small layer of island-like head that leaves very little lacing. Not much carbonation visible.

Flavor profile has lots of caramel malt and good orange citurssy bite. Hop bitterness is pretty high but there is still a lot of sweet malt including some treacle and maple. Aftertaste is a good combo of malt and hops. But I still don't get any fermentation effects to add complexity. It's missing an element.

Carbonation level is very light so It feels pretty heave, not a bad thing in a barleywine. Slightly alcoholic in the mouth.

Pretty big beer with all the sipping, warming properties. But for me, it isn't as complex in the flavor as I want in a sipper but it's too strong to just drink it.

 962 characters

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Trainwreck poured a dark reddish brown with a thick soapy head and some sticky lacing. It was clear with a quick reducing head.

The aroma was dark fruit and dates.

The taste was very malty and highly alcoholic. In the mouth it left a burn on tongue and back of the throat.

Overall not a bad barleywine but a little on the rough side. I thought it could be balanced a little more with some hops. I didn't get much hop flavor or bitterness to the brew.

 459 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wonderful coppery garnet color with a soapy head that thins quickly but leaves slashes and patches of lace in its wake.

Aroma is quite nice, on the sugary side but rather true to style. Candy-apple (hold the nuts), plenty o' hops, orange, grapefruit, vanilla, caramel, Twizzlers. Just a dab of the alcohol appears.

Flavor does not live up to the aroma. While it has its good moments--glazed orange and caramel--it's a bit uneven no thanks to the intrusive alcohol heat and medicinal aftertaste. The finish is like vodka-soaked cherries and cinnamon. That could be a good thing, but the cough-syrup flavor and rough warmth screw it up a bit. Texture isn't quite as full and round as the greatest barleywines, but I appreciated its soft, silky feel.

Put this one in the same category is similarly second-rate U.S. barleywines like Chicken Killer or Arcadia's Cereal Killer. Drinkable enough so that you can get something out of it besides a headache...but not good enough where you're going to want to invest in a case or anything.

Reminds me of a good joke I quite like: What does a barleywine have in common with sex and pizza? Answer: Even when it's bad, it's good.

 1,172 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale from Butte Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 47.4% out of 100 with 57 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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