Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale | Butte Creek Brewing Company

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Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style AleTrainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 55
Reviews by MisterE:
Photo of MisterE
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This ABW is a glorious orangish-brown in color with an awesome white head that had a little bit of orange tint to it. The head showed great retention and filmed the inside of my glass.

Smell – The hops here are wonderful without overpowering. It’s a very raw aroma that reminds me of the Russian hops that grow outside of the riding barn in Woodinville, WA, where I used to keep my horse. There’s also that traditional nutty smell that you get with most organic beers.

I’m not really getting any barley wine though. There seems to be a complete lack of a balancing malt backbone or any of that wine that you find with a typical ABW.

Taste – I do pick up some light wine at the taste but it is definitely understated. The stars of the show are those raw, earthy hops from the nose.

Mouthfeel – This is less than medium-bodied but very smooth in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This was OK but really paled in comparison to the other ABWs out there on the market today.

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Photo of blitz134
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, caramel-orange body. Quarter inch of off-white head that reduced down to a thin bubble layer. Seems to form some decent lacing. Alright lookin' beer.

Caramel, simple sugar aroma. Slightly floral and herbal hop aroma. Alcohol is evident after sniffing for a while. Just not much to it.

Flavor has a pretty solid malt body, caramel and some grainy bread. A good dose of hops, mainly herbal again with some floral notes. A weird hop twang comes over this just after the swallow. Alcohol notes waft up the back of the throat a bit later. Okay flavor overally really, but there are some out of place characteristics, like that hop twang that reminds me a bit of Simcoe.

Medium bodied mouthfeel, lower carbonation levels are where they should be for a barleywine.

Drinkability is okay. The alcohol flareups are a bit distracting. Flavor and aroma are just okay. A decent beer, I'd take this over other things but there are plenty of others I'd rather have.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber gold in the glass with a half finger of white the takes it own sweet time melting to a thick ring of sticky lacing.

Brown sugar, dark amber malts, and a very lite citrus fill the nose as you inhale.

The head remains giving you a mouth feel that is full of tiny carbonation.,

Flavors are mostly from the hops....oranges, lemons, grapefruit peels, and a nice balancing of sweetness from the ever present amber malt.
Really a nice balance for a young barleywine.

Aftertaste is nothing but pleasant...a reminder of what is sweet and a definite bitter bite left in the mouth from the hops.

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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.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty orange-brown hue with bright orange highlights, topped by a large, tan, creamy head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt and a ton of pungent, tangy, fruity hops. Palate is a full-on hop assault - strong, fruity hops that turn sharply bitter on the finish. The sizeable malt bill holds up to prevent this beer from being completely one-dimensional, but it's clear from the beginning who's in charge. Some mild biscuity notes are evident mid-palate, providing a nice bit of contrast. Body is a little thin for such a huge beer, although still conveys the flavor well. Take your time with this one, unless you want the next morning to live up to the beer's name.

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Photo of dgallina
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce brown bottle marked 2007 release.

Pours clear copper with no head and scattered lace. In the nose, the beer displays muted nutty caramel, green leaves, and fusel alcohol vapors. Flavor can be difficult to discern despite the strength. Green leaves, pine, and caramel come through eventually, followed by a woody rounded alcohol finish, Mouth feel is thick, syrupy, and slightly creamy, with little carbonation. Moderately drinkable for a barley wine, but rather plain.

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Photo of theopholis
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very lovely amber/brown body with a solid 2 finger, creamy, fluffy off-white head. The color could use some more ruby, but overall, it's quite nice. Good lacing. Excellent head retention. Especially for a barley wine.

Smell- Doesn't have a strong aroma. Some hints of sweet caramel malts; and floral hops. Clean and crisp smelling, but not as pungent as you would expect out of a barley wine.

Taste- Nice. Not as overwhelming as I useually like my BWs, but nice. You start out with some piney, floral hops; much more than the than the aroma would indicate. A nice, malt sweetness with some caramel malts. Not as complex as a lot of barley wines, but it holds my interest. Maybe some hints of burnt toast in there.

Mouthfeel- Fairly heavy body. More carbonation than most BWs, but it works nicely.

Drinkability- Not the best Barley wine around, but well worth trying.

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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.

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

Poured a deep hazy orange brown with a nice white head, fade was very slow and left some bigtime lace behind it, looked like a good IIPA and not a barley wine but I shall go forward. Smell was hugely hopped and lots of alcohol. Big citrus hops was the story here, this really needs to sit down in the cellar for a while as the the alcohol is way too upfront and packs a big bite. Lots of hints at grapefruit and pineapple are to be found as it warms. The feel is very smooth and warning, and is very nice again as an IIPA. However I really think this is far too young to be a good barleywine, will lay a couple down and come back to it in a few months.

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Photo of rallison
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a 1/2 finger semi-fluffy off-white head. Smell is a bit weak for how strong the beer is - some caramel malts, maybe a touch of piny hops.

Taste, however, is better. Lots and lots of caramel malts in here, but balanced by just enough piny hops. This is no Bigfoot in the hops department, but the balance is good. Alcohol gives it a bite as well, and warms nicely. Complexity is a bit lacking, but does not detract much.

Mouthfeel is very rich - but hey, this is a barleywine. Drinkability is decent.

Overall, recommended. This is honestly the first beer from Butte Creek I might actually buy again. Especially considering this is an organic BW, I have to say, nicely done.

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Photo of scottoale
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll be lucky to walk away from this one! From the organic pioneers(SM), 2007 release...22fl.oz.brown bomber pours out a brilliant copper-amber with a lasting thick ivory head of a finger thickness.

Sweet and potent nose comprised of rich earthy malt, healthy hoppiness and some serious alcohol.

The flavor...a totally complete American Barleywine with precise balance. It starts sweet with tons of malt that linger while flowing across the tongue. The malt fades into some floral citrus and takes on a bittering endeavor. The bitterness turns from citrus to pine, then gets a little grassy and then wham, the bitter bottoms out and the alcohol finishes the deed, in a big way. The flavors just meld in the end only to linger on and on, well after the swallow. Great Barleywine flavor here folks that I'm positive will turn to 5.0 in no time at all (in my book anyway).

Thick, rich, full bodied brew that fits the style to a "T" and is what I truly enjoy drinking...Big, Strong Ale! I highly recommend, but beware of the high potency.

Note: I don't know why this is, but breweries in Chico, CA. are the home of American Barleywine IMHO, to my tastebuds anyway.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.76/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper color with nice low carbonations and light brown head. No hop aroma-not really expecting any either. Taste is malty, rich, and semi-sweet with a slight bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth like a baby's butt-this is a problem-because this makes the drinkability exceptional. One of the best barley wines I have had.

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Photo of Zorro
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

In the glass this is a heavily chill hazed amber colored beer with a strong reddish tinge to it. This beer never entirely clears; it is that whole organic thing I guess. The head is small and off-white to light tan in color until is disappears.

The scent is sweet and very malty with a strong aroma of rye to it. This is a little spicy and there is a bit of brandy scent to it. For a Barley Wine this is quite grainy smelling.

The taste begins sweet and fruity with the flavor of rye and a decent bitterness in the aftertaste. The taste stays on the mild and fruity side and this is QUITE deceptive about how strong it is. The fruit flavor is the indistinct fruity sensation that you get from Juicy Fruit gum; fruity without an exact fruit you can compare it too. Not an outstandingly hoppy beer this is more a malty one, that or hops have whacked my perception to the point that Stone Ruination is a mild pale ale.

The mouthfeel is OK but a little thin for the style.

This is outstanding in drinkability, for what it lacks in complexity it makes up for in just being plain easy to drink. This is pretty deceptive in its mild taste and lack of alcohol burn; it drinks like malty pale ale and kicks like a Rodeo Bull. Three of these and it is goodnight for you.

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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.

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

I got this one from BA woodychandler for a house warming gift.

This one looks like caramel with some strawberry highlights or perhaps a bit like cider. There are a few lazy bubbles creeping up to partake in the irregular off-white head.

Smells of an ideal gooey barley with a big boozy follow and a touch of apple juice.

Tastes of a dry caramel and powdered sugar base with a bit of green grape that sharply transitions into pine cones and orange peal leaving me with a grainy washed-out cedar finish. Perhaps in the background there’s an odd bit of unifying bubblegum. Different for sure, but quite tasty.

Feels medium bodied with an active carbonation that adds a lot of zest to the flavor.

Very nice. Enjoyable and just a little bit different. Thanks, Woody!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking ale, dark orange, clear with a large thick creme coloured head. Aroma is pretty faint, but it was was malty,slightly caramel. Oh wow ..this is a strange flavour! Dark fruits, bitter malty and alcoholic all at once clashing in the first sip Pretty sugary in a sherry sort of way. After the first few sips it settles down into a very malty ,alcoholic taste , though not totally unpleasant. Actually alright on the palate, a little sugary at times . Overall a bit of a "train wreck" alright. Maybe this could improve with age. Though its not totally bad now.

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Photo of ojiikun
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz into a handy tulip. Cap pops with a good hiss, pour is uneventful. No date. Body is crystal clear and very, very dark orange. Head is fairly off white and barely more than an even misting of bubbles.

Smell is hoppy! Something rides on the booze like oak - is this oaked? Green apples. Sweet, dusty, leathery, yeast profile like a black German bread. Notes reminiscient of brownsugar-maple-nut oatmeal.

Taste is much dryer than expected from the smell. Grassy, grainey, and grapefruitey. Less full that expected. Doesn't really live up to the smell.

Actually feels lovely in the mouth for this gravity, and the carbonation is that perfect sort that comes on command but never tickles the nose.

Pretty drinkable, especially considering the weight. Not cloying in the least, but a tad dry for the style. Worth a try, especially if you're a bit of an organic nut.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of flexabull
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear and bright copper color, with a nice white head on top.

Aromas are bright, floral, hoppy, and with a bit of an alcohol smell.

Big mouthfeel. This is a pretty aggressively hopped barley wine. The body of the beer lacks a bit, there isn't much there, just a touch of sweetness from the malts. The finish has a very distinct bitter and alcoholic kick.

Drinkability is ok. This beer really lives up to it's name. It's pretty good, but there isn't much balance. Seems to lack a backbone. I've always been a bit leery of Butte Creek Beers, they seem to be average at best. This one has potential, but still pales in comparison to it's Big Footed neighbor that's brewed just down the road.

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Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of rayjay
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one poured a thick medium amber with a head that was very slow to rise (none at first), and before long it was all gone. Funny, it still laced the glass a bit though.

Tons of dried fruit, fruitcake, malt reduction, and the like. There was a bitter hoppy finish that sat along side a bit sticky malt finish. The malts do a good job of masking the hops, and I can tell there's alot of hops in here. Alcohol is well hidden under all those flavors, but there was a gentle burn. This was like a cross between a big thick dopplebock and Bigfoot from a cask.

Carbonation was very light, but somehow enough. Thick and chewy. As it warmed it got mightly flat and resembled whiskey. Worth a try; I liked it a bit better on tap at the Toronado's barley wine fest, but then I seem to like most barleywines better on tap. Cheers!

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Trainwreck Organic Barleywine Style Ale from Butte Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 57 ratings